Lucy Frazer Written Questions

6 Questions to Government Departments tabled by Lucy Frazer


Date Title Questioner
9 Jan 2018, 11:29 a.m. Pupils: Per Capita Costs Lucy Frazer

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to schools in England per pupil in real terms in (a) 1990, (b) 2000 and (c) 2017.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

School funding per pupil in cash terms was £2,938 per pupil in 2000-01 and £4,618 per pupil in 2017-18. The Government publishes GDP deflators that can be used to understand the impact of inflation over time. These are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/gdp-deflators-at-market-prices-and-money-gdp-march-2017-spring-budget-2017.

These figures are not directly comparable as the figure for 2000-01 also includes funding provided for early years.

In 1990 school funding was included within the local government funding settlement. For this reason, the funding information for 1990 is not readily available. Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that per pupil spending in schools in 2020 is set to be at least 70 per cent higher in real terms than it was in 1990:

https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/8937.

24 Oct 2017, 3:33 p.m. Special Educational Needs: Teachers Lucy Frazer

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will assess the potential merits of increasing the number of non-pupil days for special needs schools to allow teachers to train to meet pupils' health needs.

Answer (Mr Robert Goodwill)

We know how important it is that all children are supported to enjoy a full education, and that teachers have had sufficient training to support the pupils in their school. This is particularly important for children who attend special schools, who generally have more complex special educational needs than their peers in mainstream schools and may have health or personal care needs that require support during the school day.

We believe that head teachers and teachers are best placed to judge their own training requirements. That is why decisions relating to the use of non-pupil days and teachers’ professional development rightly rest with schools.

20 Oct 2017, 12:50 p.m. Teachers: Recruitment Lucy Frazer

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the prevalence of recruitment agencies cold-calling teachers on school telephone lines during school hours and contacting teachers on their professional email addresses.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department is undertaking user research to strengthen its understanding of the issues schools face when advertising teacher vacancies and the challenges teachers have finding and applying for jobs. The research will also be used to inform the development and design of a new national teacher vacancy service. This service will aim to reduce the time schools spend on publishing vacancies and the cost of recruiting new teachers; make it easier for teachers to find jobs quickly and easily; and increase the availability and quality of data on teacher recruitment.

This research is highlighting concerns in schools about the cost and practices of recruitment agencies, which we will explore further.

The Department is in the planning phase of a new commercial framework for the use of schools engaging with supply agencies. As part of this we are proposing to include measures designed to improve the conduct of some agencies.

18 Oct 2017, 1:26 p.m. Schools: Buildings Lucy Frazer

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of ensuring that those schools that have been underfunded relative to the national average for many years have priority in any applications for school building improvements.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department fund school building improvements through a combination of formula-based payments (School Condition Allocations and Devolved Formula Capital), and bid-based systems (the Condition Improvement Fund and the Priority School Building Programme). In order to secure the best value for money, both types of funding prioritise the buildings with the most severe condition need, rather than looking at other funding received by the institutions in question. Prioritisation may be informed by a combination of the Department’s building surveys and condition information contained in any bid.

School Condition Allocations and Devolved Formula Capital:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capital-allocations

Condition Improvement Fund:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/condition-improvement-fund

Priority School Building Programme:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/priority-school-building-programme-psbp

17 Oct 2017, 6:49 p.m. Special Educational Needs Lucy Frazer

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of her Department working more closely with the Department of Health to ensure that special needs schools are not expected to increase the services they provide without receiving additional funding.

Answer (Mr Robert Goodwill)

The 2014 Children & Families Act introduced new statutory duties that require clinical commissioning groups and local authorities to work together in joint arrangements to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and for the first time created a duty for health agencies to ensure that health care provision in a child or young person’s EHC plan is secured.

The Department for Education already works closely with the Department for Health on SEND. We have introduced the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspections of local area effectiveness in delivering their SEND duties, which began in May 2016. These inspections are highlighting where partners, including health services, are working well together to deliver SEND responsibilities, and where there are areas for improvement, and we are working with NHS England to provide support and challenge to local areas where required.

More broadly, since the Act’s introduction, NHS England has led a programme board for Children with Complex Needs, which includes those with SEND. This ensures it sits firmly within health governance structures and has a broad range of membership, including Department of Health, Department for Education, delivery partners and parent representatives. The NHS Mandate also contains an objective on SEND, and the NHS Assurance Framework, which is used to hold CCGs to account, now contains measures on SEND.

21 Jul 2017, 9:08 a.m. Health Professions: Recruitment Lucy Frazer

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Transport on the recruitment and retention of health workers and the affordability of housing and transport.

Answer (Philip Dunne)

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly discusses a range of topics relating to the recruitment and retention of the National Health Service workforce with cabinet colleagues and others.

The Government acknowledges the challenges staff have in securing affordable accommodation in some parts of the country so it wants to support health workers and other public services staff by making homes more affordable with steps outlined in the Housing white paper to increase supply.

Currently the Government funds a range of home ownership schemes including Help to Buy Equity Loans and Shared Ownership to support key workers to buy a home where they are unable to afford market prices locally. In addition, the Department has been engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to understand better the housing need for NHS staff. The need for affordable homes for NHS staff varies across the country, and we are working with the NHS, local authorities, housing associations and other partners to explore opportunities for supporting local solutions, including the option for NHS organisations to use their surplus land to provide staff housing.

Many NHS organisations provide season ticket loans for staff who apply for them and NHS terms and conditions of service places a responsibility on employers to reimburse staff travel and subsistence expenses incurred in the performance of their NHS duties.