Liz Twist Portrait

Liz Twist

Labour - Blaydon

First elected: 8th June 2017

Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

(since November 2023)

Opposition Whip (Commons)
12th Feb 2020 - 5th Sep 2023
Shadow Minister (Scotland)
4th Dec 2021 - 5th Sep 2023
Finance (No. 2) Bill
10th May 2023 - 18th May 2023
Scottish Affairs Committee
4th May 2020 - 21st Feb 2023
UK Infrastructure Bank Bill [Lords]
16th Nov 2022 - 22nd Nov 2022
Financial Services and Markets Bill
12th Oct 2022 - 3rd Nov 2022
Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL]
19th Jan 2022 - 27th Jan 2022
Finance (No.2) Bill
8th Dec 2021 - 11th Jan 2022
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
27th Oct 2021 - 23rd Nov 2021
National Insurance Contributions Bill
16th Jun 2021 - 22nd Jun 2021
Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Bill
8th Jun 2021 - 15th Jun 2021
Committee on Standards
25th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee of Privileges
25th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
European Statutory Instruments Committee
18th Jul 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Petitions Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
European Statutory Instruments
18th Jul 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on Privileges
25th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 20th May 2019
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 20th May 2019


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Liz Twist has voted in 832 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Liz Twist 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(46 debate interactions)
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(45 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(33 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(119 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(113 debate contributions)
Home Office
(51 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(48 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Liz Twist's debates

Blaydon 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

Millions of UK citizens have a disability or serious medical condition that means they use more energy. Many people need to use a ventilator 24/7. People use electric pumps to feed through a tubes. People need to charge their mobility equipment, such as electric wheelchairs, stair lifts, bath seats.

Disabled people should be included alongside carers in the £650 one off payment as part of the Cost of Living support package. We have larger utilities bills and food costs when compared to non-disabled people. We rely on these utilities and food to stay alive.

We want suicide spoken about in schools in a safe and age-appropriate way. Speaking about suicide saves lives
The Dept for Education are conducting a review of the RSHE curriculum; this petition calls on the DfE to include suicide prevention within the statutory guidelines of the new curriculum.

Now the hedgehog has been listed as vulnerable to extinction in the UK, we are calling on the Government to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to allow them greater protection.

Enact legislation to protect retail workers. This legislation must create a specific offence of abusing, threatening or assaulting a retail worker. The offence must carry a penalty that acts as a deterrent and makes clear that abuse of retail workers is unacceptable.


Latest EDMs signed by Liz Twist

23rd October 2023
Liz Twist signed this EDM on Monday 23rd October 2023

Tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton

Tabled by: Ian Lavery (Labour - Wansbeck)
That this House notes with sorrow the passing of Ashington born World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton; further notes Bobby’s successful career with Manchester United for whom he played between 1956 and 1973 winning the English First Division three times, the FA Cup and the European Cup; notes Sir Bobby’s …
27 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Oct 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Independent: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
12th September 2023
Liz Twist signed this EDM on Monday 16th October 2023

Calling for a free and democratic Iran

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

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Liz Twist, 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.


Liz Twist has not been granted any Urgent Questions

5 Adjournment Debates led by Liz Twist

Thursday 7th March 2024
Thursday 7th September 2023
Wednesday 17th May 2023
Wednesday 2nd November 2022
Thursday 25th June 2020

2 Bills introduced by Liz Twist


A Bill to provide for a Code of Practice to be followed by retailers of fashion clothing, footwear and accessories in their relationships with their suppliers; to set up an Adjudicator with the role of enforcing that Code of Practice and encouraging compliance with it; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 13th July 2022
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to review the Disabled Facilities Grants system; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 14th July 2020
(Read Debate)

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
2 Other Department Questions
10th Feb 2021
What steps she is taking to tackle inequality during the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise that COVID-19 is impacting people in different ways, as I noted in my first quarterly report to the Prime Minister. Addressing these disparities is a priority for the whole Government. Our economic response is protecting people right across society – saving jobs, keeping businesses afloat and ensuring those most impacted have the support they need.

We are also working hard through local networks to ensure key information reaches all segments of society – for example through investing in our £23 million Community Champions scheme.

We’re seeing very positive developments in our vaccine roll-out – as recognised recently by the Bank of England. It’s vital the vaccine programme reaches all parts of our community and we have established a National Equalities Board to ensure that happens.

The Government is determined that our recovery from this virus will build back fairer for everyone.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
13th Jan 2021
What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on reducing economic inequality and poverty.

I have regular engagement with ministerial colleagues across Government on a range of equality and progression issues. Throughout this pandemic, we have sought to protect jobs and incomes by spending billions on strengthening welfare support. Our long-term ambition is to level up across the UK, helping people back into work as quickly as possible based on clear evidence around the importance of work in tackling poverty.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) procurement policies have been applied and (b) invitations to tender have been submitted in respect of Government contracts with (i) Serco and (ii) other private companies being used in the response to the covid-19 outrbreak.

Details of central government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Royal National Institute for Blind People's report entitled Turned out 2019, published October 2020, what plans he has to ensure blind and partially sighted people can receive their poll cards in preferred formats.

The Government is committed to ensuring that elections are accessible for all those eligible to vote and has already been working with the RNIB to improve the voting process for voters with sight loss.

It is important for security purposes that a physical poll card is sent to every elector at the property where they are registered, but we have already considered how electoral information might additionally be made available in more accessible format for those who request it.

Returning Officers already publish details of candidates in the order they will appear on the ballot paper online. We will work with partners in the electoral sector to ensure this information is accessible.

The Government will continue to work with the RNIB, the Electoral Commission and other relevant organisations to make blind and partially sighted voters aware of the support available to them at the polling station, and to consider what additional support could be provided to help blind and partially sighted people to vote including by post.

15th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to publish the names of candidates and their order on the ballot paper in advance, online and in local election offices to allow blind and partially sighted people to know in advance where they wish to place their vote on the ballot paper.

The Government is committed to ensuring that elections are accessible for all those eligible to vote and has already been working with the RNIB to improve the voting process for voters with sight loss.

It is important for security purposes that a physical poll card is sent to every elector at the property where they are registered, but we have already considered how electoral information might additionally be made available in more accessible format for those who request it.

Returning Officers already publish details of candidates in the order they will appear on the ballot paper online. We will work with partners in the electoral sector to ensure this information is accessible.

The Government will continue to work with the RNIB, the Electoral Commission and other relevant organisations to make blind and partially sighted voters aware of the support available to them at the polling station, and to consider what additional support could be provided to help blind and partially sighted people to vote including by post.

20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero,if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of energy costs on the viability of the businesses of self employed physiotherapists.

The Government has made no such assessment.

However, the Government is committed to ensuring that the costs of the UK's energy transition are fair and affordable for all consumers. The Energy Bills Discount Scheme will continue to provide energy support to businesses until March 2024.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2023 to Question 147173 on Energy Bills Discount Scheme, what criteria was used to establish that (a) libraries, (b) nature reserves and (c) museums should be classified as Eligible Sectors for Energy and Trade Intensive Industries as part of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme.

The thresholds for eligibility for the higher level of Energy and Trade Intensive Industries support under the Energy Bill Discount Scheme is based on businesses operating in the top 20th percentile for both gas and electricity intensity and 40th percentile for trade/goods intensity. Businesses have to meet all thresholds to be eligible.

The methodology used to determine the eligibility of SIC Codes for the higher Energy and Trade Intensive Industry (ETII) support is published at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-bills-discount-scheme-factsheet.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, for what reason the care sector is not eligible for the Energy and Trade Intensive Industries scheme as part of the Government's Energy Bills Discount scheme.

The Government has taken a consistent approach to identifying the most energy and trade intensive sectors, with all sectors that meet agreed thresholds for energy and trade intensity eligible for ETII support. These thresholds have been set at sectors falling above the 80th percentile for energy intensity and 60th percentile for trade intensity, plus any sectors eligible for the existing energy compensation and exemption schemes. Both of those thresholds must be met to warrant inclusion, meaning that some energy intensive sectors, which are not significantly trade intensive will not be eligible for support.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the speed of the roll-out of Project Gigabit.

Over 76% of UK premises can access gigabit-capable broadband. We are on track to meet our target of 85% coverage across the UK by 2025 and more than 99% by 2030.

I am proud to see the progress we have made on Project Gigabit, with twelve contracts awarded so far to suppliers to extend gigabit-capable coverage in hard-to-reach areas.

On top of this, over 117,000 vouchers have been issued so far under the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme and its previous iterations. 89,000 of these have been used to provide a gigabit-capable connection.

8th Jun 2023
What steps she is taking to support the commercialisation of science and technology research in the North East.

Innovation in the North East is supported by significant public investment. For example, universities in the region received £12 million this year through the Higher Education Innovation Fund, and six received a further £5 million from the Connecting Capability Fund to help spinout their research. We have also invested £5 million in the North East Technology Park to attract more science and technology companies, and the North East hosts Catapult centres that de-risk the transition from research to commercialisation, including the Offshore Renewable Catapult (Blyth), the Digital Catapult (Sunderland) and the Satellite Applications Catapult (County Durham).

17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the average increase in energy costs for (a) sports and (b) community organisations using alternative fuels since 1 January 2022.

BEIS does not hold information at that level of detail for sports and community organisations.

Latest published statistics on standard grade burning oil show prices were 30.7% higher in December 2022 compared to January 2022 (with prices peaking in June 2022). The price of coal (domestic use only) increased by 29.0% in December 2022 compared to January 2022.

Notes:

1). The latest published data for standard grade burning oil and coal is up to December 2022.

2). Standard grade burning oil is sourced from BEIS Monthly and annual prices of road fuels and petroleum products (table 4.1.1).

3). BEIS figures are based on mid-monthly figures rather than first day of the month.

4). ONS data is sourced from RPI: Average price of smokeless fuel per 50kg dataset within the Consumer price inflation time series

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 16 January 2023 to Question 121055, on Alternative Fuel Payments: Biofuels, whether he has made an assessment of the impact on the activities of off-grid sports and community organisations of delays in the delivery of the Alternative Fuel Payments scheme.

The Government is committed to delivering the Non-Domestic Alternative Fuel Payment Scheme and will announce further details in the near future.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2022 to Question 99945 on Alternative Fuel Payments: Biofuels, when the fixed payment of £150 to off-grid non-domestic consumers will be made.

The Government will deliver support this winter. The UK is in discussions with electricity suppliers and will set out the timings for payments as soon as possible.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the minimum tariffs that energy suppliers are required to offer homeowners who contribute electricity generated by solar panels on their property.

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a cost-reflective and market led mechanism and it is for suppliers to determine the value of the exported electricity and to take account of the administrative costs associated when setting their tariffs.

Ofgem reports annually on the range, nature and uptake of tariffs offered by suppliers in response to their SEG obligations. The Government will continue to review this to monitor whether the market is delivering an effective range of options for small exporters. To date, the market has responded positively, with a range of SEG tariffs.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what level of energy requirements his Department expects to set for non-domestic consumers to qualify for the planned top-up payments provided for as part of the Alternative Fuel Payments scheme.

As part of the Non-Domestic Alternative Fuel Payments, a top-up payment will be available for large users of heating oil (kerosene) in Great Britain and Northern Ireland to take account of their higher usage. Further detail on eligibility will be provided shortly.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the research by the Chartered Institute of Building entitled Understanding Mental Health in the Built Environment, published on 11 May 2020, and the research by Mates in Mind and The Institute for Employment Studies entitled Supporting the mental health of self-employed construction workers, published in June 2022, what recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of procurement demands on the mental health of workers in (a) construction industry supply chains and (b) other parts of the construction industry.

The Government is committed to working to improve health and safety, as well as mental and occupational health in the construction sector, to enable the sector to recruit and retain the workforce that it needs in future. This work is being taken forward through the Construction Leadership Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Group, which brings together the Health and Safety Executive, industry representatives and trade unions to develop and circulate best practice and practical guidance for the industry.

The Government is also aware that procurement and contractual practices in the sector can have an impact on mental health. The Government has set out its commitment to improving procurement processes, and ensure there are fair and transparent payment and contractual provisions in relation to government construction projects and programmes in the Construction Playbook.

20th Oct 2022
To ask Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the research by the Chartered Institute of Building entitled Understanding Mental Health in the Built Environment, published on 11 May 2020, and the research by Mates in Mind and The Institute for Employment Studies entitled Supporting the mental health of self-employed construction workers, published in June 2022, if he will take steps to help ensure that (a) employers and (b) suppliers in the construction industry are implementing measures to support the mental health and well-being of workers in that sector.

The Government is committed to working to improve health and safety, as well as mental and occupational health in the construction sector, to enable the sector to recruit and retain the workforce that it needs in future. This work is being taken forward through the Construction Leadership Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Group, which brings together the Health and Safety Executive, industry representatives and trade unions, to develop and circulate information about best practice in relation to mental health and practical guidance for the industry.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Mar 2022
What assessment he has made of the impact of the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme on local authorities' ability to improve the energy efficiency of homes of low-income households.

BEIS commissioned an independent evaluation of Phases 1 and 2 of the Local Authority Delivery scheme in October 2020. This evaluation includes impact analysis of the scheme’s core objectives to improve energy efficiency in low-income households and will report findings following scheme completion.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance the Government has issued to local authorities on whether physiotherapy clinics that share premises with businesses that are not permitted to operate during the covid-19 lockdown should be required to close.

Healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, can continue operating under the National Lockdown regulations. Where a clinic is based in premises that is required to close, for example a gym, it will be a commercial decision for the gym owner to decide whether the physiotherapists can continue to practice there.

24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of including a complete ban on gambling marketing communications for consumers who have self-excluded or registered with GAMSTOP within forthcoming regulatory changes to the Gambling Act 2005.

As a condition of their Gambling Commission licences, all operators must offer self-exclusion procedures for customers, with online operators also required to take part in the GAMSTOP multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. As part of the self-exclusion process, licensees must take all reasonable steps to prevent marketing materials being sent to any self-excluded individual, including removing their details from any marketing database within two days of receiving notice of self-exclusion. If a customer has registered with GAMSTOP, all operators are expected to remove them from marketing lists. Operators who fail to comply with self-exclusion requirements are subject to enforcement action from the Gambling Commission.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether safety duties relating to content that is harmful to adults announced as part of the Online Safety Bill in the Queen's Speech 2021 will include content on and related to (a) suicide and (b) self-harm.

Under the new legal duty of care, in-scope companies will need to remove and limit the spread of illegal content and activity online. This includes illegal content which encourages or incites suicide online, with all companies expected to take swift and effective action against such content.

In addition, companies whose services have high-risk functionalities and which have the largest audiences will also be required to take action on content which is legal but which may cause harm to adults such as material which relates to self-harm or suicide. These companies will need to set out in clear terms and conditions what is acceptable on their services, and enforce those terms and conditions consistently and transparently.

We are also ensuring that criminal law is fit for purpose to account for harmful and dangerous communications online. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has sponsored a Law Commission review of harmful online communications. As part of this review, the Government has also asked the Law Commission to examine how the criminal law will address the encouragement or assistance of self harm. We know there is a strong case for making this sort of appalling content illegal. The Law Commission have consulted on their proposed reforms and will produce final recommendations by summer 2021.

4th Feb 2021
What plans he has to provide additional financial support to the civil and voluntary sector during the national covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

The £750 million sector funding package offered unprecedented support to allow charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and support our national response to the pandemic.

In addition, the Government continues to make a package of support available across the economy to enable organisations to get through the months ahead. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which continues to be a lifeline to a multitude of organisations.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of his Department working with the Department for Health and Social Care to improve voluntary sector provision for young people who self-harm, as recommended by the Samaritans in their October 2020 report entitled Pushed from pillar to post: Improving the availability and quality of support after self-harm in England.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has overall policy responsibility for children and young people’s mental health.

While DCMS has made no assessment on this specific issue, we are aware of the detrimental impact Covid-19 has had on young people’s mental health.

Officials and Ministers regularly engage with young people, including through our Youth Steering Group and events hosted by the youth sector. In recent conversations young people have highlighted the impact Covid-19 has had on mental wellbeing and loneliness.

A total of £4.7 million from the Government’s £750 million Charities package went to support mental health charities, including support for young people’s mental health.

In addition to this, the Department for Health and Social Care provided £6 million to the Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund, which has supported over 130 charities to date.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of fan representation on football club boards.

Football clubs are the heart of local communities, they have unique social value and many with a great history. It is vital they are protected.

The Government’s Expert Working Group on football supporter ownership and engagement in 2016 set out a number of recommendations to encourage greater engagement between supporters and those that run their club, while also helping to remove barriers to supporter ownership.

Whilst the Group was broadly supportive of the idea of supporter directors on club boards in principle, it believed that strong, structured dialogue with a representative group of supporters is a more inclusive way of ensuring supporters are informed and able to hold club owners and senior executives to account. The Premier League and English Football League now require clubs to meet with supporters at least twice a year to discuss strategic issues, giving fans the opportunity to shape the direction of the club.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 September 2023 to Question 198639 on Childcare, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the adequacy of (a) trained staff, (b) safe premises and (c) registered places in Blaydon constituency by the start of September 2025 to offer eligible children aged nine months and above to access 30 hours a week of free childcare for 38 weeks each year until the end of the term before they start at primary school.

Having enough staff in place to deliver high-quality education and care will be key to ensuring the successful delivery of our record expansion of early years entitlements. Driving up interest in early years careers and ensuring there are enough opportunities for career development is a priority for this government.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this Government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The department is developing a range of new workforce initiatives including the launch of a new national campaign, planned for the beginning of 2024, to boost interest in the sector and support the recruitment and retention of talented staff. To increase interest in early years, we are working to remove unnecessary barriers to entering the sector as well as considering how to make early years qualifications more accessible, coordinated and relevant.

Over the summer the department launched a competition for Early Years Skills Bootcamps with a pathway to an accelerated level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship, and we will consider degree apprenticeship routes so everyone from junior staff to senior leaders can easily move into or indeed enhance their career in the sector. We are also working across government to boost early years career awareness by collaborating with the Department for Work and Pensions and Careers & Enterprise Company to promote the importance and value of a career in early years.

Regarding safe premises, with a growing number of staff joining the sector, the safety of our youngest children remains as important as ever. All new and existing early years providers must keep children safe and promote their welfare. The Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework sets the standards that all early years providers in England must meet to ensure that children are kept healthy and safe. More information can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1170108/EYFS_framework_from_September_2023.pdf.

Under these requirements, all owners and managers of childcare settings have a responsibility to ensure that their premises, including overall floor space and outdoor spaces, are fit for purpose and suitable for the age of children cared for and the activities provided on the premises. All providers must also comply with the requirements of health and safety legislation, including fire safety and hygiene requirements. At all times when children are present, at least one person who has a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the Early education and childcare statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities should report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-education-and-childcare--2.

The Department has regular contact with each local authority in England about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. Where local authorities report sufficiency challenges, we discuss what action the local authority is taking to address those issues and where needed support the local authority with any specific requirements through our childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the geographical eligibility of the student loan repayment scheme for teachers.

The ‘Teachers: claim back your student loan repayments’ scheme was announced in 2017 and is targeted at 26 local authorities in England we have identified as having a high need for teachers, as determined by our published data at this time.

We have commissioned an external evaluation of the scheme and expect to publish the final evaluation report this year. Once we receive the final evaluation report, we will consider if eligibility for the scheme should be extended.

13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the (a) highest ten areas of cross-departmental programme expenditure to which her Department plans to contribute over the spending review period 2022-23 to 2024-25 and (b) amount of programme expenditure allocated to each area over that period.

The Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 settlement provided programme budgets for the department of £76.5 billion for the 2022/23 financial year, £78.7 billion for the 2023/24 financial year and £80.1 billion for the 2024/25 financial year. The ten highest areas of programme expenditure for the 2022/23 financial year are in the table below. Departmental expenditure is subject to an annual planning exercise. For this reason, we are only able to confirm funding figures for the 2022/23 financial year.

Government departments routinely transfer funding where there are shared priority programmes. Across the spending review period, the department will jointly deliver programmes with other government departments such as the Multiply programme to improve adult literacy and creating a network of family hubs to improve access to start for life services.

Further information on departmental and cross-government funding can be found within the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 document, which is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1043689/Budget_AB2021_Web_Accessible.pdf.

Ten highest areas of forecast department programme expenditure, 2022/23 financial year

Schools block of the dedicated schools grant

£40.5 billion

High needs block of the dedicated schools grant

£9.0 billion

16-19 education and T-Levels

£6.4 billion

Early years block of the dedicated schools grant

£3.6 billion

Pupil premium

£2.7 billion

Apprenticeships

£2.5 billion

Adult education budget

£1.4 billion

Strategic Priorities Grant

£1.4 billion

Schools supplementary grant (supporting schools with costs of the Health and Social Care Levy)

£1.2 billion

Education recovery programmes

£1.2 billion

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the (a) highest ten areas of programme expenditure under the exclusive control of her Department during the spending review period 2022-23 to 2024-25 and (b) amount of programme expenditure allocated to each area during that period.

The Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 settlement provided programme budgets for the department of £76.5 billion for the 2022/23 financial year, £78.7 billion for the 2023/24 financial year and £80.1 billion for the 2024/25 financial year. The ten highest areas of programme expenditure for the 2022/23 financial year are in the table below. Departmental expenditure is subject to an annual planning exercise. For this reason, we are only able to confirm funding figures for the 2022/23 financial year.

Government departments routinely transfer funding where there are shared priority programmes. Across the spending review period, the department will jointly deliver programmes with other government departments such as the Multiply programme to improve adult literacy and creating a network of family hubs to improve access to start for life services.

Further information on departmental and cross-government funding can be found within the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 document, which is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1043689/Budget_AB2021_Web_Accessible.pdf.

Ten highest areas of forecast department programme expenditure, 2022/23 financial year

Schools block of the dedicated schools grant

£40.5 billion

High needs block of the dedicated schools grant

£9.0 billion

16-19 education and T-Levels

£6.4 billion

Early years block of the dedicated schools grant

£3.6 billion

Pupil premium

£2.7 billion

Apprenticeships

£2.5 billion

Adult education budget

£1.4 billion

Strategic Priorities Grant

£1.4 billion

Schools supplementary grant (supporting schools with costs of the Health and Social Care Levy)

£1.2 billion

Education recovery programmes

£1.2 billion

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the role of early years services is in the Government's Levelling Up agenda.

Levelling up is at the heart of the agenda to build back better after the COVID-19 outbreak and to deliver for every part of the UK. The department takes a dual approach to disadvantage: tackling outcome inequalities nationally while tilting efforts to, and working specifically in, places of greatest need.

In education, ability is evenly spread but opportunity is not. We know that differences in outcomes start early. To really tackle our levelling up challenge, we must look at our support for children and young people at every level, from support for families and childcare, through to university, and to develop skills throughout life.

We are already making progress. On 2 June 2021 we announced an additional £1.4 billion education recovery package, which includes a £153 million investment in evidence-based professional development for early years practitioners, including through new programmes focusing on key areas such as speech and language development.

This is in addition to the £27 million which we are already investing to support children’s early language development in light of the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • £17 million is to deliver the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) in schools that would particularly benefit. Two thirds of primary schools have already signed up for the programme.
  • £10 million will support language development for pre-reception children in the next academic year.

What happens outside of schools and settings is also important. The government is investing over £34 million to champion family hubs. This approach will help to support children of all ages and their families across a broad range of needs in their localities. This investment includes establishing a new national centre for family hubs, run by the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families; a new transformation fund to open family hubs in around 10 local authorities; an evaluation innovation fund; and work with local authorities to develop data and digital products that will support the practical implementation of family hubs.

The government will publish a landmark Levelling Up White Paper later this year, setting out bold new policy interventions to improve livelihoods and opportunity in all parts of the UK.

21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of early years provision.

High quality, accessible childcare is important in ensuring that every child has the best possible start in life. The overall quality of provision within the early years sector remains high and, as of 31 March 2021, 96% of providers on the Ofsted Early Years Register were judged good or outstanding, which is a substantial increase from 74% in 2012. Ofsted are responsible for monitoring the quality of provision.

We continue to monitor the sufficiency of childcare through regular attendance data collection and monitoring the open or closed status of providers. We also discuss sufficiency of provision in our regular conversations with local authorities. Local authorities are not currently reporting any significant sufficiency or supply issues and we have not seen any significant number of parents unable to secure a childcare place, either this term or since early years settings re-opened fully on 1 June 2020.

Ofsted data shows that as of March 2021 the number of childcare places available on the Early Years Register has remained broadly stable since August 2015.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make a statement on the ways in which early years provision will feature as part of the covid-19 catch-up recovery strategy; and how opportunities for play will be (a) encouraged, (b) supported and (c) facilitated.

On 2 June 2021, as part of the government’s announcement on providing an additional £1.4 billon for education recovery, we announced a £153 million investment for high-quality professional development for early years practitioners. This includes new programmes focusing on key areas such as speech and language development, and physical and emotional development for the youngest children, of which play is an important part. This is in addition to the £18 million announced in February 2021 and the £9 million announced in June 2020 to support early language development for children in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The package will build on our early years foundation stage reforms, which support more effective early years curriculum and assessment, and reducing unnecessary assessment paperwork, so that practitioners and teachers can spend more time engaging children in rich activities, including through play, to support their learning.

21st Jun 2021
What assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for disadvantaged pupils.

All children have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, but it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been hardest hit.

Since 2011 we have spent more than £20 billion to provide Pupil Premium funding for school leaders to use, based on the needs of their disadvantaged pupils. Between 2011 and 2019, the attainment gaps between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils narrowed by 13% at age 11 and 9% at age 16.

On top of this funding, we increased core schools funding by £2.6 billion last year and are increasing core schools funding by £4.8 billion and £7.1 billion in 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively, compared to 2019-20.

In addition, over the past year we have made three major interventions to support education recovery, totalling over £3 billion additional spend: £1 billion in June 2020, a further £700 million in February 2021 and our latest £1.4 billion package announced in June 2021.

Recovery programmes have been designed to allow early years, school and college leaders the flexibility to support those pupils most in need, including the most disadvantaged. The latest announcement expands our reforms in two areas where the evidence is clear our investment will have a significant impact for disadvantaged children, high quality tutoring and great teaching.

We are providing over £1.5 billion for tutoring programmes, including an expansion of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), an ambitious scheme that supports schools to access targeted tutoring intervention for disadvantaged pupils who have missed out on learning due to school closures. We will also provide greater flexibility to schools to make it easier for them to take on local tutors or use existing staff to supplement those employed through the NTP. This new blended offer ensures that the NTP works for all disadvantaged children, giving schools the flexibility to choose what type of approach best suits their needs and those of individual pupils.

The £302 million Recovery Premium has been weighted so that schools with more disadvantaged pupils receive more funding and includes £22 million to scale up proven approaches to reduce the attainment gap.

We have also invested more than £400 million to provide internet access and over 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children with complex needs that require aerosol generating procedures (AGP) have not been able to return to school as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and if his Department will work with Public Health England on guidance to urgently ensure a safe return to school for all children.

We are aware of a small number of children with complex needs, including those that require Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs), who have found it harder to return to schools. We are working with families, education settings, health services and local authorities to ensure that they are able to attend safely as soon as possible.

We published the Safe Working Guidance to help support schools in keeping everyone safe, including those children with complex medical needs who require AGPs and the staff carrying out the procedures. We are trying to give the best possible guidance to schools while recognising that every school setting is different. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

The department has worked closely with Public Health England and stakeholders to publish guidance based on a ‘system of controls’ which, when implemented, creates an inherently safer system where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. This includes guidance on the specific protective measures needed to undertake AGPs in education settings to manage risk effectively. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

The guidance on undertaking AGPs in education settings, including where use of a designated room is not possible, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

We have heard examples of good practice locally and are working with Public Health England and NHS England to establish whether any changes to the guidance or further information about practice principles are needed.

The Departments SEND and NHS England Adviser teams are working with local areas affected by this situation to determine whether further local measures can be put in place to secure pupils’ return to school. It is important that schools communicate clearly with parents on progress towards supporting children who need AGPs to return to school safely and provide remote education and support if they are unable to do so.

We do not hold data on the number of schools that do not have a separate room to undertake AGPs.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether Public Health England consulted with schools on the guidance on aerosol generating procedures (AGP); and if his Department will work with Public Health England to provide guidance to schools who cannot comply with measures to have a separate room to undertake AGP so that children are not prevented from going to school.

We are aware of a small number of children with complex needs, including those that require Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs), who have found it harder to return to schools. We are working with families, education settings, health services and local authorities to ensure that they are able to attend safely as soon as possible.

We published the Safe Working Guidance to help support schools in keeping everyone safe, including those children with complex medical needs who require AGPs and the staff carrying out the procedures. We are trying to give the best possible guidance to schools while recognising that every school setting is different. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

The department has worked closely with Public Health England and stakeholders to publish guidance based on a ‘system of controls’ which, when implemented, creates an inherently safer system where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. This includes guidance on the specific protective measures needed to undertake AGPs in education settings to manage risk effectively. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

The guidance on undertaking AGPs in education settings, including where use of a designated room is not possible, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

We have heard examples of good practice locally and are working with Public Health England and NHS England to establish whether any changes to the guidance or further information about practice principles are needed.

The Departments SEND and NHS England Adviser teams are working with local areas affected by this situation to determine whether further local measures can be put in place to secure pupils’ return to school. It is important that schools communicate clearly with parents on progress towards supporting children who need AGPs to return to school safely and provide remote education and support if they are unable to do so.

We do not hold data on the number of schools that do not have a separate room to undertake AGPs.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools do not have the facilities to allow children with complex needs that require aerosol generating procedures to return to school; and what steps he is taking to support those schools to ensure that all children can return to school during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware of a small number of children with complex needs, including those that require Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs), who have found it harder to return to schools. We are working with families, education settings, health services and local authorities to ensure that they are able to attend safely as soon as possible.

We published the Safe Working Guidance to help support schools in keeping everyone safe, including those children with complex medical needs who require AGPs and the staff carrying out the procedures. We are trying to give the best possible guidance to schools while recognising that every school setting is different. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

The department has worked closely with Public Health England and stakeholders to publish guidance based on a ‘system of controls’ which, when implemented, creates an inherently safer system where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. This includes guidance on the specific protective measures needed to undertake AGPs in education settings to manage risk effectively. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

The guidance on undertaking AGPs in education settings, including where use of a designated room is not possible, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

We have heard examples of good practice locally and are working with Public Health England and NHS England to establish whether any changes to the guidance or further information about practice principles are needed.

The Departments SEND and NHS England Adviser teams are working with local areas affected by this situation to determine whether further local measures can be put in place to secure pupils’ return to school. It is important that schools communicate clearly with parents on progress towards supporting children who need AGPs to return to school safely and provide remote education and support if they are unable to do so.

We do not hold data on the number of schools that do not have a separate room to undertake AGPs.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to accelerate the roll out of community mental health teams to schools and colleges, and to extend it to universities, as recommended by the Samaritans in their October 2020 report entitled Pushed from pillar to post: Improving the availability and quality of support after self-harm in England.

Supporting and promoting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing is a priority for this government. We continue to work closely with schools, colleges, the higher education sector, and local areas to provide support, guidance, and encourage good practice.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has overall policy responsibility for children and young people’s mental health. The Department for Education works closely with DHSC to take significant steps to support the mental health and wellbeing support for young people across all education settings.

Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) are an important part of our long term plan to promote and support children and young people’s mental health in state-funded schools and colleges, and we remain committed to rolling them out to at least a fifth to a quarter of the country by the end of the academic year 2022/23.

There are 59 MHSTs already established in 25 areas across the country. An additional 123 MHSTs are being set up in a further 57 areas this year, and a further 104 teams have been commissioned to begin training in academic year 2020/21. Once established, MHST support schools and colleges to promote good mental health, identify and manage a wide range of issues relating to mental health and wellbeing, and deliver interventions for mild and moderate needs. This may include thoughts of self-harm and providing support with alternative coping strategies.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to ensure that, by the academic year 2023/24, at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0 to 25 will be able to access support from NHS-funded children and young people’s mental health services (formerly CAMHS) and school–based or college-based mental health support teams. Funding for CYMPHS has grown faster than overall NHS and adult mental health spending.

Every NHS mental health trust in England has provided 24/7 crisis helplines for those in all age groups who need urgent help in a mental health crisis, and will continue to do so over the coming months. We provided funding and support to the people and organisations who play a vital role in young people’s mental health, with over £10 million of funding to support mental health charities, including Young Minds and Place2Be which specifically support the mental health of children and young people. We have invested £8 million in local authorities to fund mental health and wellbeing experts to provide advice and resources for education staff to support and promote children and young people’s mental health.

We recognise that many university students are facing additional mental health challenges due to the disruption and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and it is important students can still access the mental health support they need.

My right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, wrote to Vice Chancellors in October outlining that student welfare should remain a priority, and has convened a working group of representatives from the higher education and health sectors to specifically address the current and pressing issues that students are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Higher education providers are expected to continue to support their students. This has included moving services online or making services accessible from a distance and we encourage students to stay in touch with their provider’s student support and welfare teams as these services are likely to continue to be an important source of support. Many providers have bolstered their existing mental health services, and adapted delivery to means other than face to face. Staff at universities and colleges responded quickly to the need to transform mental health and wellbeing services, showing resourcefulness and there are many examples of good practice.

The Office for Students funded Student Space platform bridges gaps in support for students arising from this unprecedented situation and is designed to work alongside existing services. Students struggling with their mental health at this time can also access support via the NHS at: https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/category/mental-health/.

Online resources from Public Health England can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing, along with support from mental health charity, Mind, available here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/student-life/about-student-mental-health/.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to provide additional mental health support for students in response to covid-19 restrictions.

Protecting all students', domestic and international, mental health and wellbeing continues to be a priority for this government. The disruption and uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted all age groups, but particularly young people who are making transitions during this time.

Higher education providers are best placed to identify and address the needs of their particular student body as well as how to develop the services needed. Many providers have boosted their existing welfare and counselling services to ensure support services can be accessed, which is particularly important for those students having to self-isolate or who are affected by local restrictions.

Student Space, funded with £3 million from the Office for Students (OfS), provides dedicated support services (phone and text) for students and a collaborative online platform to help students access vital mental health and wellbeing resources. The platform bridges gaps in support for students arising from the outbreak and is designed to work alongside existing services.

The government has recently provided over £9 million to leading mental health charities to help them expand and reach those most in need. In addition, NHS mental health trusts are ensuring 24/7 access to crisis telephone lines to support people of all ages.

We have asked providers to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of students during this period and have enabled them to use funding, worth up to £23 million per month from April to July this year and £256 million for the academic year 2020/21 starting from August, to go towards student hardship funds and mental health support.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on safe home visits for students at Christmas 2020.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has regularly discussed the reopening of higher education (HE) providers with his Cabinet colleagues, including with my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The arrangements for the end of the autumn term were discussed on Monday 28 September.

As the Secretary of State for Education announced to the House on Tuesday 29 September, the department is working with universities to make sure that all students are supported to return home safely and spend Christmas with their loved ones, if they choose to do so. Where students choose to stay in their university accommodation over Christmas, universities should continue making sure that they are safe and well looked after. The department will work with universities to publish guidance on students returning home safely at Christmas, shortly.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in HE is always our priority, and the government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying at HE providers in this unprecedented situation, while mitigating the impact on education.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support the families of pupils eligible for free school meals in Blaydon constituency during the school summer holidays in 2020.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave on 23 June 2020 to Question 54195.

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many hours of training each teacher will receive to deliver the new Relationships education, relationships and sex curriculum.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high-quality teaching of relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education.

Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their sex and relationships education provision or their personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content, in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum.

To support schools in their preparations, the Department is investing in a central package to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice. We are currently developing a new online service featuring innovative training materials, case studies and support to access resources. This will be available from April 2020 with additional content added through the summer term, covering all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance. We will also publish an implementation guide which will be provided to all schools as part of this service, and face-to-face training will be available for schools that need additional support.

The Department is currently working with lead teachers, non-specialist teachers, schools and subject experts to develop this central programme of support to help ensure it meets the needs of schools and teachers. It will complement the wide range of training opportunities that are being provided by local authorities and sector organisations.

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether content on domestic abuse will be included in the new Relationships education, relationships and sex curriculum.

The Department wants to support all children and young people to be happy, healthy and safe. Through the new subjects of relationships, sex and health education, we want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society.

These subjects will help in ensuring all young people, at age appropriate points, know the signs of unhealthy or abusive relationships, and that violence in relationships and domestic abuse is unlawful and never acceptable. Throughout these subjects there is a focus on ensuring pupils know how to get further support.

The guidance can be accessed via the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/relationships-and-sex-education-and-health-education.

29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the impact of food price inflation on levels of demand for emergency parcels from food banks.

Tackling inflation is this Government’s number one priority. We continue to support households through our £94 billion package, worth £3,300 on average per household this year and last. We are also providing £100 million of support for charities and community organisations in England targeted at supporting critical frontline services.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has made a recent assessment of the potential merits of introducing a single social tariff for water.

As the Secretary of State stated during the House of Lords inquiry into the work of Ofwat, Defra is minded not to introduce a single social tariff scheme due to the complexities involved with a national scheme, as well as due to legislative timetables, which would mean we would not be able to introduce a single social tariff to align with the start of the next price review – 1 April 2025.

However, I am very mindful that consumers are concerned about their bills. My officials continue to explore options to improve existing social tariff arrangements, focussing on improving consistency and fairness across existing regional social tariff schemes - a sensible and pragmatic approach given time constraints.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment for the implications of her policies of Dogs Trust’s recommendation to introduce a requirement to visually check animals entering the country at ports to ensure that the pet animal is (a) the same as the animal listed on the pet passport, (b) the age stated, (c) not heavily pregnant and (d) not suffering from poor welfare conditions.

We do not intend to make such an assessment. We already operate one of the most rigorous and robust pet travel checking regimes in Europe. All non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets entering Great Britain on approved routes (every route other than Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Crown Dependencies) under the Pet Travel rules undergo 100% documentary and identity checks by authorised pet checkers.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the reduction in the Environment Agency's funding in the last 10 years on the control of sewage output into the natural environment.

Defra and its agencies received an additional £4.3 billion in the last Spending Review much of which is invested, through the Environment Agency, in protecting our environment. This included new funding for the Environment Agency to undertake 500 additional water company inspections over the spending review period. This is in addition to their routine regulation of water companies, funded through annual subsistence charges. We are also introducing new legal requirements to increase the monitoring of sewage discharges.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of stakeholder support for the introduction of the single social tariff scheme proposed by the CCW independent affordability review; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to implement that scheme.

Initial stakeholder reaction to a single social tariff scheme has been positive. However, further analysis is needed to understand the implications, costs and benefits of a possible new scheme. Legislation will be required to implement any such scheme.

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