Gordon Marsden Portrait

Gordon Marsden

Labour - Former Member for Blackpool South

Gordon Marsden is not a member of any APPGs
10 Former APPG memberships
Arts and Heritage, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Osteoporosis, Osteoposis, Ovarian Cancer, Tourism, Leisure and the Hospitality Industry, Veterans
Shadow Minister (Education)
18th Sep 2015 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
18th Sep 2015 - 11th Oct 2016
Shadow Minister (Transport)
7th Oct 2013 - 18th Sep 2015
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
26th Oct 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
12th May 2010 - 7th Oct 2013
Commons Science and Technology
1st Oct 2009 - 6th May 2010
Education & Skills
12th Jul 2005 - 8th Nov 2007
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
31st Jan 2002 - 5th May 2005
Education & Employment
9th Nov 1998 - 11th May 2001


Division Voting information

Gordon Marsden has voted in 2484 divisions, and 25 times against the majority of their Party.

27 Mar 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship Votes - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 22 Labour No votes vs 111 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 184 Noes - 293
25 Jun 2018 - National Policy Statement: Airports - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 94 Labour No votes vs 119 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 415 Noes - 119
23 Feb 2015 - Serious Crime Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 28 Labour Aye votes vs 178 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 201 Noes - 292
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 69 Labour Aye votes vs 138 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 241 Noes - 256
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 66 Labour No votes vs 139 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 267 Noes - 233
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 51 Labour No votes vs 141 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 280 Noes - 184
11 Jul 2012 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 46 Labour No votes vs 126 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 205 Noes - 228
29 Apr 2009 - Gurkha Settlement Rights - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 28 Labour Aye votes vs 238 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 267 Noes - 246
4 Nov 2008 - Employment Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Labour Aye votes vs 212 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 53 Noes - 408
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 49 Labour Aye votes vs 227 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 206 Noes - 298
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 47 Labour Aye votes vs 226 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 194 Noes - 306
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 45 Labour Aye votes vs 226 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 183 Noes - 308
3 Jul 2008 - Members’ Salaries - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 82 Labour Aye votes vs 136 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 155 Noes - 196
3 Jul 2008 - Members’ Salaries - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 66 Labour Aye votes vs 159 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 141 Noes - 216
20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 39 Labour Aye votes vs 240 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 190 Noes - 332
20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Labour Aye votes vs 229 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 173 Noes - 309
20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 56 Labour Aye votes vs 231 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 233 Noes - 304
19 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 61 Labour Aye votes vs 215 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 176 Noes - 336
19 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 62 Labour Aye votes vs 216 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 286
19 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Labour Aye votes vs 217 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 181 Noes - 314
19 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Labour Aye votes vs 233 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 149 Noes - 318
28 Mar 2007 - deferred divisions - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 18 Labour No votes vs 265 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 274 Noes - 250
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 111 Labour Aye votes vs 197 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 196 Noes - 375
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 96 Labour No votes vs 207 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 337 Noes - 224
14 Jun 2006 - Parliamentary and Local Elections (Choice of Electoral Systems) - View Vote Context
Gordon Marsden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 17 Labour Aye votes vs 68 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 72 Noes - 168
View All Gordon Marsden Division Votes

All Debates

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

View all Gordon Marsden's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Gordon Marsden

4th November 2019
Gordon Marsden signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 4th November 2019

Post Office Closures in Blackpool South constituency

Tabled by: Gordon Marsden (Labour - Blackpool South)
That this House expresses its concern about the announcement of closures at three post offices in Blackpool in the last few weeks, Marton, Waterloo and Mereside; notes that this leaves local residents without a range of post office services and without access to free withdrawal facilities at ATMs attached to …
2 signatures
(Most recent: 5 Nov 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 2
23rd October 2019
Gordon Marsden signed this EDM on Tuesday 29th October 2019

Persecution of Christians

Tabled by: Jeremy Hunt (Conservative - South West Surrey)
That this House notes the 2019 report of Aid to the Church in Need entitled Persecuted and Forgotten? which shows that the Christian population of Iraq has declined by 90 per cent within a generation from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 150,000 today; recognises that any Daesh resurgence …
43 signatures
(Most recent: 5 Nov 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 14
Labour: 13
Scottish National Party: 9
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
View All Gordon Marsden's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Gordon Marsden, 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 Gordon Marsden

Monday 20th November 2017

3 Adjournment Debates led by Gordon Marsden

Thursday 24th October 2019
Wednesday 27th June 2018
Wednesday 25th March 2015

Gordon Marsden has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Gordon Marsden has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


883 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
132 Other Department Questions
13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the operational readiness of the Student Loans Company to administer postgraduate loan applications between June and October 2016.

The Student Loans Company will open for applications for the new master’s loan for postgraduate study from the end of June 2016 and the Department has been working closely with the company to ensure its systems and operational staff are ready to manage the loan’s administration.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether a dedicated hotline for postgraduate loan applicants will be established by the Student Loans Company.

There is a dedicated enquiry line for applicants for the new master’s loan for postgraduate study. The number is 0300 100 0031 and the line is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the expected take-up of postgraduate loans by (a) UK and (b) EU students in (i) 2017-18 and (ii) 2018-19; and if he will make a statement.

The Department’s current central estimate is that around 60,000 students will take out the new postgraduate master’s loan in Academic Year 2016/17. We estimate that a similar number of students will take out the loan in each of the Academic Years 2017/18 and 2018/19. These estimates will be reviewed in light of the student applications received in the first year of the loan’s operation. The new master’s loan will be available to eligible students including those UK students ordinarily resident in England or EU nationals resident elsewhere in the EU who meet the loan’s eligibility criteria. As this is a new loan product this year, it is too early to give an accurate estimate of the domicile of borrowers in 2017/18 or 2018/19.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the additional staffing and resources required by the Student Loans Company for administration and postgraduate loan applications from October 2016.

The Student Loans Company will open applications for the new master’s loan for postgraduate study from the end of June 2016. Around 40 additional full-time equivalent staff will support the new loan product.

The additional staff will be required to process the applications, administer the payment of student loans and deal with any enquiries from students in relation to the new product.

6th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the expected Resource Accounting and Budgeting charge is for student loans paid out to EU students studying in England.

The Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) charge, which represents the value of the part of the loan that is not expected to be repaid, is not calculated separately by the nationality of the students. We estimate that the RAB charge for full time tuition fee and maintenance loans is between 20% and 25%.

My Department publishes an updated estimate of the RAB charge each year, close to the time of the publication of BIS accounts. The most recent estimate of the RAB charge was published on 18 February 2016. The estimate, together with a simplified version of the model for calculating the RAB charge can be found here:

http://tinyurl.com/stepmodel

6th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on specific support under the Youth Obligation programme to enable young people with backgrounds of homelessness to access apprenticeships.

Preparations for the Youth Obligation have been discussed at the Earn or Learn Taskforce. These discussions have included how to help Youth Obligation participants of all backgrounds into apprenticeships.

6th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what mechanisms there will be under the Apprenticeship Levy for additional support to incentivise employers to take on disadvantaged young people.

Extra support will be provided for employers to take on disadvantaged young people, including 16-18 year olds, those aged 19-24 who have been in the care of the Local Authority, apprentices with additional learning needs, and apprentices who do not have the level of English and maths that is required to meet the minimum standard.

Further guidance will be published in June 2016.

6th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of apprenticeship pay rates for young people in supported accommodation.

The Department has not made any assessment of the pay rates for this specific group.

We are increasing the National Minimum Wage for people on apprenticeships by 3.0 per cent to £3.40 per hour in October 2016. Most apprentices receive more than the minimum; the median basic hourly pay rate is £6.31 for Level 2 and 3, and £9.68 for Level 4 and 5 Higher Apprentices.

The Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage applies equally to all apprentices (for the first year if aged 19 – then the appropriate NMW for age applies). For younger workers, the priority in those first years is to secure work and gain experience - something that is already reflected in the National Minimum Wage rate structure.

25th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to his Department's White Paper, Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice, published in May 2016, what discussions he has had with further education colleges and providers on the future role of further education in delivering higher education; and what assessment he has made of the security of employment and the forms of contract likely to be offered to staff by new alternative providers.

The measures that are set out in the White Paper were subject to consultation following the Green Paper published in November 2015. All higher education providers in England including alternative providers and further education Colleges were able to provide a response as part of that process. A summary of the consultation responses can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/523420/bis-16-261-he-green-paper-fulfilling-our-potential-summary-of-responses.pdf

The measures announced in the White Paper include establishing the Office for Students, which will have clear and consistent powers to regulate all types of provider. Terms and contracts of employment between alternative providers and their staff are a matter for individual providers.

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the proposals in his Department's White Paper, Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice, published on 16 May 2016, on the number of new providers in the higher education sector by 2020.

The Higher Education and Research Bill Impact Assessment, published alongside the Bill, details the Government’s assessment of the expected number of HE providers following the reforms. The full forecast is provided in Annex A of the document, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-and-research-bill-impact-assessment .

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions his Department has had with the Home Office on the effect of existing legislation on overseas students on steps to increase the number of international students studying in the UK.

Officials in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills meet with Home Office officials and representatives from the education sector on a regular basis to discuss a range of issues related to international students studying in the UK.

The Government is fully committed to controlling migration and supporting the global competiveness of our higher education system. We are delivering this through promoting our universities as places where the brightest and the best of the world’s talent should come to study, whilst tackling immigration abuse where it exists in our education system.

There remains no cap on the number of genuine international students who can come to study in the UK.

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the numerical contribution that degree apprenticeships will make towards the target to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

The Department does not currently publish forecasts for Apprenticeship starts by level. Information on the actual number of Apprenticeship starts reported to date, by individual level, is published as a supplementary table (first link) to a Statistical First Release (second link).

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/509999/apprenticeships-starts-by-framework-type-and-level.xls

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/learner-participation-outcomes-and-level-of-highest-qualification-held

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate his Department has made of the value of the higher education sector to the economy.

Higher education is an important source of productivity growth. It equips individuals with the skills and abilities they need to succeed in the workforce, and helps drive innovation by strengthening the economy’s knowledge base, as well as enriching our cultural and intellectual life. The BIS research paper The relationship between graduates and economic growth across countries (2013) provides an estimate of the sector’s contribution, and is available online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/229492/bis-13-858-relationship-between-graduates-and-economic-growth-across-countries.pdf

24th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the number of employer-sponsored degrees in (a) 2016-17 and (b) 2020-21

Forecasts of the number of employer-sponsored degrees are not available. The Government encourages close partnership between higher education providers and employers, including through degree apprenticeships. Through the Teaching Excellence Framework we will also encourage greater focus on employability in higher education.

23rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to his Department's White Paper, Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice, published on 16 May 2016, what the minimum number of (a) students and (b) higher education students is which any new provider would have to have registered at their institution in order to be granted university teaching powers.

The Government’s intention is that – as now – in order to be eligible for taught degree awarding powers a provider must have the majority of its higher education students enrolled on study programmes which are recognised as being at level 6 or above of the Framework of Higher Education Qualifications for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This requirement will be set out in detailed criteria and guidance on degree awarding powers on which there will be a consultation in due course.

23rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to his Department's White Paper, Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice, published on 16 May 2016, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to higher education providers of the proposed student protection scheme.

The Higher Education and Research Bill will require all registered higher education providers to put in place student protection plans. These plans will ensure that students are able to continue to achieve their academic outcomes in the event of the provider not being able to fully deliver their course. An Impact Assessment will be published shortly.

23rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to his Department's White Paper, Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice, published on 16 May 2016, what assessment his Department has made of the potential level of subscriptions which higher education providers will contribute to fund the Office for Students.

The Impact Assessment for the Higher Education and Research Bill will be published shortly. It will include estimates of the total contribution of higher education providers towards the costs of Office for Students. The Government will consult on the specific structure of the registration fees to ensure they are fair and affordable for the higher education providers.

23rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to his Department's White Paper, Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice, published on 16 May 2016, what discussions he has had with the devolved administrations on the effect of the establishment of UK Research and Innovation on their policies and funding.

My officials have discussed the proposals in the White Paper, including the creation of UK Research and Innovation, with the Devolved Administrations. I look forward to continuing these discussions with my counterparts.

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what measures the Government has (a) planned and (b) implemented to monitor the effects of abolishing student maintenance grants on students that the equality impact analysis identified would be disproportionately affected by that policy.

Replacing maintenance grants with loans for new full-time students in 2016/17 will ensure the higher education system remains financially sustainable whilst enabling the sector to make progress in widening participation amongst those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Government will continue to monitor and evaluate a wide range of data and evidence relating to the Higher Education sector. This will include data on application and participation rates from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), as well as take-up and repayment rates of student financial support using Student Loans Company (SLC) data.

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, from which academic year the Government plans that a Sharia-compliant student loan will be available for Muslim students.

The November 2015 Higher Education Green Paper (Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice) confirms the Government’s intention to introduce, for the first time, a new system of alternative student finance. Subject to Parliament, the Government plans to introduce the system through new primary legislation.

9th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether the Government plans to introduce a Sharia-compliant Takaful alternative finance product for students unable to access 24+ Advanced Learning Loans as well as for students undertaking higher education courses.

The November 2015 Higher Education Green Paper (Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice) confirms the Government’s intention to introduce, for the first time, a new system of alternative student finance. Work on the new system is ongoing, and includes careful consideration of where and how alternative student finance can deliver the most benefit for students. Subject to Parliament, the Government plans to introduce the system through new primary legislation.

4th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when he expects to publish equality impact assessments relating to area reviews of post-16 education and training.

The Government will produce an evaluation of the area review programme and its potential to impact on groups protected by the Equality Act 2010.

The Joint Area Review Delivery Unit, which supports the individual reviews, will work with the local steering groups overseeing the reviews to make sure that equality issues are considered in each review.

The reviews do not, however, mandate action. Colleges are independent corporations and it will be for each college’s governing body to assess the potential impact on groups protected by the Act, as part of its decision to accept or reject any recommendation requiring a change to their provision. This does not therefore require a modification of the outcomes of a review.

4th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how he plans to modify the outcome area reviews of post-16 education and training to take account of equality impact assessments available only after a review has concluded.

The Government will produce an evaluation of the area review programme and its potential to impact on groups protected by the Equality Act 2010.

The Joint Area Review Delivery Unit, which supports the individual reviews, will work with the local steering groups overseeing the reviews to make sure that equality issues are considered in each review.

The reviews do not, however, mandate action. Colleges are independent corporations and it will be for each college’s governing body to assess the potential impact on groups protected by the Act, as part of its decision to accept or reject any recommendation requiring a change to their provision. This does not therefore require a modification of the outcomes of a review.

4th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when he expects to (a) receive and (b) publish the final recommendations for wave 1 of the area reviews of post-16 education and training.

As each area review reaches its conclusion, we will receive confirmation of the recommendations that have been agreed and I have agreed to meet with MPs from the area to discuss those recommendations.

As we have set out in the published guidance for area reviews, we will publish a report relating to each review once it has finished. This will include the final recommendations agreed by each review.

The exact timing of both of these will depend on the progress of each individual review. We expect most reports from the first wave to be published before the Summer recess.

3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when his Department plans to publish its Skills White Paper.

The Government is implementing reforms to the skills system to ensure we have the technical skills that the economy needs. We are considering when and how to publish details of our plans for further reform of the skills strategy.

3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the liability of multi-academy trusts to pay the apprenticeship levy.

My Rt hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Education on a wide variety of issues, including the apprenticeship levy.

3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the Cabinet Office on the liability of charities and voluntary organisations to pay the apprenticeship levy.

We are working with the Cabinet Office and other government departments on helping employers in different sectors prepare for the apprenticeship levy. Only charities and voluntary organisations with a pay bill greater than £3million will pay the apprenticeship levy. These organisations and all other employers will be able to get back the funds they pay in levy if they take on apprentices. Apprenticeships can benefit all sectors, including charities, and we will work with these organisations to grow the number of apprenticeships they offer.

3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what definition of the degree apprenticeship his Department uses in its work on that proposal.

A degree apprenticeship is an approved English apprenticeship where one of the outcomes of the apprenticeship standard is a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree awarded by the university where the apprentice undertook their academic study.

Degree Apprenticeships policy is still under development within the existing legal framework.

3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many existing staff from the Skills Funding Agency it is planned will be transferred to the new Institute for Apprenticeships.

The final size and structure of the Institute for Apprenticeships will be determined in due course. No decisions have yet been made about its structure or staffing.

28th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the Association of Employment and Learning Providers on the nature of their involvement with and contribution to the Institute of Apprenticeships.

I will be meeting with the incoming CEO of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers later this month. My officials have regular discussions with the Association on all aspects of apprenticeships policy.

28th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with other government departments on the future roles of HEFCE and the Quality Assurance Agency.

The Government published a Green Paper ‘Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice’ on 6 November 2015. This set out our proposals to drive up the quality of teaching in higher education, and for simplifying the higher education regulatory landscape with a higher education regulator that has the student interest at its core. The consultation closed on 15 January 2016 and we received over 600 responses. In developing both the Green Paper and our response to the consultation, we have consulted extensively across the sector and continue to do so. No decisions have yet been taken and the Government will issue its response in due course.

28th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether the Further Education Act 1992 gives HEFCE current statutory responsibility for degree standards.

The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 enables the Privy Council to bestow degree awarding powers on institutions which provide higher education, and foundation degree awarding powers on institutions within the further education sector. The Privy Council bestows these powers upon the advice of the Secretary of State who, in turn, obtains information and advice from HEFCE and the Quality Assurance Agency. HEFCE’s role in this process is explained in government guidance. Guidance for foundation degrees is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/foundation-degree-awarding-powers.

Guidance for other degrees can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/taught-and-research-degree-awarding-powers

28th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what role he plans that further education providers and colleges will have in the governance and delivery of the Institute of Apprenticeships.

The Board of the Institute will be comprised primarily of employers, business leaders and their representatives to ensure that employers continue to drive apprenticeship quality at the highest level. The Institute will also be able to draw on the expertise of education providers, colleges and others in the exercise of its functions.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Written Statement of 26 April 2016, HCWS701, what estimate he has made of the number of students affected by the proposed changes to eligibility to student support for people with long residency in the UK.

We estimated at the time of proposing the changes that they could lead to an additional 2,400 claims for student support in the first year after the changes take effect. This estimate was derived from information on those people who had non-asylum discretionary leave to remain and had applied for student support. However, we do not have information on the length of time these individuals have been in the UK or their age. It is therefore not possible to determine exactly how many of these individuals would meet the criteria in the new rules.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Written Statement of 26 April 2016, HCWS701, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the proposed changes to eligibility to student support for people with long residency in the UK.

From 2016/17, the average student loan outlay for each additional student eligible for student finance is estimated to be between £15,000 and £17,000 depending on the household income of the students. Students could also be eligible for an average of £300 of support for allowances such as the Disabled Students Allowance. An additional 2,400 students, as estimated, could lead to around £40m in loan outlay and £0.7m in allowances annually. In RAB terms, the annual costs for 2,400 students could be £10m.

26th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the oral contribution of 25 April 2016, Official Report, column 1131, which groups he (a) has met with and (b) plans to meet with to discuss the importance of apprenticeships and other technical education for young people with disabilities.

I have held discussions with the Alliance for Inclusive Education and Access Bedford.

Work is currently ongoing with the Department for Work and Pensions to identity further groups, including charities, employer and training provider representatives, to engage with on these important issues.

I have met with a number of hon Members and their constituents to discuss the matter and will be holding a roundtable on engaging individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities in apprenticeships in the near future.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if the Government will continue to pay for training to enable apprentices to achieve Level 2 or GCSEs in English and mathematics, as required, once the Apprenticeship Levy has been introduced.

Apprentices have to meet a minimum standard in both English and maths up to Level 2. There are specific qualifications they must achieve. If an apprentice does not already have these, they may need to do an English or maths course. We will pay providers directly, for the Level 1 and 2 English and maths training they provide to apprentices.

Further information on the amount that will be paid for English and maths training for apprentices who require it, will be published provisionally in June 2016 and confirmed in October 2016.

25th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on taking steps to tackle recent reductions in the number of employers posting apprenticeship vacancies.

Latest data shows that whilst the number of employers advertising vacancies has fallen, the number of apprenticeship opportunities posted on the ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ website has increased each year from 71,060 in 2010/11 to 200,460 in 2014/15.

The Apprenticeship Delivery Board and Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network work with employers to champion apprenticeships and increase the number of places on offer. The Skills Funding Agency also works closely with the National Employer Services Team in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to encourage employers to offer apprenticeships.

We are launching a new apprenticeships communications campaign in May, jointly designed with DWP, which will promote the benefits of apprenticeships to young people, parents and employers. This will build on National Apprenticeship Week 2016, which saw more than 30,000 apprenticeship places pledged by businesses.

We also work closely with DWP to ensure that information about apprenticeship vacancies is available to jobseekers through Universal Jobmatch.

18th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the effect of proposals arising from the Review of Quality Assessment on the (a) cohesiveness of the UK-wide system of quality assessment and (b) adoption of that system by other countries.

Higher Education is a devolved matter. In England the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has statutory responsibility for assessing quality in the provision that it funds. There are parallel quality assessment (QA) arrangements in place that apply to alternative providers.

Officials in my Department have held a number of discussions with the devolved administrations and with HEFCE regarding HEFCE’s recent Review of Quality Assessment and its outcomes, including on how we are maintaining a cohesive, UK-wide approach to quality assessment. Further information on our future approach to quality assessment, across all types of HE providers, will be announced when we publish the response to our Higher Education Green Paper.

18th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether the funding councils' proposals arising from the Review of Quality Assessment will subject all UK universities, further education colleges offering UK higher education provision and all alternative providers, including their international reach, to the same system of external quality review.

Higher Education is a devolved matter. In England the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has statutory responsibility for assessing quality in the provision that it funds. There are parallel quality assessment (QA) arrangements in place that apply to alternative providers.

Officials in my Department have held a number of discussions with the devolved administrations and with HEFCE regarding HEFCE’s recent Review of Quality Assessment and its outcomes, including on how we are maintaining a cohesive, UK-wide approach to quality assessment. Further information on our future approach to quality assessment, across all types of HE providers, will be announced when we publish the response to our Higher Education Green Paper.

18th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions his Department has had with the devolved administrations on the implications for their policies of the outcome of the Review of Quality Assessment.

Higher Education is a devolved matter. In England the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has statutory responsibility for assessing quality in the provision that it funds. There are parallel quality assessment (QA) arrangements in place that apply to alternative providers.

Officials in my Department have held a number of discussions with the devolved administrations and with HEFCE regarding HEFCE’s recent Review of Quality Assessment and its outcomes, including on how we are maintaining a cohesive, UK-wide approach to quality assessment. Further information on our future approach to quality assessment, across all types of HE providers, will be announced when we publish the response to our Higher Education Green Paper.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how the Access to Higher Education Diploma will be funded from academic year 2016-17 onwards.

From 1 August 2016, funding for learners to study an Access to HE Diploma will be as follows:

  • learners aged 19 or over who already have a full level 3 qualification will be able to access an Advanced Learner Loan;

  • for those aged 19 to 23 who do not currently have a first full level 3 the Skills Funding Agency will provide full funding as the individual will be exercising their level 3 entitlement.

    Learners with an Advanced Learner Loan for their Access to HE Diploma course, who then go on to complete a course of Higher Education, will have the outstanding balance of their Advanced Learner Loan written off. Advanced Learner Loans for Access to HE Diploma courses continue to be accessed in good numbers.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether apprenticeship levy funds will be usable to pay for qualifications embedded within apprenticeship standards.

Employers will be able to use their levy funding (up to a maximum which will depend upon the standard or framework that is being trained against) to cover the costs of an apprentice’s training, assessment and certification. Apprenticeship training can either be on an apprenticeship standard, or on an apprenticeship framework.

Where a qualification is a requirement for achieving the standard or framework employers will be able to use levy funds to pay for the qualification. Levy funding cannot be used to fund other qualifications.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether apprenticeship levy funds will be usable to pay for qualifications that are not embedded in apprenticeship standards.

Employers will be able to use their levy funding (up to a maximum which will depend upon the standard or framework that is being trained against) to cover the costs of an apprentice’s training, assessment and certification. Apprenticeship training can either be on an apprenticeship standard, or on an apprenticeship framework.

Where a qualification is a requirement for achieving the standard or framework employers will be able to use levy funds to pay for the qualification. Levy funding cannot be used to fund other qualifications.

12th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the Department for Work and Pensions on steps to tackle recent reductions in the number of apprenticeship vacancies.

Latest data shows that the number of vacancies posted on the ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ website have increased each year from 71,060 in 2010/11 to 200,460 in 2014/15. The data does not reflect all vacancies as some employers choose alternative methods for advertising their apprenticeship opportunities.

We are working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that jobseekers are aware of apprenticeship vacancies. Vacancies posted on the ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ website are visible to jobseekers on Universal Jobmatch.

12th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to the Skills Funding Agency data release of 5 April 2016, what discussions he has had with (a) education and training providers and (b) employer organisations on recent reductions in the number of apprenticeship vacancies.

The number of vacancies on the `Find an Apprenticeship` website has been increasing from 71,060 in 2010/11 to 200,460 in 2014/15. The data does not reflect all vacancies as some employers choose alternative methods for advertising their apprenticeship opportunities.

English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision sets out our plans to work with providers and employer organisations to reach our commitment of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

The new Apprenticeship Delivery Board will encourage more businesses to develop quality apprenticeships. Members act as apprenticeship champions within their sector, working with employers of all sizes to increase both the number of apprenticeship places on offer and the supply of talented candidates.

22nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what proportion of the three million apprenticeships planned by 2020 are expected to be at (a) degree and (b) masters level.

The Department does not currently publish forecasts for Apprenticeship starts by level. Information on the actual number of Apprenticeship starts reported to date, by individual level, is published as a supplementary table (first link) to a Statistical First Release (second link).

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/509999/apprenticeships-starts-by-framework-type-and-level.xls

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/learner-participation-outcomes-and-level-of-highest-qualification-held

22nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether Equivalent or Lower Level Qualifications are exempted under (a) degree and (b) Masters level apprenticeships.

There are no centrally set entry requirements for apprenticeships; recruitment decisions lie with employers. As with any other job, they may set their own entry requirements for a specific apprenticeship vacancy at any level.

Apprenticeship funding supports individuals to progress to higher levels of learning. A graduate who has completed a degree is not usually eligible for funding to complete an apprenticeship at Level 6 (degree), but would be eligible for funding to progress to an apprenticeship at Level 7 (Masters). A graduate with a Master’s degree would not normally be eligible for funding for an apprenticeship.

The only exception to this is where the apprentice starts a new job role which is in a different occupation requiring a significant amount of new learning to take place, delivered over the minimum duration for the standard. In this case the apprentice would be eligible for funding for an apprenticeship at the same level, but no lower than, their current highest qualification.

22nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2016 to Question 25741, what criteria the Government plans to use to allocate the funds secured from the European Social Fund for the period 2014-2020.

EU regulations require the United Kingdom to spend at least 45.9 per cent of its national allocation for structural funds for the period 2014-2020 on the European Social Fund (ESF). The United Kingdom’s Partnership Agreement with the European Commission, which can be found on GOV.UK at ‘European Structural and Investment Funds: UK Partnership Agreement’, sets out how the requirement was met.

Within England, notional allocations for the European Regional Development Fund and ESF were made on the basis of Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas. The total allocations to each LEP area for the 2014-2020 period can be found on the GOV.UK website at ‘EU Structural Funds: UK allocations 2014 to 2020’. Each LEP area was asked how much it wanted to devote to the ESF, drawing on guidance issued by Government to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements at national level. The guidance can also be found on the GOV.UK website. Iinformation on the Strategies for 2014-2020 prepared by each LEP area can be found on the website ‘The Network of LEPs-LEP Network’, searching by European funding. These set out how much each proposed should be spent on ESF in their area.

Management of EU structural funds is devolved. The Devolved Administrations decide the criteria for allocation of ESF within their remits, taking account of the need to meet EU regulatory requirements.

22nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of how much European Social Fund funding will be allocated to local enterprise partnerships by the end of March (a) 2017 and (b) 2018.

Information on the combined allocation for European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund to each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area for the 2014-20 period can be found on the GOV.UK website at ‘EU Structural Funds: UK allocations 2014 to 2020’.

Each LEP area was asked to prepare a strategy setting out its priorities for how its allocation should be spent, including how much should come from the European Social Fund. Information on the individual LEP area Strategies for 2014-20 can be found on the website ‘The Network of LEPs-LEP Network’, searching by European funding.

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the contribution of the Minister for Skills of 10 March 2016, what assessment he has made of the potential take-up of the apprenticeship levy by employers.

Apprenticeships are paid jobs and their availability is employer demand-led, so we do not publish future forecasts. The levy will put apprenticeship funding in the hands of employers and will encourage an increase in the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in England.

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the potential number of large employers who will require existing training expenditure as a result of the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.

The Government is committed to significantly increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships in England to 3 million new starts by 2020.

Overall, there has been a steady decline in the amount and quality of training undertaken by employers over the last 20 years. This has been bad for productivity.

We need a step change to reverse these trends and secure a high quality, sustainable apprenticeship programme, which is why we are introducing a levy on larger employers.

The introduction of the apprenticeship levy will put employers in control of funding and incentivise them to train more apprentices. Large employers can potentially get out more than they put into the levy and will therefore have greater reward if they invest significantly in training their workforce.

We are working closely with employers on the details of the design of the apprenticeship levy in preparation for its launch in April 2017.

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister for Skills of 10 March 2016, whether the £1.5 billion raised by the apprenticeship levy in England referred to will be part of the £2.5 billion for 2019-20 or additional to it.

By 2019-20 we expect the apprenticeship levy to raise £3 billion annually. We expect to spend £2.5 billion on apprenticeships in England. This is an increase of £1 billion on the £1.5 billion committed to apprenticeships in 2015-16.

This increase in expenditure demonstrates the importance that the Government places on high quality apprenticeships in supporting employers and growth of the economy.

8th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what research has been undertaken by (a) the Government, (b) HEFCE, (c) the HE Academy and (d) other government-funded agencies on the relationship between levels of casualised, non-permanent university teaching staff and teaching quality.

On teaching, the Higher Education Academy (HEA) produced a literature review ‘Shifting academic careers: implications for enhancing professionalism in teaching and supporting learning’ published in 2014. We have also asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to look into the contractual status of academic staff to investigate how this could be measured and potentially feed into Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessments for future years.

On research, ‘The Impact of Doctoral Careers’ (2014) was funded by RCUK, HEFCE and HEFCW.

8th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with Universities UK on the number of staff employed by UK universities on zero-hours contracts.

None. Universities are self-governing, independent institutions and are responsible for taking decisions on issues such as their staffing and contracting arrangements.

8th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what research his Department or its funded agencies has carried out on the effect on academic careers of non-permanent teaching and research posts in UK universities.

On teaching, the Higher Education Academy (HEA) produced a literature review ‘Shifting academic careers: implications for enhancing professionalism in teaching and supporting learning’ published in 2014. We have also asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to look into the contractual status of academic staff to investigate how this could be measured and potentially feed into Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessments for future years.

On research, ‘The Impact of Doctoral Careers’ (2014) was funded by RCUK, HEFCE and HEFCW.

2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what plans his Department has to promote postgraduate loans in 2016-17; and what expenditure his Department has allocated for such promotion.

The Department is working alongside its delivery partner The Student Loans Company and stakeholders such as Universities UK and Prospects to ensure the correct information and guidance is readily available. The Student Loans Company produces information and guidance materials for institutions and prospective students and expenditure for 2016/17 is expected to be in the region of £120,000.

2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether the three-year residency rule for UK nationals will apply to postgraduate loan eligibility from 2016-17.

The position on residency will be confirmed when the regulations are laid in Spring 2016.

Until the regulations are laid, the Government’s position on loan eligibility is set out in the response to its consultation on postgraduate master’s loans published on 25 November 2015. This is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/479703/bis-15-573-support-postgraduate-study-response.pdf.

2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if his Department will publish the full list of Equivalent or Lower Qualification exempt subjects announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015.

Part time students studying for a second degree in subjects allied to medicine; biological sciences; veterinary sciences, agriculture and related subjects; physical sciences; and mathematical sciences will be eligible for a tuition fee loan from the 2017/18 academic year. These are in addition to the exemption for part time technology, computer science and engineering degrees introduced in 2015/16. Subject lists below these broad headings are published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency at https://www.hesa.ac.uk/component/content/article?id=1787

2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Work and Pensions on the consequential effects of the introduction of maintenance loans for part-time students.

The Government announced in the Spending Review that for the first time, student finance would be available to part time students to help meet both tuition and living costs.

Discussions are ongoing with other Government Departments and stakeholders regarding the new maintenance loan product for part time higher education students, and specifically its interaction with the social security system.

29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when his Department plans to publish a response to his Department's consultation, A dual mandate for adult vocational education, which closed in June 2015.

The Dual Mandate for adult vocational education was published by the previous Government. Since the election of the new Government there have been a number of significant developments including: the commitment to 3 million apprenticeship starts between 2015 and 2020; the announcement of a levy to fund apprenticeships; the new Institute of Apprenticeships; the commission to Lord Sainsbury to review routes to employment; devolution of adult education funding and responsibilities to combined authorities; commitment to Institutes of Technology; the launch of area reviews; a spending review which has protected adult education from further cuts.

Taken together these amount to a sea change in the Government approach to Professional and Technical Education and associated landscape. We have used the responses to the Dual Mandate to shape our thinking and will continue to do so.

29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether he plans to ring-fence funding for adult basic skills within the adult skills budget for 2016-17.

No. Funding for basic skills is a crucial part of the Adult Education Budget. But a ring-fence means central Government deciding how money should be spent. We prefer to allow colleges and other providers to decide how best to meet the needs of the communities they serve. The interests of learners who lack basic skills are protected by statutory entitlements to free provision in basic English and maths.

29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with Ofsted on assessing the quality of teaching English and mathematics in adult basic skills courses undertaken by (a) further education providers and (b) other providers.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is in regular contact with Ofsted both at Ministerial and official level to discuss the performance of further education (FE) colleges and providers. This includes the extent to which teaching, learning and assessment support adult learners to develop their skills in English and maths.

Together with Department for Education, we have invested over £30m over the past 3 years to fund a range of measures to improve the further education workforce, with a focus on improving the teaching of English and maths. This has resulted in over 1,000 bursaries to attract graduates to teach in further education and over 3,800 existing FE teachers have benefited from training to improve their capability to teach high quality English and maths courses.

29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will hold discussions with individual sector skills councils on the proportion of the three million new apprenticeships that need to be at level 3 and level 4.

Apprenticeships are jobs, so employers themselves decide what occupations and levels they employ apprentices in.

Employer-led Trailblazers are designing apprenticeship standards at a range of levels to meet the skill needs of their industries.

We will continue to encourage the growth of apprenticeships at all levels to meet our commitment to 3 million new starts in England by 2020, including Level 3, Level 4 and Degree Apprenticeships.

29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the implications for UK universities of the proposal for a £1,000 a year levy on all businesses employing skilled non-EU staff.

The Government is considering carefully the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations on the rate and scope of the Immigration Skills Charge. In advance of finalising the regulations that will introduce the charge from April 2017, we will take account of evidence about the likely impact on different types of organisation, including universities.

24th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the implementation of the Prime Minister's commitment of April 2015 to utilise the proceeds of the £227 million fine on Deutsche Bank to create a new three-year fund to create 50,000 apprenticeships.

This Government will be spending twice as much in cash terms on apprenticeships by 2020 compared to 2010. Spending on apprenticeships in England will be £2.5bn in 2019-20. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills spending review settlement for apprenticeships reflects the government’s commitment regarding the proceeds of the Libor fine the FCA announced in April 2015.

Further announcements that support the Government’s commitment to delivering employment opportunities for young people will be announced in due course.

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24th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the heads of further education colleges about the implications for recruitment and retention of college staff of the Government's restrictions on public sector pay increases.

Further Education (FE) colleges are independent organisations. Each college determines the terms and conditions of its employees, in accordance with their own circumstances. FE Colleges are therefore not affected by the Government’s restrictions on public sector pay increases.

24th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the effects on recruitment of further education staff of the Government's restrictions on public sector pay increases.

Further Education (FE) colleges are independent organisations. Each college determines the terms and conditions of its employees, in accordance with their own circumstances. FE Colleges are therefore not affected by the Government’s restrictions on public sector pay increases.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, for what reasons he has decided to withdraw funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills; and if he will make a statement.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) work over the last parliament has helped in setting the skills agenda for the future; and their activities have created the conditions to move to the next phase of more devolution, greater employer ownership and the apprenticeship levy. We have, however, concluded that we need new structures to move onto that next phase and have announced the establishment in England of a new Institute for Apprenticeships.

In light of this, a decision was taken as part of the spending review by Whitehall Departments to withdraw funding from UKCES during 2016-17 in the context of the need to make savings in non-participation budgets to allow the core adult skills participation budgets to be protected in cash terms.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether he consulted the board of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills prior to his decision to withdraw its funding.

The Commissioners of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) were not consulted during the spending review process prior to the decision taken by Whitehall Departments to withdraw funding.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has subsequently been working closely with the UKCES’s Strategic Management Group of Commissioners to manage the implications of the decision.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what representations he has received form the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on his decision to withdraw funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has been in regular contact with the Devolved Administrations both at Ministerial and official level since the spending review decision by Whitehall Departments to withdraw funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

A meeting of senior officials took place on 20th January and Ministers met on 4th February. These meetings discussed common issues within the UK’s devolved skills systems, including the implications of the decision on UKCES funding. At working level, officials in all Governments involved the work of UKCES are meeting regularly to discuss and agree the necessary transition arrangements that will be required as a result of the withdrawal of funding.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he plans to take to collect data on trends in the UK labour market after funding is withdrawn from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

I refer the hon Member to the reply to question UIN 25901.

4th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether he commissioned an independent evaluation of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills before deciding to withdraw funding from it; and if so, if he will publish it.

No independent evaluation of UKCES was commissioned. The decision by Whitehall Departments to withdraw funding from UKCES during 2016-17 was taken as part of the spending review given the need to make savings in non-participation budgets to allow the core adult skills participation budgets to be protected in cash terms.

The decision had regard to the range of priorities needing to be funded from non-participation budgets. BIS is working with UKCES and the users of its services, including the Devolved Administrations, to manage the implications of this decision.

4th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether he consulted the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before deciding to withdraw funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

The decision by Whitehall Departments to withdraw funding from the UKCES during 2016-17 was taken as part of the spending review given the need to make savings in non-participation budgets to allow the core adult skills participation budgets to be protected in cash terms.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has subsequently been working with the Devolved Administrations on the future arrangements for working together on common issues within the context of our devolved skills systems.

4th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how he plans to secure comprehensive analyses of skills shortages in the UK economy after funding is withdrawn from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

In the context of needing to make savings in non-participation budgets to allow the core adult skills participation budgets to be protected in cash terms, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has consulted the Devolved Administrations and other users of labour market information on future research priorities.

These discussions have identified the significance of the Employer Skills Survey, the Employer Perspectives Survey and the LMI (Labour Market Information) for All Portal. We are considering how these can best be delivered in future and will announce future arrangements as soon as final decisions are made.

4th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, for what reasons the responsibilities planned for the proposed Institute for Apprenticeships could not have been undertaken by the existing UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

The role of the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) will be very different to the current role and remit of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

The IFA must be able to make decisions independently of Ministers and hold direct operational responsibility rather than act in an advisory capacity.

This will require different governance arrangements, with a small Board led primarily by employers and business leaders to steer the processes and decisions that are made.

The IFA will assume functions that Government has so far undertaken in relation to apprenticeship standards and assessment plans and will operate in the context of achieving three million starts by 2020.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister for Skills of 2 February 2016, Official Report, column 764, what proportion and amount of funding for adult skills is planned to be allocated to (a) apprenticeship provision and (b) non-apprenticeship provision in (i) 2016-17, (ii) 2017-18, (iii) 2018-19 and (iv) 2019-20.

The attached table shows the amount of funding for adult skills allocated in 2016-17 and indicative allocations for 2017-18 to 2019-20 for apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship provision. These figures are taken from the Skills Funding Letter 2016-17 Skills funding letter: April 2016 to March 2017 - Publications - GOV.UK.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether his Department has regulations in place to limit top-sliced management fees for European Social Fund funding by lead contractors to sub-contractors.

Management fees are a matter between lead contractors and sub-contractors. For European Social Fund (ESF) contracts procured by the Skills Funding Agency, the ESF and 2015/2016 match funding rules state that “You must publish your supply-chain fees and charges policy on your website before entering into any subcontracting agreements for the 2015 to 2016 funding year.” This must include the typical percentage range of fees a contractor retains to manage subcontractors, and how this range is calculated.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much of the funding under the European Social Fund programme assigned to his Department he expects to allocate in the current funding round.

The Skills Funding Agency, one of the partner organisations of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has secured approximately £725,624,976 including administration costs from the European Social Fund (ESF) on behalf of 38 Local Enterprise Partnership areas. The Skills Funding Agency is currently procuring learning and skills activity identified by local areas. These funds are profiled to be spent by end March 2018.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the implications for further education and skills providers of European Social Fund allocations being assigned to local enterprise partnerships, instead of on a co-financing basis; and what representations he has received from further education and skills providers and organisations on the effect of those changes on cashflow and delivery of programmes.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) had not received any representations made by providers regarding the role of LEPs in procurement activity. The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) established an External Advisory Group with representation from all provider sectors, the Association of Colleges, Association of Employment and Learning Providers and third sector organisations and also from Local Enterprise Partnerships, including the LEP Network. This provided a forum for the SFA to consult on how European Social Fund (ESF) programme funds would be deployed under the new arrangements. This forum was supported by BIS, SFA and Department for Work and Pensions representation.

29th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK voting to leave the EU on UK students' participation in the Erasmus scheme.

The Government is fighting hard to fix the aspects of EU membership that cause so much frustration in the United Kingdom - so we get a better deal for our country and secure our future. We are confident that the right agreement can be reached.

29th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of the Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise to the Urgent Question of 29 January 2016, Official Report, on Closure of St Paul's Place, BIS Office (Sheffield), if he will publish the business case for the closure of that office.

Since summer 2015 the Department has been reviewing its business model. By 2020, we want to simplify our structure, become more digital, be cheaper for taxpayers and better for users. As part of this we anticipate reducing the number of our locations from more than 80 to approximately 7 centres plus a regional footprint. The intention to close the BIS Sheffield office in St Paul’s Place was formed in light of these plans.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2016 to Question 23508, by what mechanisms his Department plans to check and monitor standards and quality of apprenticeships until the Institute for Apprenticeships is fully operational in April 2017.

Existing quality checks will remain in place until the Institute for Apprenticeships is fully operational in April 2017. These include scrutiny and approval of standards and assessment plans by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Education, Skills Funding Agency and education advisors, inspection of training provision by Ofsted, and quality assurance of qualifications by Ofqual.

Employer-led reforms continue to improve the quality of apprenticeships, providing the skills that employers need. All apprenticeships must be full time paid jobs; have a minimum duration of 12 months and involve substantial, sustained training including at least 20% off-the-job training. Apprentices develop transferable skills and English and maths to enable them to progress in their careers. New quality measures for training providers and assessment organisations have also been developed to help employers make informed choices.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what types of evidence he plans will be considered for assessment for the Teaching Excellence Framework.

The Higher Education Green Paper proposed that judgements about teaching excellence will be made by a panel of independent experts, considering both a common set of core metrics and additional contextual data, both quantitative and qualitative, submitted by the provider. The core metrics proposed in the Green Paper are derived from quality assured national datasets and would measure employment outcomes, retention and student satisfaction.

We are considering the responses to the consultation and intend to publish a further technical consultation which will explore how the evidence should be used.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the RAB charge for students entering higher education in England in 2016-17 who take up a full maintenance loan and tuition fees when finishing a three-year course; and if he will make a statement.

The Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) charge is calculated for the total full time student population, rather than separately for students on courses of different lengths or on the basis of the size of the loans taken out. We estimate that the RAB charge for full-time tuition fee and maintenance loans, and part time fee loans, is between 20% and 25%.

These estimates take into account the changes to student finance and the new HM Treasury discount rate used to value the student loan book announced at the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015. We will update our estimates in summer 2016 and publish these at the same time as BIS accounts, alongside an updated version of the simplified loan repayments model.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions his Department has had with local businesses and LEPs on the economic effect of the area reviews for further education.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) have a central role to play in supporting area reviews and are contributing to the analysis of the current and future economic and educational needs of their area. They are also supporting the review process through their wider economic development role and use of their potential resource leverage including capital funding and other related funding streams like European Social Funding. Being impartial and economically driven, LEP involvement is allowing the business voice to feature largely in discussions and to ensure there is a full understanding of employer demand.

There is regular contact with the LEP network and with individual LEPs through the local steering group arrangements. In addition local employers are being actively engaged in each area review through the wide range of stakeholder engagement taking place.

LEPs and the British Chamber of Commerce are also represented on the National Area Review Advisory group which is influencing how the area reviews are taken forward.

21st Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with (a) public sector employers, (b) private sector employers and (c) UnionLearn on the implications of the Apprenticeship Levy on staff training budgets.

Ensuring that the apprenticeships levy works for all employers is a key priority for BIS. As such, we are engaging with both public and private sector employers, representatives from Unionlearn, and wider Government Departments on how the levy will operate and how they will build apprenticeships into their workforce training plans. We will be continuing engagement over coming months.

21st Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and (b) Chancellor of the Exchequer on how the Apprenticeship Levy will operate in combined authorities to whom powers over skills and training are devolved.

Apprenticeship funding is not devolved and we have no plans to do so.

21st Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the potential financial implications for small businesses with 100 employees or fewer of the Apprenticeship Levy.

Employers with a pay bill of less than £3m will not have to pay the levy. This is more than 98% of all employers. Small employers will continue to have access to government funding to support apprenticeships. Until the levy comes in, the apprenticeships scheme will continue to operate as it does now.

21st Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to his Department's document, English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision, published in December 2015, whether the progression from traineeships is intended primarily to be into apprenticeships or into employment.

Traineeships are a demand-led, high quality education and training programme, designed to support 16-24 year olds educated to below level 3 who have little work experience but are strongly motivated by work. Traineeships have been designed to support progress into both apprenticeships and wider employment opportunities.

21st Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what role the UK Commission for Employment and Skills will have in 2016 in monitoring or contributing to the programmes to increase the number of apprenticeships and traineeships set out in his Department's document, English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision, published in December 2015.

UKCES’s main support for the Department in respect of English Apprenticeships in 2016 is its ongoing work to map the new apprenticeship standards against frameworks and Standard Occupational Classification codes to help identify the remaining gaps in standards coverage.

As announced in the 2015 Spending Review, in order to prioritise funding to allow the core adult skills participation budgets to be protected in cash terms, Whitehall Departments will be withdrawing their funding for UKCES during 2016-17. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is working with UKCES and other stakeholders to manage the implications of this decision.

20th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when he plans to launch his Department's consultation for target numbers of apprenticeships in the public sector.


The consultation was published on 25 January 2016.

20th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what additional checks on standards and quality his Department and the National Apprenticeship Service plan to introduce in response to the targets listed in his Department's publication, English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision, published on 7 December 2015.

The Institute for Apprenticeships, a new independent body led by employers, is being established to oversee the quality of apprenticeships in England.


The Institute for Apprenticeships will put in place transparent mechanisms for the approval of apprenticeship standards and assessment plans, and maintain clear quality criteria so that only standards that are valued by employers will be approved and funded.


It will be fully operational by April 2017.

20th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions officials in his Department have had with officials of the Department for Work and Pensions on JobCentre Plus involvement in the Find An Apprentice Service.

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) is working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). A live link from the ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ service provides real time apprenticeship vacancies each day to the Jobcentre Plus Universal Jobmatch vacancy website. This ensures that clients who are in receipt of benefits have easy access to information about apprenticeship vacancies.


In addition, the SFA is working with DWP to train work coaches in job centres so that they have up to date information on apprenticeships to share with clients. The SFA is also ensuring that DWP employer teams have the information needed on apprenticeships to promote these as part of their conversations with businesses.

20th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many full-time equivalent staff there were in the Skills Funding Agency in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14 and (e) 2014-15.

The table below outlines the total number of staff employed by full-time equivalence in the Skills Funding Agency:

2010-11

1459

2011-12

1580

2012-13

1200

2013-14

1142

2014-15

788

Staffing numbers have reduced as part of the Civil Service reform programme. Alongside this, the Skills Funding Agency has prioritised its resources to focus on 3 million apprenticeship starts. The latest Statistical First Release shows an upward trajectory of apprenticeship starts.

20th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether the National Apprenticeship Service will continue to be (a) administered and (b) funded through the Skills Funding Agency in 2016-17.


The National Apprenticeship Service is part of the Skills Funding Agency. We plan for this to continue to be the case in 2016-17.

11th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many students studying higher education in further education colleges received maintenance grants in the last year for which figures are available.

Statistics showing the number of English applicants awarded maintenance grants are published annually by the Student Loans Company (SLC) in the Statistical First Release ‘Student Support for Higher Education in England’.

http://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx


Data provided by the SLC indicates there were 33,700 English applicants awarded maintenance grants for HE courses associated with publicly-funded further education colleges in the academic year 2014/15.

A course can be held at a campus of the associated institution or at a franchise location, therefore numbers of applicants to courses associated with an institution may not necessarily reflect the numbers studying at the institution. An awarded applicant will only receive payments once SLC have received confirmation from the applicant’s provider that the student has been registered on the course.



11th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many students studied higher education in further education colleges in each constituency in each of the last five years.

Information by constituency can only be provided at disproportionate cost. Region-level statistics on enrolments in higher education at further education colleges have been provided as an alternative. The statistics are based on data held by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and refer to the academic years 2011/12 to 2013/14. Information for the latest two academic years is not yet available.


Full-person equivalent students taught Higher Education qualifications at Further Education Colleges in England by region of domicile

Academic years 2011/12 to 2013/14

Region of domicile

Academic Year

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

North East

11,940

9,445

9,370

North West

20,190

19,690

19,800

Yorkshire and the Humber

16,400

14,990

15,175

East Midlands

7,645

7,175

7,085

West Midlands

10,575

9,950

9,610

East of England

10,560

8,935

8,845

London

10,765

10,205

9,575

South East

13,895

12,610

12,035

South West

13,365

12,010

11,380

Wales

850

795

715

Scotland

540

495

490

Northern Ireland

240

285

260

EU

1,070

745

540

Rest of the world

1,570

1,605

1,075

England (unknown)

360

425

485

United Kingdom (unknown)

25

20

65

Total all domiciles

119,990

109,380

106,510

Source: Information is derived from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student return and the FE Data Service's individualised learner record (ILR) F05 return

Coverage:

- Includes students registered with HEIs but taught at FECs under franchised arrangements

- Students registered at FECs are only included if they are studying a prescribed course of HE

- Includes all levels and modes of higher education study and distance learners

- Numbers are based on where the student was domiciled rather than where the student studied

- Full-person equivalents (FPEs) have been rounded to the nearest 5

8th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, on what date the second wave Area Reviews for further education college providers he plans to commence.


As we have set out in the published information relating to the second wave of area reviews, the first steering group meeting, which will be in the Marches and Worcestershire area, is scheduled to take place on Monday 18 January 2016.

8th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, which colleges he plans are to be included in (a) the third wave Area Reviews for Lancashire (Pennines) further education colleges and (b) in the fourth wave Area Reviews for Lancashire (Coastal) further education colleges.

We have published indicative information in relation to the future waves, 3 to 5, of the area reviews. This includes the proposed reviews for the Lancashire area. I met with the Lancashire College Group yesterday and discussed with them the timing of the two Lancashire reviews and the colleges to be included in each. We will review the future waves in light of further discussions and ongoing assessment of risk and we will publish updated information on this in due course.


10th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what consultations he or officials in his Department have had with (a) further education college representatives, (b) further education providers and (c) sector skills councils about the structures on board composition of the proposed Institute for Apprenticeships announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015.


The creation of the Institute for Apprenticeships has been informed by feedback from employers and employer groups such as the CBI, as well as organisations working alongside our employer-led trailblazers to develop new apprenticeship standards. This includes representatives of training providers and sector skills councils.


The chair and board members of the Institute will be appointed though a public appointments process in 2016.


10th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many staff were employed by full-time equivalence (a) in total and (b) by region in the National Apprenticeship Service in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2012-13 and (iii) 2014-15; and how many staff will be employed by full-time equivalence in the National Apprenticeship Service in (A) 2015-16, (B) 2016-17 and (C) 2017-18.

The National Apprenticeships Service is housed within the Skills Funding Agency. The tables below outline the total number of staff employed by full-time equivalence and by region in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2012-13 and (iii) 2014-15; and how many staff will be employed by full-time equivalence in (A) 2015-16, (B) 2016-17 and (C) 2017-18.

*The Skills Funding Agency is unable to forecast future headcount.


Year

Total

Region

2010-11 (as at 31 March 2011)

Headcount 382

East Midlands – 33 East of England – 32 London – 37 North East – 26 North West – 36 South East – 33 South West – 35 West Midlands – 27 Yorkshire & Humber – 36 National - 87

2012-13 (as at 31 March 2013)

Headcount 340

London – 54 Central – 66 North East – 64 North West – 40 South East – 39 South West – 51 National - 26

2014-15 (as at 31 March 2015)

Headcount 317

London – 54 Central – 66 North East – 64 North West – 40 South East – 51 South West – 39 National - 3

2015-16 (as at 11.12.15)

Headcount 245

N/A

2016-17*

Not available

N/A

2017-18*

Not available

N/A


10th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many staff by full-time equivalence there were in his Department in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2014-15; and how many staff by full-time equivalence he expects there will be in his Department in (i) 2015-16, (ii) 2016-17 and (iii) 2017-18.

The staff figures (full-time equivalent) for 2010/11, 2012/13 and 2014/15 are set out below:


Year

FTE (Core BIS only, not UKTI)

Source/Notes

2010/11

2,781

Published in the BIS Annual Report & Accounts 2011 (Core Dept (3,373) minus UKTI (592))

2012/13

2,692

Published in the BIS Annual Report & Accounts 2014/15

2014/15

2,627

Published in the BIS Annual Report & Accounts 2014/15




In the further years of this Parliament, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is expecting to make further headcount reductions in the core Department, in line with our Spending Review settlement and our efficiency programme ambitions. The exact figures for full time equivalents in these years are not available at this stage.

26th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what consultation his Department carried out with (a) students and their representative bodies and (b) other people and bodies before announcing that university maintenance grants would be abolished.



I refer the Hon Member to my reply to the hon Member for Newport West to question UIN 11271.


26th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, on what timetable he plans to abolish university maintenance grants, including the timetable for laying associated regulations.

New students starting full-time courses from 1 August 2016 onwards who would otherwise have received a grant will qualify for an increased loan for living costs. The total living costs support available in 2016/17 under the new student support arrangements for eligible students on the lowest incomes is increasing by 10.3% when compared with 2015/16.


The Government expects to lay amendments to the Student Support Regulations covering student support for 2016/17 shortly.

26th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the effect of replacing maintenance grants with loans on students from faith backgrounds which discourage the accrual of interest.

The Government expects to publish an Equality Analysis of the changes to student support for the 2016/17 academic year alongside the regulations.


18th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the higher education sector on extending the new postgraduate loans scheme to part-time taught masters students aged over 30.


A consultation on support for postgraduate study was launched in March of this year. The consultation sought views on the Government’s intention to introduce a new loan scheme for taught Master’s study and a review of how to broaden and strengthen support for postgraduate research. Consultation responses have been analysed and the Department is preparing its response.

18th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how he plans for part-time taught masters students who study at a minimum of 50 per cent intensity, but not by means of distance learning, to access the proposed new postgraduate loans scheme.


A consultation on support for postgraduate study was launched in March of this year. The consultation sought views on the Government’s intention to introduce a new loan scheme for taught Master’s study and a review of how to broaden and strengthen support for postgraduate research. Consultation responses have been analysed and the Department is preparing its response.

18th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he is taking to promote the availability of loans to part-time students.


The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has developed marketing materials and information aimed at part time students and these are made available online and through schools and further education colleges as part of the annual Student Finance Tour. Since the new non-means tested part time fee loans were introduced in 2012 the number of students taking out loans has risen from 34,000 in 2012/13 to 55,000 in 2013/14.

18th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with the higher education sector on extending the loan book to part-time students who wish to undertake a second degree.

We have extended fee loans for those already holding a degree to students wishing to retrain in engineering, technology and computer science. We continue to examine what more we can do to support part-time including the availability of additional fee loans and are engaging actively with the sector on these issues.

18th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, which of the proposals in Higher education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice, published by his Department on 6 November 2015 are intended to enhance part-time higher education.


Proposals in the Green Paper, ‘Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice’ will benefit both full-time and part-time higher education. Through the Teaching Excellence Framework all students will get better value for money and have more information about the courses they are applying for. Our proposals on social mobility and widening participation will apply to all students and creating a competitive, well regulated higher education system will benefit current and prospective part-time students as well as full-time.


We have taken steps to support part-time students including introducing non-means tested fee loans and extending loans for those already holding a degree to students wishing to retrain in engineering, technology and computer science. We continue to examine what more we can do to support part-time and are engaging actively with the sector on this issue.

9th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the likely impact of freezing the earnings repayment thresholds for 24+ Advanced Learner Loans on the Resource Account and Budgeting charge of outstanding debt which will be written off for 24+ Advanced Learner Loans.


We estimate the RAB charge under option 1 (freeze threshold for all Plan 2 loans, existing and new borrowers from April 2016 to April 2021) will decrease by about 5 percentage points from the current level of 55% to 50%.


Further information on the impact of freezing the earnings repayment thresholds for 24+ Advanced Learning Loans on future repayments is shown in the Consultation on freezing the student loan repayment thresholds, which has been published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/freezing-the-student-loan-repayment-threshold


9th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the likely impact of proposed changes to student loan repayment thresholds on repayment regimes for those students who take out 24+ Advanced Learner Loan and who study for an Access to HE qualification but then do not complete an HE qualification.

Where a learner takes out a loan to fund an Access to HE Diploma course, and then goes on to complete their HE Diploma course, then the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan is written off.


The impact of freezing the threshold for students who take out 24+ Advanced Learning Loans to study for an Access to HE qualification but do not complete an HE qualification will be similar to the impact for all 24+ Advanced Learning Loan borrowers.


Estimates of the impact of freezing the repayment thresholds for 24+ Advanced Learning Loans borrowers are illustrated in the consultation document, which has been published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/freezing-the-student-loan-repayment-threshold

9th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the likely impact of proposed changes to student loan repayment thresholds on repayment regimes for students who take out 24+ Advanced Learner Loan and who study for a Level 3 qualification who then study for and complete an HE qualification.

The impact of freezing the threshold for students who take out 24+ Advanced Learning Loans to study Level 3 qualification who then complete an HE qualification will be similar to the impact for all HE borrowers.


Estimates of the impact of freezing the repayment thresholds for HE borrowers are illustrated in the consultation document, which has been published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/freezing-the-student-loan-repayment-threshold

9th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the Resource Account and Budgeting charge of outstanding debt which will be written off for 24+ Advanced Learner Loans in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) models the proportion of loans which we expect will not be repaid – the resource accounting and budgeting charge (RAB charge). The RAB charge is estimated to be 50% in 2013-14 and 55% in 2014-15. BIS is collecting data on learners as it emerges and based on this data we regularly review and update the RAB charge estimate.


We publish the RAB charge once a year in BIS’ accounts.

4th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the effect of his Department's policies of providing bursaries and mathematics enhancement programmes to teaching staff in the further education sector on the total number of mathematics teachers in that sector; and on what evidential basis he made the decision to offer bursaries and mathematics enhancement programmes to teaching staff in the further education sector.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) began offering bursaries to graduates to train to teach maths in the academic year 2013/14. 61 and 136 people took up such bursaries in 2013/14 and 2014/15, respectively. It is estimated that 167 maths bursaries will be taken up in 2015/16.


The maths enhancement is a joint BIS/Department for Education supported programme and commenced in the academic year 2013/14. During 2013/14 and 2014/15 over 2,450 existing further education teachers participated in the maths programmes. During 2015/16 we are continuing to support access to a pipeline programme to enhance the maths skills of existing teachers. This is being delivered by the Education and Training Foundation. We have not made an estimate of the number of programmes that will be taken up in 2015/16.


Emerging findings from the evaluation of the further education (FE) workforce programmes have shown a positive impact on the confidence and effectiveness of FE teachers delivering maths either as a core subject or in vocational context. The evidential basis for intervention in maths teaching was based on the clear need to raise the Maths attainment rates of students in further education; and improve the quality of Maths teaching as identified by Ofsted inspection reports.


4th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 3 November 2015 to Question 13325, how many mathematics enhancement programmes his Department offered people in the further education sector in each year from 2010-11 to 2014-15; and how many such programmes he estimates his Department will offer in 2015-16.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) began offering bursaries to graduates to train to teach maths in the academic year 2013/14. 61 and 136 people took up such bursaries in 2013/14 and 2014/15, respectively. It is estimated that 167 maths bursaries will be taken up in 2015/16.


The maths enhancement is a joint BIS/Department for Education supported programme and commenced in the academic year 2013/14. During 2013/14 and 2014/15 over 2,450 existing further education teachers participated in the maths programmes. During 2015/16 we are continuing to support access to a pipeline programme to enhance the maths skills of existing teachers. This is being delivered by the Education and Training Foundation. We have not made an estimate of the number of programmes that will be taken up in 2015/16.


Emerging findings from the evaluation of the further education (FE) workforce programmes have shown a positive impact on the confidence and effectiveness of FE teachers delivering maths either as a core subject or in vocational context. The evidential basis for intervention in maths teaching was based on the clear need to raise the Maths attainment rates of students in further education; and improve the quality of Maths teaching as identified by Ofsted inspection reports.


4th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 3 November 2015 to Question 13325, how many bursaries his Department offered people to become mathematics teachers in the further education sector in each year from 2010-11 to 2014-15; and how many such bursaries he estimates his Department will offer in 2015-16.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) began offering bursaries to graduates to train to teach maths in the academic year 2013/14. 61 and 136 people took up such bursaries in 2013/14 and 2014/15, respectively. It is estimated that 167 maths bursaries will be taken up in 2015/16.


The maths enhancement is a joint BIS/Department for Education supported programme and commenced in the academic year 2013/14. During 2013/14 and 2014/15 over 2,450 existing further education teachers participated in the maths programmes. During 2015/16 we are continuing to support access to a pipeline programme to enhance the maths skills of existing teachers. This is being delivered by the Education and Training Foundation. We have not made an estimate of the number of programmes that will be taken up in 2015/16.


Emerging findings from the evaluation of the further education (FE) workforce programmes have shown a positive impact on the confidence and effectiveness of FE teachers delivering maths either as a core subject or in vocational context. The evidential basis for intervention in maths teaching was based on the clear need to raise the Maths attainment rates of students in further education; and improve the quality of Maths teaching as identified by Ofsted inspection reports.


4th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what (a) discussions he has had and (b) consultations he has undertaken with sector stakeholders on potential changes to earning repayment thresholds for 24+ Advanced Learner Loans.


The consultation Freezing the student loan repayment threshold covered both higher education student loans and 24+ Advanced Learning Loans. Stakeholders with an interest in 24+ Advanced Learning Loans were notified of the consultation when it was published.

4th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what plans he has to apply the freeze of the student loan repayment threshold on which his Department has recently consulted to the repayment of 24+ Advanced Learner Loans.


As set out in the consultation, because both higher education student loans and 24+ Advanced Learning Loans share a repayment threshold, the change will equally affect both groups of learners.


The Spending Review announced that the Government has decided to implement a repayment threshold freeze for all borrowers with post-2012 (‘Plan 2’) loans. The repayment threshold will be £21,000 at April 2016, and it will not be uplifted until at least April 2021, when the threshold will be reviewed. This threshold remains higher in real terms than that of the loans taken out before 2012.

27th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many 24+ Advanced Learner Loans his Department estimated would be issued to people over the age of 24 studying for Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15; what budget his Department allocated to such loans in each of those years; how many Advanced Learner Loans were issued for that cohort in each of those years; and how many of the issued loans were for (i) access to Higher Education courses and (ii) Level 3 and 4 qualifications.

The “New Challenges, New Chances” consultation stage impact assessment “Further Education—Level 3+ Loans” published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on 16 August 2011 contained estimates as follows:

  • For the 2013-14 financial year, it was estimated that 186,000 learners aged 24 and above would be supported to start level 3 and level 4 courses. This estimate included both starts supported through loans for the academic year starting in September 2013 (when these loans were introduced), and grant-funded starts prior to that. No separate estimate of loan-funded learners was available.
  • The estimate of starts to be funded by 24+ Advanced Learning Loans for 2014-15 financial year was 171,000. These estimates also included Apprenticeships which were removed from 24+ Advanced Learning Loans in March 2014.

The number of students the budget supports depends on the level of demand and the cost of the courses that students choose. The skills investment strategy published by BIS on 1December 2011 confirmed the budget for further education loans as £129 million in 2013-14 and £398 million in 2014-15. These budgets were not revised.

The 24+ Advanced Learning Loans paid in England report by the Student Loans Company published on 14th October 2015 shows 55,900 learners in the 2013/14 academic year cohort were issued with loans for qualifications at level 3 and above, and 55,100 learners were issued to the 2014/15 academic year cohort.

Data is not available to split the loans issued between Access to HE Diploma courses and other level 3 and level 4 courses. We can, however split the number of approved applications in this way, with the caveat that approved applications are not indicative of actual starts. These are shown in the table below.


2013/14

2014/15

Level 3 and level 4

56,220

56,850

Access to HE Diplomas

15,590

14,440

Source: Student Loans Company

26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the possibility that organisational changes resulting from further education area reviews may reduce the number of teachers employed to teach (a) mathematics and (b) English language subjects in the further education sector in England.

This Department does not hold this information. The Further Education (FE) sector is independent of government and responsible for its own operations. We therefore do not collect information about the numbers of English or mathematics teachers employed by FE institutions.


This Department has ongoing discussions with FE stakeholder organisations about the importance of increasing the number of teachers of mathematics in the sector, as set out in our FE Workforce Strategy published in 2014. The government, through its support of bursaries and other workforce programmes, provided 199 bursaries to individuals to become maths teachers in the Further Education sector in 2013/14 and 2014/15, and also supported 2450 existing teachers to take maths enhancement programmes.


Area Reviews of Post-16 education and training are aimed at delivering a skills system that meets the economic and educational needs of areas. All reviews will include consideration of the need for sufficient, high quality maths and English teaching. As independent organisations, colleges and providers will determine the number of teachers they need to deliver this provision.


26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what recent discussions he has had with further education sector stakeholders on increasing the number of mathematics subjects teachers in that sector.

This Department does not hold this information. The Further Education (FE) sector is independent of government and responsible for its own operations. We therefore do not collect information about the numbers of English or mathematics teachers employed by FE institutions.


This Department has ongoing discussions with FE stakeholder organisations about the importance of increasing the number of teachers of mathematics in the sector, as set out in our FE Workforce Strategy published in 2014. The government, through its support of bursaries and other workforce programmes, provided 199 bursaries to individuals to become maths teachers in the Further Education sector in 2013/14 and 2014/15, and also supported 2450 existing teachers to take maths enhancement programmes.


Area Reviews of Post-16 education and training are aimed at delivering a skills system that meets the economic and educational needs of areas. All reviews will include consideration of the need for sufficient, high quality maths and English teaching. As independent organisations, colleges and providers will determine the number of teachers they need to deliver this provision.


26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many teachers were employed in teaching mathematics subjects in the further education sector in England at the start of (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14, (e) 2014-15 and (f) 2015-16 academic years.

This Department does not hold this information. The Further Education (FE) sector is independent of government and responsible for its own operations. We therefore do not collect information about the numbers of English or mathematics teachers employed by FE institutions.


This Department has ongoing discussions with FE stakeholder organisations about the importance of increasing the number of teachers of mathematics in the sector, as set out in our FE Workforce Strategy published in 2014. The government, through its support of bursaries and other workforce programmes, provided 199 bursaries to individuals to become maths teachers in the Further Education sector in 2013/14 and 2014/15, and also supported 2450 existing teachers to take maths enhancement programmes.


Area Reviews of Post-16 education and training are aimed at delivering a skills system that meets the economic and educational needs of areas. All reviews will include consideration of the need for sufficient, high quality maths and English teaching. As independent organisations, colleges and providers will determine the number of teachers they need to deliver this provision.


26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many teachers were employed in teaching English language subjects in the further education sector in England at the start of (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14, (e) 2014-15 and (f) 2015-16 academic years.

This Department does not hold this information. The Further Education (FE) sector is independent of government and responsible for its own operations. We therefore do not collect information about the numbers of English or mathematics teachers employed by FE institutions.


This Department has ongoing discussions with FE stakeholder organisations about the importance of increasing the number of teachers of mathematics in the sector, as set out in our FE Workforce Strategy published in 2014. The government, through its support of bursaries and other workforce programmes, provided 199 bursaries to individuals to become maths teachers in the Further Education sector in 2013/14 and 2014/15, and also supported 2450 existing teachers to take maths enhancement programmes.


Area Reviews of Post-16 education and training are aimed at delivering a skills system that meets the economic and educational needs of areas. All reviews will include consideration of the need for sufficient, high quality maths and English teaching. As independent organisations, colleges and providers will determine the number of teachers they need to deliver this provision.


22nd Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the possible savings to his Department of the outcome of post-16 area-based reviews.

Yes. The Joint Area Review Delivery Unit supporting the area reviews will advise Hon. Membersas a matter of course when reviews are due to be undertaken in any part of their constituency.


Area reviews should take place as quickly as possible, the typical timescale being 3-4 months but this could vary depending on the number of colleges and complexity of the local issues involved.


The reviews are aimed at delivering a skills system that meets the economic and educational needs of areas whilst also ensuring the long term sustainability of colleges to support productivity. Their purpose is not to secure savings to Government. However, early evidence from the pilot reviews indicates that there is potential for the reviews to secure efficiency savings.


All applications to open a free school, academy, school sixth form or university technical college will be assessed on a case by case basis against the published criteria and taking account of local needs and circumstances.

22nd Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how long the process of undertaking a post-16 area-based review will take in each area for which they are planned or already underway.

Yes. The Joint Area Review Delivery Unit supporting the area reviews will advise Hon. Membersas a matter of course when reviews are due to be undertaken in any part of their constituency.


Area reviews should take place as quickly as possible, the typical timescale being 3-4 months but this could vary depending on the number of colleges and complexity of the local issues involved.


The reviews are aimed at delivering a skills system that meets the economic and educational needs of areas whilst also ensuring the long term sustainability of colleges to support productivity. Their purpose is not to secure savings to Government. However, early evidence from the pilot reviews indicates that there is potential for the reviews to secure efficiency savings.


All applications to open a free school, academy, school sixth form or university technical college will be assessed on a case by case basis against the published criteria and taking account of local needs and circumstances.

22nd Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether an (a) free school, (b) academy, (c) school sixth form and (d) university technical college will be allowed to open while a post-16 area-based review is still taking place.

Yes. The Joint Area Review Delivery Unit supporting the area reviews will advise Hon. Membersas a matter of course when reviews are due to be undertaken in any part of their constituency.


Area reviews should take place as quickly as possible, the typical timescale being 3-4 months but this could vary depending on the number of colleges and complexity of the local issues involved.


The reviews are aimed at delivering a skills system that meets the economic and educational needs of areas whilst also ensuring the long term sustainability of colleges to support productivity. Their purpose is not to secure savings to Government. However, early evidence from the pilot reviews indicates that there is potential for the reviews to secure efficiency savings.


All applications to open a free school, academy, school sixth form or university technical college will be assessed on a case by case basis against the published criteria and taking account of local needs and circumstances.

22nd Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether hon. Members are always informed when a post-16 area-based review is announced for an area which includes their constituency.

Yes. The Joint Area Review Delivery Unit supporting the area reviews will advise Hon. Membersas a matter of course when reviews are due to be undertaken in any part of their constituency.


Area reviews should take place as quickly as possible, the typical timescale being 3-4 months but this could vary depending on the number of colleges and complexity of the local issues involved.


The reviews are aimed at delivering a skills system that meets the economic and educational needs of areas whilst also ensuring the long term sustainability of colleges to support productivity. Their purpose is not to secure savings to Government. However, early evidence from the pilot reviews indicates that there is potential for the reviews to secure efficiency savings.


All applications to open a free school, academy, school sixth form or university technical college will be assessed on a case by case basis against the published criteria and taking account of local needs and circumstances.

21st Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what discussions she has had with her colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs prior to the decision being taken to overrule the rejection of a planning application for gas storage made by Halite Energy in Preesall, Lancashire.

None. The Preesall Underground Gas Storage Facility development consent order application was redetermined by way of a written representation procedure pursuant to Rule 20(2) of the Infrastructure Planning (Examination Procedure) Rules 2010. All representations received under the 2010 Rules or otherwise were taken into account in the decision to grant development consent.

21st Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what discussions she has had with Lancashire Council, Wyre Council, environmental groups and local residents' associations prior to the decision being taken to overrule the rejection of a planning application for gas storage made by Halite Energy in Preesall, Lancashire.

None. The Preesall Underground Gas Storage Facility development consent order application was redetermined by way of a written representation procedure pursuant to Rule 20(2) of the Infrastructure Planning (Examination Procedure) Rules 2010. All representations received under the 2010 Rules or otherwise were taken into account in the decision to grant development consent.

23rd Mar 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the median income from work was of residents of Blackpool South constituency in (a) 2010, (b) 2011, (c) 2012, (d) 2013, (e) 2014 and (f) 2015 to date.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

23rd Mar 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of people in employment in Blackpool South constituency were earning (a) the minimum wage or below and (b) the living wage or below in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011, (iii) 2012, (iv) 2013, (v) 2014 and (vi) 2015.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

31st Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of encouraging hairdressers to obtain hairdressing qualifications.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer provided to the petition P002432, “The regulation of the Hair, Barber and Beauty industries”, 20 May 2019, Official Report, Volume 660, Column 6P.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
31st Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of the Hairdressing Council on the (a) regulation and (b) registration of hairdressers.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer provided to the petition P002432, “The regulation of the Hair, Barber and Beauty industries”, 20 May 2019, Official Report, Volume 660, Column 6P.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
3rd Sep 2019
OYO
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions she has had with (a) representatives of the hospitality company industry and (b) the Competition and Markets Authority on OYO's business model and practices.

Any concerns should be raised directly with the Department, DCMS (who support the tourism industry) or the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
3rd Sep 2019
OYO
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to OYO's UK website for lettings and bookings for guest houses and bed and breakfast outlets, if she will make an assessment of the appropriateness of the business model and practices of that company.

Any concerns should be raised directly with the Department, DCMS (who support the tourism industry) or the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
3rd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what independent input the Oil and Gas Authority has sought to inform their investigations concerning the pumping of liquids by Cuadrilla into their fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.

In February 2019, the OGA announced it would work with recognised and independent geologists and scientists to carry out a scientific analysis of the data gathered during Cuadrilla’s operations at Preston New Road between October and December 2018. This work includes inputs from the British Geological Survey (BGS), Dr Ben Edwards, Nanometrics Inc and Outer Limits Geophysics; further information can be found on the OGA website. Additionally, during operations the OGA seeks expertise from external experts, including the BGS and from Bristol University.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions has he had with (a) university groups and (b) UK Research and Innovation on the sustainability of current funding for PHD qualifications.

I regularly meet with universities, university groups and UKRI to discuss a number of issues. The government’s target to reach a total of 2.4% of GDP invested in R&D by 2027 will mean increasing the numbers of highly trained people working in research and innovation, including PhD graduates. In 2017/18, UKRI’s direct funding was supporting around 22,000 studentships, about 22% of the UK total. In addition, Research England’s QR Research Degree Programme (RDP) supervision fund provides more than £250 million of annual funding contributing to the costs that universities face in supervising research degree programmes.

In many cases, this investment is also made in partnership, leveraging further support from higher education institutions and industry to maximise the impact from the public investment. For example, in 2019, UKRI invested £100m in 16 new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) in Artificial Intelligence, based at 14 UK universities with 300 partners. Project partners are investing £78 million in cash or in-kind contributions and partner universities are committing a further £23 million, resulting in an overall investment of more than £200 million.

Given the large commitments partner universities make to these investments, we are mindful of the need to maintain sustainability. UKRI is currently developing a plan for the delivery of the government’s 2.4% target with stakeholders to ensure that we not only achieve these ambitious targets but do so in a manner that is sustainable and ensure long-term impact.

10th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on the UK economy of the Government's Industrial Strategy proposals to increase the number of people undertaking a high-tech PhD.

The Government has made significant progress in delivering our Industrial Strategy commitments. Through the Industrial Strategy, the Government has committed to increasing overall investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and 3% in the longer term.

In order to reach the 2.4% R&D target, we need to continue to attract, retain and develop research talent. This is why the government is investing in talent programmes delivered by the National Academies and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The Government has increased its investments in PhDs to support the delivery of this target and the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges including:

  • In 2017, we announced funding of £300m over four years to increase the number of PhDs and fellowship programmes which will develop research talent and attract the brightest minds to the UK.
  • In April 2018, we announced a sector deal between government and industry that will put the UK at the forefront of the AI industry. As part of this, UKRI has invested £100m in 16 Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) to support 1000 new AI PhDs.

Alongside this, UKRI invests in CDTs more broadly, including the recent £446m investment in 75 CDTs across the engineering and physical sciences.

11th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on European Research Council grants for UK researchers between June 2016 and March 2019 of the UK leaving the EU.

The table below outlines the number of awarded European Research Council grants in the UK since 2016.

2016

2017

2018

Starting Grant

66

75

66

Consolidator Grant

60

59

55

Advanced Grant

41

65

47

Proof of Concept Grant

30

27

31

Synergy Grant

-

-

3

Total

197

226

202

Further information can be found at https://erc.europa.eu/projects-figures/statistics.

11th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the (a) British Academy, (b) Royal Society and (c) Wellcome Trust on the effect on British academics of being able to participate in joint bids with EU colleagues for future European Research Council grants as a result of the extension to Article 50.

BEIS regularly engages with stakeholders in the science, research and innovation community on the impact of EU exit on British academics.

This includes with the British Academy, Royal Society and Wellcome Trust through the High Level stakeholder working group on EU Exit, universities, research and innovation, chaired by the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation.

11th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with (a) Universities UK, (b) UK Research and Innovation, (c) Office for Students on whether the UK will participate in the Horizon Europe scheme from 2021 following the extension to Article 50.

I chair a High Level stakeholder group on EU Exit. This group meets monthly to discuss EU Exit issues related to universities, research and innovation and is attended by a wide range of stakeholders including Universities UK, UK Research and Innovation and Office for Students.

Horizon Europe is still being negotiated through the EU Institutions, but we have been clear that we would like the option to associate to the Programme. Further details on Horizon Europe need to be finalised before we can make an informed decision on future UK participation.

In any scenario, the Government remains committed to continuing to back UK researchers and innovators by supporting measures to enable world-class collaborative research.

6th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the findings of the 2016 Apprenticeship Pay Survey.

The 2016 Apprenticeship Pay Survey report will be published in due course.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the British Council on the merits of the continued UK participation in the Erasmus Plus programme (a) in the next two years and (b) after the UK leaves the EU.

Stakeholder engagement is a central element of our plan to build a national consensus around our negotiating position; we are listening and talking to as many organisations, companies and institutions as possible.

My Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister has been clear that Britain will remain truly global – the best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe too.

We recognise the value of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, as part of our vision for the UK as a global nation.

It is too early to speculate on the UK’s future relationship with specific EU programmes, including Erasmus+.

21st Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with higher education providers and institutions on continued UK participation in the Erasmus Plus programme (a) in the next two years and (b) when the UK leaves the EU.

Stakeholder engagement is a central element of our plan to build a national consensus around our negotiating position; we are listening and talking to as many organisations, companies and institutions as possible.

My Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister has been clear that Britain will remain truly global – the best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe too.

We recognise the value of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, as part of our vision for the UK as a global nation.

It is too early to speculate on the UK’s future relationship with specific EU programmes, including Erasmus+.

21st Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the benefits of the Erasmus Plus programme for UK (a) vocational education staff, (b) vocational students and (c) apprentices.

Students and apprentices who participate in Erasmus+ mobility typically enhance their employability and their social skills, and staff their professional development; both typically also enhance their linguistic skills.

21st Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what contribution his Department has (a) made and (b) plans to make to discussions with the British Council on the future development of the Erasmus Plus programme in the vocational and technical skills sectors.

The Erasmus+ programme is delivered in the UK by the British Council in partnership with Ecorys Ltd., and it is the latter which has responsibility for the vocational education and training sub-programme. Officials in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy regularly discuss the development of all aspects of the programme with the partnership.

21st Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the benefits of the Erasmus Plus programme for UK learners from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Learners undertaking mobility typically enhance their employability, social skills and linguistic skills, and that is why we place particular importance on ensuring learners from disadvantaged backgrounds have the opportunity to undertake mobility. Such learners who successfully apply to participate in the Erasmus+ mobility schemes receive an additional €100 per month abroad as well as the standard contribution to their mobility. Disabled students can also claim any additional costs required to enable their participation, including the cost of an accompanying carer where necessary.

24th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to support the implementation of locally based development programmes in seaside towns.

My Department currently has no plans for development programmes in seaside towns, however we are developing the details for up to five Tourism Zones, as announced in the recently published Tourism Sector Deal.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether tourism zones will include (a) seaside towns and (b) capital funds to allow local authorities to support projects to improve (i) the public realm and (ii) cultural and heritage assets.

The detail of Tourism Zones is still under development and further details will be available in due course.

The Coastal Communities Fund already provides opportunities for developing cultural and heritage assets. Blackpool City Council have received under £2m from the fund to transform the iconic Blackpool illuminations, create new experiences for visitors and boost the local economy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what proportion of staff employed by his Department are apprentices.

DCMS has 15 apprentices, which is equivalent to 1.3% of the department’s headcount.

5th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many and what proportion of the staff employed by his Department are apprentices.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), currently has six apprentices and this equates to 0.7% of employees. The department is reviewing its apprenticeship strategy in line with Civil Service ambition of 2.3% apprenticeship starts and aims to meet this commitment by the 2018/19 financial year. Apprenticeships represent an opportunity for DCMS to increase to social mobility, diversity and strengthen our skills base. We aim to do this by taking on Fast Track apprentices, filling appropriate vacancies with apprentices and supporting existing staff to take up apprenticeships to further their own development. We believe the department is making progress and will continue working to increase the number of apprentices.

2nd Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to page 41 of the Government's industrial strategy green paper, published in January 2017, whether it remains her Department's policy that free basic digital skills training will be available for all adults.

Yes, the Government's continued commitment to this policy was outlined in the Digital Strategy launched last week on the 1st of March 2017.

5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will define the future (a) role and (b) powers of the Visit England Board.

The VisitEngland Board will be an advisory body, responsible for advising the executive and board of the British Tourist Authority on how best to deliver and monitor English activity. The statutory duties and functions of the VisitEngland Board remain as set out in the Development of Tourism Act 1969 and it will remain a unfunded advisory non-departmental public body.

5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what powers and remit the successor to the departing Chief Executive of Visit England will have in addition to being a director of Visit Britain.

This is a matter for the British Tourist Authority (BTA). The BTA is currently considering the detail of its future operating structure to enable it to deliver on the Government’s policy direction, and to generate a maximum return on investment for the funding allocated to it.

5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to page 52 of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, what mechanisms he plans to use to ringfence the £40 million Discover England Fund.

To date all English funding has been ringfenced within the British Tourist Authority. This will continue.The £40m Discover England funding will be separately maintained and accounted for to ensure it is used in support of product development in English destinations, and in accordance with the process and criteria to be published shortly. The progress and spend of the fund will be monitored through regular reports.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Government's proposed Deregulation Bill on tourism employment in England.

At present, local authorities set term and holiday dates for about 30% of secondary schools and 70% of primary schools (around half of all registered pupils). The Deregulation Bill gives more schools the flexibility to make changes should they wish to, although the experience of the academies programme and voluntary aided (church) schools, suggests that only a small percentage of schools are likely to vary their term dates.

The Department for Education has produced an assessment of the impact of the changes. Whilst there will be greater flexibility, we expect that sensible conversations between the local authority and schools on coordination will take place. Variations to term dates could also help businesses and employers, for example, in areas of high-seasonal employment where employees may welcome the chance to holiday outside of peak tourist periods. For example, Bishop Bronescombe School in St Austell has a two-week half term in May/June to accommodate parents' seasonal employment patterns.

A separate assessment of the specific impact on tourism related jobs in seaside towns or seaside economies has not been carried out.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the economic effects of deregulating school holidays on (a) tourism-related jobs in seaside and coastal areas and (b) seaside economies in general.

At present, local authorities set term and holiday dates for about 30% of secondary schools and 70% of primary schools (around half of all registered pupils). The Deregulation Bill gives more schools the flexibility to make changes should they wish to, although the experience of the academies programme and voluntary aided (church) schools, suggests that only a small percentage of schools are likely to vary their term dates.

The Department for Education has produced an assessment of the impact of the changes. Whilst there will be greater flexibility, we expect that sensible conversations between the local authority and schools on coordination will take place. Variations to term dates could also help businesses and employers, for example, in areas of high-seasonal employment where employees may welcome the chance to holiday outside of peak tourist periods. For example, Bishop Bronescombe School in St Austell has a two-week half term in May/June to accommodate parents' seasonal employment patterns.

A separate assessment of the specific impact on tourism related jobs in seaside towns or seaside economies has not been carried out.

5th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Ministers or officials in his Department have had with colleagues in the Department for Education on the effect of deregulating school holidays on the tourism industry.

DCMS officials meet with their Department for Education counterparts regularly and discuss a range of issues.

30th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with (a) GTA England, (b) Association of Employment and Learning Providers, (c) Learning and Work Institute and (d) Association of Colleges on the adequacy of the level of allocation of apprenticeship levy funds for non-levy paying registered charities.

We are committed to ensuring that our reforms to apprenticeships work for smaller employers and their providers, such as group training associations (GTAs).

GTAs are important members of the training provider market, working for groups of employers to provide high quality training. We ran a procurement exercise to secure high-quality training to support small and medium-sized employers from January 2018 to April 2019. This was a highly competitive exercise attracting interest from a wide range of training providers and we recognise that not all providers were successful in the competition. The contracts we awarded have been subsequently extended to April 2020, supported by over £700 million funding for new starts and existing apprentices.

In addition to these contracts, the smaller employers are also able to receive transfers from levy-paying employers, allowing GTAs access to levy-funded training. We have also announced that we will shortly enable levy payers to transfer funds to cover the full cost of training for 16 to 18-year-olds in the smallest businesses with fewer than 50 employers.

Earlier this year, we confirmed that small and medium enterprises (SMEs), who do not pay the apprenticeship levy, would soon be able to access the benefits of using the award-winning apprenticeship service (AS). The AS, already in use by large levy paying employers, will give SMEs greater control over choosing their apprenticeships, a greater range of training providers to engage with, and a new route to access apprenticeship funding.

We announced at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) conference on 29 October 2019 that from January we will begin to transition SMEs onto the service, and will be supporting up to an additional 5,000 starts per month from January to March 2020 for employers that don’t pay the levy. We will be issuing more detail on the transition arrangements from November and throughout 2020.

Officials meet regularly with GTA England to discuss training provision, including in respect of apprenticeships. We also work closely with the AELP, the Learning and Work Institute, and the Association of Colleges to consider a range of sectoral issues and to ensure that our apprenticeships reforms continue to work for employers of all sizes, including charities.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
30th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the trends in the level of apprenticeship starts for people aged (a) 16, (b) 17 and (c) 18 years old.

Our reforms to apprenticeships have fundamentally changed what apprenticeships are and the long-term opportunities they provide for people of all ages and backgrounds.

We publish data on apprenticeship starts by demographic on a quarterly basis. The most recent data can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/815288/Apprenticeship-starts-ach-detailed-demographic_201718_Q3-201819_July2019.xlsx.

The table below shows an extract of apprenticeships starts data by the ages requested from the 2016/17 and 2017/18 academic years, as well as data for quarter 1 to 3 of the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years. Full data for the 2018/19 academic year will be published on 28 November at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/further-education-and-skills-official-statistics.

Age

2016/17

2017/18

2017/18 Q1-Q3

2018/19 Q1-Q3

16

29,050

25,330

22,310

20,880

17

41,110

35,020

29,330

26,450

18

52,390

46,090

38,620

35,980

All Ages

494,900

375,800

290,500

311,200

There have been 311,200 apprenticeship starts reported in the first 3 quarters of the 2018/19 academic year, a 7.1% rise compared to the same period in the 2017/18 academic year. In parallel, we continue to see a reduction in the number of level 2 starts during the first 3 quarters of the 2018/19 academic year, down 10% compared to the same point the previous year. We know that 16-18 year olds in particular are more likely to undertake a level 2 apprenticeship and therefore be affected by this reduction.

This change in level 2 starts has largely occurred where apprenticeships were struggling to meet the minimum quality standards required by our reforms. We are replacing old-style frameworks, which apprentices and employers told us were not providing the skills they needed, with new employer-designed standards. Apprenticeships are intended to take people to a point of full competence in their chosen occupation. It is therefore possible for a young person with limited experience to achieve a level 3 apprenticeship. In 2018/19 we have seen growth in level 3 Engineering starts in particular for 16 ,17 and 18 year olds. Overall, we continue to see strong take up of standards with 63% of starts so far in 2018/19 on high-quality standards, compared to 44% in 2017/18.

Levels of young people not in education, training or employment are at a record low and apprenticeships play an important role in getting young people into work. We will continue to monitor the impact of our apprenticeship reforms on 16-18 year olds.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
30th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of GTA England members that have been unable to access apprenticeship funding since the apprenticeship levy was introduced.

We are committed to ensuring that our reforms to apprenticeships work for smaller employers and their providers, such as group training associations (GTAs).

GTAs are important members of the training provider market, working for groups of employers to provide high quality training. We ran a procurement exercise to secure high-quality training to support small and medium-sized employers from January 2018 to April 2019. This was a highly competitive exercise attracting interest from a wide range of training providers and we recognise that not all providers were successful in the competition. The contracts we awarded have been subsequently extended to April 2020, supported by over £700 million funding for new starts and existing apprentices.

In addition to these contracts, the smaller employers are also able to receive transfers from levy-paying employers, allowing GTAs access to levy-funded training. We have also announced that we will shortly enable levy payers to transfer funds to cover the full cost of training for 16 to 18-year-olds in the smallest businesses with fewer than 50 employers.

Earlier this year, we confirmed that small and medium enterprises (SMEs), who do not pay the apprenticeship levy, would soon be able to access the benefits of using the award-winning apprenticeship service (AS). The AS, already in use by large levy paying employers, will give SMEs greater control over choosing their apprenticeships, a greater range of training providers to engage with, and a new route to access apprenticeship funding.

We announced at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) conference on 29 October 2019 that from January we will begin to transition SMEs onto the service, and will be supporting up to an additional 5,000 starts per month from January to March 2020 for employers that don’t pay the levy. We will be issuing more detail on the transition arrangements from November and throughout 2020.

Officials meet regularly with GTA England to discuss training provision, including in respect of apprenticeships. We also work closely with the AELP, the Learning and Work Institute, and the Association of Colleges to consider a range of sectoral issues and to ensure that our apprenticeships reforms continue to work for employers of all sizes, including charities.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
30th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the ability of apprenticeship levy paying employers to transfer levy funds to non-levy paying employers.

We are committed to supporting employers to engage with apprenticeships to help invest in the long-term skills needs of their business. We have already seen employers making use of transfers to support apprenticeship starts in their supply chains, or to meet local skills needs. Since April 2018 there have been 1,020 transferred commitments where the transfer of funds between apprenticeship service accounts had been approved. Of these transferred commitments, 780 have so far resulted in apprenticeship starts.

We have taken a number of steps to make it easier for levy-paying employers to transfer funds to other employers. In response to employer feedback, in April 2019 we raised the cap on transfers to 25% of the annual value of funds entering levy-payers’ apprenticeship service accounts. We have also announced that we will shortly enable levy payers to transfer funds to cover the full cost of training for 16 to 18 year olds in the smallest businesses with fewer than 50 employers.

Transfers give levy-paying employers more options in how they use their levy funds, as well as creating apprenticeship opportunities for organisations who may have previously felt that employing an apprentice was beyond their reach. We are pleased to see that levy payers with uncommitted funds are increasingly using transfers to support apprenticeship starts in non-levy paying employers.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
29th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to encourage employers in the (a) shipping and (b) offshore energy sectors to offer apprenticeships.

The government has reformed apprenticeships to include new high-quality apprenticeship standards that meet the needs of employers across all industries.

There are 118 Engineering and Manufacturing standards available for employers in the shipbuilding industry to choose from, and a total of 507 standards available across a wide range of sectors from Business and Administration, to Health and Science.

The Engineering Technician standard at Level 3 has been developed by employers, including employers in the defence industry such as BAE Systems, Babcock and the Royal Navy. This standard includes the following maritime defence pathways: Maritime Electrical Fitter, Maritime Mechanical Fitter, Maritime Fabricator, and Maritime Pipeworker. More detail on the standard can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education’s website at: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/engineering-technician/.

Employers in all sectors across England, including the shipping and offshore energy sectors, can use their apprenticeship levy funds to invest in these new high-quality apprenticeship standards, unlocking the productivity benefits associated with employing apprentices.

In the 2019-20 financial year, the funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England is over £2.5 billion, which is double what we spent in 2010-11.

We are working with all sectors as they produce their skills deals and we encourage them to consider the opportunities and apprenticeships they offer, by building them into their plans.

The National Apprenticeship Service is supporting employers to develop their apprenticeship programmes. More information on apprenticeships is available at: https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
29th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the amount of sea time required by employee to qualify as an Able Seafarer (Deck) apprentice.

This is a matter for the Institute for Apprenticeships. I have asked its Chief Executive, Sir Gerry Berragan, to write to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
28th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average age is of an apprentice in the maritime industry sector.

Data on apprenticeship starts, completions, training providers and age of apprentices is not available for the maritime industry sector specifically.

Due to the methodology behind these experimental statistics, data has not been published below the broad industry sector level.

The most recent statistics on apprenticeships starts by broad industry sector cover the academic years 2012/13 to 2016/17 and are published at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/apprenticeships-in-england-by-industry-characteristics.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
28th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average length of time is for agreeing standards for apprenticeships in the maritime industry through the Trailblazer working group model.

This is a matter for the Institute for Apprenticeships. I have asked its Chief Executive, Sir Gerry Berragan, to write to the hon. Member, and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses when it is available.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
28th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprentice (a) starts and (b) completions there have been in each sector of the maritime industry since 2014-15.

Data on apprenticeship starts, completions, training providers and age of apprentices is not available for the maritime industry sector specifically.

Due to the methodology behind these experimental statistics, data has not been published below the broad industry sector level.

The most recent statistics on apprenticeships starts by broad industry sector cover the academic years 2012/13 to 2016/17 and are published at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/apprenticeships-in-england-by-industry-characteristics.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
28th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which training providers offer apprenticeships for employers in the maritime industry.

Data on apprenticeship starts, completions, training providers and age of apprentices is not available for the maritime industry sector specifically.

Due to the methodology behind these experimental statistics, data has not been published below the broad industry sector level.

The most recent statistics on apprenticeships starts by broad industry sector cover the academic years 2012/13 to 2016/17 and are published at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/apprenticeships-in-england-by-industry-characteristics.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
24th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether unspent apprenticeship levy monies returned to his Department are allocated to the apprenticeship budget for use by non-levy paying employers.

The funds in apprenticeship service accounts are available for levy-paying employers to use for 24 months before they begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis. We have never anticipated that levy-payers will use all the funds available to them, but they are able to if they wish. Individual levy-paying employers have full control over when and where apprenticeship funds are spent to meet their current and future skills needs.

Employers’ levy funds are distinct from the Department for Education’s ring-fenced annual apprenticeship budget. This budget is set on an annual basis to cover the costs of all apprenticeships. This includes new apprenticeships in both levy-paying employers and those that do not pay the levy, as well as existing apprenticeships for learners who started in previous years. As this budget is distinct from the funds in employers’ apprenticeship service accounts, it is not affected by the value of any funds which may expire from employers’ accounts each month.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
25th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional (a) evidence and (b) material his Department has provided to Dame Shirley Pearce's review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework.

The department regularly discusses the ongoing development of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) with the Office for Students (OfS). We expect the OfS to consider the implementation of the TEF in light of the report of the independent review of TEF by Dame Shirley Pearce, as well as the government’s response. We intend to lay Dame Shirley’s report before Parliament and publish it alongside the government’s response as soon as possible.

The department’s analysts provided Dame Shirley and her advisory group background information and analytical support. This will be published as part of the supporting evidence base, which will be presented as appendices to her report.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and his officials have not discussed the paragraphs on the TEF in the strategic guidance letter to the OfS with representative groups from the HE sectors. Discussions of this type would not normally be held with these groups in advance of issuing guidance.

The department provides grants to the OfS for the development and delivery of the TEF. Further discussions will be held with the OfS on estimating costs in future years when planning for the implementation of the TEF. This will take into account that the recommendations in the report of the independent review are clear.

25th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with (i) NUS, (ii) UCU and (iii) UUK and (iv) other representative HE groupings on the implications for the sector of his letter to the Office for Students asking for subject-level Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) results in 2021.

The department regularly discusses the ongoing development of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) with the Office for Students (OfS). We expect the OfS to consider the implementation of the TEF in light of the report of the independent review of TEF by Dame Shirley Pearce, as well as the government’s response. We intend to lay Dame Shirley’s report before Parliament and publish it alongside the government’s response as soon as possible.

The department’s analysts provided Dame Shirley and her advisory group background information and analytical support. This will be published as part of the supporting evidence base, which will be presented as appendices to her report.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and his officials have not discussed the paragraphs on the TEF in the strategic guidance letter to the OfS with representative groups from the HE sectors. Discussions of this type would not normally be held with these groups in advance of issuing guidance.

The department provides grants to the OfS for the development and delivery of the TEF. Further discussions will be held with the OfS on estimating costs in future years when planning for the implementation of the TEF. This will take into account that the recommendations in the report of the independent review are clear.

25th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of subject-level Teaching Excellence Framework results in 2021; and whether funds have been provided to the Office for Students to cover those costs.

The department regularly discusses the ongoing development of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) with the Office for Students (OfS). We expect the OfS to consider the implementation of the TEF in light of the report of the independent review of TEF by Dame Shirley Pearce, as well as the government’s response. We intend to lay Dame Shirley’s report before Parliament and publish it alongside the government’s response as soon as possible.

The department’s analysts provided Dame Shirley and her advisory group background information and analytical support. This will be published as part of the supporting evidence base, which will be presented as appendices to her report.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and his officials have not discussed the paragraphs on the TEF in the strategic guidance letter to the OfS with representative groups from the HE sectors. Discussions of this type would not normally be held with these groups in advance of issuing guidance.

The department provides grants to the OfS for the development and delivery of the TEF. Further discussions will be held with the OfS on estimating costs in future years when planning for the implementation of the TEF. This will take into account that the recommendations in the report of the independent review are clear.

25th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with the Office for Students on the publication of the results of the subject-level Teaching Excellence Framework prior to the publication of the recommendations of the independent review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework.

The department regularly discusses the ongoing development of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) with the Office for Students (OfS). We expect the OfS to consider the implementation of the TEF in light of the report of the independent review of TEF by Dame Shirley Pearce, as well as the government’s response. We intend to lay Dame Shirley’s report before Parliament and publish it alongside the government’s response as soon as possible.

The department’s analysts provided Dame Shirley and her advisory group background information and analytical support. This will be published as part of the supporting evidence base, which will be presented as appendices to her report.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and his officials have not discussed the paragraphs on the TEF in the strategic guidance letter to the OfS with representative groups from the HE sectors. Discussions of this type would not normally be held with these groups in advance of issuing guidance.

The department provides grants to the OfS for the development and delivery of the TEF. Further discussions will be held with the OfS on estimating costs in future years when planning for the implementation of the TEF. This will take into account that the recommendations in the report of the independent review are clear.

4th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether all returned unspent apprenticeship levy monies are being allocated to the apprenticeship budget for use by non-levy paying employers.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

18th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the get help to retrain scheme, whether the digital service will include the assessment of adults' (a) qualifications and (b) skills.

Get Help to Retrain is the first of a series of products that will make up the full National Retraining Scheme (NRS). We are expecting the NRS to evolve and grow as we learn better what best works.

With support from qualified National Careers Service advisers, the service will support adults to understand which skills they have from their current role and which further skills would be required for a potential new, better job.

In addition, the service helps people to find training opportunities that may help the user to bridge the skills gap to a new role, initially consisting of training currently available and later including more bespoke offerings. It will also direct users to local job opportunities that could be within their reach.

18th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the office for students on registration fees for further education colleges.

All providers are being treated equitably.

We consulted with all providers, including further education (FE) colleges, twice, on the introduction of registration fees (from December 2016 until March 2017, and from October 2017 until December 2017). The Office for Students (OfS) separately consulted on the model for deciding how student numbers should be determined to inform the fee levels. It published the outcomes of this consultation in October 2018. Following the consultation processes, a number of additional bands were added for smaller providers compared with the original proposal. The costs for a very small provider have decreased from the second phase of the consultation, where a provider with 0-50 full-time equivalent student numbers, the lowest band, was proposed to pay £18,200. Providers with full-time equivalent student numbers of no more than 25 will now pay £12,300, and providers with more than 25 but no more than 50 (full time equivalent) will pay £15,350.

We also considered the impact of fees more widely and published an impact assessment in March 2019. The impact assessment considered higher education providers – including FE colleges – taxpayers, the government and students. The impact assessment report stated:

‘We have … analysed Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) college accounts data for 120 FE colleges with Higher Education Funding Council for England funded learners, that have applied to register and found that FE colleges would be paying on average 0.2% of their total income in registration fees. This ranges from 0.05% to 1.3% of total income but with just one provider paying more than 1%. … these proportions are very small and highly unlikely to impede competition in the higher education market.’

We have committed to a full review of registration fees after 2 years, when the impact of the fees on all providers will be clearer.

I meet regularly with the Chair and officials from the OfS to discuss a wide range of issues, including the financial health of all parts of the higher education sector, which is kept under constant review by the OfS.

18th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the roll-out of the Get Help to Retrain scheme (a) in the Liverpool City Region and (b) to all eligible adults in England by 2020.

In October 2018, the government announced a £100 million initial commitment to continue to test, learn and develop the National Retraining Scheme. This has allowed us to start delivering the first parts of the scheme in the Liverpool City Region. Get Help to Retrain will be expanded to more people and more areas throughout the testing phase before being made available to all eligible adults in England in 2020. In addition to this, we are continuing to develop new products in parallel to the testing of Get Help to Retrain, which will collectively make up the complete service.

18th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the office for students registration fees on the financial viability of further education colleges.

All providers are being treated equitably.

We consulted with all providers, including further education (FE) colleges, twice, on the introduction of registration fees (from December 2016 until March 2017, and from October 2017 until December 2017). The Office for Students (OfS) separately consulted on the model for deciding how student numbers should be determined to inform the fee levels. It published the outcomes of this consultation in October 2018. Following the consultation processes, a number of additional bands were added for smaller providers compared with the original proposal. The costs for a very small provider have decreased from the second phase of the consultation, where a provider with 0-50 full-time equivalent student numbers, the lowest band, was proposed to pay £18,200. Providers with full-time equivalent student numbers of no more than 25 will now pay £12,300, and providers with more than 25 but no more than 50 (full time equivalent) will pay £15,350.

We also considered the impact of fees more widely and published an impact assessment in March 2019. The impact assessment considered higher education providers – including FE colleges – taxpayers, the government and students. The impact assessment report stated:

‘We have … analysed Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) college accounts data for 120 FE colleges with Higher Education Funding Council for England funded learners, that have applied to register and found that FE colleges would be paying on average 0.2% of their total income in registration fees. This ranges from 0.05% to 1.3% of total income but with just one provider paying more than 1%. … these proportions are very small and highly unlikely to impede competition in the higher education market.’

We have committed to a full review of registration fees after 2 years, when the impact of the fees on all providers will be clearer.

I meet regularly with the Chair and officials from the OfS to discuss a wide range of issues, including the financial health of all parts of the higher education sector, which is kept under constant review by the OfS.

18th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the introduction of a separate office for students registration fee banding for stand alone further education colleges.

All providers are being treated equitably.

We consulted with all providers, including further education (FE) colleges, twice, on the introduction of registration fees (from December 2016 until March 2017, and from October 2017 until December 2017). The Office for Students (OfS) separately consulted on the model for deciding how student numbers should be determined to inform the fee levels. It published the outcomes of this consultation in October 2018. Following the consultation processes, a number of additional bands were added for smaller providers compared with the original proposal. The costs for a very small provider have decreased from the second phase of the consultation, where a provider with 0-50 full-time equivalent student numbers, the lowest band, was proposed to pay £18,200. Providers with full-time equivalent student numbers of no more than 25 will now pay £12,300, and providers with more than 25 but no more than 50 (full time equivalent) will pay £15,350.

We also considered the impact of fees more widely and published an impact assessment in March 2019. The impact assessment considered higher education providers – including FE colleges – taxpayers, the government and students. The impact assessment report stated:

‘We have … analysed Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) college accounts data for 120 FE colleges with Higher Education Funding Council for England funded learners, that have applied to register and found that FE colleges would be paying on average 0.2% of their total income in registration fees. This ranges from 0.05% to 1.3% of total income but with just one provider paying more than 1%. … these proportions are very small and highly unlikely to impede competition in the higher education market.’

We have committed to a full review of registration fees after 2 years, when the impact of the fees on all providers will be clearer.

I meet regularly with the Chair and officials from the OfS to discuss a wide range of issues, including the financial health of all parts of the higher education sector, which is kept under constant review by the OfS.

11th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the article in the Guardian entitled A demeaning environment: stories of racism in UK universities, published 5 July 2019, if he will hold discussions with the Office for Students on their assessment of the scale and nature of racism in UK universities.

There is no place in our society, including within higher education (HE) for hatred or any form of harassment, discrimination or racism.

The government is working closely with the Universities UK (UUK) and the Office for Students (OfS) to support work to address racism and other forms of harassment in HE, including implementation of UUK’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Taskforce’s recommendations.

Ministers and officials in the department meet regularly with the OfS, stakeholders and representative bodies about a range of student experience issues including racism, hate crime and harassment in HE. This includes specific quarterly meetings with the OfS to discuss how to tackle harassment and hate crime, including racism within the sector.

In its ministerial guidance, the government has asked the OfS to support this work and to make campuses places of tolerance for all students, and over £2 million has been invested in projects addressing hatred and harassment in HE.

The government will continue to work closely with the OfS to prioritise tackling of all forms of harassment and hate crime in higher education.

10th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of reports of racism against students and staff in UK universities in the last five years.

The government takes all forms of hate crime extremely seriously. There is no place in our society - including within higher education – for hatred or for any form of harassment, discrimination or racism.

The government is working closely with Universities UK (UUK) and the Office for Students (OfS) to support work to address racism and other forms of harassment in higher education, including the implementation of UUK’s Taskforce recommendations. The government has also tasked the OfS to support this work, and over £2 million has been invested in projects tackling hatred and harassment.

The department regularly meets stakeholders and representative bodies about student experience issues including racism, hate crime and harassment. Officials hold quarterly meetings with the OfS and UUK to discuss how to make progress on harassment and hate crime, including racism within the sector. In addition, I have recently held meetings with the Union of Jewish Students and Jewish student representatives about antisemitism on campus.

The government expects providers to keep records of incidents disclosed to them and to act swiftly to investigate and address them. It is important to recognise that under-reporting is common. Higher education providers should look at how they can continue to break down barriers to reporting, in spite of the potential for it to lead to spikes in disclosures, and to make sure that students and staff feel safe and able to disclose racist incidents.

Evaluation to date has shown that progress has been made but that there is still more to do. On 7 January 2019; I wrote to the Equality and Human Rights Commission to welcome their Inquiry into Racial Harassment in Higher Education Institutions. I look forward to the new evidence that this inquiry will bring and will review its findings carefully.

10th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with representatives from (i) Universities UK, (ii) other education sector bodies, (iii) trades unions representing staff, (iv) student unions and (v) NUS on the effect of incidences of racism directed at their members in the last 12 months.

The government takes all forms of hate crime extremely seriously. There is no place in our society - including within higher education – for hatred or for any form of harassment, discrimination or racism.

The government is working closely with Universities UK (UUK) and the Office for Students (OfS) to support work to address racism and other forms of harassment in higher education, including the implementation of UUK’s Taskforce recommendations. The government has also tasked the OfS to support this work, and over £2 million has been invested in projects tackling hatred and harassment.

The department regularly meets stakeholders and representative bodies about student experience issues including racism, hate crime and harassment. Officials hold quarterly meetings with the OfS and UUK to discuss how to make progress on harassment and hate crime, including racism within the sector. In addition, I have recently held meetings with the Union of Jewish Students and Jewish student representatives about antisemitism on campus.

The government expects providers to keep records of incidents disclosed to them and to act swiftly to investigate and address them. It is important to recognise that under-reporting is common. Higher education providers should look at how they can continue to break down barriers to reporting, in spite of the potential for it to lead to spikes in disclosures, and to make sure that students and staff feel safe and able to disclose racist incidents.

Evaluation to date has shown that progress has been made but that there is still more to do. On 7 January 2019; I wrote to the Equality and Human Rights Commission to welcome their Inquiry into Racial Harassment in Higher Education Institutions. I look forward to the new evidence that this inquiry will bring and will review its findings carefully.

10th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of equality and diversity training provided by higher education institutions; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making that training mandatory.

The government is committed to tackling inequalities. That is why, in October 2018, my right. hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, launched measures to tackle barriers facing ethnic minorities in the workplace, including a new Race at Work Charter and a consultation on ethnicity pay reporting.

Like all employers, higher education providers have responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) in relation to their staff. The government expects providers to comply fully with their obligations. As autonomous and independent institutions, it is for individual providers to ensure that the training they provide is appropriate.

The Equality Challenge Unit (part of Advance HE) has published guidance for higher education providers on embedding equality and diversity into HR policies. The Race Equality Charter also helps higher education providers to identify and address institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of minority ethnic staff and students. The Athena SWAN Charter recognises work undertaken to address gender equality.

The regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), and its predecessor, have provided over £4.7 million in funding for projects tackling sexual harassment, online harassment and hate-based harassment. This includes projects with a focus on developing and providing training for both staff and students on matters such as bystander intervention and handling of reports and disclosures.

In guidance to the OfS, the government has asked the regulator to positively engage with work to counter harassment and hate-crime and to make campuses places of tolerance for all students, and work with providers on equalities issues.

10th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the (a) terms and conditions for, (b) recruitment and (c) career advancement of BAME members of staff at UK universities.

Despite recent progress in staff representation and progression, for example improvements in the number of women in leadership positions in higher education (HE), there is more to be done to create a HE workforce that is representative of British society.

On 1 February 2019, the government announced measures to tackle inequalities and improve outcomes for underrepresented groups in HE. These measures include asking the HE sector to take action to eliminate ethnic disparities in their workforce and support better outcomes for ethnic minority staff. UK Research and Innovation will also be commissioning a review to understand and address equality and diversity disparities in research and innovation funding.

HE providers are independent, autonomous bodies and are responsible for decisions about who they employ and the terms and conditions of employment they offer. Like every employer they must meet their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and give due consideration to the way their recruitment, retention and promotion practises affect different sections of their communities and staff at different stages of their career.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers states that ‘diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers’. We expect to see this commitment reinforced as a revised Concordat is published in Autumn 2019.

The Race Equality Charter also helps HE providers to identify and address institutional and cultural barriers that may be impacting on minority ethnic staff and students. By improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff within HE we can ensure that everyone who has the potential to thrive at university, both as a student and as a member of staff, does so.

23rd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to introduce the teaching excellence framework by subject level for the 2019-20 academic year.

Dame Shirley Pearce is currently conducting an independent review of the operation of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), as required by section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. She has spent several months collecting evidence through a “call for views” and an extensive series of listening sessions and we expect her to report in the summer. Alongside the review, the Office for Students (OfS) has been carrying out the second year of a pilot of subject-level TEF. This will conclude shortly and the OfS will publish its findings. We will await Dame Shirley’s recommendations, and take account of the evidence from the subject-level TEF pilot, before making a decision on the next phase of the TEF.

23rd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timeframe is for the publication of the report on the independent review of the teaching excellence framework.

Dame Shirley Pearce is currently conducting an independent review of the operation of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), as required by section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. She has spent several months collecting evidence through a “call for views” and an extensive series of listening sessions and we expect her to report in the summer. Alongside the review, the Office for Students (OfS) has been carrying out the second year of a pilot of subject-level TEF. This will conclude shortly and the OfS will publish its findings. We will await Dame Shirley’s recommendations, and take account of the evidence from the subject-level TEF pilot, before making a decision on the next phase of the TEF.

23rd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the insolvency of Hadlow College, what discussions (a) he and (b) the Education and Skills Funding Agency has had with (i) staff and (ii) student representatives at Hadlow College on protecting learner provision for existing students.

Students are at the heart of the new education administration regime: its primary objective is to avoid or minimise disruption to the studies of existing students.

During the education administration, Hadlow College will continue to operate as usual and communications with students and staff have been a priority. The administrators have led communications with staff, including briefing sessions, a letter to all staff and a meeting with the University and College Union.

We understand from administrators that there are no student representatives other than the student governors. Therefore, in discussion with college management, the administrators have decided to communicate to students mostly through teachers as it was felt that this approach was least disruptive. College staff have been actively encouraged to update and answer questions from their students. The college also wrote to existing students, parents and guardians and prospective students to assure them that classes, exams and enrolments are continuing as normal. Students have been encouraged to submit queries either directly to the college communications team or via their teachers.

Earlier this year, we established a panel of insolvency practitioners to work on further education (FE) insolvencies, following a procurement process which, among other things, looked at FE sector experience. The firm appointed for Hadlow College’s insolvency is BDO, which has experience of the FE sector. Additionally, the administrators can draw on a wide range of other education expertise, including governors and staff at the college, the FE Commissioner’s team and the wider sector.

23rd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the insolvency of Hadlow College, what steps he will take to ensure that the education administrator appointed will have a broad knowledge of the further education sector.

Students are at the heart of the new education administration regime: its primary objective is to avoid or minimise disruption to the studies of existing students.

During the education administration, Hadlow College will continue to operate as usual and communications with students and staff have been a priority. The administrators have led communications with staff, including briefing sessions, a letter to all staff and a meeting with the University and College Union.

We understand from administrators that there are no student representatives other than the student governors. Therefore, in discussion with college management, the administrators have decided to communicate to students mostly through teachers as it was felt that this approach was least disruptive. College staff have been actively encouraged to update and answer questions from their students. The college also wrote to existing students, parents and guardians and prospective students to assure them that classes, exams and enrolments are continuing as normal. Students have been encouraged to submit queries either directly to the college communications team or via their teachers.

Earlier this year, we established a panel of insolvency practitioners to work on further education (FE) insolvencies, following a procurement process which, among other things, looked at FE sector experience. The firm appointed for Hadlow College’s insolvency is BDO, which has experience of the FE sector. Additionally, the administrators can draw on a wide range of other education expertise, including governors and staff at the college, the FE Commissioner’s team and the wider sector.

21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason Government funding was withdrawn for the Quality Assurance Agency's regulatory and Quality Assurance licensing of Access Validating Agency's for the new academic year 2019-20.

Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, the Office for Students cannot pay the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) to regulate or quality assure Access Validating Agency’s or Access to Higher Education Courses beyond 31 July 2019.

The department has spoken with the QAA to discuss how it is adapting to the conclusion of these historic contracts and will hold further discussions later in the year.

16th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with representatives of (a) universities and (b) the education sector on sharing data on an applicant's (i) pupil premium status and (ii) ethnicity directly with universities for the purpose of widening access and participation in higher education.

Widening access and participation in higher education is a priority for this government. This means that everyone with the capability to succeed in higher education should have the opportunity to participate, regardless of their background or where they grew up.

We have made real progress in ensuring universities are open to all, with record rates of disadvantaged 18 year olds in higher education. However, we know that more needs to be done to maximise the potential of the talent of future applicants to higher education courses, so it is vital that we build on this progress.

Higher education providers need to use good quality and meaningful data to identify disadvantage in order to effectively address disparities in access and participation in higher education. We encourage institutions to use a range of measures to identify disadvantage, including individual-level indicators, area data (such as POLAR, Index of Multiple Deprivation or ACORN), school data, intersectional data such as the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service's (UCAS) multiple equality measure and participation in outreach activities.

To this end, we are working with the Office for Students, UCAS and sector representatives to further explore how we can support universities to improve and enhance access to data.

We want institutions to consider a broad range of information in their offers, including the context in which a student’s results were achieved. We are committed to helping universities progress in their efforts to improve access and successful participation for under-represented groups.

16th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with (a) the Office for Students and (b) UCAS on the transmission of data on an applicant's (i) pupil premium status and (ii) ethnicity directly to universities for the purpose widening access and participation in higher education.

Widening access and participation in higher education is a priority for this government. This means that everyone with the capability to succeed in higher education should have the opportunity to participate, regardless of their background or where they grew up.

We have made real progress in ensuring universities are open to all, with record rates of disadvantaged 18 year olds in higher education. However, we know that more needs to be done to maximise the potential of the talent of future applicants to higher education courses, so it is vital that we build on this progress.

Higher education providers need to use good quality and meaningful data to identify disadvantage in order to effectively address disparities in access and participation in higher education. We encourage institutions to use a range of measures to identify disadvantage, including individual-level indicators, area data (such as POLAR, Index of Multiple Deprivation or ACORN), school data, intersectional data such as the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service's (UCAS) multiple equality measure and participation in outreach activities.

To this end, we are working with the Office for Students, UCAS and sector representatives to further explore how we can support universities to improve and enhance access to data.

We want institutions to consider a broad range of information in their offers, including the context in which a student’s results were achieved. We are committed to helping universities progress in their efforts to improve access and successful participation for under-represented groups.

16th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of how additional indicators of a pupil's disadvantage and under-representation in higher education can be made accessible to universities in order to widen participation and help such pupils access work.

Widening access and participation in higher education is a priority for this government. This means that everyone with the capability to succeed in higher education should have the opportunity to participate, regardless of their background or where they grew up.

We have made real progress in ensuring universities are open to all, with record rates of disadvantaged 18 year olds in higher education. However, we know that more needs to be done to maximise the potential of the talent of future applicants to higher education courses, so it is vital that we build on this progress.

Higher education providers need to use good quality and meaningful data to identify disadvantage in order to effectively address disparities in access and participation in higher education. We encourage institutions to use a range of measures to identify disadvantage, including individual-level indicators, area data (such as POLAR, Index of Multiple Deprivation or ACORN), school data, intersectional data such as the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service's (UCAS) multiple equality measure and participation in outreach activities.

To this end, we are working with the Office for Students, UCAS and sector representatives to further explore how we can support universities to improve and enhance access to data.

We want institutions to consider a broad range of information in their offers, including the context in which a student’s results were achieved. We are committed to helping universities progress in their efforts to improve access and successful participation for under-represented groups.

16th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the extent to which sharing data on additional indicators of an applicant’s disadvantage and under-representation in higher education, including pupil premium status, free school meals eligibility and ethnicity can enable universities to make further progress on widening access and participation in higher education.

Widening access and participation in higher education is a priority for this government. This means that everyone with the capability to succeed in higher education should have the opportunity to participate, regardless of their background or where they grew up.

We have made real progress in ensuring universities are open to all, with record rates of disadvantaged 18 year olds in higher education. However, we know that more needs to be done to maximise the potential of the talent of future applicants to higher education courses, so it is vital that we build on this progress.

Higher education providers need to use good quality and meaningful data to identify disadvantage in order to effectively address disparities in access and participation in higher education. We encourage institutions to use a range of measures to identify disadvantage, including individual-level indicators, area data (such as POLAR, Index of Multiple Deprivation or ACORN), school data, intersectional data such as the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service's (UCAS) multiple equality measure and participation in outreach activities.

To this end, we are working with the Office for Students, UCAS and sector representatives to further explore how we can support universities to improve and enhance access to data.

We want institutions to consider a broad range of information in their offers, including the context in which a student’s results were achieved. We are committed to helping universities progress in their efforts to improve access and successful participation for under-represented groups.

16th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to publish the Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2018.

The timetable for this year's Apprenticeship Pay Survey has been adjusted to allow the survey to be merged with the department's Apprenticeship Evaluation Survey. Apprenticeship Pay Survey fieldwork has been completed, and reporting is underway. The government will publish results in due course.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it remains the Government’s policy to guarantee (a) Erasmus+ bids approved in May 2019 and (b) cover students’ study costs for the academic year 2020-21 following the extension to the Article 50 process to October 2019.

The government guarantee still stands. It will cover the payment of awards to UK applicants for all successful Erasmus+ bids submitted before the end of 2020 and it commits to underwrite funding for the entire lifetime of the projects. Successful bids are ones that are approved directly by the Commission or by the UK National Agency and ratified by the Commission.

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the government will engage with the European Commission with the aim of securing the UK’s participation in Erasmus+ until the end of 2020.

If discussions with the European Commission to secure the continued ability of UK institutions to participate in the programme are unsuccessful, the government will engage with individual member states and key institutions to seek to ensure that UK participants can continue with their planned activity as far as possible on a bilateral basis.

In terms of participation beyond 2020, the UK government has repeatedly made clear that it values international exchange and collaboration in education and training as part of its vision for a global Britain.

We are open to exploring participation in the successor scheme to the current Erasmus+ Programme and we will continue to be involved in discussions about that programme while we remain in the EU. Ultimately, our participation in that successor programme is a matter for negotiations to come about our future relationship with the EU.

The government will need to fully consider the balance between supporting international mobility and ensuring value for money for the tax payer.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussion (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with education sector stakeholders on a potential domestic alternative to the Erasmus+ Programme.

We have made clear that we value international exchange and collaboration in education and training as part of our vision for a global Britain. The White Paper on the Future Relationship between the UK and the EU proposed that the UK and EU should continue to give young people and students the chance to benefit from each other’s world leading universities.

Ministers and I meet with representatives of the education sector regularly to discuss the Department for Education agenda, and that has included the questions of the Erasmus+ programme and international mobility more widely.

Ultimately, participation in the future Erasmus+ programme (2021-2027) is a matter for negotiations to come about our future relationship with the EU and, as is the duty of a responsible government, we are preparing for a range of potential outcomes. This includes consideration of domestic alternative options for supporting international mobility outside Erasmus+. My officials have had observer status on work done by UK and members of the sector on what form a domestic alternative to Erasmus+ could take. We are listening to stakeholder views on this issue. Our stakeholder engagement will be ongoing.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether postgraduate (a) loans and (b) other financial assistance will be included in his Department's response to the review of post-18 education.

The government’s review of post-18 education and funding is looking at how we can ensure there is choice and competition across a joined-up post-18 education and training sector. The review’s focus includes how we can encourage learning that is more flexible (for example, part-time, distance learning and commuter study options) and complements ongoing government work to support people at different times in their lives.

The independent panel will report shortly, and the government will then conclude the overall review later this year. We will not speculate about potential recommendations, as we do not wish to pre-judge the outcome of the review.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions his Department has had with the higher education sector on potential future (a) immigration policies and (b) student exchange programmes.

Department officials engage regularly with stakeholders across the higher education sector, including Universities UK (UUK), the Russell Group, Universities Alliance, MillionPlus, Guild HE, Independent HE and others, on a wide range of issues including the future immigration system and student exchange programmes.

We have made clear that we value international exchange and collaboration in education and training as part of our vision for a global Britain, and are listening to stakeholder views on this issue. My officials have had observer status on work done by UUK and members of the sector on what form a domestic alternative to Erasmus+ could take.

The Home Office has initiated an extensive programme of engagement across the UK on the Immigration White Paper proposals. The Home Office’s Education Advisory Group will meet regularly throughout the engagement period to capture views from the education sector and ensure the government designs a future immigration system that works for the whole of the UK.

18th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether EU students enrolling on English higher education courses in the academic year 2020-21 will be eligible for home fee status and financial support.

We recognise how important it is that students and institutions have information on eligibility for student support before applications for courses open.

Applications for courses starting in academic year 2020/21 do not open until September 2019. We will ensure students and institutions have the information they need well in advance of that date.

18th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the Government will confirm the (a) fee status and (b) loan eligibility of EU undergraduate students commencing courses at English higher education providers in the 2020-21 academic year.

We recognise how important it is that students and institutions have information on eligibility for student support before applications for courses open.

Applications for courses starting in academic year 2020/21 do not open until September 2019. We will ensure students and institutions have the information they need well in advance of that date.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for 2017-18, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the increase in the number of higher education institutions in deficit.

In the new regulatory framework, the Office for Students (OfS) has responsibilities to monitor, assess and report on the financial sustainability of registered higher education providers in England. The OfS will shortly be publishing its first report on the financial health of the sector.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on reintroducing post-study work visas for overseas students.

The government has a strong offer for overseas students who graduate in the UK. International graduates can remain in the UK to work following their studies by switching to several existing visa routes, including Tier 2 (skilled worker) visas. The International Education Strategy, published on 16 March 2019, sets out actions to continue to provide a welcoming environment for international students and includes our ambition to increase the number of international students we host to 600,000 by 2030. The actions include extending the post study leave period for students and considering where the visa process could be improved. The International Education Strategy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-education-strategy-global-potential-global-growth/international-education-strategy-global-potential-global-growth.

Department for Education ministers have had discussions on the future immigration system with ministers from the Home Office. The immigration white paper proposes increasing the post study leave period for international students following completion of studies to: 12 months for those completing a PhD, and 6 months for all full time postgraduate and undergraduate students at institutions with degree awarding powers.

The Home Office has launched a 12 month extensive engagement programme to take views from business and other stakeholders from a wide range of sectors on the Immigration white paper. In addition, it will continue to work with other government departments, to hear their priorities, concerns and ideas about the future immigration system to ensure that it is efficient and able to respond to users’ needs.

22nd Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with Philip Augar and the Post-18 review panel on Shariah compliant loans.

The government is committed to introducing an Alternative Student Finance product which complies with Sharia law and we continue to make progress with the review so the government can deliver a post-18 education system that is accessible to all, delivers the skills that the country needs and is value for money for both the taxpayer and students.

19th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with (a) university groups and (b) UUK on the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on UK students participating in the Erasmus+ programme in Europe from September 2019.

The government values international exchange and collaboration in education and training as part of its vision for a global Britain and therefore, irrespective of the outcome of Article 50 negotiations with the EU, the government wants UK and European countries to continue to give young people and students the chance to benefit from each other’s world leading universities post-exit.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, my officials and I meet with representatives of universities and sector associations regularly, including Universities UK, to discuss the Department for Education agenda, and that has included the question of participation in the Erasmus+ programme. In our preparations for the UK’s departure from the EU, the department has regularly engaged with a wide number of sector stakeholders on the Erasmus+ programme.

It is the duty of a responsible government to prepare for a range of potential outcomes and the Department of Education is preparing for every eventuality. For this reason, the government has committed to cover the payment of awards to UK organisations for all successful (those that are approved directly by the European Commission or by the National Agency and ratified by the European Commission) Erasmus+ bids in the event of ‘no deal’.

There are many opportunities for student exchange outside of Erasmus+ and our world-leading higher education providers have a strong track-record of partnering with overseas institutions. UUK evidence suggests around half of mobilities already take place outside Erasmus+.

It is not appropriate at this stage to set out any assessment in detail for a domestic alternative due to the ongoing negotiations with the EU. We will always want to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.

19th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to create an alternative to the Erasmus+ programme for UK students in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The government values international exchange and collaboration in education and training as part of its vision for a global Britain and therefore, irrespective of the outcome of Article 50 negotiations with the EU, the government wants UK and European countries to continue to give young people and students the chance to benefit from each other’s world leading universities post-exit.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, my officials and I meet with representatives of universities and sector associations regularly, including Universities UK, to discuss the Department for Education agenda, and that has included the question of participation in the Erasmus+ programme. In our preparations for the UK’s departure from the EU, the department has regularly engaged with a wide number of sector stakeholders on the Erasmus+ programme.

It is the duty of a responsible government to prepare for a range of potential outcomes and the Department of Education is preparing for every eventuality. For this reason, the government has committed to cover the payment of awards to UK organisations for all successful (those that are approved directly by the European Commission or by the National Agency and ratified by the European Commission) Erasmus+ bids in the event of ‘no deal’.

There are many opportunities for student exchange outside of Erasmus+ and our world-leading higher education providers have a strong track-record of partnering with overseas institutions. UUK evidence suggests around half of mobilities already take place outside Erasmus+.

It is not appropriate at this stage to set out any assessment in detail for a domestic alternative due to the ongoing negotiations with the EU. We will always want to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.

19th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of staff employed by his Department are apprentices.

As at 1 February 2019, the Department for Education employed 6,427 individuals, 209 of which are apprentices.

30th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether funding for students currently on Erasmus+ placement years in (a) the UK and (b) in EU member states will be guaranteed to complete their year abroad in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Leaving the EU with a deal remains the government’s top priority. This has not changed. However a responsible government must plan for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario. We are intensifying and accelerating no deal planning to ensure we are fully prepared.

The Department for Education and Her Majesty's Treasury have regular discussions on preparations for leaving the EU in a no deal scenario, including on this issue.

The updated Technical Notice states the current position on no deal preparations for Erasmus+. In the event of a no deal, the government guarantee will cover the payment of awards to UK applicants for all successful Erasmus+ bids agreed by the National Agency and EU Commission. We have noted the information released by the European Commission on 30 January 2019 with regards to contingency planning for Erasmus+ and we are seeking to hold discussions with the Commission as soon as possible to discuss this.

With regards to 2019 applications, we continue to recommend that applications are submitted, as they are normally, both to the UK National Agency and directly to the European Commission in line with the 2019 Programme Guide. The Government Guarantee will cover the payment of awards to UK applicants for all successful Erasmus+ bids for the duration of the course. Successful bids are those that are approved directly by the European Commission or by the National Agency and ratified by the European Commission.

30th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he held with the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of the publication of the technical note entitled Erasmus+ and EU Solidarity Corps in the UK if there’s no Brexit deal, published in January 2019, on how the funding mechanism for Erasmus+ underwrites will work in practice in the event that the UK leave the EU without a deal.

Leaving the EU with a deal remains the government’s top priority. This has not changed. However a responsible government must plan for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario. We are intensifying and accelerating no deal planning to ensure we are fully prepared.

The Department for Education and Her Majesty's Treasury have regular discussions on preparations for leaving the EU in a no deal scenario, including on this issue.

The updated Technical Notice states the current position on no deal preparations for Erasmus+. In the event of a no deal, the government guarantee will cover the payment of awards to UK applicants for all successful Erasmus+ bids agreed by the National Agency and EU Commission. We have noted the information released by the European Commission on 30 January 2019 with regards to contingency planning for Erasmus+ and we are seeking to hold discussions with the Commission as soon as possible to discuss this.

With regards to 2019 applications, we continue to recommend that applications are submitted, as they are normally, both to the UK National Agency and directly to the European Commission in line with the 2019 Programme Guide. The Government Guarantee will cover the payment of awards to UK applicants for all successful Erasmus+ bids for the duration of the course. Successful bids are those that are approved directly by the European Commission or by the National Agency and ratified by the European Commission.

30th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprenticeship end-point assessments have (a) been conducted on each standard and (b) resulted in successful completions in the latest period for which figures are available.

The department publishes apprenticeship starts for each apprenticeship standard by month alongside the monthly Apprenticeships and Levy Statistics publication. Data can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/773828/201819_January_MonthlyAppStartsFwk_FINAL.xlsx.

To achieve a standard, the learner must pass the end-point assessment. There were 2,800 completions (completed training) and 2,700 achievements on standards in the 2017/18 academic year and 2,000 completions and 1,800 achievements reported to date in the first quarter of the 2018/19 academic year (August to October 2018). There are several reasons that an apprentice may have been recorded as completed without being recorded as achieved, including that they are waiting for their end-point assessment to be completed or awaiting a re-sit for their end-point assessment. Breakdowns of completions and achievements on individual standards in 2017/18 and Q1 2018/19 reported to date are available in the attached file. Achievements data for all apprenticeships is published here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/772385/Apprenticeship-starts-ach-framework-standard-tool_201415-Q1201819_Jan2019_v1.xlsx.

30th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprenticeship starts have taken place on each apprenticeship standard in each month since the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year.

The department publishes apprenticeship starts for each apprenticeship standard by month alongside the monthly Apprenticeships and Levy Statistics publication. Data can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/773828/201819_January_MonthlyAppStartsFwk_FINAL.xlsx.

To achieve a standard, the learner must pass the end-point assessment. There were 2,800 completions (completed training) and 2,700 achievements on standards in the 2017/18 academic year and 2,000 completions and 1,800 achievements reported to date in the first quarter of the 2018/19 academic year (August to October 2018). There are several reasons that an apprentice may have been recorded as completed without being recorded as achieved, including that they are waiting for their end-point assessment to be completed or awaiting a re-sit for their end-point assessment. Breakdowns of completions and achievements on individual standards in 2017/18 and Q1 2018/19 reported to date are available in the attached file. Achievements data for all apprenticeships is published here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/772385/Apprenticeship-starts-ach-framework-standard-tool_201415-Q1201819_Jan2019_v1.xlsx.

29th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the decrease in the pass rate for GCSE English and maths resits between 2017 and 2018.

We want every student to secure the English and mathematics knowledge that will enable them to thrive in their studies, work and life. As a result of the changes made and thanks to the efforts of students, teachers, schools and college and across the country a record number of 19 year olds now hold a Level 2 qualification in both Maths and English.

The Department is also investing an additional £50 million over the next 5 years to help improve the quality of post-16 mathematics teaching and spread best practice. It is important that young people have an opportunity to reach their potential and they should be given every opportunity to do this.

The Department will publish data on post-16 students achievement in GCSE English and mathematics for the full 2018/19 academic year and compare it to previous academic years after the 2018/19 academic year concludes. Any assessments undertaken prior to the end of the academic year will not reflect the results of those post-16 students studying GCSE English and mathematics who sit their exams in summer 2019.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of recent trends in the levels of retention of further education teachers and staff.

While further education (FE) providers are a key part of our national infrastructure, unlocking potential, developing skills, and improving social mobility and productivity, they are private sector institutions, independent of government. As such, the department has not historically collected data that would allow us to measure rates of retention amongst FE teachers and other staff. However, in 2018, we carried out the first College Staff Survey, gathering new workforce data, and we expect to extend this to other types of provider in 2019, as well as conducting a follow-up survey that will allow us to assess a number of issues concerning the FE sector.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the 16 - 19 bursary in promoting social mobility.

The department provides a number of financial support programmes for economically disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds to help with the education-related costs associated with staying in post-16 education. The 16-19 Bursary Fund is the principal scheme. Under the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, young people are eligible for awards of up to £1,200 per year (in particular, vulnerable groups that generally do not receive financial support from their families). Those not in these particular vulnerable groups, but who still need financial support, can apply to their education institution for discretionary bursary support. Each institution receives an allocation to make available these discretionary bursaries.

The department spoke with a sample of schools, colleges and other 16-19 education providers in 2018 to help us understand how the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund was being used and to assess the extent to which discretionary bursary allocations met the needs of students in the different institutions. Providers were using the available funds to support their most disadvantaged students, but there were different responses on the adequacy of funding. We are continuing to keep the use of the fund under review to inform our understanding of whether it is providing effective support to our most economically disadvantaged students.

With regard to its effectiveness in promoting social mobility, providers have the flexibility to target those young people in most need of financial support to stay on in further education and training. This flexibility helps to ensure that the poorest students get the same opportunities available to those with more financial support, for example, by purchasing equipment for technical courses, taking part in trips, purchasing books, participating in industry placements and getting support with UCAS fees. The majority of providers that the department spoke to in 2018 confirmed that this funding was making a significant impact on the ability of young people to access opportunities.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of current funding for the 16 to 19 bursary.

The department provides a number of financial support programmes for economically disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds to help with the education-related costs associated with staying in post-16 education. The 16-19 Bursary Fund is the principal scheme. Under the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, young people are eligible for awards of up to £1,200 per year (in particular, vulnerable groups that generally do not receive financial support from their families). Those not in these particular vulnerable groups, but who still need financial support, can apply to their education institution for discretionary bursary support. Each institution receives an allocation to make available these discretionary bursaries.

The department spoke with a sample of schools, colleges and other 16-19 education providers in 2018 to help us understand how the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund was being used and to assess the extent to which discretionary bursary allocations met the needs of students in the different institutions. Providers were using the available funds to support their most disadvantaged students, but there were different responses on the adequacy of funding. We are continuing to keep the use of the fund under review to inform our understanding of whether it is providing effective support to our most economically disadvantaged students.

With regard to its effectiveness in promoting social mobility, providers have the flexibility to target those young people in most need of financial support to stay on in further education and training. This flexibility helps to ensure that the poorest students get the same opportunities available to those with more financial support, for example, by purchasing equipment for technical courses, taking part in trips, purchasing books, participating in industry placements and getting support with UCAS fees. The majority of providers that the department spoke to in 2018 confirmed that this funding was making a significant impact on the ability of young people to access opportunities.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many Aspire Achieve Advance apprentices were (a) affected by that provider ceasing trading and (b) have been found alternative provision.

In total, the closure of Aspire Achieve Advance has affected 4,216 apprentices. The apprentices were split between apprenticeships supported via levy funding and those supported via non-levy funding, based on the size of the employer involved. There were 2,384 apprentices with large levy paying employers and 1,832 apprentices with smaller non-levy paying employers.

It is the responsibility of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to source alternative high quality provision for the non-levy apprentices while employers retain the lead for sourcing alternative provision funded by the levy. They do this with the full support of the National Apprenticeship Service. So far, for the non-levy funded apprentices, the ESFA has approved 1,358 apprentice transfers to 125 high quality alternative providers.

Officials have also identified alternative, high quality provision for each of the remaining 410 apprentices and are contacting the providers involved to facilitate the transfers. 64 apprentices have notified us that they have successfully completed or withdrawn from their apprenticeship. Of the 2,384 apprentices funded by the levy, National Apprenticeship Service account managers are supporting those employers to identify new providers. To date levy paying employers have transferred 534 apprentices to new providers of their choice.

22nd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the introduction of T Levels on the number of people starting B Tech courses.

We want T levels and A levels to become the qualifications of choice for 16 to 19 year olds taking level 3 classroom-based qualifications. T levels will offer a world-class option for students who want to choose technical study over academic study.

Alongside the introduction of T levels, we have committed to carry out a review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below. The review aims to simplify the current qualification landscape at level 3 and below, so that all qualifications continuing to be eligible for public funding will meet three principles: have a distinct purpose, are high quality, and support progression to good outcomes.

We are conducting a two stage consultation and we will work closely with schools, colleges, and others affected by the review to consider the full range of evidence surrounding these qualifications.

9th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of schools that are compliant with section 2 of the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 that requires schools to ensure a range of FE providers have access to pupils from year 8 to year 13 to provide information on technical education and apprenticeships.

​The department introduced the ‘Baker Clause’ in January 2018 so that young people can find out about the full range of opportunities available to them in technical education. The Department for Education does not centrally hold the number of schools that are compliant with the ‘Baker Clause’ but we did carry out a survey with the Association of Employment and Learning Providers in June 2018 to find out more about the early impact of the new law. Just over three quarters (76%) of the 75 providers surveyed stated that the duty is being partially complied with in their area. Just under a fifth (19%) said it was not being complied with at all. The remaining 5% said schools in their area are fully compliant. A more recent study by the Institute for Public Policy Research, published on 9 January, found that 70% of providers say that it is difficult to access schools in their area and 31% say that the situation has improved in the last year.

I hosted a roundtable with schools and providers in November 2018 and officials continue to discuss with a range of education and careers representatives how to improve compliance with the Baker Clause.

​Ofsted looks at the implementation of the Baker Clause on school inspections. Ofsted’s current school inspection handbook (available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/730127/School_inspection_handbook_section_5_270718.pdf.) sets out that inspectors will take into account careers guidance provided by secondary schools when making their judgement on the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils. Inspectors look at how well schools provide impartial careers guidance to help and prepare pupils make informed choices about the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training.

9th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his estimated total cost to the public purse is of the national retraining scheme.

The National Retraining Scheme, which was announced in the Autumn Budget 2017, will support adults to retrain as the economy changes.

The Autumn Budget 2018 allocated £100 million of new government funding for the testing and development of the National Retraining Scheme as well as rolling out initial elements of the scheme for first users in 2019.

9th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with (a) Careers and Enterprise Company, (b) Career Development Institute, (c) Careers England and (d) other representatives of careers advisers on the im implementation of section 2 of the Technical and Further Education Act 2017.

​The department introduced the ‘Baker Clause’ in January 2018 so that young people can find out about the full range of opportunities available to them in technical education. The Department for Education does not centrally hold the number of schools that are compliant with the ‘Baker Clause’ but we did carry out a survey with the Association of Employment and Learning Providers in June 2018 to find out more about the early impact of the new law. Just over three quarters (76%) of the 75 providers surveyed stated that the duty is being partially complied with in their area. Just under a fifth (19%) said it was not being complied with at all. The remaining 5% said schools in their area are fully compliant. A more recent study by the Institute for Public Policy Research, published on 9 January, found that 70% of providers say that it is difficult to access schools in their area and 31% say that the situation has improved in the last year.

I hosted a roundtable with schools and providers in November 2018 and officials continue to discuss with a range of education and careers representatives how to improve compliance with the Baker Clause.

​Ofsted looks at the implementation of the Baker Clause on school inspections. Ofsted’s current school inspection handbook (available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/730127/School_inspection_handbook_section_5_270718.pdf.) sets out that inspectors will take into account careers guidance provided by secondary schools when making their judgement on the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils. Inspectors look at how well schools provide impartial careers guidance to help and prepare pupils make informed choices about the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training.

9th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria his Department uses to monitor the compliance of schools with section 2 of the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 that requires schools to ensure a range of FE providers have access to pupils from year 8 to year 13 to provide information on technical education and apprenticeships.

​The department introduced the ‘Baker Clause’ in January 2018 so that young people can find out about the full range of opportunities available to them in technical education. The Department for Education does not centrally hold the number of schools that are compliant with the ‘Baker Clause’ but we did carry out a survey with the Association of Employment and Learning Providers in June 2018 to find out more about the early impact of the new law. Just over three quarters (76%) of the 75 providers surveyed stated that the duty is being partially complied with in their area. Just under a fifth (19%) said it was not being complied with at all. The remaining 5% said schools in their area are fully compliant. A more recent study by the Institute for Public Policy Research, published on 9 January, found that 70% of providers say that it is difficult to access schools in their area and 31% say that the situation has improved in the last year.

I hosted a roundtable with schools and providers in November 2018 and officials continue to discuss with a range of education and careers representatives how to improve compliance with the Baker Clause.

​Ofsted looks at the implementation of the Baker Clause on school inspections. Ofsted’s current school inspection handbook (available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/730127/School_inspection_handbook_section_5_270718.pdf.) sets out that inspectors will take into account careers guidance provided by secondary schools when making their judgement on the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils. Inspectors look at how well schools provide impartial careers guidance to help and prepare pupils make informed choices about the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training.

8th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who is planned to be eligible for the national retraining scheme.

​The National Retraining Scheme, announced in the Autumn 2017 Budget, will support adults to retrain as the economy changes.

The scheme will target those who are employed, with a particular focus on those with jobs that are at risk of technological change over the age of 24, and who do not hold a qualification at degree level.

​Through findings from our user research and Career Learning pilots, we will continue to test and develop the scheme, with its strategic direction being overseen by a key partnership between the Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Congress and government.

8th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page five of the Office for Students' 13 December 2018 document entitled A new approach to regulating access and participation in English higher education: Consultation outcomes, and the announcement that colleges and universities will no longer be required to spend a set amount of tuition fee income to support disadvantaged students, what metrics will be used to measure the outcomes that providers achieve and the level of ambition they set.

The government has asked the Office for Students (OfS) to secure greater and faster progress in ensuring that students from disadvantaged and under-represented groups, can access and successfully participate in higher education. The reforms to access and participation are designed to help achieve this.

Arrangements for improving access and participation have never required higher education providers to spend a minimum amount through their access and participation plans. Rather, guidelines are in place to set out the expected levels of expenditure for different types of higher education providers.

The new approach being introduced by the OfS is designed to provide a greater focus on securing improved access and successful participation outcomes. As part of their access and participation plans, higher education providers will be encouraged to be more ambitious and set strategic outcomes based targets based on the areas and groups of students where they have most to do. Investment levels and a provider’s evaluation plans will be important issues that the OfS will also want to consider when agreeing a provider’s access and participation plan.

The OfS intends to assess the progress through annual impact reports and action plans which providers will be expected to submit to the OfS.

8th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who the members of the advisory group on the review of the teaching excellence framework are.

Dame Shirley Pearce is undertaking an independent review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework, as required by the Higher Education and Research Act (2017). She has appointed an expert group to advise her on the independent review and she intends to announce the membership of this group at the same time as she launches a public call for views to inform her review, which will be very shortly. On Dame Shirley’s behalf, once published, a copy of the call for views and a list of members of the advisory group, will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

7th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the article entitled University debt: credit crunch looms as debt spirals, published by the Times on 3 January 2018, what estimate he has made of the levels of debt of UK Universities; and if he will make a statement.

Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency for the most recent financial year available (2016/17) shows that UK universities’ external borrowing totalled £11.8 billion, equivalent to roughly 33% of sector income.[1]

In the new higher education (HE) regulatory framework, the Office for Students has responsibilities to monitor and assess the financial viability and sustainability of registered HE providers in England.

[1] External borrowing as defined by Higher Education Statistics Agency: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/collection/c16031/key_financial_indicators.

7th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the financial viability of UK universities after the UK leaves the EU.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education meets with my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other cabinet ministers regularly to discuss the Department for Education agenda.

10th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with Interserve on the viability of existing apprenticeship training following their refinancing talks.

This is a matter for the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Officials continue to monitor the delivery of apprenticeship provision provided by Interserve to ensure that it meets our quality standards.

10th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions (a) he and (b) the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills has had with the Institute for Apprenticeships on the viability of existing apprenticeship training at Interserve following their refinancing talks.

The Institute for Apprenticeships has not been involved in any discussions with regard to apprenticeship training at Interserve. This is a matter for the ESFA, and officials continue to monitor the delivery of apprenticeship provision provided by Interserve to ensure it meets quality standards.

10th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with university groups on whether they will accept T Levels as part of their admissions policies.

Officials in my department are currently having discussions with UCAS, are visiting Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and meeting with representative groups to build awareness and recognition of T levels so that they are able to make informed decisions about the inclusion of T levels within their admission policies.

10th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many UCAS points a T Level is planned to be worth.

T levels are designed primarily to prepare students for skilled employment. T levels will also be open to all students that have the prerequisite knowledge and skills to go to university to do relevant technical degrees. To reflect their size and complexity, T levels will receive UCAS tariff points in line with the points awarded for three A levels. We are working with UCAS to agree the specific points for each T level grade and plan to confirm the allocation of points to grades in 2019.

10th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what contingency plans his Department has to protect apprentices in the event of the collapse of Interserve.

In the event of a provider failure, the Education and Skills Funding Agency has a well-established approach to managing learner transfers, including establishing a dedicated taskforce of staff from within the agency who are experienced in managing this type of situation. The team will ensure learners and apprentices secure alternative high-quality provision in order to continue their apprenticeship or learning with minimum disruption and provide support to affected employers and apprentices.

6th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have started the Registered Nursing Apprenticeship programme to date.

There have been 88,320 apprenticeship starts in health, public services and care in the 2017 to 2018 academic year in England. The data for this can be accessed at the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/further-education-and-skills-statistical-first-release-sfr.

We want to increase the number of nursing apprenticeships and now have a complete apprentice pathway from entry level to postgraduate advanced clinical practice in nursing. This will support people from all backgrounds to enter a nursing career in the National Health Service (NHS).

In the 2017/18 academic year, there have been 300 apprenticeship starts recorded for the standard ‘Registered Nurse’ (the degree apprenticeship approved for delivery on 9 May 2017) and 1,420 apprenticeship starts recorded for the standard ‘Nursing Associate’ (level 5 apprenticeship standard approved for delivery on 20 November 2017). There were no starts on these standards in the 2016/17 academic year.

We are working closely with employers, Health Education England and ministers in the Department of Health and Social Care to make sure that the NHS is fully supported to recruit apprentices, both in nursing and in a range of other occupations. 2,000 nursing associates started training on Health Education England’s pilot project in 2017.

5th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the continued participation of further education college students in the ERASMUS programme.

Officials and I are in regular contact with the Department for Exiting the European Union on issues relating to UK participation in the Erasmus+ programme after the UK leaves the EU. Officials also engage regularly with sector stakeholders.

The government has made clear that it values international exchanges and collaboration as part of its vision for a Global Britain and I am therefore pleased that, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK entities' right to participate in EU programmes during the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), including Erasmus+, will be unaffected by the UK's withdrawal from the EU for the lifetime of projects financed by the current MFF. This will, of course, include the further education sector which is a key part of the current Erasmus+ programme.

As such, following ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK organisations and individuals taking part in the current Erasmus+ programme will be able to continue to bid for funding, participate in and lead consortia, until programme closure in 2020.

The UK is open to exploring participation in the successor scheme to the current Erasmus+ Programme and we welcome the proposals for the 2021-2027 successor scheme to Erasmus+, which were published on 30 May. We are considering these carefully and will continue to participate in discussions on them while we remain in the EU.

We have also made clear that the government is open to maintaining cooperation in the areas of education and culture, as noted in the Political Declaration on the Future UK-EU relationship.

5th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions (a) he and (b) the Minister for Skills has had with the further education sector on the UK's continued participation in the Erasmus+ programme after the UK leaves the EU.

Officials and I are in regular contact with the Department for Exiting the European Union on issues relating to UK participation in the Erasmus+ programme after the UK leaves the EU. Officials also engage regularly with sector stakeholders.

The government has made clear that it values international exchanges and collaboration as part of its vision for a Global Britain and I am therefore pleased that, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK entities' right to participate in EU programmes during the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), including Erasmus+, will be unaffected by the UK's withdrawal from the EU for the lifetime of projects financed by the current MFF. This will, of course, include the further education sector which is a key part of the current Erasmus+ programme.

As such, following ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK organisations and individuals taking part in the current Erasmus+ programme will be able to continue to bid for funding, participate in and lead consortia, until programme closure in 2020.

The UK is open to exploring participation in the successor scheme to the current Erasmus+ Programme and we welcome the proposals for the 2021-2027 successor scheme to Erasmus+, which were published on 30 May. We are considering these carefully and will continue to participate in discussions on them while we remain in the EU.

We have also made clear that the government is open to maintaining cooperation in the areas of education and culture, as noted in the Political Declaration on the Future UK-EU relationship.

5th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on the UK's continued participation of FE college students in the Erasmus+ Programme.

Officials and I are in regular contact with the Department for Exiting the European Union on issues relating to UK participation in the Erasmus+ programme after the UK leaves the EU. Officials also engage regularly with sector stakeholders.

The government has made clear that it values international exchanges and collaboration as part of its vision for a Global Britain and I am therefore pleased that, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK entities' right to participate in EU programmes during the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), including Erasmus+, will be unaffected by the UK's withdrawal from the EU for the lifetime of projects financed by the current MFF. This will, of course, include the further education sector which is a key part of the current Erasmus+ programme.

As such, following ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK organisations and individuals taking part in the current Erasmus+ programme will be able to continue to bid for funding, participate in and lead consortia, until programme closure in 2020.

The UK is open to exploring participation in the successor scheme to the current Erasmus+ Programme and we welcome the proposals for the 2021-2027 successor scheme to Erasmus+, which were published on 30 May. We are considering these carefully and will continue to participate in discussions on them while we remain in the EU.

We have also made clear that the government is open to maintaining cooperation in the areas of education and culture, as noted in the Political Declaration on the Future UK-EU relationship.

4th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies on affordable student accommodation of the 3 December 2018 Huffington Post article entitled Exclusive: Cost Of Accommodation At Top Universities Soars By Up To 77% During The Past Decade.

Government does not control rents for student accommodation as higher education providers are autonomous bodies, independent from government.

The student funding system makes loans for living costs available as a contribution towards a student’s living costs while attending university. Living costs support increased by 2.8% for 2017/18 and 3.2% for the current, 2018/19, academic year. We have announced a further 2.8% increase for loans for living costs for the 2019/20 academic year – to a record amount.

All universities who wish to charge fees above the basic level are required to have an access and participation plan approved by the Office for Students. Through these plans, universities can fund bursaries for disadvantaged students, such as care leavers.

​The Unistats website provides information about all university courses and includes links to individual websites with details of the costs for student accommodation at a higher education provider.

3rd Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) criteria and (b) guidance his Department has issued to universities on the charging policies and procedures for student accommodation.

The department has regular discussions with the Office for Students (OfS) on a very wide range of issues of importance to students, including matters relating to accommodation.

Higher education providers are autonomous bodies, independent from government; government plays no direct role in the provision of student residential accommodation and does not issue rent charging guidance to universities.

Loans for living costs are a contribution towards a student’s living costs while attending university. The student funding system targets the most support at those from the lowest-income families, who need it most.

Living costs support increased by 10.3% for eligible students on the lowest incomes in 2016/17 compared to the previous system with further increases of 2.8% for 2017/18 and 3.2% for the current, 2018/19, academic year. We have announced a further 2.8% increase for loans for living costs for the 2019/20 academic year – to a record amount.

All universities who wish to charge fees above the basic level are required to have an access and participation plan approved by the OfS. Through these plans, universities can fund bursaries for disadvantaged students, such as care leavers.

3rd Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what monitoring of student higher education accommodation costs is undertaken by his Department.

The department has regular discussions with the Office for Students (OfS) on a very wide range of issues of importance to students, including matters relating to accommodation.

Higher education providers are autonomous bodies, independent from government; government plays no direct role in the provision of student residential accommodation and does not issue rent charging guidance to universities.

Loans for living costs are a contribution towards a student’s living costs while attending university. The student funding system targets the most support at those from the lowest-income families, who need it most.

Living costs support increased by 10.3% for eligible students on the lowest incomes in 2016/17 compared to the previous system with further increases of 2.8% for 2017/18 and 3.2% for the current, 2018/19, academic year. We have announced a further 2.8% increase for loans for living costs for the 2019/20 academic year – to a record amount.

All universities who wish to charge fees above the basic level are required to have an access and participation plan approved by the OfS. Through these plans, universities can fund bursaries for disadvantaged students, such as care leavers.

3rd Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on the finances of students of the increase in the cost of Russell Group Universities halls of residence between 2008 and 2018.

The department has regular discussions with the Office for Students (OfS) on a very wide range of issues of importance to students, including matters relating to accommodation.

Higher education providers are autonomous bodies, independent from government; government plays no direct role in the provision of student residential accommodation and does not issue rent charging guidance to universities.

Loans for living costs are a contribution towards a student’s living costs while attending university. The student funding system targets the most support at those from the lowest-income families, who need it most.

Living costs support increased by 10.3% for eligible students on the lowest incomes in 2016/17 compared to the previous system with further increases of 2.8% for 2017/18 and 3.2% for the current, 2018/19, academic year. We have announced a further 2.8% increase for loans for living costs for the 2019/20 academic year – to a record amount.

All universities who wish to charge fees above the basic level are required to have an access and participation plan approved by the OfS. Through these plans, universities can fund bursaries for disadvantaged students, such as care leavers.

3rd Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Office for Students on the cost of student accommodation at Higher Education Institutions.

The department has regular discussions with the Office for Students (OfS) on a very wide range of issues of importance to students, including matters relating to accommodation.

Higher education providers are autonomous bodies, independent from government; government plays no direct role in the provision of student residential accommodation and does not issue rent charging guidance to universities.

Loans for living costs are a contribution towards a student’s living costs while attending university. The student funding system targets the most support at those from the lowest-income families, who need it most.

Living costs support increased by 10.3% for eligible students on the lowest incomes in 2016/17 compared to the previous system with further increases of 2.8% for 2017/18 and 3.2% for the current, 2018/19, academic year. We have announced a further 2.8% increase for loans for living costs for the 2019/20 academic year – to a record amount.

All universities who wish to charge fees above the basic level are required to have an access and participation plan approved by the OfS. Through these plans, universities can fund bursaries for disadvantaged students, such as care leavers.

20th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with colleagues in the Department of Health on expanding the number of higher education nursing programmes covering learning disability and mental health nursing.

The Secretary of State for Education has not had discussions specifically covering learning disability and mental health nursing programmes expansion. However, nursing continues to be a priority area for investment. The Department for Education and the Department for Health and Social Care are working with Health Education England on a campaign to improve perceptions of nursing, the allied health professions and midwifery and encourage applications to relevant undergraduate courses.

20th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he intends to propose to the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) reviewer that there should be student representation on the advisory group that will be set up for the review of the TEF.

Dame Shirley Pearce is very keen to hear the views of students in the review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework. She will engage with as many students as possible during the review both by encouraging students to respond to the public consultation and by finding a range of other ways to hear the views of students.

Dame Shirley will shortly be announcing the membership of the group that she is establishing to advise her. This group will include a student representative.

20th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Written Statement of 19 November 2018 on TEF reviewer appointment, HLWS1060, what provision will be made for students to give evidence to the review.

Dame Shirley Pearce is very keen to hear the views of students in the review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework. She will engage with as many students as possible during the review both by encouraging students to respond to the public consultation and by finding a range of other ways to hear the views of students.

Dame Shirley will shortly be announcing the membership of the group that she is establishing to advise her. This group will include a student representative.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions (a) he and (b) the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills has had with M&C Saatchi on their contract to relaunch the marketing campaign promoting apprenticeships.

The decision to appoint M&C Saatchi as the lead creative and strategic agency for the apprenticeships marketing campaign followed an independent and impartial, quality assured procurement process led by the Department for Education’s (DfE) strategic communications team. This was conducted via the Campaign Solutions framework co-ordinated by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), which maintains a roster of 27 best-in-class advertising agencies capable of designing and delivering a major national campaign. More information on the framework can be found at: https://ccs-agreements.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/contracts/rm3774.

After an initial engagement meeting with all interested agencies, the brief for the apprenticeships campaign was issued to all 27 agencies on the roster. Three agencies were successful at the first stage and subsequently invited to present their proposals to a team of communications professionals including DfE’s Director of Communications and the Cabinet Office Head of Campaigns. Throughout this process, additional support was provided by professionals from the DfE Commercial Directorate and the CCS. A cross-government team, comprising specialists from the Cabinet Office and Government Communication Service, reviews all proposals for major public-sector communications campaigns to confirm that they represent industry best practice and value for money.

Ministers only meet government contractors once this process has been concluded and a winning bidder notified. M&C Saatchi were notified on 8 June. I subsequently met with the senior account planner from M&C Saatchi on 23 July as part of a regular ministerial apprenticeships ‘stocktake’ meeting. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has not met with representatives of M&C Saatchi.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Written Statement of 19 November 2018, TEF reviewer appointment, HCWS 1089, what ability the independent reviewer will have to share access to speak to (a) providers who are taking part in pilots for the subject-level teaching excellence framework (b) his Department's officials involved in those pilots.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Secretary of State) has appointed Dame Shirley Pearce to report of the operation of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). The scope of her report is set out in section 26(5) of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. As required by section 26 of the Act, Dame Shirley is required to report to the Secretary of State, and he must lay that report before Parliament.

The Post 18 Review is due to conclude in early 2019, which will allow the TEF Independent Reviewer to consider the panel’s recommendations.

As the Independent Reviewer of the TEF, it is for Dame Shirley to decide how her review should operate. She intends to establish a small group of people to advise her. How the group works is entirely for her. Furthermore, Dame Shirley is at liberty to approach whomever she believes can inform her review.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Written Statement of 19 November 2018, TEF reviewer appointment, HCWS 1089, whether the reviewer will report to (a) the House and (b) the Education Committee.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Secretary of State) has appointed Dame Shirley Pearce to report of the operation of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). The scope of her report is set out in section 26(5) of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. As required by section 26 of the Act, Dame Shirley is required to report to the Secretary of State, and he must lay that report before Parliament.

The Post 18 Review is due to conclude in early 2019, which will allow the TEF Independent Reviewer to consider the panel’s recommendations.

As the Independent Reviewer of the TEF, it is for Dame Shirley to decide how her review should operate. She intends to establish a small group of people to advise her. How the group works is entirely for her. Furthermore, Dame Shirley is at liberty to approach whomever she believes can inform her review.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Written Statement of 19 November 2018, TEF reviewer appointment, HCWS 1089, whether the reviewer will have autonomy in the establishment and composition of the advisory group charged in the review's terms of reference with providing advice and helping inform her review.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Secretary of State) has appointed Dame Shirley Pearce to report of the operation of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). The scope of her report is set out in section 26(5) of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. As required by section 26 of the Act, Dame Shirley is required to report to the Secretary of State, and he must lay that report before Parliament.

The Post 18 Review is due to conclude in early 2019, which will allow the TEF Independent Reviewer to consider the panel’s recommendations.

As the Independent Reviewer of the TEF, it is for Dame Shirley to decide how her review should operate. She intends to establish a small group of people to advise her. How the group works is entirely for her. Furthermore, Dame Shirley is at liberty to approach whomever she believes can inform her review.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Written Statement of 19 November 2018, TEF reviewer appointment, HCWS 1089, whether the independent review of the TEF and its reviewer will be able to have access to the deliberations of Philip Aurgar's Review of Post-18 Education and Funding relating to matters pertaining to the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Secretary of State) has appointed Dame Shirley Pearce to report of the operation of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). The scope of her report is set out in section 26(5) of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. As required by section 26 of the Act, Dame Shirley is required to report to the Secretary of State, and he must lay that report before Parliament.

The Post 18 Review is due to conclude in early 2019, which will allow the TEF Independent Reviewer to consider the panel’s recommendations.

As the Independent Reviewer of the TEF, it is for Dame Shirley to decide how her review should operate. She intends to establish a small group of people to advise her. How the group works is entirely for her. Furthermore, Dame Shirley is at liberty to approach whomever she believes can inform her review.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Written Statement of 19 November 2018, TEF reviewer appointment, HCWS 1089, what ability the independent reviewer will have to (a) receive written submissions and (b) commission open hearings.

Dame Shirley is keen to seek views on the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) review from a wide range of people and groups. She intends to invite comments from the sector and the public on the TEF review and has set up a dedicated mailbox: TEF.IndependentReview@education.gov.uk. Dame Shirley also proposes to hold a series of events to seek views from stakeholders including providers, students, employers and others with an interest in standards of teaching in higher education.

14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a phasing in period for higher education Institutions to implement the increased contribution to the teachers pension scheme.

The department will be running a public consultation regarding the funding of the rise in employer contributions for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and has already agreed to delay the introduction of these changes until September 2019. The department will use the consultation to better understand the impact of the proposed changes on the affected English higher education institutions to decide what, if any, action should be taken.

6th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his Department holds on the number of teachers on the (a) main, (b) upper, and (c) leadership pay scales at school level.

The Department holds information on the number of teachers in England in each pay range at a school level.

The following table provides the number of regular teachers in service in state funded schools who are on the (a) main, (b) upper and (c) leadership pay ranges in England in November 2017.

Number of regular teachers in service in state funded schools who are on the main, upper and leadership pay ranges in England in November 2017

Leadership
Pay Range

Main
Pay Range

Upper
Pay Range

Other [1]

Unknown

Total

England[2]

69,521

170,910

177,941

45,470

36,070

499,912

Source: School Workforce Census

Academies are not obliged to use the pay ranges required in LA-maintained schools, though many academies use similar pay.

[1] Includes leading practitioner and unqualified pay ranges.

[2] Excludes centrally employed staff.

6th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of higher education institutions at risk of insolvency in the next three years.

I refer the hon. Member for Blackpool South to the answer I gave on 12 November to Question 188033.

6th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to reports in the i newspaper of 1 November 2018 that three universities are on the brink of bankruptcy, what recent discussions (a) he or (b) the Minister for Universities has had with the Office for Students on the financial sustainability of the university sector.

I refer the hon. Member for Blackpool South to the answer I gave on 12 November to Question 188033.

6th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to respond to the recommendations of the project on flexible learning published by the CBI and Universities UK on 26 October 2018.

The Review of Post-18 Education and Funding is considering how to further encourage learning that is more flexible, like part-time, distance learning and commuter study options. We do not plan to respond specifically to the recommendations of the CBI and Universities UK project.We know that studying part-time and later in life can bring considerable benefits for individuals, employers and the wider economy.

We have already adopted a number of measures to support part-time students. This academic year, for example, part-time students will – for the first time ever – be able to access full-time equivalent maintenance loans.

The Office for Students also targets an element of the Teaching Grant to recognise the additional costs of part-time study. In 2017/18 £72 million was made available, and the same amount was allocated in 2018/19 for this purpose.

The government launched a review of Level 4–5 education in October 2017 to examine how classroom-based level 4 and 5 education, particularly technical education, meets the needs of learners and employers. The Level 4–5 review and the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding will work closely together to ensure a coherent vision for Further and Higher Education.

6th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with the Chief Inspector of OFSTED on the financial sustainability of the further education sector.

There have been no substantial discussions between my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, or other ministers, and the Chief Inspector of Ofsted on the financial sustainability of the further education sector.

We have been working to improve the financial resilience of the further education sector. We have already invested over £330 million to support college restructuring following the area review process. We are now considering the final applications for restructuring support, and expect the final figure to rise significantly before the programme ends next year.

5th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions (a) he and (b) the Minister responsible for higher education has had with the Office for Students on universities that have experienced a decline in student numbers of more than 10 per cent since 2012.

​In the new higher education (HE) regulatory framework, the Office for Students (OfS) has responsibilities to monitor and assess the financial viability of registered providers. In this work, the OfS as regulator, rather than the department, takes into account the individual circumstances of each provider applying to be on the new register of publicly-funded providers. It will therefore have taken into account the financial viability and individual circumstances of the twelve English universities that have experienced a decline in student numbers of more than 10 per cent since 2012.

We have also given the OfS powers to ensure that registered providers have plans in place to protect their students, via appropriately constructed student protection plans. Where the OfS identifies particular risks to a provider’s financial sustainability, the student protection plan may need to be strengthened in a tailored way before it can be agreed. The requirement by the OfS that all registered providers have a student protection plan means that for the first time in the higher education sector there will be a consistent sector-wide approach to student protection arrangements.

It is the responsibility of Vice-Chancellors and HE provider leaders to ensure their institutions are financially viable. We will not prop up failing providers.

​I meet regularly with the Chair and Chief Executive of the OfS to discuss the full range of issues relevant to the higher education sector. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State also has similar meetings.

5th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps he has taken to ensure the financial sustainability of universities.

​In the new higher education (HE) regulatory framework, the Office for Students (OfS) has responsibilities to monitor and assess the financial viability of registered providers. In this work, the OfS as regulator, rather than the department, takes into account the individual circumstances of each provider applying to be on the new register of publicly-funded providers. It will therefore have taken into account the financial viability and individual circumstances of the twelve English universities that have experienced a decline in student numbers of more than 10 per cent since 2012.

We have also given the OfS powers to ensure that registered providers have plans in place to protect their students, via appropriately constructed student protection plans. Where the OfS identifies particular risks to a provider’s financial sustainability, the student protection plan may need to be strengthened in a tailored way before it can be agreed. The requirement by the OfS that all registered providers have a student protection plan means that for the first time in the higher education sector there will be a consistent sector-wide approach to student protection arrangements.

It is the responsibility of Vice-Chancellors and HE provider leaders to ensure their institutions are financially viable. We will not prop up failing providers.

​I meet regularly with the Chair and Chief Executive of the OfS to discuss the full range of issues relevant to the higher education sector. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State also has similar meetings.

5th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to protect students at universities on the brink of bankruptcy.

​In the new higher education (HE) regulatory framework, the Office for Students (OfS) has responsibilities to monitor and assess the financial viability of registered providers. In this work, the OfS as regulator, rather than the department, takes into account the individual circumstances of each provider applying to be on the new register of publicly-funded providers. It will therefore have taken into account the financial viability and individual circumstances of the twelve English universities that have experienced a decline in student numbers of more than 10 per cent since 2012.

We have also given the OfS powers to ensure that registered providers have plans in place to protect their students, via appropriately constructed student protection plans. Where the OfS identifies particular risks to a provider’s financial sustainability, the student protection plan may need to be strengthened in a tailored way before it can be agreed. The requirement by the OfS that all registered providers have a student protection plan means that for the first time in the higher education sector there will be a consistent sector-wide approach to student protection arrangements.

It is the responsibility of Vice-Chancellors and HE provider leaders to ensure their institutions are financially viable. We will not prop up failing providers.

​I meet regularly with the Chair and Chief Executive of the OfS to discuss the full range of issues relevant to the higher education sector. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State also has similar meetings.

5th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support the 17 universities with a decline in student numbers of more than 10 per cent since 2012.

​In the new higher education (HE) regulatory framework, the Office for Students (OfS) has responsibilities to monitor and assess the financial viability of registered providers. In this work, the OfS as regulator, rather than the department, takes into account the individual circumstances of each provider applying to be on the new register of publicly-funded providers. It will therefore have taken into account the financial viability and individual circumstances of the twelve English universities that have experienced a decline in student numbers of more than 10 per cent since 2012.

We have also given the OfS powers to ensure that registered providers have plans in place to protect their students, via appropriately constructed student protection plans. Where the OfS identifies particular risks to a provider’s financial sustainability, the student protection plan may need to be strengthened in a tailored way before it can be agreed. The requirement by the OfS that all registered providers have a student protection plan means that for the first time in the higher education sector there will be a consistent sector-wide approach to student protection arrangements.

It is the responsibility of Vice-Chancellors and HE provider leaders to ensure their institutions are financially viable. We will not prop up failing providers.

​I meet regularly with the Chair and Chief Executive of the OfS to discuss the full range of issues relevant to the higher education sector. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State also has similar meetings.

5th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his officials have had with the CBI on the content of that organisation's education and skills annual report published this month.

My officials have not discussed the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) education and skills annual report with the CBI. We are aware of the need to deliver a national policy that is effective and delivers the cultural change in adult skills that is needed. That is why the National Retraining Scheme is being driven by a key partnership between the CBI, Trade Union Congress and government who are working together to develop a national policy that will genuinely make a difference.

We have also recently published findings from our Employer Skills Survey, which interviewed over 87,000 employers about their skills needs and challenges: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employer-skills-survey-2017-uk-report. The survey findings will inform various Department for Education policies including the science, technology, engineering and mathematics strategy.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of apprenticeship levy funds were spent by non-levy payers in 2017-18.

Since May 2018, levy-paying employers have been able to transfer up to 10% of their unused apprenticeship service funds to non-levy paying employer(s) to pay for the training and assessment cost of the apprenticeships agreed with the receiving employer. From May 2018, when the employers became able to make levy transfers, to July 2018 [2017-18 Academic Year] less than 1% of levy funds in employer apprenticeship service accounts were used to fund apprenticeships in this way for non-levy paying employers.

Other than through a levy transfer from a levy paying employer, apprenticeship levy funds cannot be accessed by non-levy paying employers. More information on how transfers work can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transferring-apprenticeship-service-funds.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the appointment process was for the chief executive of the Student Loans Company.

The Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company (SLC) is an appointment for the SLC Board, which is approved by the Secretary of State for Education.

As part of the recruitment process, the candidates were subjected to a full interview (with panel members consisting of SLC representatives, a Department for Education representative, and an independent panel member). In addition they were subjected to psychometric, numeracy and verbal reasoning tests; a psychologist interview and evaluation; a staff panel interview; social media checks and full reference checks.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the appropriateness of the Student Loans Company gathering evidence from applicants' social media as part of its loan approval process.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) does not gather evidence from applicants' social media as part of its standard loan approval process. The SLC operates extensive controls to reduce the risk of fraud, and from time to time SLC checks publicly available information, including publicly available information on applicants’ social media, as part of counter fraud and audit measures. This is a proportionate and effective way of detecting and preventing certain types of fraud. In September, a representative of the Office for Students attended a meeting of the SLC’s Vulnerable Students Stakeholder Group, of which the department is a member, to discuss the way in which these checks are carried out.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with the Student Loans Company on the parameters of that company's gathering of evidence from applicants' social media as part of its loan approval process.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) does not gather evidence from applicants' social media as part of its standard loan approval process. The SLC operates extensive controls to reduce the risk of fraud, and from time to time SLC checks publicly available information, including publicly available information on applicants’ social media, as part of counter fraud and audit measures. This is a proportionate and effective way of detecting and preventing certain types of fraud. In September, a representative of the Office for Students attended a meeting of the SLC’s Vulnerable Students Stakeholder Group, of which the department is a member, to discuss the way in which these checks are carried out.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with the Office for Students on the effect on student protections of the Student Loans Company gathering evidence from applicants' social media as part of its loan approval process.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) does not gather evidence from applicants' social media as part of its standard loan approval process. The SLC operates extensive controls to reduce the risk of fraud, and from time to time SLC checks publicly available information, including publicly available information on applicants’ social media, as part of counter fraud and audit measures. This is a proportionate and effective way of detecting and preventing certain types of fraud. In September, a representative of the Office for Students attended a meeting of the SLC’s Vulnerable Students Stakeholder Group, of which the department is a member, to discuss the way in which these checks are carried out.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the £475 million for schools capital funding in his 2018 Autumn Budget to FE Colleges.

General further education (FE) colleges have separate capital arrangements. Skills capital for FE colleges is delivered through the Local Growth Fund, devolved to Local Enterprise Partnerships to spend on their capital priorities. This year, the government has made available £130 million in skills capital funding through this route.

In October 2018, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State announced an additional £38 million in capital funding to help ensure that the group of 2020 T level providers, including FE colleges, have the equipment and facilities necessary to deliver T levels from September 2020.

My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Budget that an additional £400 million will be made available to schools and sixth form colleges in England in 2018-19 to spend on capital projects to meet their own priorities.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to include grade inflation as a criterion measured by the Teaching Excellence Framework.

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) includes supplementary data about grade inflation as a measure to aid assessors in making judgements about the TEF criterion on ‘Rigour and Stretch’. The independent panel will take this data into account, alongside other evidence, as part of their holistic judgement to produce a TEF rating, during the TEF assessment process.

The scope of the report that the reviewer will prepare is set out in Section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. This includes a review of the TEF process and the sources of statistical information used in that process. The reviewer may also consider other matters that they consider relevant.

The membership of the panel and subject pilot panels for TEF for academic year 2017/18 is published by the Office for Students (OfS) on its website. The OfS is currently in the process of recruiting panel members for academic year 2018/19.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to include the incidence of grade inflation in his review of the teaching excellence framework.

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) includes supplementary data about grade inflation as a measure to aid assessors in making judgements about the TEF criterion on ‘Rigour and Stretch’. The independent panel will take this data into account, alongside other evidence, as part of their holistic judgement to produce a TEF rating, during the TEF assessment process.

The scope of the report that the reviewer will prepare is set out in Section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. This includes a review of the TEF process and the sources of statistical information used in that process. The reviewer may also consider other matters that they consider relevant.

The membership of the panel and subject pilot panels for TEF for academic year 2017/18 is published by the Office for Students (OfS) on its website. The OfS is currently in the process of recruiting panel members for academic year 2018/19.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the membership of the panel of the teaching excellence framework.

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) includes supplementary data about grade inflation as a measure to aid assessors in making judgements about the TEF criterion on ‘Rigour and Stretch’. The independent panel will take this data into account, alongside other evidence, as part of their holistic judgement to produce a TEF rating, during the TEF assessment process.

The scope of the report that the reviewer will prepare is set out in Section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. This includes a review of the TEF process and the sources of statistical information used in that process. The reviewer may also consider other matters that they consider relevant.

The membership of the panel and subject pilot panels for TEF for academic year 2017/18 is published by the Office for Students (OfS) on its website. The OfS is currently in the process of recruiting panel members for academic year 2018/19.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of teachers are on the (a) main, (b) upper, and (c) leadership pay scales in (i) the UK, (ii) each region of the UK and (iii) in each local authority.

The attached table provides the number and proportion of full and part-time regular teachers in service in state funded schools who are paid on the (a) main, (b) upper and (c) leadership pay ranges in each region, in each local authority and in England in November 2017. Within the table, the ‘Other’ column includes the leading practitioners[1] and unqualified teachers[2] pay ranges and the ‘Unknown’ column relates to invalid codes entered by schools during the collection process that were not amended by the schools after being identified as invalid.

Figures for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are a matter for the devolved administrations.

[1] Leading practitioners are qualified teachers who are employed in posts that the relevant body has determined have the primary purpose of modelling and leading improvement of teaching skills.

[2] Unqualified teachers are teachers who are not a qualified teacher and who is prescribed by Order under section 122(5) of the Act as a school teacher for the purposes of that section.

23rd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the amount allocated for advanced learner loans in (a) 2014-15, (b) 2015-16, (c) 2016-17, (d) 2017-18 and (e) 2018-19; and for each of those years what the total amount of funding taken up by learners was.

The department accounts for Advanced Learner Loans funding as annually managed expenditure, due to their demand-led nature and inherent volatility. The department forecasts annual outlay for Advanced Learner Loans.

The attached table, in Annex A, sets out the Advanced Learner Loans outlay for 2014/15 to 2017/18, and the forecast outlay for 2018/19. The table relates to loan issuance values only and excludes repayments received.

23rd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding his Department plans to allocate for the recruitment of additional specialist teachers for T Levels in Colleges.

We are investing up to £20 million over the two years to March 2020 to support providers as they prepare for the introduction of T levels. This includes a new, bespoke programme of professional development to help improve the knowledge and skills of those teaching T levels, as well as our new £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme. This programme will support up to 150 industry professionals to train to teach in the further education (FE) sector.

Although FE institutions are private sector organisations responsible for their own workforce planning, we are working closely with providers, including the first T level providers, to understand how best we can support the effective recruitment, retention and development of the teachers and leaders that the sector needs to secure the best possible outcomes for learners. We will be looking carefully at these issues in the forthcoming Spending Review.

23rd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the level of recruitment of teachers for T Levels in colleges.

We are investing up to £20 million over the two years to March 2020 to support providers as they prepare for the introduction of T levels. This includes a new, bespoke programme of professional development to help improve the knowledge and skills of those teaching T levels, as well as our new £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme. This programme will support up to 150 industry professionals to train to teach in the further education (FE) sector.

Although FE institutions are private sector organisations responsible for their own workforce planning, we are working closely with providers, including the first T level providers, to understand how best we can support the effective recruitment, retention and development of the teachers and leaders that the sector needs to secure the best possible outcomes for learners. We will be looking carefully at these issues in the forthcoming Spending Review.

23rd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that Aspire Achieve Advance apprentices are able to complete their apprenticeship qualifications after the provider ceased trading.

We want to help support all Aspire Achieve Advance apprentices and to ensure minimum disruption to their learning. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has established a specialist taskforce to make sure that apprentices can continue their programmes with alternative providers. The ESFA has written to all affected employers and learners to provide them with reassurance and explain the next steps. The ESFA has also set up a dedicated email address for enquiries from concerned apprentices, parents, or employers. The ESFA is also working with employers and providers to ensure apprentices are transferred to new providers as quickly as possible.

16th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress he has made on appointing the Chair of the Independent Review into the Teaching Excellence Framework.

We have made excellent progress in appointing an independent reviewer of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework and I hope to make an announcement shortly.

19th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that colleges remain sufficiently protected from cyber-attack should any college choose to opt out of the forthcoming Jisc subscription.

At present further education colleges benefit from the high quality of cyber-security offered through Jisc. Once subscriptions are introduced, we will continue to provide grant funding to cover the bulk of Jisc’s costs, including cyber-security. Any college who chooses to opt out from using Jisc services will need to ensure they have an appropriate level of cyber-security in place in order to safeguard their systems, staff and learners.

18th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the increase in management apprenticeship starts since May 2017 on the takeup of apprenticeships at other levels.

The rise in numbers of apprenticeship starts at higher levels (4 and above) is good news - showing a healthier balance across all levels, helping people progress to higher skills. 90 per cent of starts remain at levels 2 and 3.

The apprenticeship system has deliberately been designed to be employer-led. Employers are best placed to understand their own skills needs and to choose the apprenticeships to develop their own talent – whether that involves recruiting new people or re-training and upskilling existing staff.

18th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will increase the length of time for responses to Ofqual’s T Level consultation.

Ofqual is an independent body. Arrangements for consultations carried out by Ofqual do not fall within ministerial control.

Ofqual has a statutory duty to consult on the conditions they intend to set for accreditation of technical qualifications and is aligning its arrangements with the timetable for Invitations to Tender for the first wave of technical qualifications, to ensure that potential bidders are aware of the Ofqual requirements in preparing their bids.

Ofqual has already held a series of pre-consultation events to test the potential changes to their conditions with stakeholders. Throughout the consultation period Ofqual is also running a series of consultation events with education providers to provide further opportunities for them to comment on the consultation and have their views heard.

18th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the decrease in the number of mature students applying to university in 2018-19.

The rise in the entry rate of 18 year olds to full-time university every year since 2012, and a total proportional increase of 20% between 2012 and 2017, means that there is a reduced pool of suitable qualified mature applicants to enter in subsequent years. It is also important to note that a large proportion of mature applicants normally apply for places later in the year.

The Universities and College Admissions Service plan to publish insights about the most important factors influencing the application choices of mature students later this year.

Studying later in life can bring enormous benefits for individuals, the economy and employers. We are therefore taking a number of steps to support mature students and allow them to access and succeed within higher education.

In our first guidance to the Office for Students (OfS) (published 28 February 2018), which sets out our priorities for access and participation plans for 2019/20, we have asked the OfS to encourage higher education providers to consider the recruitment and support of mature learners.

We are also removing barriers to accelerated courses. Evidence shows that accelerated courses appeal particularly to mature students who want to retrain and enter the workplace more quickly than a traditional course would permit.

18th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps is he taking to help reduce the numbers of 16-24 year olds not in education, employment or training.

The government has raised the participation age to make sure that all young people are supported to continue their education until at least age 18, and invested £7 billion during academic year 2017/18 so there is a place in education or training for every 16 to 19 year old.

Local authorities (LAs) have statutory duties to identify and track the participation of 16 and 17 year olds, supporting those not participating to do so and making sure that there is sufficient, suitable education and training provision to meet their needs. The September Guarantee places a further duty on LAs to ensure that all year 11 pupils (and year 12 pupils on one year courses) receive an offer of a place in education/training for the following September. It aims to ensure that all young people, regardless of what they achieved in school, understand that there are opportunities that will help them to progress, and to ensure that they get the advice and support they need to find a suitable place.

A range of provision is available for young people aged 16 to 24 to equip them with the skills and experience they need to progress. This includes Traineeships which provide unemployed young people with employability training, work experience and English and maths; and Supported Internships which offer tailored support for young people aged 16 to 25 who have special educational needs and disabilities. In addition, young people aged 19 to 23 are funded to gain a first full level 2 or 3 qualification; English and maths training is funded for young people who have not achieved a level 2 standard; and a range of employability training is available to support young people who are unemployed into work.

18th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of implications for his policies on criteria for transitional funding in the first two years for areas having a devolved adult education budget of the WEA's latest impact report on its disadvantaged students.

From 2019/20, Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) will be responsible for commissioning and funding Adult Education Budget (AEB) provision for learners resident in those areas, including disadvantaged learners, and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will be responsible for funding provision for learners resident in non-devolved areas.

The exception to this are providers which meet the following criteria, which will be funded nationally by the ESFA for a transitional period of two years (academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21) following devolution of the AEB:

  • qualify for a residential uplift for their learning provision, and
  • receive more than two thirds of their income from the AEB, and
  • predominantly target their provision at the most disadvantaged in society.

There are no plans to change this criteria.

Providers who do not meet this criteria, such as the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), are able to work with the MCAs and GLA to support them to deliver the skills and learning needed at a local level to meet their strategic skills plans. If the WEA wish to be considered for AEB funding in devolved areas then they can demonstrate the ways in which they can contribute to meeting skills needs locally with the MCAs and GLA including sharing the findings of their latest impact report on disadvantaged students.

17th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprenticeship standards have been submitted for approval in the past 18 months; and how many of those submissions have been approved.

This is a matter for the Institute for Apprenticeships. I have asked its Chief Executive, Sir Gerry Berragan, to write to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

17th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will review the 10 per cent co-investment fee for non-apprenticeship levy paying SMEs.

Co-investment is an important part of our apprenticeship reforms and ensures that employers take ownership of their apprenticeship training by making a financial contribution towards it. We know that small businesses place great value on apprenticeships and are prepared to invest in them.

For the smallest employers with fewer than 50 employees, the government already contributes 100 per cent of the cost of training for apprentices who are: 16 to 18 years old, 19 to 24 year old care leavers or 19 to 24 year olds with an education, health and care plan.

In addition, non-levy paying employers receiving transfers from larger levy paying employers can use these transferred funds to cover 100 per cent of apprenticeship costs.

17th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to tackle reductions in level 2 apprenticeship starts since May 2017.

There have been 338,400 apprenticeship starts since May 2017 of which 132,900 were on new apprenticeship standards. The fall in starts has been greatest in Level 2 while we have seen the numbers of starts on higher level standards (Level 4 and above) rise by 12.5 per cent so far this year.

Starts on new better quality apprenticeships standards have increased rapidly. Over 40 per cent of individuals completing an apprenticeship are now starting on standards, compared to just 2.5 per cent this time last year. Higher quality training leads to increased productivity, at every level.

The department is working with employers to make sure that they can take advantage of apprenticeships. We have already extended the amount of time employers have to spend their levy (from 18 to 24 months), and have introduced transfers, to allow employers to transfer up to 10 per cent of their annual value of levy funds to other employers and recently announced that the cap on the number of employers to whom transfers can be made has been lifted.

The Institute for Apprenticeships has introduced its Faster and Better campaign to speed up and simplify the approval of standards development: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/about/faster-and-better/. 50 standards have been approved in the last three months (April-June 2018). Over 300 standards are already approved, in all sectors of the economy - with more on the way. We have run extensive communications campaigns since the reforms were introduced and will be commencing the latest phase of our ‘Get in Go Far’ marketing campaign shortly.

17th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills has had with ESFA officials on the position of continued transitional funding for the WEA in areas of England affected by the devolution of the adult education budget from 2019-20.

From 2019-20, Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) will be responsible for commissioning and funding adult education budget (AEB) provision for learners resident in those areas, and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will be responsible for funding provision for learners resident in non-devolved areas.

The exception to this are providers which meet the following criteria, which will be funded nationally by the ESFA for a transitional period of two years (academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21) following devolution of the AEB:

  • Qualify for a residential uplift for their learning provision, and
  • Receive more than two thirds of their income from the AEB, and
  • Predominantly target their provision at the most disadvantaged in society.

We considered an additional period of two years of national funding would be in the learners’ best interests, in order to avoid destabilising provision to vulnerable learners and to allow time for MCAs to better understand the specialist nature of the provision they deliver.

The Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) does not meet the above criteria and from 2019/20 will be eligible to receive its AEB funding from MCAs/GLA for learners resident in those areas, and from the ESFA for learners resident in non-devolved areas. The ESFA wrote to AEB providers in June 2018, including the WEA, to explain how AEB allocations for 2019/20 for learners resident in non-devolved areas will be calculated, in order to help their planning for devolution.

When MCAs and the GLA take decisions about AEB allocations to providers from 2019/20 onwards the devolution deal readiness conditions include requirements on them to make sure:

  • devolved funding decisions take account of the need to maintain a sustainable and financially viable 16+ provider base, and
  • funding and provider management arrangements, including securing financial assurance, are agreed in a way that minimises costs and maximises consistency and transparency.

I have been advised by the ESFA on these arrangements and the department and ESFA officials are continuing to work closely on the implementation of devolution of the AEB.

3rd Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether employers will still be able to claim funding for apprentices from the EU that start in 2019 for the duration of their apprenticeship.

We have agreed to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement. During the implementation period, EU citizens coming to the UK and UK nationals going to the EU will be able to live, work and study broadly as they do now. Therefore, employers taking on apprentices who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, will continue to be able to access funding beyond March 2019. Once an eligible individual has started an apprenticeship, we will always fund them through to completion as long as they retain their eligibility to work in UK.

2nd Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether non-UK EU students starting academic or technical courses ‎in college or school sixth forms in 2019 will continue to be eligible for funding until they finish their course.

In order to be eligible for funding for 16-19 education and training a student must have the legal right to be resident in the United Kingdom at the start of their study programme. A non-UK EU citizen legally resident in the UK at the start of their course will continue to be eligible for the duration of their course.

The published document 'Funding guidance for young people 2018 to 2019: funding regulations' sets out the eligibility rules that apply for all of the funding year, from 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2019, and states that EU and EEA nationals are eligible for funding for this period. We expect to publish the guidance for 2019 to 2020 in spring 2019.

25th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) staff and (b) full-time equivalent staff are employed in (i) payroll and (ii) non-payroll back-office functions in the Construction Industry Training Board.

This is a matter for the Construction Industry Training Board. I have asked the Chief Executive, Sarah Beale, to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

25th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) staff and (b) full-time equivalent staff are employed in (i) payroll and (ii) non-payroll back-office functions in the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board.

This is a matter for the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board. I have asked the Chief Executive, Chris Claydon, to write to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

25th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) staff and (b) full-time equivalent staff are employed in (i) payroll and (ii) non-payroll back-office functions in the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

This is a matter for the Institute for Apprenticeships. I have asked the Chief Executive, Sir Gerry Berragan, to write to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

25th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) staff and (b) full-time equivalent staff are employed in (i) payroll and (ii) non-payroll back-office functions in the Office for Students.

This is a matter for the Office for Students. I have asked the Chief Executive, Nicola Dandridge CBE to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

21st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether confidential personal information relating to (a) Higher Education personnel and (b) students may be provided by the Office for Students to (i) Pearson Limited, (ii) the HMRC, (iii) student loans company and (iv) other persons prescribed the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (Cooperation and Information Sharing) Regulations 2018.

The purpose of Section 63(4) is to enable the Office for Students (OfS) to provide information to other specified bodies for the purposes of their own important functions, such as investigating fraud. Section 63 does not place limitations on the type of information that may be provided, and therefore it could include personal data. These regulations allow data sharing, they do not oblige it. In practice, the OfS considers that it is unlikely that personal data would routinely be shared with non-government bodies under these regulations. They are in place for circumstances where the OfS or the organisation has identified serious concerns (such as fraud or malpractice) by a provider or its students.

The provision of any personal information must be in accordance with data protection legislation, (such as the General Data Protection Regulation) which imposes strict conditions on the processing of personal information.

We understand that the OfS will publish its collaboration agreements with other bodies on its website and these will set out how the organisations will work together and whether there is also a data sharing agreement in place.

21st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (Cooperation and Information Sharing) Regulations 2018, what data the Office for Students will be able to pass on to trading standards (weights and measures); and for what purpose that data will be used.

The purpose of Section 63(4) is to enable the Office for Students (OfS) to provide information to other specified bodies for the purposes of their own important functions, such as investigating fraud. Section 63 does not place limitations on the type of information that may be provided, and therefore it could include personal data. These regulations allow data sharing, they do not oblige it. In practice, the OfS considers that it is unlikely that personal data would routinely be shared with non-government bodies under these regulations. They are in place for circumstances where the OfS or the organisation has identified serious concerns (such as fraud or malpractice) by a provider or its students.

The provision of any personal information must be in accordance with data protection legislation, (such as the General Data Protection Regulation) which imposes strict conditions on the processing of personal information.

We understand that the OfS will publish its collaboration agreements with other bodies on its website and these will set out how the organisations will work together and whether there is also a data sharing agreement in place.

21st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what conditions of use have been agreed with Pearson Ltd in relation to personal confidential data that company will receive under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (Cooperation and Information Sharing) Regulations 2018.

The Office for Students (OfS) will be able to share personal data with Pearson in their capacity as an awarding body. It is anticipated that this data will primarily be for the purposes of the assessment of the quality and standards of the provider’s provision or of its propriety relating to genuine students being registered by providers for the qualifications.

When sharing this information the OfS is required to comply with data protection principles, and to have regard to its general duties under Section 2 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, including regulating providers in a transparent, accountable, proportionate and consistent manner.

We understand that the OfS will publish its collaboration agreements with other bodies on its website and these will set out how the organisations will work together and whether there is also a data sharing agreement in place.

21st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department consulted (a) universities (b) student bodies or (c) UCAS on the powers relating to personal confidential data awarded to the Office for Students under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (Cooperation and Information Sharing) Regulations 2018.

Information sharing was noted in the consultation, ‘Securing student success: risk-based regulation for teaching excellence, social mobility and informed choice in higher education’ (P133, published 19 October 2017).

Policy officials have worked closely with colleagues in the Office for Students (OfS) to determine what historical, and new, information sharing requirements may be required to ensure the OfS can do its job well, including protecting the interest of students and taxpayers. Officials and Ministers have regular meetings and interactions with universities and student bodies, and work closely with UCAS.

Section 63 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, which contains the powers under which the regulations are made, underwent parliamentary scrutiny as a Bill before it received Royal Assent.

21st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) payroll staff in back-office functions, (b) non-payroll staff in back-office functions there are in the Student Loans Company; and what the full-time equivalent is for payroll and non-payroll staff employed by that company.

The number of payroll and non-payroll in back-office functions within the Student Loans Company (SLC) are as follows:

Headcount

Full Time Equivalent

Employee (Payroll)

669

649.95

Contractors (Non-Payroll)

11

11

Service Agreements* (Non-Payroll)

392

392

* Service Agreements refer to staff employed by a third party company, who have a contract to deliver work packages for the SLC.

For the purposes of this question, we have defined ‘back-office functions’ to include HR, finance, legal and other corporate services, as well as staff responsible for IT change and development programmes.

18th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on current visa requirements for Indian people studying in the UK.

My officials and I regularly meet with the Home Office to discuss a range of issues regarding overseas students at UK universities, including visas and UK immigration policy. There remains no limit to the number of genuine international students who can come to the UK to study and the government has no plans to limit any institution’s ability to recruit them.

The government fully recognises the important economic and cultural contribution that international students make to the UK’s higher education sector. We welcome the increase in study related visa applications from Indian students since last year and the fact that over 90% of Indian students who apply for a UK visa get one. This shows that international students continue to recognise the benefits of studying in the UK, and are responding to our excellent higher education offer.

14th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to review the adequacy of support for disabled students in its review of post-18 education and funding.

The government is committed to ensuring that all students with disabilities receive the best possible support to enable them to study alongside their fellow students on an equal basis.

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are available to help disabled students in higher education with the additional study costs they may face due to their disabilities. Alongside DSAs, disabled students can also expect their higher education providers to support them through reasonable adjustments and inclusive good practice in teaching and learning. Higher education providers have received additional funding from the former Higher Education Funding Council for England to support disabled students. We have commissioned an evaluation of DSAs, seeking disabled students’ views on support received from DSAs as well as from their higher education providers. This report will be published later in the summer of 2018. In parallel, the review of post-18 education and funding will look at how we can ensure a joined-up education system that works for everyone and is accessible to all.

14th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Office for Students on the adequacy of the metrics for the Teaching Excellence Framework.

To enable students to make the best decisions about their future, it is important that they have consistent independent information about the courses they are considering. The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) metrics focus on what matters to students: teaching quality, the learning experience, and student outcomes. The development of subject-level TEF will give students more information than ever before.

The department has worked collaboratively with the Office for Students (OfS), and the Higher Education Funding Council for England before that, throughout the development of the TEF.

The metrics used for TEF assessments are all well-established, widely used and trusted in the HE sector. We consulted the sector extensively on the design of TEF, including the metrics to be used, in 2016. We have recently concluded a consultation on subject-level TEF and the OfS has completed the first year of the pilot of subject-level TEF. Findings from those exercises, including on the operation of the metrics, will be shared between the department and OfS and will inform the further development of the TEF.

14th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the (a) Association of Employment and Learning Providers, (b) Association of Colleges and (c) EEF on the level of apprenticeship starts since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.

I and my other ministers in the department meet regularly with the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, the Association of Colleges, and the Education Endowment Foundation to discuss a range of matters including apprenticeships.

All of these groups are working with senior officials through our Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board to discuss a range of apprenticeship issues.

Discussions included how we can make best use of the apprenticeship levy to deliver high quality apprenticeships at all levels.

13th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who is providing the secretariat to the Government's review of post-18 education and funding.

The terms of reference for the post-18 education and funding review sets out that it is led by the Department for Education and will report to the my right hon. Friends, the Secretary of State for Education, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister.

13th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussion (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with (i) sixth-form colleges and (ii) representative bodies of sixth-form colleges on the effect of the introduction of T-levels on the (A) intake and (B) curriculum of those colleges.

Ministers and officials work with a range of organisations in relation to T Level implementation and meet regularly with representatives from the Sixth Form College Association.

The department held a series of engagement events as part of the T Level consultation process earlier this year and a number of sixth form colleges attended these. The department will consult on the arrangements for T Level funding in the autumn and sixth form colleges and their representatives will have the opportunity to offer their views on this.

We recently announced the first providers to deliver T Levels in 2020 and six of these are sixth form colleges. We will work closely with these organisations to test and shape specific elements of the T Level programme.

13th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on further education of the 33 per cent decline in the number of Level 3 qualifications awarded to adults between 2010-11 and 2016-17.

Funding is in place to support adult learning through the Adult Education Budget and Advanced Learner Loans and we are doing more to encourage adults into learning and retraining.

We have recently announced major reviews into post-18 funding and Level 4/5 provision which aim to make sure all stages of tertiary education are adequately supported. This will provide learners with the best chance in life and make sure the economy has the skills base it needs to thrive. Together with ongoing sector support, this will take us further towards increased awareness and take-up of adult learning opportunities.

We are also investing in identifying the barriers to adult learning – at the Spring Budget 2017 we announced Career Learning Pilots to test new approaches to tackling the barriers to learning for adults over the next two years. The Flexible Learning Fund, is providing funding of £11.7 million to support 32 innovative projects across England. The Fund is encouraging more people to take part in new training or courses that will help them progress in current employment or secure a new job. It will will provide important evidence about what works, and what does not, to tackle the barriers that prevent adults from accessing learning, which will support the development of the National Retraining Scheme.

13th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Office for Students on the merits of observing teaching as an element for assessment in the teaching excellence framework.

Higher Education (HE) institutions, as independent and autonomous bodies, are responsible for the range and quality of the courses they deliver. Assessing the performance of an institution through observation would jeopardise the autonomy of the HE sector.

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) uses a range of existing metrics related to teaching and learning to make an assessment of teaching excellence, alongside a submission of evidence from the providers themselves. The metrics used for the assessment are all well-established, widely used and trusted in the HE sector. The department consulted extensively on the metrics used in the TEF.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education has not discussed with the Office for Students, the observation of teachers as an additional element within the TEF.



13th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with representatives of the (a) CBI and (b) TUC on the level of apprenticeship starts since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.

I, and my other ministers in the Department for Education (DfE) meet regularly and frequently with the Confederation of British Industry and other representative organisations including the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to discuss a range of matters including apprenticeships. Discussions have included how we can make best use of the apprenticeship levy to deliver three million high quality apprenticeships.

The TUC also works with DfE at a senior official level through our Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board to discuss a range of apprenticeship issues.

6th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with (a) the Director for Fair Access and Participation and (b) the Office for Students on strengthening university programmes aimed at potential applicants between the ages of 11 and 16 from disadvantaged black, working-class white and other communities.

This government is committed to widening participation to higher education for students from disadvantaged and under-represented groups. We want everyone with the potential to have the opportunity to benefit from a university education, regardless of background or where they grew up.

In our first guidance to the Office for Students (OfS) we have asked them to challenge higher education (HE) providers to drive more progress through their Access and Participation Plans. Prior attainment is a critical factor in entering higher education and we are asking providers to take on a more direct role in raising attainment in schools as part of their outreach activity. The OfS have also established the National Collaborative Outreach Programme to target areas where progression into higher education is low overall and lower than expected given typical GCSE attainment rates.

Through the Higher Education and Research Act, we have introduced a Transparency Duty requiring higher education providers to publish data on application, offer, acceptance, dropout and attainment rates of students by ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background. This will hold the sector to account for their record on access and retention of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and shine a light on where they need to go further.

Officials and I are in regular contact with the OfS, including the Director for Fair Access and Participation, and the higher education sector to discuss issues around widening access.

6th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with universities and their representative bodies on extending their outreach activities for disadvantaged groups of young people between the ages of 11 and 16.

This government is committed to widening participation to higher education for students from disadvantaged and under-represented groups. We want everyone with the potential to have the opportunity to benefit from a university education, regardless of background or where they grew up.

In our first guidance to the Office for Students (OfS) we have asked them to challenge higher education (HE) providers to drive more progress through their Access and Participation Plans. Prior attainment is a critical factor in entering higher education and we are asking providers to take on a more direct role in raising attainment in schools as part of their outreach activity. The OfS have also established the National Collaborative Outreach Programme to target areas where progression into higher education is low overall and lower than expected given typical GCSE attainment rates.

Through the Higher Education and Research Act, we have introduced a Transparency Duty requiring higher education providers to publish data on application, offer, acceptance, dropout and attainment rates of students by ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background. This will hold the sector to account for their record on access and retention of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and shine a light on where they need to go further.

Officials and I are in regular contact with the OfS, including the Director for Fair Access and Participation, and the higher education sector to discuss issues around widening access.

6th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Office for Students on encouraging university applications from potential applicants with disabilities.

Widening access to higher education among under-represented or disadvantaged groups is a priority for this government.

In our first guidance to the Office for Students we have asked them to ensure that higher education providers include, within their access and participation plans, those students that have been identified as requiring the most support. This includes students with disabilities.

Higher education providers have clear responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 to support their students, including those with disabilities

Through access agreements - in future known as access and participation plans - higher education providers expect to spend more than £860 million in 2018/19 on measures to improve access and student success for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is a significant increase from £404 million in 2009.

5th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for the Home Department and (b) Minister for the Cabinet Office on the appointment of Mr Hugh Ind to lead the public sector apprenticeship strategy.

I look forward to meeting Hugh Ind in the near future, following his Civil Service appointment in the Cabinet Office. His appointment will support our ambition to increase the number of apprentices the public sector employs and help it access the skills needed to deliver high quality public services. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education has not had any discussions about this appointment.

5th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department had with the Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships before he decided not to take advice to defer T levels until 2021.

Ministers Department for Education officials responsible for T Levels meet regularly with the Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships, where they discuss planning and delivery issues. Department officials are in regular and frequent dialogue with the Institute on this and all delivery matters.

The delivery of the programme to the timetable we have set out is ambitious, and so we have been keeping it under regular review. Alongside our apprenticeship reforms, T Levels are central to our technical and vocational education, which will help improve workforce skills and drive productivity growth.

5th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what external organisations he plans to consult to take forward his Department's commitment to appoint an independent reviewer of the teaching excellence framework and its criteria of operation.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education will appoint a suitable independent person for the purpose of preparing a report on the operation of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), in accordance with the Higher Education and Reform Act 2017. In taking decisions about the TEF, he will take account of advice from partners in the higher education sector. That includes the department’s TEF Delivery Group, which is comprised of representative organisations from the sector plus the Office for Students and the devolved administrations, and gives advice on the design and development of the TEF.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on introduction of sharia-compliant student loans.

I refer the hon. Member for Blackpool South to the answers I gave on 6 March 2018 to questions 130660 and 130663.

23rd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 21 May 2018 to Question 144194, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on funding for apprentice travel.

Both the department and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, have regular dialogue with my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in support of meeting the government’s ambitions for high quality apprenticeships.

We do not want the cost of travel to deter people from starting an apprenticeship, including those in rural or disadvantaged areas. We are working with the Department for Transport to explore options on the practicality of implementing a travel scheme to enable young people to access apprenticeships. The Department for Transport has commissioned research to investigate possible options that could support apprentices travel costs - assessing schemes in the UK and elsewhere.

23rd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with representatives from universities on his proposals for a subject-level version of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

The department has met regularly with university representatives about the development of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) at subject level. Between 12 March and 21 May, we also undertook a technical consultation on subject-level TEF. This consultation provided an opportunity for all stakeholders, including universities and other higher education providers, to comment on the proposals for subject-level TEF both in writing and at consultation events.

23rd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications his Department received from providers for a share of the £170 million funding available for new Institutes of Technology status.

We announced the outcome of Stage 1 of the competition to establish Institutes of Technology on 27 May. This information can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/institutes-of-technology-competition.

23rd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timescale is for the outcome of the procurement process for providers who have applied for new Institutes of Technology status.

We announced the outcome of Stage 1 of the competition to establish Institutes of Technology on 27 May. This information can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/institutes-of-technology-competition.

23rd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the findings of the report by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education of 26 April 2018 on the relative proportion of international students studying in England and Wales who complain about their university’s handling of a grievance compared to home students.

The UK remains a highly attractive destination for international students who come to study at our world class universities. We welcome international students, as they make an important contribution to the UK’s higher education sector both economically and culturally. Higher education institutions are autonomous organisations, but the government expects them to handle student complaints seriously, with providers taking into account the needs of all students when developing procedures for the handling of complaints and academic appeals.

The 2017 annual report by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) lists the student complaints in England and Wales. It notes that 68% of complaints were made by home students, 6% of complaints were made by EU students and 23% of complaints were made by non-EU students. 3% of complaints were made by students whose status was unknown. The report lists several common factors from cases involving international students. These factors include language barriers and financial concerns. The government continues to work closely with the OIA to understand issues relating to student complaints in higher education.

22nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress has been made on appointing the chair of the independent review into the Teaching Excellence Framework.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, aims to appoint a suitable independent person to report on the operation of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework by autumn 2018.

22nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria he plans to apply to the appointment of the chair of the independent review into the Teaching Excellence Framework.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, will follow the arrangements for appointing a suitable independent person to lead the review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) that are set out in Section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017.

15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Oral Answer of the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills of 14 May 2018, Official Report, column 6, on Sixth-Form Colleges: Funding, whether funding for 16 and 17 year olds will be included in the Government's post-18 review.

We have protected the base rate of funding for 16 to19-year olds until 2020 to make sure every young person has access to the education or training they deserve, and we will be investing an additional £500 million a year in technical education once T Levels are fully rolled out.

Sixth form colleges play a key role in the 16 to 19 system and we are actively considering the efficiency and resilience of the further education sector. We will also be assessing how far existing and forecast funding and regulatory structures meet the costs of delivering high quality provision. This work will align closely with the major Review of Post-18 Education and Funding which will ensure a coherent vision for further and higher Education.

15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment has he made of the propensity of students living and studying in rural areas to take up T levels.

We want students to be able to access high quality T level programmes, regardless of where they live. We are aware of the potential barriers that students living in rural areas face, particularly in relation to accessing industry placements. We will work closely with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to understand which students may find it difficult to access a placement, and how we can make sure that they are not disadvantaged in any way. Providers in receipt of capacity and delivery fund allocations to support industry placements have also been allocated additional 16-19 discretionary bursary funding of just under £2.5 million to support students on their placements, for example, to help with their travel costs.

15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to inform further education providers on whether they will be delivering T-levels.

Earlier this year, the department invited further education providers to submit an expression of interest to deliver the first T levels in the 2020 to 2021 academic year. There was significant interest from providers, with over 200 expressions of interests submitted.

On 27 April, the Education & Skills Funding Agency wrote to all those providers who submitted an expression of interest to inform them that they will be notified of the outcome of this by the end of May.

2nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the implications for higher education providers of the reductions in Horizon 2020 EU research funding since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016.

As joint Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation at the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), I am responsible for considering developments in research funding and the implications for higher edcation (HE) providers in England.

The Office for Students, UK Research and Innovation, DfE and BEIS are working together to consider the potential impact of future developments in research funding on HE providers in England as part of wider work on financial sustainability.

UK education establishments have continued to be successful participants in Horizon 2020. As set out in the Horizon 2020 Official Statistics published last month by BEIS, there have been over 5,000 participations in Horizon 2020 projects by UK HE establishments between January 2014 and March 2018. These participations have attracted €2.73 billion of funding. This represents around 27% of all Horizon 2020 funding awarded to such establishments to date.

In December 2017, the UK and European Commission negotiating teams published a joint report on progress made during phase 1 of the negotiations. The joint report sets out that the UK and the EU fully intend UK participants’ eligibility in Horizon 2020 to remain unchanged for the duration of the programme.This includes eligibility to participate in Horizon 2020 projects and to receive Horizon 2020 funding for the lifetime of projects. The government’s underwrite guarantee of Horizon 2020 funding remains in place in the event that commitments enshrined in the joint report are not met. This guarantees funding for UK participants in projects ongoing at the point of exit.

2nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the (a) current and (b) future costs of (i) visas and (ii) permanent residency documents for overseas academics to work at UK Universities.

Department for Education officials meet regularly with Home Office officials to discuss a range of issues regarding overseas academic staff at UK universities

Border, immigration and citizenship fees are reviewed on an annual basis. The current visa fees are set out in the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2018. Full details can be found via the following link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/330/pdfs/uksi_20180330_en.pdf.

30th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2018 to Question 136052, on Institute for Apprenticeships, when he plans to provide the answer referred to.

I refer the hon. Member for Blackpool South to the answer I gave on 1 May 2018 to Question 136052.

26th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April 2018 to Question 137156 on Students: Loans, what estimate he has made of the increase in the average level of debt held by students on graduation as a result of the increase in March of the retail prices index to 3.3 percent.

The increase in student loan interest rates from 1 September 2018 will only affect a minority of borrowers. They will either pay back the full amount, or almost the full amount, of their student loans. The government expects that around 30% to 35% of post-2012 borrowers with higher education loans and 40% to 45% of borrowers with advanced learner loans will repay their student loans in full.

25th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the careers strategy, what additional funding he plans to allocate to the Careers and Enterprise Company to facilitate that company's expansion into SEND and primary schools.

We are investing over £70 million each year until 2020 to help young people and adults to benefit from high quality careers provision. This includes funding for The Careers & Enterprise Company and the National Careers Service.

The careers strategy includes funding for a number of programmes. This includes £2 million for careers activities in primary schools and further investment in initiatives focused on supporting those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Further information is available in The Careers & Enterprise Company Implementation Plan, published in response to the Government’s careers strategy: https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/sites/default/files/uploaded/careers-enterprise-implementation-plan.pdf.

24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to improve the performance of secondary schools against Gatsby benchmark number 7.

The Government’s careers strategy states that all schools and colleges should use the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks to develop and improve their careers provision, meeting them all by the end of 2020.

Benchmark 7, ‘Encounters with further and higher education’, expects that all students should understand the full range of educational opportunities that are available to them at both college and university.

The Department is making progress in implementing this benchmark. A new law was introduced in January 2018, requiring secondary schools to make sure that a range of education and training providers have an oppurtunity to talk to pupils in year 8 to year 13 about approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships. Further information about the new law can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/skills-minister-highlights-new-provider-access-law-for-schools.

The Department has also published new statutory guidance which explains in detail what schools are required to do. The guidance is being promoted to school governors, head teachers and careers leaders through a range of channels.

The statutory guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/careers-guidance-provision-for-young-people-in-schools.

24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many employers have been asked to answer the employer skills survey in 2018.

The Employer Skills Survey has traditionally been conducted every two years. It was last conducted in 2017, and therefore no employers were asked to answer it in 2018.

In 2017, 201,499 employer establishments were asked to take part in the survey.


24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions has he had with (a) employers and (b) further education colleges on the effect of health and safety requirements on the use of work experience and work placements.

We have been talking extensively to employers and providers over the last few months about how we can best support them to deliver work placements as part of T levels. One of the issues we have discussed is the legal, safeguarding and health and safety responsibilities on employers and providers for students on a work placement. Over the coming months, we will be publishing clear guidance on this, including setting out the clear responsibilities and legal requirements on employers and providers.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 April 2018 to Question 136788, on Students: Loans, how many of the 793 Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions students were overpaid by over £1000.

The Student Loans Company estimates that around 55 per cent of the 793 Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions students affected by an administrative error have been overpaid by over £1,000.

23rd Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the oral contribution of the Chancellor of the Exchequer of 17 April 2018, Official Report, column 176, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the future of the apprenticeship levy.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State and the wider department have regular dialogue with my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Her Majesty’s Treasury, to support the delivery of the government’s ambitions for high quality apprenticeships that deliver the skills the economy needs.

23rd Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of apprenticeship starts have been taken by (a) a person of BAME background and (b) women in each sector subject area in each of the last three years.

These figures are publically available and published by the department in the Further Education data library:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships.

The tables attached provide the proportions of apprenticeship starts for a) learners of a Black Asian Mixed and Minority Ethnic background and b) female learners, by a breakdown of sector subject area for the last three academic years.

23rd Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much and what proportion of the sums raised for the apprenticeship levy were spent on apprenticeships in 2017-18.

The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that £2.6 billion would be paid in apprenticeship levy on 2017-18. The department has ring-fenced the apprenticeship budget which has been set regardless of how much levy receipts are each year. This budget was set at £2.01 billion for the 2017-18 financial year and we will publish further details on our spending on apprenticeships in our annual report and accounts on GOV.UK.

23rd Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the additional cost to students in loan fees following the increase in March of the retail prices index.

The mechanism for setting student loan interest rates is set out in legislation. Interest rates are set annually. They apply from 1 September and are based on the retail prices index (RPI) figure from the previous March. The RPI for March 2018 was 3.3%, compared to 3.1% in March 2017.

The interest rate on post-2012 student loans is set at RPI+3% during study and then varies with earnings. The government increased the repayment and interest thresholds for student loans to £25,000 in April 2018, saving graduates up to £360 per year in repayments and reducing the interest charged for many borrowers. Borrowers with earnings of up to £25,000 are charged an interest rate of RPI, which increases to RPI+3% for borrowers earning above £45,000.

It is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the additional amount that a student will need to repay in future as a result of the change in interest rates, as this will depend on the borrower’s loan balance and future earnings. The increase in student loan interest rates from 1 September 2018 will affect only high-earning borrowers who will pay back all, or very nearly all, their student loans. The government expects that around 30% to 35% of post-2012 borrowers with higher education loans and 40% to 45% of borrowers with advanced learner loans will repay their student loans in full.

18th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the proportion apprenticeship levy that has (a) been taken from employers’ digital accounts to pay for apprenticeships and (b) been defined as committed spend for future training of apprentices.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency, through employers' digital accounts in the Apprenticeship Service, have paid £170 million between 6 May 2017 and the end of March 2018. We publish statistics on commitments to date on our website GOV.UK. These can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/apprenticeship-and-levy-statistics-april-2018.

Information on committed spend for future training of apprentices is not published as although there are commitments in the system in line with expected spend requirements, there are a number of reasons why these forecasts may change.

18th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the proportion of students completing T levels who will go on to (a) employment, (b) higher education and (c) apprenticeships.

T levels are rigorous, technical study programmes at level 3, designed by employers to meet their skills needs. Their central purpose is to enable students to progress to skilled employment at level 3 and above, and into further relevant training at level 4, 5 or 6, either in the workplace or at an education provider

It is too early in the development of T level programmes to identify the proportion of students who will progress to employment, higher education or apprenticeships. We are working closely with employers and higher education providers to ensure that T levels support progression to skilled employment and higher levels of technical education.

18th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions (a) he and (b) the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills have had with businesses to understand the level of demand for T Levels from employers.

The government believes that employers are best placed to advise on the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to succeed in their industries. That is why T levels are being designed by panels of employers and industry experts to ensure that students come away with the skills that businesses are looking for. We also held a Skills Summit in November last year where over 100 employers signed a Statement of Action to commit to providing opportunities for young people to develop their skills.

In particular, we are talking to employers about how we can best support them to deliver work placements as part of T levels. For example, we have commissioned a research project interviewing employers about their capacity and demand to offer T level work placements. We have also engaged with over 1000 employers through the work placement pilots, who are now offering work placements to students in the 17/18 academic year. A large proportion of responses to the recent consultation on T level implementation were from employer representative organisations – and we will publish the government response to this in due course.

17th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to publish the subcontracting management fees for all further education providers for 2016-17.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency will publish on GOV.UK the level of funding paid and retained by providers for each of their subcontractors that delivered full programmes or frameworks during the academic year 2016 to 2017 in June 2018.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
16th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills has held meetings with the panel of apprentices that reports to the Board of the Institute for Apprenticeships.

The Panel of Apprentices, announced in April 2017, is particularly important to help the Institute for Apprenticeships improve the quality of apprenticeships as it reflects the importance of apprentices’ experiences across a broad range of different occupational routes.

I attended by telephone the meeting of the Board of the Institute for Apprenticeships in December last year. I am hoping to meet with the Panel of Apprentices in the near future.

16th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to allocated funding for the UK's participation in the European Apprentice Network after the UK leaves the EU.

There have been no decisions taken on the UK’s participation in the European Apprenticeship Network because the future scope of the programme has yet to be agreed. Our participation will be a matter for negotiations about our future relationship with the EU.

We will seek to continue to take part in specific policies and programmes which are in the UK and the EU’s joint interest, such as those that promote science, education and culture.


16th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications his Department received for the Panel of Apprentices in 2017-18.

This is a matter for the Institute for Apprenticeships. I have asked its Chief Executive, Sir Gerry Berragan, to write to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

16th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to appoint the independent chair of the review into the Teaching Excellence Framework.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State is planning to appoint a suitable independent person to report on the operation of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework by autumn 2018. The department is currently engaged in a process for identifying people who have both the required experience and can command the confidence of the sector.

28th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with (a) universities, (b) further education colleges and (c) Local Enterprise Partnerships on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and accessing such funding after the UK leaves the EU.

The government's manifesto committed to create a new UK Shared Prosperity Fund to reduce inequalities between communities across the UK.

The Department for Education is committed to working with other government departments including the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions to achieve this.

The design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be widely consulted on in due course, as announced in the Industrial Strategy white paper. This will include engaging with key stakeholders such as universities, the further education sector and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

28th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions the Universities Minister has had with the Chair of the Office for Students on future representation for further education colleges and students on the Board of the Office for Students and the general governance of that Board.

During the processes to appoint members to the Office for Students (OfS) board, previous ministers and the OfS Chair discussed and considered options to ensure that the board fulfilled the requirements set out in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. The board as a whole meets these criteria and there is considerable relevant knowledge within the current membership, including knowledge of further education colleges and a designated student experience member.

I will be in dialogue with the OfS Chair during future appointments processes to ensure that both student interests and the further education sector continue to be represented on the OfS board. Governance of the OfS board is set out in the code of conduct, which is published on the OfS website and will be overseen by the department in its sponsorship role.

28th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to appoint a new permanent chief executive of the Student Loans Company.

The Student Loan Company’s (SLC’s) Shareholding Administrations (the Department for Education, the Welsh Government, the Scottish Government and the Northern Irish Executive) are working closely with the SLC Board on the appointment of a new permanent CEO. This appointment will take place as soon as possible.

28th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much and what proportion of the adult education budget was spent on ESOL in (a) 2016-17 and (b) 2017-18.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 March 2018 to Question 131906 which includes spend in 2016-17 on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) -

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&uin=131906.

ESOL funding represented £99 million of the £1.5 billion Adult Education Budget in 2016-17. This is not a ring-fenced amount as education providers have the freedom and flexibility to use their Adult Education Budget allocation to meet the needs of their local communities. Spend for 2017-18 is not yet available.

27th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 1.11 of the Migration Advisory Committee’s report of the 27 March 2018, EEA-workers in the UK labour market: Interim Update, what discussions he has had with the (a) Home Secretary and (b) Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union on universities being able to continue to recruit academics to teach STEM subjects after the UK leaves the EU.

The government recognises that the ability to continue to attract Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) academics from across the EU post-exit is a priority for the higher education (HE) sector. That is why departments are working to ensure the interests of the HE sector are represented in EU exit planning, and the government has been clear that the UK will remain open to academic staff and researchers from Europe and beyond.

To help provide certainty to current and prospective EU academics, in December 2017 we reached an agreement with the EU that EU citizens living in the UK when we exit will be able to get on with their lives broadly as now, and enjoy rights such as access to healthcare, benefits, and education. We will extend the December deal to those that arrive during the implementation period, but EU citizens who arrive here during this period must register with the Home Office after three months residence in the UK.

We are considering the options for our future migration system and a crucial part of this work is the government commissioning the Migration Advisory Committee to assess the impact of EU exit on the UK labour market. Their report in September will help to inform our thinking.

Elsewhere, the government is taking steps to increase the supply of important STEM skills, including by supporting new institutions such as the New Model in Technology and Engineering and the Institute of Coding, where a consortium of employers and universities will ensure HE courses meet the needs of the economy.

27th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 1.11 of the Migration Advisory Committee’s report of the 27 March 2018, EEA-workers in the UK labour market: Interim Update, what steps he plans to take to ensure that there is not a shortage of academics available to teach STEM subjects after the UK leaves the EU.

The government recognises that the ability to continue to attract Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) academics from across the EU post-exit is a priority for the higher education (HE) sector. That is why departments are working to ensure the interests of the HE sector are represented in EU exit planning, and the government has been clear that the UK will remain open to academic staff and researchers from Europe and beyond.

To help provide certainty to current and prospective EU academics, in December 2017 we reached an agreement with the EU that EU citizens living in the UK when we exit will be able to get on with their lives broadly as now, and enjoy rights such as access to healthcare, benefits, and education. We will extend the December deal to those that arrive during the implementation period, but EU citizens who arrive here during this period must register with the Home Office after three months residence in the UK.

We are considering the options for our future migration system and a crucial part of this work is the government commissioning the Migration Advisory Committee to assess the impact of EU exit on the UK labour market. Their report in September will help to inform our thinking.

Elsewhere, the government is taking steps to increase the supply of important STEM skills, including by supporting new institutions such as the New Model in Technology and Engineering and the Institute of Coding, where a consortium of employers and universities will ensure HE courses meet the needs of the economy.

27th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of predicted skills shortages in each sector as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

The department recently conducted the latest Employer Skills Survey, which provides robust assessments of skills shortages across the UK by region and by sector. The results of this survey will be published later in 2018 and will provide insight into different industries’ skill needs. Findings from the previous Employer Skills Survey in 2015, which was run by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, are available on GOV.UK. The department also holds responsibility for Working Futures, which provides labour market projections https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-labour-market-projections-2014-to-2024.

We are making our skills system more responsive to employer needs. As a part of this, the department is working with local areas to bring about a closer alignment between skills supply (from FE Colleges, training providers, apprenticeships, as well as centrally-held programmes) and local employer demand. We are also supporting employers to lead the design of new technical education programmes (including apprenticeships and T-levels) to meet the specific skills needs of their industries. This provides an opportunity for employers to maintain and enhance the skills of their workforce.

27th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding has been allocated from the public purse to the Careers and Enterprise Company for (a) 2016-17, (b) 2017-18 and (c) 2018-19.

The Careers & Enterprise Company is doing excellent work across the country with schools, colleges and employers to improve the information, advice and guidance that young people receive on education, training and employment options. This includes funding careers activities in those areas in need of most support.

The department’s grant funding allocation for The Careers & Enterprise Company was:

  • 2016-17 £16 million
  • 2017-18 £18.8 million

We are finalising the grant agreement for 2018-19, which we expect to reflect the expanded role that the Company now has implementing the careers strategy, including a new £5 million Investment Fund to support disadvantaged young people.

16th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many cyber security related incidents affected (a) further education colleges and (b) higher education institutions in 2017.

The Department for Education does not hold this information.

Jisc, who provide ICT infrastructure services to further education (FE) colleges and higher education (HE) institutions, reported that in 2017 the Jisc Security Operations Centre responded to 5,023 security incidents or queries from HE and FE in England. These include malware, phishing, copyright infringements, compromise, denial of service and RIPA requests. The impact of an incident varies greatly from minimal to significant.

Of these 1,389 incidents or queries were from FE institutions in England and 3,634 from HE institutes.

16th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the decision to reduce Jisc’s funding and introduce fees for further education colleges to pay for essential IT infrastructure and technology support services on the adequacy of provision of those services.

Our assessment is that introducing a mixed funding model including an element of subscription will increase Jisc’s accountability to colleges as its customers. Over time, we expect this relationship to drive greater efficiency in the service Jisc provides, and to encourage colleges that subscribe to make full use of the services available.

16th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department will provide to further education colleges that are unable to meet the cost of fees for Jisc’s essential IT infrastructure and technology support services as a result of the funding changes to Jisc.

We expect all colleges to continue to either access Jisc services, or to contract with an alternative provider who can provide a secure service. We have provided an additional £6 million to Jisc on top of their spending review settlement to enable the introduction of a mixed funding model to be delayed until August 2019 to enable colleges to prepare. The government will continue to contribute the majority of Jisc’s costs after the introduction of a mixed funding model. Introducing subscriptions will increase Jisc’s accountability to colleges as its customers, and will encourage colleges that subscribe to make use of the full range of services that Jisc provides.

16th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential risk to cyber security of further education colleges deciding to opt-out of paying for Jisc’s essential cyber security support services as a result of the decision to reduce Jisc’s funding and introduce subscription fees.

At present further education colleges benefit from the high quality of cyber-security offered through Jisc. Any college who chooses to opt out from using Jisc services will need to ensure they have an appropriate level of cyber-security in place in order to safeguard their systems, staff and learners. Provided they do so, there should be no additional risk.

15th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Higher Education Statistics Agency's non-continuation performance indicators, published on 8 March, what steps he he is taking to tackle the increase in non-continuation rates for mature students.

The data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on 8 March 2018 shows that the non-continuation rate for mature students has remained broadly similar over recent years, regardless of course type or mode of delivery.

The vast majority of higher education students complete their courses and achieve their chosen qualification. However, we are not complacent. We want everyone with the potential to benefit from higher education to be able to do so but we recognise that some students are at a higher risk of ‘dropping out’.

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework includes a metric that measures continuation rates. Institutions with below average retention rates will receive a negative flag, which may affect their overall award. This will incentivise institutions to take measures to improve retention rates.

Within the first access and participation guidance to the Office for Students (OfS), my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has asked the OfS to encourage higher education providers, when developing their access and participation plans, to build on work already underway aimed at improving student retention. This guidance also asks the OfS to encourage providers to consider the recruitment and support of mature learners.

14th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the number of teachers on each point of the main pay range.

Pay spine points for teachers were discontinued in 2013 and replaced by pay ranges. A teacher can be paid any salary within their range, the amount paid being at the discretion of the employing school. An academy may elect not to use the standard pay ranges but may instead pay teachers using their own range.

The number of teachers in state funded schools paid on each pay range, as at November 2016, is shown in the attached table.

14th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the number of teachers on each point of the upper pay range.

Pay spine points for teachers were discontinued in 2013 and replaced by pay ranges. A teacher can be paid any salary within their range, the amount paid being at the discretion of the employing school. An academy may elect not to use the standard pay ranges but may instead pay teachers using their own range.

The number of teachers in state funded schools paid on each pay range, as at November 2016, is shown in the attached table.

8th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it remains his policy for the Office for Students to be the validator of last resort for Higher Education Institutions.

The department has asked the Office for Students (OfS), in guidance, to undertake an assessment of the operation of the current validation system to identify any unnecessary barriers for providers seeking a validation partner, or any areas of current practice that are not in the interests of students. If OfS, having done that, concludes that further action is required to secure necessary improvements in the operation of the validation system, it will make use of its powers under section 50 of the Higher Education and Research Act (HERA) 2017 to enter into commissioning arrangements. It may also ask the Secretary of State to make regulations under section 51 of HERA to authorise OfS to enter into validation agreements with registered higher education providers itself.

8th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for (a) Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and (b) the Home Department on the changes to funding of Jisc for cyber security at Further Education Colleges.

The department funds Jisc to provide information and communications technology infrastructure and related services to further education colleges in England through the Janet computer network. We will continue to cover most of these costs when the college subscriptions are introduced.

Jisc has developed its cyber-security capability over a number of years as an integral part of Janet. Any college using the network benefits from this capability. We have not discussed the revised funding arrangements with other departments.

8th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the annual budget for additional support in areas of disadvantage for apprenticeships was up to 1 May 2017, what proportion of that budget was spent; and what proportion of the budget since 1 May 2017 has been spent.

There is no separate additional allocated budget for disadvantage funding support. Apprenticeships is a demand led programme, and we have forecast spending of up to £60 million to support training of individuals from disadvantaged areas, with no restrictions on starts from certain areas.

7th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of higher education providers which will be outside of the registration frameworks of the Office for Students.

The department published the enactment impact assessment for the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 last year. In that, we estimated that there would be 540 providers outside of the Office for Students (OfS) Register in 2019/20. These were broad estimates, made before the OfS took the decision not to proceed with a Registered (Basic) category. In response to the consultation conducted in the autumn, only five providers indicated that they would seek to register in that category.

Any English higher education provider wanting to be officially recognised as providing higher education in England, access public grant funding from the OfS or UK Research and Innovation, access the student support system, recruit international students with a Tier 4 sponsorship licence or apply for its own Degree Awarding Powers and/or University Title must be registered with OfS.

Of those providers outside the OfS register, the majority are likely to be small and specialist institutions offering sub-degree provision and will include a number who are in sub contractual arrangements with providers that will be registered with the OfS, where the registered provider retains responsibility for the students, and for the quality and standards of provision.

7th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what protections he plans to introduce for students studying at unregistered higher education providers.

The regulatory framework and the register of higher education providers are a matter for the Office for Students (OfS). In the recent Secretary of State guidance, issued to the OfS, we have asked them as a priority to:

“develop an understanding of providers and students in the currently unregulated parts of the higher education sector and consider ways of encouraging such providers to register and engage with good regulatory practice”.

More specifically, we have included the following as part of what we have asked OfS to deliver in 2018/19:

“In addition, I would like the OfS to start work to develop a thorough understanding of providers and students in the currently unregulated parts of the higher education sector, and to consider and determine how the OfS will most effectively have a role in protecting the interests of students at these providers. I would like the OfS to consider what barriers to entry to the regulated sector remain for such providers, and how more providers could be encouraged to seek registration and offer greater protection for their students”.

Any English higher education provider wanting to be officially recognised as providing higher education in England, access public grant funding from the OfS or UK Research and Innovation, access the student support system, recruit international students with a Tier 4 sponsorship licence or apply for its own Degree Awarding Powers and/or University Title must be registered with OfS.

Of those providers outside the OfS register, the majority are likely to be small and specialist institutions offering sub-degree provision and will include a number who are in sub contractual arrangements with providers that will be registered with the OfS, where the registered provider retains responsibility for the students, and for the quality and standards of provision.

7th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with stakeholders in the further education sector on the implications of charges being levied for essential IT services as a result of changes to funding to Jisc.

Officials have discussed the funding changes and the implications with both Jisc and the Association of Colleges.

7th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of further education colleges that will be affected by the introduction of fees for Jisc's IT services as a result of changes to funding to that organisation.

All further education colleges in England currently have access to Jisc services. From August 2019, any college wishing to continue to use these services will need to subscribe. The Department for Education will continue to fund the majority of the costs associated with these services.

6th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people in his Department are employed to work on (a) higher education (b) further education and (c) apprenticeships.

The department, as at the 1 January 2018, had 687 employees directly employed working on the areas of higher education, further education and apprenticeships.

These employees are within the department’s Higher Education and Further Education (HEFE) and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) directorates.

The breakdown of these employees in the respective directorates is as follows;

Directorate

Business Area

Number of employees

HEFE

Higher Education

250

HEFE

Further Education

258*

HEFE

Apprenticeship

73

EFSA

National Apprenticeship Service

106

Total

687

*this includes the business areas of Professional and Technical Education (PTE) and Careers and Further Education (CFE).

In addition, other departmental employees are working on apprenticeships outside the Directorates listed. This work, however, is integrated into other roles and they are, therefore, not directly employed to work on higher education, further education and apprenticeships.

6th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the recommendations of the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ report on appointments to the board of the Office for Students, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure due diligence on public appointments.

We recognise that the Commissioner for Public Appointments has re-affirmed the importance of departments undertaking more due diligence, and the Government will be acting on the Commissioner's advice on this issue.

6th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people employed in his Department have (a) worked and (b) studied at a further education college.

The information requested is not held centrally.

5th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of the staff employed by his Department are apprentices.

This information about apprentices is not held in the format requested. The number of apprentice starts for each year is as follows:

Year

Number of apprentice starts

Workforce size

2012/2013

32

3900

2013/2014

15

3480

2014/2015

34

3480

2015/2016

64

3550

2016/2017

50

5330

2017/2018 *

107

5960 (Latest - January 2018)

* Further apprentice starts may take place in 2017-2018

26th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the total amount of money provided through the Student Loans Company to meet the cost of tuition fees for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education was in each of the last five years.

Statistics covering payments to domestic and EU students under the English higher education funding system are published annually by the Student Loans Company (SLC).

Data collected by the SLC shows that in the academic year 2015/16, around £174 million in tuition fee loans was paid to providers of higher education on behalf of students on full-time postgraduate initial teacher training courses. As at August 2017, around £165 million in tuition fee loans was paid in the academic year 2016/17. Payments for 2016/17 are provisional; typically around 1% of payments are made after the end of the traditional academic year.

Due to the introduction of a new course management system at SLC, information prior to the academic year 2015/16 is not available on a comparable basis.

26th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding his Department plans to make available to promote and market T Levels before their introduction.

I refer the hon. Member for Blackpool South to the answer I gave on 11 December 2017 to Question 118003: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-12-06/118003/.

26th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress has been made on developing the transition year for T Levels.

Our ambition is for all young people to have the opportunity to study a technical qualification at level 3. We are developing a transition offer for those who have the potential to study for a T level but are not ready to do so.

The transition offer will be a flexible programme with a strong focus on English and mathematics. We have recently sought feedback through public consultation on what other support we should consider as part of the programme. We will publish our response to the consultation in the spring.

26th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of progress towards the Government’s target of 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020.

We publish progress on the number of apprenticeships starts within the department’s further education and skills statistical first release, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/further-education-and-skills-statistical-first-release-sfr#2017-releases. The latest release was published on 22 February 2018.

There have been over 1.2 million apprenticeship starts since May 2015 and we intend to achieve three million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020.

26th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effect of the apprenticeship levy on apprenticeship starts at levels 2 and 3 since the release of the November 2017 apprenticeship starts statistics.

Data for ‘Apprenticeships and Traineeships: January 2018’, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/apprenticeships-and-traineeships-january-2018 show there have been 52,000 intermediate (Level 2) and 50,800 advanced (Level 3) apprenticeship starts so far in the 2017/18 academic year, which account for the majority of apprenticeship opportunities overall.

19th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2018 to Question 126486, on further education: loans, what discussions he or Ministers of his Department have had with the (a) Student Loans Company and (b) Education and Skills Funding Agency on that matter.

I have regular meetings with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, including considering what further action may be necessary in respect of learners affected by the failure of these providers. I have asked the Student Loans Company to write to those learners to advise them of next steps.

19th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2018 to Question 126486 on further education: loans, what additional resources his Department has allocated to help learners find new providers.

The department’s priority when a training provider is no longer delivering courses is to make sure any learners affected can continue with their studies with minimal disruption.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency, working with the Student Loans Company, will seek to identify suitable alternative providers where learners can complete their studies. We are committed to offering, as far as is practicable, a solution for each learner. The resources available for this are kept under review.

19th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2018 to Question 126486 on further education: loans, how many learners do not have a new provider.

Approximately half of the loan-funded learners affected by the contract terminations of John Frank Training Limited, Edudo Limited and Focus Training & Development Limited have transferred to other providers to continue their studies. 180 have not transferred.

The Student Loans Company will be writing shortly to all those affected regarding next steps.

8th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to protect the number of apprenticeships available with non-levy paying small employers in England.

The department has recently awarded providers across the country with initial awards totalling approximately £485 million to deliver apprenticeship training for non-levy paying employers.

Non-levy paying employers benefit from government co-investment of 90 per cent of apprenticeship training and assessment costs. Additionally, 100 per cent of the cost for training is covered for small employers with fewer than 50 employees who take on apprentices that are 16 to 18 years old, 19 to 24 year old care leavers or 19 to 24 year old with an Education and Health Care Plan.

8th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what safeguards are in place to ensure that level two apprenticeship opportunities are not reduced under the apprenticeship levy.

The availability of apprenticeships at any level is determined by employers offering opportunities that best meet the skills they need.

We have seen 51,990 intermediate (Level 2) and 50,760 advanced (Level 3) apprenticeship starts so far in the 2017/18 academic year, which account for the majority of apprenticeship opportunities overall.

We are working closely with employers to support them with their apprenticeship programmes and feedback has shown they are positive about the benefits which apprentices can bring to their business.

7th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if it remains the Government’s policy to fund the entire apprenticeship programme for levy and non-levy paying employers in England from the proceeds of the apprenticeship levy.

Some funding for apprenticeships comes from employers themselves. We ask those employers who do not pay the levy, or have insufficient funds in their apprenticeship service account, to make a 10 per cent contribution towards the costs of apprenticeship off-the-job training and assessment. We waive this co-investment for smaller employers who take on 16 to 18 year olds, disadvantaged apprentices, care leavers or those with learning disabilities.

Her Majesty's Treasury collects the apprenticeship levy and the Devolved Administrations receive a proportionate share. In England, Her Majesty's Treasury has agreed the apprenticeships budget with the department. We are investing in skills across the whole of England and by 2019-20 the annual spending on apprenticeships in England will reach £2.45 billion, which is double that spent in 2010-11.

7th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons the Education and Skills Funding Agency did not award non-levy apprenticeship contracts to all (a) good and (b) outstanding specialist training providers and colleges in its recent procurement.

The procurement was conducted in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Contracts for the delivery of non-levy apprenticeship training were not awarded on the basis of Ofsted ratings, but on the basis of an Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) assessment of information supplied by providers against a defined set of criteria. As set out in the Invitation to Tender, the ESFA did not make initial offers of awards where providers did not meet the Award Threshold, which is the minimum score, or where the total contract value was below the minimum award of £200,000.

5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to write-off advanced learner loan debts for former learners affected by the collapse of John Frank Training Ltd, Edudo Ltd, and Focus Training & Development Ltd.

The department has made sure that learners at these providers with Advanced Learner Loans have not entered repayment in this tax year to allow time for them to take up opportunities with other providers. The Student Loans Company will be contacting those learners again shortly regarding next steps.

1st Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria were used to determine the composition of the interim management board of the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Following the creation of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in April 2017, the governance of the agency was agreed and included a Management Board to provide strategic leadership and direction, and to challenge and advise on the overall performance of the ESFA.

In the interests of good governance, ESFA put in place interim arrangements for the Management Board whilst the public appointments process proceeded.

The criteria used were that the interim board be made up primarily of members who had served on the Education Funding Agency or Skills Funding Agency management/advisory boards. All except one were appointed through the public appointments process. An additional member was invited to take up a position temporarily, but as they have not been publically appointed, this interim appointment will be until August 2018 and aims to enable a wider breadth of membership during the period while the formal appointments are being made.

These arrangements provide the stability and expertise needed to ensure a smooth transition to the ESFA and a sound governance structure for ESFA.

15th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that all Carillion plc apprentices are able to complete their apprenticeship qualifications.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) only fund apprentices in England. The funding for apprentices, and the collection of data regarding apprentices, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved administrations.

Table 1 (attached) details the region for each apprentice who was participating in learning at the end of December 2017 (R05 data).

2016/17 apprenticeship allocations for Carillion Construction can be found in Table 2 (attached).

2017/18 apprenticeship allocations are currently confidential due to its commercial sensitivity.

Carillion is the second largest provider of construction apprenticeships in England and has 11 training centres across England. The ESFA currently fund Carillion to deliver apprenticeships to 1,118 (R05 data) of their own employees, over 90% of which are 16-18 years old. The department also funds them to deliver other training funded through our Adult education budget (there are 11 in learning) and 16-19 Study Programmes (195 in learning).

Following the announcement on 15 January 2018, regarding the collapse of Carillion, the ESFA have made contingency plans and identified The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as the best placed alternative provider. CITB are on the ESFA’s register of approved apprenticeship training providers; deliver quality provision with a track record of delivering the specific frameworks/standards that current Carillion apprentices are studying. CITB centres are situated within what is anticipated to be a reasonable travel time for the apprentices; and they have the capacity and capability to take on the transferring apprentices and study programme learners. The CITB will work with their established network of college partners to support all the apprentices and other learners to complete their programmes.

The CITB will use their existing employer contacts in the sector and the grant incentives they have available to find alternative employers for the apprentices to complete their frameworks or standards. A team of 50 advisers and assessors in the CITB will be available immediately to contact the apprentices and support them to find new employers. The ESFA contacted all affected apprentices on 15 January to notify them of the situation and next steps and the ‘Study Programme Learners’ will also be notified by letter on the 17 January. Affected learners have been provided with the details of a dedicated mailbox where they can raise any issues or concerns.

CITB will be contacting affected learners during the coming days to begin the transfer process with a focus on minimising disruption to the learner.

15th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much money was allocated to Carillion plc from the public purse to deliver apprenticeships in 2017-18.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) only fund apprentices in England. The funding for apprentices, and the collection of data regarding apprentices, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved administrations.

Table 1 (attached) details the region for each apprentice who was participating in learning at the end of December 2017 (R05 data).

2016/17 apprenticeship allocations for Carillion Construction can be found in Table 2 (attached).

2017/18 apprenticeship allocations are currently confidential due to its commercial sensitivity.

Carillion is the second largest provider of construction apprenticeships in England and has 11 training centres across England. The ESFA currently fund Carillion to deliver apprenticeships to 1,118 (R05 data) of their own employees, over 90% of which are 16-18 years old. The department also funds them to deliver other training funded through our Adult education budget (there are 11 in learning) and 16-19 Study Programmes (195 in learning).

Following the announcement on 15 January 2018, regarding the collapse of Carillion, the ESFA have made contingency plans and identified The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as the best placed alternative provider. CITB are on the ESFA’s register of approved apprenticeship training providers; deliver quality provision with a track record of delivering the specific frameworks/standards that current Carillion apprentices are studying. CITB centres are situated within what is anticipated to be a reasonable travel time for the apprentices; and they have the capacity and capability to take on the transferring apprentices and study programme learners. The CITB will work with their established network of college partners to support all the apprentices and other learners to complete their programmes.

The CITB will use their existing employer contacts in the sector and the grant incentives they have available to find alternative employers for the apprentices to complete their frameworks or standards. A team of 50 advisers and assessors in the CITB will be available immediately to contact the apprentices and support them to find new employers. The ESFA contacted all affected apprentices on 15 January to notify them of the situation and next steps and the ‘Study Programme Learners’ will also be notified by letter on the 17 January. Affected learners have been provided with the details of a dedicated mailbox where they can raise any issues or concerns.

CITB will be contacting affected learners during the coming days to begin the transfer process with a focus on minimising disruption to the learner.

15th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprentices are employed by Carillion plc in each region and constituent part of the UK.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) only fund apprentices in England. The funding for apprentices, and the collection of data regarding apprentices, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved administrations.

Table 1 (attached) details the region for each apprentice who was participating in learning at the end of December 2017 (R05 data).

2016/17 apprenticeship allocations for Carillion Construction can be found in Table 2 (attached).

2017/18 apprenticeship allocations are currently confidential due to its commercial sensitivity.

Carillion is the second largest provider of construction apprenticeships in England and has 11 training centres across England. The ESFA currently fund Carillion to deliver apprenticeships to 1,118 (R05 data) of their own employees, over 90% of which are 16-18 years old. The department also funds them to deliver other training funded through our Adult education budget (there are 11 in learning) and 16-19 Study Programmes (195 in learning).

Following the announcement on 15 January 2018, regarding the collapse of Carillion, the ESFA have made contingency plans and identified The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as the best placed alternative provider. CITB are on the ESFA’s register of approved apprenticeship training providers; deliver quality provision with a track record of delivering the specific frameworks/standards that current Carillion apprentices are studying. CITB centres are situated within what is anticipated to be a reasonable travel time for the apprentices; and they have the capacity and capability to take on the transferring apprentices and study programme learners. The CITB will work with their established network of college partners to support all the apprentices and other learners to complete their programmes.

The CITB will use their existing employer contacts in the sector and the grant incentives they have available to find alternative employers for the apprentices to complete their frameworks or standards. A team of 50 advisers and assessors in the CITB will be available immediately to contact the apprentices and support them to find new employers. The ESFA contacted all affected apprentices on 15 January to notify them of the situation and next steps and the ‘Study Programme Learners’ will also be notified by letter on the 17 January. Affected learners have been provided with the details of a dedicated mailbox where they can raise any issues or concerns.

CITB will be contacting affected learners during the coming days to begin the transfer process with a focus on minimising disruption to the learner.

8th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what briefing was prepared by her Department to ensure the panel for appointments to the Board of the Office for Students had sufficient background information on applicants' use of social media to ensure they were able to do due diligence on their decision.

The Higher Education representative who served on the panel for appointments to the Board of the Office for Students, referred to by the Universities Minister on the 8 January 2018, was Gordon McKenzie, Chief Executive of GuildHE.

Panel members received application details of candidates that they had shortlisted ahead of the interviews. This included declarations on conflicts of interest and political activity which were then discussed with candidates at interview.

Due diligence took place ahead of interviews and appointments. Neither panel members nor the department were aware of the offensive tweets by Toby Young before his appointment was made. These remarks were years, in some cases decades in the past. It is not reasonable or proportionate for government to trawl through tens of thousands of tweets over many years when making public appointments though we will reflect on the lessons that we can learn from this experience.

8th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the response by the Universities Minister on the 8 January 2018 to the Urgent Question on the appointment of Toby Young to the board of the Office for Students, who was the Higher Education representative that served on the panel for appointments to the Board of the Office for Students.

The Higher Education representative who served on the panel for appointments to the Board of the Office for Students, referred to by the Universities Minister on the 8 January 2018, was Gordon McKenzie, Chief Executive of GuildHE.

Panel members received application details of candidates that they had shortlisted ahead of the interviews. This included declarations on conflicts of interest and political activity which were then discussed with candidates at interview.

Due diligence took place ahead of interviews and appointments. Neither panel members nor the department were aware of the offensive tweets by Toby Young before his appointment was made. These remarks were years, in some cases decades in the past. It is not reasonable or proportionate for government to trawl through tens of thousands of tweets over many years when making public appointments though we will reflect on the lessons that we can learn from this experience.

19th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to table 1.9 of Autumn Budget 2017, what estimate he has made of level of Resource Accounting and Budgeting required for undergraduate part-time student loans as a result of the rise in tuition fees to £9250 and the proposed changes to the student loan repayment threshold.

The Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) charge for fee loans for part-time higher education undergraduate students in 2017/18 is estimated to be around 40%, following the decisions to increase the repayment threshold for post-2012 student loans to £25,000 from April 2018 and to freeze tuition fees in the 2018/19 academic year at the same level as in 2017/18.

The government subsidy, represented by the RAB charge, is a conscious investment in young people and the long-term skills capacity of the economy.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation of 19 July 2017, Official Report, Col 893, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of buoyant labour markets on the number of students entering part-time higher education in England.

The factors that influence the number of students that enter higher education part-time are complex. External studies have explored the connection between the state of the labour market and the number of people studying in higher education part-time.

Government is taking steps to help people who want to study part-time, enabling individuals to gain new skills and advance their careers, and supporting the wider economy. We introduced tuition fee loans for part-time students in 2012/13 and will be offering part-time maintenance loans from 2018/19.

7th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to give additional funding to the Careers and Enterprise Company to support their broader role set out in paragraph 60 of the Government's Careers Strategy, published in December 2017.

The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) will take on a broader role to help schools and colleges to develop all aspects of their careers programme. They will co-ordinate support across all eight Gatsby Benchmarks, which define excellence in careers provision.

The careers strategy explains that we will fund careers hubs in 20 areas to link together schools, colleges, universities and other local organisations to test approaches to improving careers provision in their area. The government’s investment of £5 million will include funding for an additional coordinator for each hub, based at the CEC, who will be trained across all the benchmarks. Each hub will work with the CEC’s network structure within the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

This is part of a major trial of the CEC’s expanded role. It replicates the approach in the North East pilot which explored the practicalities and impact of putting the Gatsby Benchmarks into practice. Participants in the pilot found that the LEP-led careers system was valuable in creating a shared vision. The coordinator played an essential role in helping schools and colleges become part of a network which can share ideas and tackle challenges.

6th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the publication of the Government's Careers Strategy on 4 December 2017, how her Department plans communicate the introduction of T Levels; and how much her Department plans to spend on marketing.

The government will introduce T levels in a phased approach, with a small number of providers delivering three T levels from September 2020, and the remaining T levels being launched in two waves, in September 2021 and 2022. As set out in our Careers Strategy, we will ensure that clear information about T levels is provided to parents, teachers, young people and careers professionals at the appropriate times during this rollout, to help inform students of their options in further education.

We want all young people to be aware of the benefits of studying T levels. A public consultation on the implementation of T levels was launched on 30 November, and the responses to this will help to inform our marketing strategy.

6th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has plans to require Ofsted to comment in school inspection reports on the careers advice provided to students.

The content of inspection reports is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector.

The careers strategy explains that Ofsted will continue to hold schools and colleges to account for the quality of careers guidance provided to young people. Matters relating to careers provision contribute to judgements under three of the four areas evaluated as part of school inspections. First, in judging leadership and management, inspectors take account of the leadership of the curriculum and the impact of the curriculum in preparing pupils for their future. Second, in judging pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, inspectors consider the impact of impartial careers guidance. Finally, in judging outcomes, inspectors consider information about pupils’ destinations.

The government will publish new statutory guidance for schools in January 2018 which will set out how schools should use the Gatsby Benchmarks to develop and improve their careers provision. As the careers strategy sets out, Ofsted will take account of this statutory guidance when developing its approach to assessing careers provision.

The department will engage with Ofsted, as it reviews the Common Inspection Framework, to consider coverage of careers provision as part of the development of any planned changes to school and college inspection arrangements which will take effect from September 2019.

6th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government's Careers Strategy, published on 4 December 2017, whether her Department has any plans to assess the breadth and effectiveness of careers provision in social sciences and the humanities in schools.

The careers strategy asks all schools to use the Gatsby Benchmarks which define excellence in careers guidance and help develop and improve careers provision. By adopting these benchmarks, schools will be encouraging student engagement with further and higher education and with employers and their workplaces. This will make sure that young people hear about the full range of opportunities available, including in social sciences and the humanities.

The Careers & Enterprise Company will publish a report annually, showing what progress schools have made in meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks, supported by the interventions outlined in the careers strategy.

6th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what budget is for the National Collaborative Outreach Programme.

The Higher Education Council for England launched the 'National Collaborative Outreach' programme in January 2017. The programme budget was set at £120 million over two years. It has established 29 consortia to target those areas of the country where progression into higher education is both low overall and lower than expected given typical GCSE attainment rates.

One of the consortia, Future U, led by the University of Central Lancashire and involving three other universities and five further education colleges, targets Blackpool and will receive a little under £2.3 million in funding over the two years.

6th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 34 of the Government's Careers Strategy, published on 4 December 2017, what discussions her Department has had with the Director of Fair Access to Education on the continuation of targeted career outreach interventions for disadvantaged pupils.

The government’s careers strategy is clear that we want higher education institutions to continue working with schools and their pupils to encourage them to go on to higher education. We have spoken to the Office for Fair Access about their role in helping to deliver the strategy. Our most recent guidance asked the Director of Fair Access to be firmer with institutions to make sure that investment through access agreements is allocated to the most effective interventions, encouraging more investment in outreach.

5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 28 of her Department's report of December 2017, Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents, what objective criteria will be used by Careers and Enterprise Companies when expanding the number of cornerstone employers.

The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) will continue to grow its Enterprise Adviser Network, connecting senior business volunteers with schools and colleges to unlock relationships with local businesses. The network will help schools and colleges to deliver the commitment in the careers strategy to offer every young person at least seven encounters with employers during their secondary education. A meaningful encounter is one in which the young person has an opportunity to learn about what work is like or what it takes to be successful in the workplace.

So far, over 2,000 Enterprise Advisers cover over half of schools and colleges in England. The strategy includes a commitment that, by the end of 2020, all schools and colleges will have access to an Enterprise Adviser. Each Adviser would usually be matched with one school or college.

The CEC has built up a network of 50 ‘cornerstone’ employers and will triple this over the next two years. The CEC will continue to identify ‘cornerstone’ employers on the basis of their commitment to work with schools and colleges to offer more young people meaningful employer encounters through activities such as mentoring, work experience, mock interviews and career talks.

The government’s careers strategy, published on 4 December 2017, sets out a long term plan to build a world-class careers system that will help young people and adults choose the career that is right for them.

5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the section 24 of the Government's Careers Strategy, published on 4 December 2017, how she intends to define the proposal for young people to have meaningful encounters with employers.

The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) will continue to grow its Enterprise Adviser Network, connecting senior business volunteers with schools and colleges to unlock relationships with local businesses. The network will help schools and colleges to deliver the commitment in the careers strategy to offer every young person at least seven encounters with employers during their secondary education. A meaningful encounter is one in which the young person has an opportunity to learn about what work is like or what it takes to be successful in the workplace.

So far, over 2,000 Enterprise Advisers cover over half of schools and colleges in England. The strategy includes a commitment that, by the end of 2020, all schools and colleges will have access to an Enterprise Adviser. Each Adviser would usually be matched with one school or college.

The CEC has built up a network of 50 ‘cornerstone’ employers and will triple this over the next two years. The CEC will continue to identify ‘cornerstone’ employers on the basis of their commitment to work with schools and colleges to offer more young people meaningful employer encounters through activities such as mentoring, work experience, mock interviews and career talks.

The government’s careers strategy, published on 4 December 2017, sets out a long term plan to build a world-class careers system that will help young people and adults choose the career that is right for them.

5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the publication of the Government's Careers Strategy on 4 December 2017, how many schools and colleges does she expect to be covered by each individual Enterprise Adviser.

The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) will continue to grow its Enterprise Adviser Network, connecting senior business volunteers with schools and colleges to unlock relationships with local businesses. The network will help schools and colleges to deliver the commitment in the careers strategy to offer every young person at least seven encounters with employers during their secondary education. A meaningful encounter is one in which the young person has an opportunity to learn about what work is like or what it takes to be successful in the workplace.

So far, over 2,000 Enterprise Advisers cover over half of schools and colleges in England. The strategy includes a commitment that, by the end of 2020, all schools and colleges will have access to an Enterprise Adviser. Each Adviser would usually be matched with one school or college.

The CEC has built up a network of 50 ‘cornerstone’ employers and will triple this over the next two years. The CEC will continue to identify ‘cornerstone’ employers on the basis of their commitment to work with schools and colleges to offer more young people meaningful employer encounters through activities such as mentoring, work experience, mock interviews and career talks.

The government’s careers strategy, published on 4 December 2017, sets out a long term plan to build a world-class careers system that will help young people and adults choose the career that is right for them.