Debates between Lee Anderson and Gavin Williamson

There have been 2 exchanges between Lee Anderson and Gavin Williamson

1 Mon 22nd June 2020 Oral Answers to Questions
Department for Education
6 interactions (420 words)
2 Tue 5th May 2020 Oral Answers to Questions
Department of Health and Social Care
3 interactions (260 words)

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lee Anderson and Gavin Williamson
Monday 22nd June 2020

(1 month, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Education
Lee Anderson Portrait Lee Anderson (Ashfield) (Con) - Hansard

What support his Department will provide to pupils to make up for time spent out of school as a result of the covid-19 lockdown. [903528]

Gavin Williamson Portrait The Secretary of State for Education (Gavin Williamson) - Hansard

Before I begin, may I take this opportunity to express my deepest condolences to the family of James Furlong and the other victims of the terrorist attack in Reading? We have heard so many young people talk about the amazing impact James had on their lives, the real appreciation they felt and the loss that they now feel. Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this most terrible of tragedies. It was an appalling attack, and the Home Secretary will update the House later today.

We are focused on doing whatever we can to ensure that no child falls behind as a result of coronavirus. That is why this Government have announced a package of support worth £1 billion to tackle the impact of lost teaching time due to covid-19.

Break in Debate

Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson - Hansard
22 Jun 2020, midnight

The best thing we can do for every child is to welcome them back to school at the earliest possible opportunity, when it is safe. I herald the wonderful work done by the Autism Education Trust, which the Department has decided to give extra funding and resource to this year, so that it can work with more teachers, helping them and training them to create the best environment to welcome all children back into school, where they can develop.

Lee Anderson Portrait Lee Anderson - Hansard

I have spoken to many headteachers across Ashfield who want to get back to full service as soon as possible. One way to begin to do that is to encourage all kids who can go back to school to do so, because it is safe. I deeply regret that last week, the Leader of the Opposition refused to say publicly that schools are safe to go back to. Will my right hon. Friend remind colleagues across the House that the education and welfare of our children come before any political point scoring?

Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson - Hansard
22 Jun 2020, midnight

I very much agree with my hon. Friend. He will know from his constituency the real benefits that schools are bringing to the children who are going back, and we need to expand that. Schools are a safe environment not just for children, but for those who work in them. It is a shame the Leader of the Opposition does not acknowledge that, but I hope the shadow Secretary of State will acknowledge how important it is to get all children back and what a safe environment schools are.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lee Anderson and Gavin Williamson
Tuesday 5th May 2020

(3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department of Health and Social Care
Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson - Hansard

My hon. Friend is right in his analysis. It is not just about helping children during this crisis; it is about helping and supporting children for many months and years to come, ensuring that schools continue to have that resource and helping many children through that resource over a long period. We recognise that a lot of work needs to be done to support children as they catch up on what they have missed, because there is no substitute for a child being in a classroom, learning directly from a teacher.

Lee Anderson Portrait Lee Anderson [V] - Hansard

School closures will, of course, affect children of all ages and backgrounds in different ways. Children from more disadvantaged backgrounds are much less likely to have access to the internet via a mobile or tablet. Will the Secretary of State confirm that devices with internet access are being sent to disadvantaged children, so that they can learn online more easily? That would certainly help to ensure that the disadvantaged children in my constituency of Ashfield and Eastwood, which the Minister visited recently, are not further disadvantaged by this crisis.

Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson - Hansard

I had the great privilege of joining my hon. Friend on a visit to Leamington primary school in his constituency, to see the amazing work being done there. We have made substantial investment in not just laptops but 4G routers, to ensure that families have better access to the internet and that children can benefit from the brilliant resources, many of which have been made available for free by people, companies and organisations, to allow children to continue to learn.