Justin Tomlinson Portrait

Justin Tomlinson

Conservative - North Swindon

First elected: 6th May 2010


1 APPG membership (as of 8 Apr 2024)
Night Time Economy
5 Former APPG memberships
Consumer Protection, Learning Disability, Literacy, Sport, Video Games
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Apr 2019 - 16th Sep 2021
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jul 2018 - 4th Apr 2019
Work and Pensions Committee
4th Jun 2018 - 26th Nov 2018
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)
8th May 2015 - 17th Jul 2016
Consolidation Bills (Joint Committee)
6th Dec 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
6th Dec 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Public Accounts Committee
12th Nov 2012 - 8th Sep 2014


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Justin Tomlinson has voted in 881 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2023 - CRIMINAL LAW - View Vote Context
Justin Tomlinson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 282 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 290 Noes - 14
6 Jun 2023 - Committee on Standards - View Vote Context
Justin Tomlinson voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 28 Conservative Aye votes vs 32 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 40
4 Dec 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Justin Tomlinson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 217 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 381 Noes - 37
4 Dec 2023 - Victims and Prisoners Bill - View Vote Context
Justin Tomlinson voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 238 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 246 Noes - 242
View All Justin Tomlinson Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Vicky Foxcroft (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
(9 debate interactions)
Debbie Abrahams (Labour)
(8 debate interactions)
David Linden (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Social Justice)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Work and Pensions
(240 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(16 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Justin Tomlinson's debates

North Swindon Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

People with a lifelong illness should not be subject to regular reviews for eligibility for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). People suffering lifelong conditions should not have to prove they are still ill every couple of years.

The Government should remove the requirement for people claiming disability benefits, such as the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), to have to go through an assessment process. Claims should be based solely on evidence from medical professionals, such as a letter from a GP or consultant.

We want the Government to conduct a full review of the PIP process. This should look at DWP policy and the performance of ATOS and Capita, which conduct the health assessments for applicants. We believe the current process is inherently unethical and biased, and needs a complete overhaul.

The Government should not reduce the existing adult-child childcare ratios as has been suggested. There are surely better ways to reduce the cost of living – potentially endangering children in trusted care is not how it should be done.


Latest EDMs signed by Justin Tomlinson

Justin Tomlinson has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Justin Tomlinson, 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.


Justin Tomlinson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Justin Tomlinson has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Justin Tomlinson


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for a graduated driving licence scheme; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th June 2013

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision regarding local authority powers to require developers to deposit funds in the form of a bond to be used if the local area is not maintained properly; and for connected purposes;

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 27th October 2010

Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department has taken to ensure the provision of accessible communications for disabled people in (a) pandemic and (b) disaster preparedness work.

The Government Communication Service (GCS) is committed to ensuring that all government communications are available and accessible to all audiences. Its crisis communications operating model commits to improving preparedness plans across the risks facing the government. This includes meeting statutory requirements and setting standards of best practice for accessible communications.

Departments make commonly-requested alternative formats of communications such as Easy Read and Large Print available in order to meet people’s needs. The recently published British Sign Language (BSL) report details what the government is doing to promote and facilitate the use of BSL in its communications with the public.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, GCS continuously engaged with disability charities, using polling and focus groups with hard-to-reach audiences, to better understand how our communications were received. Examples of new guidance were also discussed in regular sessions with disability charities and experts in accessibility, so these groups could review and make recommendations on how to improve government communications. We used these insights to improve government messaging and challenge misinformation.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to paragraph 124 of the Fourth Report of Session 2019-21 from the Women and Equalities Select Committee on Unequal impact? Coronavirus, disability and access to services: full Report, HC1050, published on 22 December 2020, what steps his Department has taken to evaluate the extent to which Government communications comply with the accessible communications checklist.

The Government Communication Service (GCS) is committed to ensuring the government communicates effectively to everyone by making its communications inclusive and accessible. This includes standards, monitoring, training and guidance on accessibility and inclusion. We have aligned, where possible, with the charity sector’s accessibility checklist.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to recommendation 13 of the Fourth Report of the Women and Equalities Select Committee of Session 2019-21, on Unequal impact? Coronavirus, disability and access to services, HC1050, published on 22 December 2020, what progress his Department has made on ensuring that all Government communications comply with the accessible communications checklist.

The Government Communication Service (GCS) is committed to ensuring the government communicates effectively to everyone by making its communications inclusive and accessible. This includes standards, monitoring, training and guidance on accessibility and inclusion. We have aligned, where possible, with the charity sector’s accessibility checklist.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all press conferences from Downing Street are provided with British Sign Language translation during national emergencies.

I refer the Hon Member for North Swindon to my answer on 15th November 2023 (PQ 322).

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has made an estimate of the number of people employed in the UK hospitality industry in each of the last five years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publish a large range of labour market statistics, including releases that track the number of workers employed in the hospitality sector.

The ONS publish a detailed guide to using these statistics. As the guidance states, due to the survey design the preferred source for statistics at the industry level is the ONS JOBS02 workforce jobs by industry.

Data is also available from NOMIS, the official website for labour market statistics run by the University of Durham on behalf of the ONS.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has made an estimate of the number of people employed in the UK retail industry in each of the last five years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publish a large range of labour market statistics, including releases that track the number of workers employed in the retail sector. The ONS publish a detailed guide to using these statistics. As the guidance states, due to the survey design the preferred source for statistics at the industry level is the ONS JOBS02 workforce jobs by industry.

Data is also available from NOMIS, the official website for labour market statistics run by the University of Durham on behalf of the ONS.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps he has taken to progress the government's work to protect intellectual property in relation to music and film.

The Government is continuing its work with the music industry to improve music streaming for creators and Ministers will shortly be updating the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is also considering evidence about how to implement the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which will secure additional protections for British performers abroad. A public consultation on this is planned for the new year.

Additionally, in February 2022, the IPO published its 5 year IP Counter Infringement Strategy setting out its ambition to make IP infringement socially unacceptable and which includes measures to reduce copyright infringement, including of music and film.

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government is planning any further national schemes like the Year of Engineering in 2018 to encourage more young people into STEM careers.

Through UKRI, BEIS currently funds a variety of national programmes open to young people in all parts of the UK, to encourage them to take up the study of STEM subjects and to consider STEM careers.

These include the STEM Ambassadors programme, a nationwide network of over 30,000 volunteers representing over 7,000 employers, who engage with young people to increase their interest in STEM subjects and to raise awareness of the range of careers that science qualifications offer. BEIS also supports the CREST Awards, the UK’s largest national award scheme for project work in STEM subjects is based on enquiry-based learning principles which encourage motivation and engagement.

Programmes such as this are critical to inspiring more young people from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects and take up relevant careers. UKRI is currently reviewing these youth engagement programmes and their impacts to ensure that they remain effective in encouraging moreyoung people into research and innovation careers.

23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of potential impact of the UK Games Fund on (a) employment, (b) investment, (c) studio formation and (d) IP development.

DCMS is currently evaluating the impact of the updated UK Games Fund, which is providing £13.4million over 2022-2025 to accelerate the growth of the UK games sector. In 2023, an independent evaluator, Alma Economics, was procured to produce a process, impact and economic evaluation of the fund between 2022-2025. This evaluation is due to be completed in Spring 2025 and will assess the impact of the fund across a range of metrics, including employment, investment, business formation and growth, and IP development.

It will also review the longer-term impact of earlier funding administered from 2015 onwards. A previous evaluation of the UKGF in 2019 found that the UK Games Fund had an estimated return on investment of £5 for every £1 spent.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many games studios have been supported by the UK Games Fund since its inception.

The UK Games Fund supports the development of new intellectual property (IP) and graduate talent.

The UK Games Fund has provided 308 grants supporting the development of new games IP from UK studios. This includes grants for 27 studios that participated in Tranzfuser, and four studios that participated in the residential programme DunDev. It does not include grants from the new £5 million Content Fund which was launched in September 2023.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding her Department has provided to Sport England in each of the last three financial years.

The departmental funding in the form of Grant-in-aid to Sport England over the last 3 years is as follows:

Financial Year

£000s

2020-21

222,150 *

2021-22

163,761*

2022-23

113,571

*These figures include additional investment to deliver the National Leisure Recovery Fund (NLRF) and the Sport Survival Package (SSP).

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many times Sport England has used statutory powers to restrict community access to sports (a) pitches and (b) other facilities in the latest period for which data is available.

Sport England does not proactively record the number of times they have used statutory powers to restrict community access to pitches or facilities.

Recent records show that between 2021 and 2023, Sport England introduced two planning conditions to limit community use to some degree, so as to not undermine the viability of nearby sites.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding her Department has provided to the Football Foundation in each of the last three financial years.

The government has committed to delivering the facilities that every community needs and is investing over £300m across the UK between 2021 and 2025 as a step towards that ambition - including a £230m uplift, on top of an existing £18m annual commitment in England.

Since 2021, DCMS has provided £184.2m of funding to the Football Foundation:

2021/22 - £39m

2022/23 - £64.2m

2023/24 - £81m

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will take steps to help ensure that regional media content is made available in the region to which it relates by radio stations in the context of localised opt-outs.

The Government recognises the positive impact that local public service broadcasting – particularly access to local radio and television services – has on local communities. On a local level, our public service broadcasters, local TV providers, news publishers and commercial and community radio stations all play a crucial role in disseminating accurate news and reflecting the unique interests of the audiences that they serve. Our Broadcasting White Paper published in April this year outlined our plans to support this diversity of content through a changing landscape.

The Government is disappointed that the BBC is planning to reduce parts of its local radio output. The BBC is operationally and editorially independent from the government as set out in its Royal Charter, and decisions on service delivery are a matter for the BBC. However, I have been clear with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director General that the BBC must make sure it continues to provide distinctive and genuinely local services, with content that reflects and represents people and communities from all corners of the UK.

The Government also expects Ofcom, as regulator of the BBC, to ensure the BBC is robustly held to account in delivering its public service duties. The Secretary of State has already asked Ofcom about how they are considering this issue, and Ofcom is continuing to discuss these proposals with the BBC.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will meet with the Professional Footballers' Association to discuss what steps her Department could take to help encourage more ex-professional football players to pursue a career in teaching.

I will be meeting the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) next month to discuss a range of issues. Football players have many options available to them when they retire and the PFA does important work to help them prepare for life after football, which may include a career in teaching.

We are continuing to invest in attracting the best teachers where they are needed the most through our teaching marketing campaign, support services for prospective trainees, and our new in-house teacher recruitment journey and associated digital services which are making it easier for great people to become teachers.

We will deliver 500,000 teacher training and development opportunities by 2024, giving all teachers and school leaders access to world-class, evidence-based training and professional development at every stage of their career.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent steps she has taken to progress her policy to provide all households with broadband speeds which satisfy the Universal Service Obligation.

In March 2021, we launched our £5 billion Project Gigabit to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband across the UK. Project Gigabit’s objective is to level up the UK by giving hard-to-reach areas access to gigabit-capable internet speeds and, coupled with commercial gigabit delivery, ensuring almost all of the UK has access to gigabit-capable internet as soon as possible.

We have recently signed our first local Project Gigabit contracts in North Dorset and Teesdale, prioritising delivery to rural, hard-to-reach premises and to those with the lowest broadband speeds, and we will be awarding further contracts over the coming months.

Furthermore, up to £210 million is available for Gigabit Broadband Vouchers to support rural communities with the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections.

Separately to Project Gigabit, the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) provides the legal right to request a decent broadband connection, helping to ensure full participation in both society and the economy.

Since its launch in 2020, the number of premises eligible for the broadband USO has fallen from 189,000 to 66,000 as of May 2022. Ofcom estimates that a further 17,000 premises are currently unable to receive a decent broadband connection, but are expected to receive an upgrade by a publicly funded rollout scheme within the next 12 months.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions her Department has had with (a) with representatives of the Football Association (FA) and (b) other football bodies on the potential merits of establishing a football-led consensus to the fan-led review.

The Government published its response to the recommendations made by the Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance in April 2022. We absolutely recognise the need for football to be reformed to ensure the game’s sustainability in the long term. We are now taking the time to consider the policy, and are continuing to engage with the Football Authorities and fan groups as this policy develops. We remain committed to publishing a White Paper, setting out our detailed response to the fan led review of football governance, and will set this out in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress her Department has made in implementing the recommendations of the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance.

The Government published its response to the recommendations made by the Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance in April 2022. We absolutely recognise the need for football to be reformed to ensure the game’s sustainability in the long term. We are now taking the time to consider the policy, and are continuing to engage with the Football Authorities and fan groups as this policy develops. We remain committed to publishing a White Paper, setting out our detailed response to the fan led review of football governance, and will set this out in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the proposal by The Independent Game Developers’ Association to introduce a Video Games Investment Fund.

The government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s games sector. As part of a wider package of support for the creative industries, the government has announced an £8 million expansion of the UK Games Fund. The UK Games Fund will provide valuable support to early stage games development businesses and talented graduates throughout the UK.

We are not seeking to take forward a proposal for a new Video Games Investment Fund. We welcome continued discussions with the games industry on how best to support a thriving UK games sector.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has to increase the effectiveness of the National Citizen Service through working alongside (a) trust organisers and (b) local authorities.

Following the recent Spending Review, officials are working closely with the National Citizen Service Trust (NCS Trust) and across Whitehall to increase the effectiveness of the funding provided by this government to support young people.

My officials will continue to provide support and oversight to the management team at the NCS Trust, setting ambitious delivery targets and working closely with other Departments to explore new opportunities and align the programme with the changing needs of young people and of the youth sector.

DCMS and the Trust will ensure that the programme is maintaining a strong, diverse supply chain. The Trust works with over 120 network partners nationwide and its programme delivery is highly localised. It aims to strengthen this network of providers moving forward, focusing its commissioning on localised and place-based delivery, co-creation, and partnership.

NCS Trust works closely with a range of local authorities providing engaging and inspiring initiatives, including:

  • Changemakers: community action groups that take place in every local authority, offering young people the opportunity to create real, positive change.

  • Skills Booster: programme that delivers off-the-shelf personal development packages in schools and colleges, available to all local authority youth teams

DCMS and the Trust will continue to focus on the twelve Opportunity Areas and leverage data analytics to enhance opportunities for young people in every local authority area.

The Government will continue to support the National Citizen Service Trust over the next three years, when it is expected to engage with more than 100,000 young people each year.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government can take to protect the exclusivity window that cinemas have for new film releases.

The Government recognises the important cultural and economic value of cinemas, which is why we are pleased to have supported the sector during the pandemic with £33.8 million of Culture Recovery Fund awards and our generous package of pan-economy measures.

In film distribution, an exclusivity window is the period of time for which a film is only available in cinemas before it is released more widely, such as on a video-on-demand service. The Government encourages industry to work together on the agreements regarding exclusivity windows and does not intend to intervene.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students took undergraduate degrees in Games and Animation in the academic year 2022-23.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency, which is now part of JISC, is responsible for collecting and publishing data about UK higher education. The latest statistics refer to the 2021/22 academic year.

The number of full person equivalents [1] studying at undergraduate level in the subject area ‘Games and Animation’ [2] in 2021/22 was 13,430, including 4,820 first year enrolments. To note, figures have been rounded to the nearest five. An additional 4,075 full person equivalents, including 1,420 first year enrolments, were recorded in the ‘animation’ category’ [3], which falls under ‘Cinematics and photography’ subjects, and includes other forms of animation, not gaming animation specifically.

More information is available via the following link: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-52.

Updates on the timing of statistics for the 2022/23 academic year are available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/upcoming.

[1] Counts are on the basis of full-person-equivalents (FPE). Where a student is studying more than one subject, they are apportioned between the subjects that make up their course.

[2] Enrolments in Computer games and animation (code 11-01-06 of the Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) tier 3). More information on CAH codes can be found at the following link: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/support/documentation/hecos/cah.

[3] Enrolments in Animation (code 100057 of the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS)). More information on HECoS codes can be found at the following link: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/support/documentation/hecos.

18th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of allowing schools to access SEN funding outside of the statutory assessment period.

The department expects schools to have access to high needs funding wherever the costs of additional support for a pupil with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are in excess of £6,000 per pupil per annum. Local authorities can provide this additional SEN funding for schools in respect of pupils who are awaiting the completion of a statutory Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment, or do not otherwise have an EHC plan. Local authorities determine the circumstances in which such allocations of high needs funding are made and the amounts to allocate to schools.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many standalone multi-academy trusts there are in each local authority area; and if she will make a comparative assessment of the effectiveness of multi-academy trusts that (a) are standalone and (b) have a number of schools.

In December 2023, there were 1,000 Single Academy Trusts (SATs) running one school compared to 1,321 Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) running more than one school, which accounts for 9,603 academies and free schools in total in MATs. A full breakdown of the number of SATs in each local authority and more information is available here: https://get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/Downloads.

In terms of assessing effectiveness, a direct performance comparison between SATs and MATs is not possible because many good and outstanding schools converted as SATs and some remain as such. Schools that underperformed as local authority maintained schools are typically transferred into MATs as sponsored academies.

The department believes that the best way to improve school standards is for all schools to be in strong families of schools, benefitting from the support of the best in the group and the resilience that comes from being part of a larger group of schools. Over time, the department would like all schools to be in a strong multi-academy trust because of the positive impact it can have on children’s lives. The department aims to have the vast majority of schools in trusts before 2030.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have participated in the Holiday Activities Programme since that programme was launched.

This year the government invested over £200 million in the department’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, with all Local Authorities in England delivering in the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays and continuing to do so until March 2025.

The HAF programme provides heathy meals, enriching activities and free childcare places to children from low-income families, benefiting their health, wellbeing and learning.

During the pilot phase of the programme in 2018, the HAF programme reached around 18,000 children across the country. In 2019, the HAF programme reached around 50,000 children in 11 Local Authority areas, and in 2020, the programme reached around 50,000 children across 17 Local Authority areas. The HAF programme was rolled out nationally in England, to all areas in 2021 and reached over 685,000 children and young people in summer 2022, including over 475,000 children eligible for free school meals.

The 2023 data is not yet available.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department are taking to ensure that developers are installing school sports pitches that are (a) safe and (b) meet quality standards.

The department does not monitor playing fields installed by developers. This is a matter for local planning authorities. Sport England are statutory consultees on planning applications which include outdoor PE facilities. They also provide separate guidance on good practice.

The School Premises (England) Regulations 2012 set regulations for physical education, including the playing of games outdoors. They are available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/1943/introduction/made.

The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 include the same regulation for independent schools, including academies. The Education Regulations are available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3283/made.

Building Bulletin 103 and 104 (BB103/4) at Area guidelines and net capacity provide non-statutory guidance on what site area is needed to provide sufficient sports pitches for any school, depending on the type, age range and size. The guidelines are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/area-guidelines-and-net-capacity. Local Planning Authorities can require BB103/4 minimum standards to ensure that the site area will support the PE facilities needed.

The department’s Output Specification for new and refurbished school grounds applies to all school projects directly funded by the department. These are published and can be used by local authorities to set standards.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of allowing childminders to claim childcare funding for the costs of caring for (a) their own child and (b) a related child they are parenting when they have been registered for over five years.

Childminders in England cannot claim funding from the department’s early education entitlements for related children in their care. Early years entitlements are only available where a registered early years provider provides 'childcare' for a child. The definition of 'childcare' is set out in the Childcare Act 2006 and excludes care provided for a child by a parent, a person with parental responsibility for the child, a stepparent, foster parent, or other certain relatives (for example a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister, whether they are full blood or half blood, or by marriage or civil partnership).

An Education Select Committee report, published on 18 July 2023, recommended that the department should permit parents to claim funded hours for their child if they are cared for by a registered childminder who is also a member of their extended family (for example a grandparent, aunt or uncle, rather than a child’s parent or primary carer). The department’s current approach avoids creating an incentive for adults to register to become childminders and being paid to look after related children that they are already looking after on an informal basis, which could apply to extended family members as well as parents and carers. Currently, the department has no plans to change this position as allowing childminders to receive funding for related children in their care would not be an effective use of public money, and may have a negative impact on the viability of existing childcare businesses.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average annual budget was for primary school libraries in the latest period for which data is available.

​​The National Curriculum requires teachers to encourage pupils to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. It also emphasises the importance of listening to, discussing, and reading for themselves a wide range of stories, poems, plays and non-fiction books.

​​The Department believes that all pupils deserve to be taught a knowledge rich curriculum that promotes the extensive reading of books and other texts, both in and out of school. School libraries complement public libraries in allowing pupils to do this.

Overall, core schools funding (including funding for both mainstream schools and high needs) is £3.5 billion higher in 2023/24, compared to 2022/23. That is, on top of the £4 billion, year-on-year increase provided in 2022/23 – an increase of £7.5 billion, or over 15%, in just two years. It is for headteachers to decide how best to manage their budgets, including investment in resources such as library provision. This funding is not ringfenced and can include funding book corners, school libraries and librarians.

​It is for individual schools to decide how best to provide and maintain a library service for their pupils, including whether to employ a qualified librarian. Many head teachers recognise the important role school libraries play in improving literacy and encouraging pupils to read for pleasure and ensure that suitable library facilities are provided. School libraries can take many forms, with some schools preferring to make books a focus in other ways, including housing them within classrooms.

Given the autonomy granted to schools, the Department does not collect information on the number and proportion of schools that purchased books through local bookshops in the last 12 months, or the average annual budget for primary school libraries.

3rd Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate of the number and proportion of schools that purchased books through local bookshops in the last 12 months.

​​The National Curriculum requires teachers to encourage pupils to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. It also emphasises the importance of listening to, discussing, and reading for themselves a wide range of stories, poems, plays and non-fiction books.

​​The Department believes that all pupils deserve to be taught a knowledge rich curriculum that promotes the extensive reading of books and other texts, both in and out of school. School libraries complement public libraries in allowing pupils to do this.

Overall, core schools funding (including funding for both mainstream schools and high needs) is £3.5 billion higher in 2023/24, compared to 2022/23. That is, on top of the £4 billion, year-on-year increase provided in 2022/23 – an increase of £7.5 billion, or over 15%, in just two years. It is for headteachers to decide how best to manage their budgets, including investment in resources such as library provision. This funding is not ringfenced and can include funding book corners, school libraries and librarians.

​It is for individual schools to decide how best to provide and maintain a library service for their pupils, including whether to employ a qualified librarian. Many head teachers recognise the important role school libraries play in improving literacy and encouraging pupils to read for pleasure and ensure that suitable library facilities are provided. School libraries can take many forms, with some schools preferring to make books a focus in other ways, including housing them within classrooms.

Given the autonomy granted to schools, the Department does not collect information on the number and proportion of schools that purchased books through local bookshops in the last 12 months, or the average annual budget for primary school libraries.

22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to improve the provision of careers advice in educational settings.

The Department is investing £30 million to support the improvement of careers programmes for young people across educational settings.

In primary schools, the Department is introducing a new careers programme, targeting primary schools in disadvantaged areas. The programme will seek to inspire pupils about the world of work, and help children link what they are taught in the classroom to future jobs and careers.

In secondary schools and colleges, the Department has adopted the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance, a careers framework based on rigorous national and international research. Over 4,200 schools and colleges are using the Benchmarks to develop and improve their careers programmes.

We are strengthening the underpinning legislation. On 1 September 2022, the Department commenced new legislation that extends the legal entitlement to independent careers guidance to all secondary aged pupils in all types of schools. On 1 January 2023, the Department is strengthening the law so that all pupils have the opportunity for six encounters with providers of approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships, as they progress through school years 8 to 13.

The Department is working with The Careers & Enterprise Company to complete the national rollout of careers infrastructure that is proven to accelerate performance against the Gatsby Benchmarks: Careers Hubs, digital support, Careers Leader training and an Enterprise Adviser Network. By August 2023, 90% of schools and colleges will be part of a Careers Hub. Over 2,170 Careers Leaders have been trained since training was launched in September 2018. Around 3,750 business professionals are working as Enterprise Advisers with schools and colleges to develop their careers strategies and employer engagement plans.

The Department is strengthening quality and accountability. We strongly recommend that schools and colleges achieve external national accreditation through the Quality in Careers Standard. Ofsted inspectors assess the quality of careers education in all graded inspections.

22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on the introduction of emergency life saving skills lessons in schools.

Schools are now required to teach first aid as part of statutory health education. In this subject, pupils are taught how to deal with common injuries, call the emergency services, administer CPR and understand the purpose of defibrillators.

To support teachers to deliver this topic the department published a first aid teacher training module, which was produced with expert input from St John Ambulance and Resuscitation Council UK. This module is freely available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teacher-training-basic-first-aid. Many schools use organisations such as St John Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation and the British Red Cross to support delivery of the topic.

The national curriculum for physical education (PE) also sets out that schools should teach water safety skills by the end of key stage 2 alongside compulsory swimming lessons. These include a requirement for children to be able to perform safe self-rescue in a variety of water-based situations. Oak National Academy, funded by the department, have also made virtual water safety lessons available. To further support schools, the government has committed to invest £30 million over the next three financial years, which will include a specific programme to improve provision of PE, school sport and physical activity in primary schools in England, including swimming and water safety.

22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding schools in Swindon have received per pupil in each of the last 5 years.

The schools block funding allocated to schools from the 2018/2019 to the 2022/2023 financial year for Swindon local authority is as follows:

Swindon Local Authority

Primary funding per pupil

Secondary funding per pupil

2018-19

£3,735.80

£4,894.86

2019-20

£3,789.21

£5,042.79

2020-21

£3,986.98

£5,259.99

2021-22

£4,345.79

£5,702.33

2022-23

£4,460.37

£5,872.04

Further information on school funding statistics can be found here:

https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-funding-statistics.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to encourage more women to take up STEM qualifications.

To ensure a strong pipeline of qualified students into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) areas, the department has committed substantial spending on mathematics, digital and technical education. This includes funding the Stimulating Physics Network which provides tailored support to schools to increase rates of progression to physics A level and funding an Inclusion in Schools project, delivered by the Association for Science Education, which is designed to increase the uptake of A level physics from students in underrepresented groups, including girls. The department has also funded an £84 million programme to improve computing teaching and participation at GCSE and A level, particularly amongst girls.

Additionally, the department has funded research programmes to investigate ways to tackle gender balance in STEM subjects, including the Improving Gender Balance national research trial for physics and the Gender Balance in Computing Programme. The computing research, led by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, has now concluded and its findings will be published in due course.

The department has introduced T Levels as a high-quality technical alternative to A levels. The current T Levels in Science and Digital, as well as the upcoming T Levels in Engineering and Manufacturing, will provide opportunities for all students to study STEM-related subjects. To challenge stereotypes which may hold young people back, including gender stereotypes, we are using T Level ambassadors to showcase a wide range of voices from those already studying T levels, including girls taking STEM-related T Levels.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps the Government has taken to encourage young people to take up STEM qualifications.

To ensure a strong pipeline of qualified students into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) areas, the department has committed substantial spending on mathematics, digital and technical education. This includes funding the Stimulating Physics Network which provides tailored support to schools to increase rates of progression to physics A level and funding an Inclusion in Schools project, delivered by the Association for Science Education, which is designed to increase the uptake of A level physics from students in underrepresented groups, including girls. The department has also funded an £84 million programme to improve computing teaching and participation at GCSE and A level, particularly amongst girls.

Additionally, the department has funded research programmes to investigate ways to tackle gender balance in STEM subjects, including the Improving Gender Balance national research trial for physics and the Gender Balance in Computing Programme. The computing research, led by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, has now concluded and its findings will be published in due course.

The department has introduced T Levels as a high-quality technical alternative to A levels. The current T Levels in Science and Digital, as well as the upcoming T Levels in Engineering and Manufacturing, will provide opportunities for all students to study STEM-related subjects. To challenge stereotypes which may hold young people back, including gender stereotypes, we are using T Level ambassadors to showcase a wide range of voices from those already studying T levels, including girls taking STEM-related T Levels.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to help make school uniforms more affordable.

The ‘Cost of school uniform’ guidance, which was published in November 2021 and came into force at the start of September, requires schools to ensure that their uniform is affordable and secures best value for money for parents. It requires schools to:

  • keep branded items to a minimum and limited to low cost or long-lasting items
  • give the highest priority to cost and value for money in their supply arrangements
  • make second-hand uniform available for parents to acquire
  • publish their uniform policy on their website and ensure that this is easily understood
  • engage with parents and pupils on cost issues when they are developing their uniform policy.

Headteachers know their school communities best and can make decisions on the branded items that are most appropriate to their school. Branded items create a sense of common identity and prevent pupils from competing against one another in the latest fashion trends. The guidance requires school leaders to carefully consider the overall cost implications of their chosen approach, including whether requiring a branded item is the most cost-effective way of achieving the desired result for their uniform. To ensure that school uniform acts as a social leveller, optional branded items should be kept to a minimum.

The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-school-uniforms/cost-of-school-uniforms.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to recruit adequate numbers of computing teachers in schools.

In 2021, there were almost 6,600 computing teachers in state-funded secondary schools in England, which is 520 more than in 2020.

Recruitment to computing is supported by tax free scholarships of £26,000 and bursaries of £24,000 for postgraduate trainees, as it is considered a high priority subject.

The teaching marketing campaign provides inspiration and support to explore a career in teaching and directs people to the Get Into Teaching service. Prospective trainees can access support and advice through expert one-to-one Teacher Training Advisers, a contact centre and a national programme of events.

Additionally, the Get School Experience digital service arranges school experience placements between prospective candidates and schools. Get Into Teaching is also developing innovative activities to ensure future interest in teaching, with a focus on shortage subjects, such as teaching internships for computing, physics and maths undergraduates.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking with local authorities to help ensure that school facilities are available for use by local communities.

The Department encourages all schools to take an active part in their local communities with many schools already opening up their facilities to support local groups. These include sports teams using school pitches, or community groups using school halls in the evening. For academies, the Department has also taken steps to ensure community use through the funding agreement which states that academy trusts ‘must ensure that each of its academies is at the heart of its community, promoting community cohesion and sharing facilities with other schools and/or other educational institutions and the wider community.’

The Department announced in October 2021 that it will invest nearly £30 million per year to open up school sport facilities in England, as well as to improve the teaching of Physical Education in primary schools. The Department is currently procuring phase 3 of the Opening School Facilities programme, which will provide further support to schools to open their sport and leisure facilities in the evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays.

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of setting different school term times for different regions in order to spread the demand for school holidays and thereby reduce holiday costs for parents and school staff.

The department does not have any plans to propose changes to term dates. School holidays are not determined at national level, they are agreed locally by trusts, schools, and local authorities (depending on school type). We believe that they are best placed to set school term and holiday dates in the interests of the pupils at their schools and their parents.

If schools do decide to change their term dates, they are required to act reasonably, giving parents notice and considering the impact on those affected. This includes pupils, teachers, the local community, parents’ work commitments and childcare options for both parents and teachers.

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of encouraging schools to use their powers to alter term dates in order to spread the demand for school holidays and reduce holiday costs for parents and school staff.

The department does not have any plans to propose changes to term dates. School holidays are not determined at national level, they are agreed locally by trusts, schools, and local authorities (depending on school type). We believe that they are best placed to set school term and holiday dates in the interests of the pupils at their schools and their parents.

If schools do decide to change their term dates, they are required to act reasonably, giving parents notice and considering the impact on those affected. This includes pupils, teachers, the local community, parents’ work commitments and childcare options for both parents and teachers.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the accreditation system introduced by The Independent Game Developers’ Association in ensuring that universities and colleges can provide graduates with skills relevant to the game development sector.

Driving up quality of higher education (HE) provision is a key priority for this government, and we are working with Office for Students to ensure all students receive high quality outcomes and are supported to progress to high skilled employment or further study through their HE course.

We expect higher and further education providers to ensure their courses at level 4 to 7 support students to progress into the workplace. Professional standards and progression frameworks like those developed by The Independent Game Developers’ Association can help providers design and deliver courses and work experience and ensure students can progress in professions. Assessment of the benefit of these standards is a matter for the provider.

As part of our technical education reforms, we want to make sure that the majority of technical qualifications at level 3 and below are based on employer-led occupational standards.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of concerns highlighted by The Independent Game Developers’ Association on the impact of removing funding for BTECs for young people on people wishing to pursue a career in the video games industry.

In July 2021 the department published the response to the second stage consultation in its review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reforms-to-post-16-qualifications-at-level-3-in-england. The consultation outlines the types of qualifications that we plan to fund in the future.

This will include some applied general type qualifications, for example BTECs, as part of mixed programmes alongside A levels where there is a need and they meet quality and other criteria. We will also fund high-quality alternative qualifications as a whole study programme in areas not well served by A levels and where they do not overlap with a T Level.

The department has made no decisions on the individual qualifications. We will shortly publish a provisional list of qualifications that will have public funding approval withdrawn as they duplicate the content and purpose of wave one and two T Levels. Qualifications that do not overlap with T Levels will be replaced by high quality reformed technical qualifications in future.

The updated impact assessment published alongside the response to the second stage consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-post-16-qualifications-at-level-3-in-england. The assessment looked at the potential impact of the review on students, but it did not look specifically at those looking to pursue a career in the video games industry.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of vocational educational opportunities in Swindon.

We are investing £3.8 billion in further education and skills, to ensure people can access high-quality training and education that leads to good jobs, addresses skills gaps, boosts productivity and supports levelling up.

We are introducing T Levels, boosting access to high quality technical education for thousands of 16-19 year olds. Young people in Swindon are now benefitting from these new qualifications, as New College Swindon began teaching T Levels in Digital, Education & Childcare, Health and Science from September last year.

The department is also committed to supporting more people to benefit from the high-quality training that apprenticeships offer, including those at the start of their career or those looking to retrain. Funding for apprenticeships will grow to £2.7 billion by financial year 2024-25, delivering the first increase to employer-led apprenticeships funding since financial year 2019-20. We are also investing over £550 million by financial year 2024-25 to make sure adults can upskill to reach their potential, delivering on the National Skills Fund commitment.

The Free Courses for Jobs offer, launched in April 2021, gives adults the chance to access their first level 3 qualification for free. We have also recently announced that from April, any adult in England earning under the National Living Wage annually (£18,525) or unemployed, will also be able to access these qualifications for free, regardless of their prior qualification level. New Swindon College is amongst many training providers who have been allocated funding to deliver this offer.

Complementing this, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with an employer. Skills Bootcamps are now available in areas across the country as well as online, covering digital, technical, construction, logistics (HGV driving), and green skills. In Swindon, Skills Bootcamps in HGV driving are currently available. We continue to expand Skills Bootcamps further, and more courses will become available across England over the next few months.

We are also launching Multiply, a new £560 million programme to help people improve their basic numeracy skills through free digital training, flexible courses and tutoring. Launching in Spring 2022, the Multiply programme is in addition to the England-wide statutory entitlement for numeracy and will give people who don’t have at least a GCSE Grace C/4 or equivalent in maths, access to free new flexible courses to improve their maths skills. This will include a new website with bitesize training and online tutorials, as well as flexible courses.

Apprenticeships have long been a growth area for New College Swindon and in September 2021, the college opened the Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology, with a mission to be a high-quality employer-led training facility delivering high level technical and digital skills training for young people and to those already in employment.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of people in (a) apprenticeships and (b) vocational educations in (i) Swindon and (b) England.

The latest published apprenticeship starts data covers the 2020/21 academic year and was published in November 2021 in the apprenticeships and traineeships statistics publication: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships-and-traineeships/2020-21.

Apprenticeship participation for Swindon between academic years 2018/19 and 2020/21 is contained in the below table:

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Participation

3,030

2,920

2,720

More data on apprenticeship participation by region can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/fast-track/7cb8ccbd-43d2-4909-822d-6cac2fae30eb

Apprenticeship participation for England between 2018/19 and 2020/21 is contained in the below table:

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

England - Participation

742,400

719,000

713,000

More information on apprenticeship participation can be explored here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/8b98defb-9b2b-4edd-89a5-4177bbf27fed

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to (a) encourage the growth of new Grammar Streams and (b) facilitate the expansion of existing Grammar Streams within schools.

Setting and streaming by ability is common in secondary schools. We believe that teachers are best placed to decide the approach in their own schools. It is therefore a matter for the school in question whether to test pupils on entry for ability and place them in a grammar stream, or to otherwise stream pupils by ability.

The census data we collect from schools does not include information on whether children are streamed by ability.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils attend secondary schools that offer a grammar stream for high achieving students in England.

Setting and streaming by ability is common in secondary schools. We believe that teachers are best placed to decide the approach in their own schools. It is therefore a matter for the school in question whether to test pupils on entry for ability and place them in a grammar stream, or to otherwise stream pupils by ability.

The census data we collect from schools does not include information on whether children are streamed by ability.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is planning to take to increase the number of foreign-language teachers available in (a) the South West and (b) England.

The 2020/21 academic year saw an increase of more than 5,000 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in state-funded secondary schools across the whole of England, including the south-west. This equates to a 2.5% growth on the year before, the largest observed in the last 10 years, and has resulted in the largest qualified teacher workforce since 2015/16.

To support the recruitment of modern foreign language (MFL) teachers, the department has raised the languages bursary to £15,000 for the 2022/23 academic year to incentivise candidates to train to teach MFL. All MFL trainee teachers on tuition fee-funded initial teacher training routes are also able to apply for a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to support their living costs. Additional student finance is also available depending on individual circumstances, such as the Childcare Grant.

The department has also now launched our early career framework reforms, as part of the department’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy. These reforms provide a funded entitlement for all early career teachers trained in England to access high quality professional development at the start of their career.

To support international recruitment across several subjects including MFL, the department is also piloting a new Support Overseas Teachers acclimatisation service in 2022. It is designed to provide newly recruited overseas trained teachers moving to England with pre-arrival training and support during the first term, to ensure they make a successful transition to teaching in England, with the intention of improving retention.

In line with the government’s Professional Qualifications bill, in 2022 the department will review how we recognise the qualifications of overseas teachers with qualified teacher status (QTS). This includes foreign-languages teachers and aims to ensure that overseas teachers with the right overseas qualifications can be awarded QTS, meaning they can work unrestricted in English schools.

The department is also launching a new international teaching qualification called iQTS, with a pilot beginning in September 2022. iQTS will allow teachers to train to English standards overseas, meaning a greater global pool of employable teachers trained to our domestic standards.

In addition, the department continues to develop policies to increase the supply of specialist MFL teachers by focusing on new interventions. This covers a broad range of areas, including growing awareness and experience of teaching among undergraduates.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to review the performance of students in mathematics compared to their performance in English and science in schools.

The government has no current plans to review the performance of students in mathematics compared to their performance in English and science in schools.

The department’s secondary school accountability measures are designed to encourage schools to teach a broad and balanced curriculum, with a strong academic core, and to incentivise schools to focus on improving the attainment of all pupils. School performance tables include information on pupil entries and attainment across a range of subjects and qualifications, compared to national and local authority averages.

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that regional school commissioners encourage multi-academy trusts to follow the national curriculum.

Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based, which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental, and physical development of pupils, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

Academies and free schools have greater freedom and autonomy in how they operate for areas such as the curriculum. They are expected to teach a curriculum that is comparable in breadth and ambition to the national curriculum, and many choose to teach the full national curriculum to achieve this.

The curriculum at an academy or free school is the responsibility of the academy trust. The curriculum provided in each academy to pupils up to the age of 16 is set out in their academy and free school funding agreement, which provides the framework for an academy or free school to operate in. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academy-and-free-school-funding-agreements.

If autonomous academies or multi academy trusts wish to deliver the national curriculum in their schools, they can do so. Academies may use their freedoms to develop their own curricula, tailored to meet the particular needs of their pupils, local area, or the particular ethos of the school.