Nick Fletcher Portrait

Nick Fletcher

Conservative - Don Valley

First elected: 12th December 2019


Procurement Bill [HL]
25th Jan 2023 - 21st Feb 2023
Online Safety (Re-committed Clauses and Schedules) Bill
7th Dec 2022 - 15th Dec 2022
Online Safety Bill
18th May 2022 - 28th Jun 2022
Pension Schemes (Conversion of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions) Bill
26th Jan 2022 - 2nd Feb 2022
Down Syndrome Bill
19th Jan 2022 - 26th Jan 2022
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
27th Oct 2021 - 23rd Nov 2021
Professional Qualifications Bill [HL]
3rd Jan 2018 - 4th Jan 2018


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Nick Fletcher has voted in 1006 divisions, and 10 times against the majority of their Party.

24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
22 Jun 2022 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 61 Conservative No votes vs 106 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 70
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
19 Jun 2023 - Privilege: Conduct of Right Hon. Boris Johnson - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative No votes vs 118 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 354 Noes - 7
28 Jun 2023 - Education - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 20 Conservative No votes vs 237 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 373 Noes - 28
18 Jul 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted No - against a party majority - in line with the party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 251 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 402 Noes - 21
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 529
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Nick Fletcher voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Nick Fletcher 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
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(23 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(21 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(16 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(41 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(39 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(36 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(33 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Online Safety Act 2023
(3,271 words contributed)
Judicial Review and Courts Act 2022
(1,339 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Nick Fletcher's debates

Don Valley 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

We believe kids shouldn't learn about this at an early age. I am sure there are many parents who do not want their or other children taught about LGBT in primary school.

We believe kids should learn about this at an early age. I am sure there are many parents who want their and other children taught about LGBT issues in primary school.

We want the Government to repeal the Dangerous Dogs Act and replace it with legislation that focuses on early intervention to prevent dog bites and tackle dog-related issues regardless of breed or type, based solely on their behaviour.


I believe that the XL bully is a kind, beautiful natured breed that loves children and people in general, and are very loyal and loving pets.

Revoke local government powers to charge CAZ, LEZ, and ULEZ.

The Mayor's proposed extension of ULEZ over a short timeframe could negatively impact millions of people and businesses across SE England.

The Government must exercise its power under s.23 of the Gender Recognition Act to modify the operation of the Equality Act 2010 by specifying the terms sex, male, female, man & woman, in the operation of that law, mean biological sex and not "sex as modified by a Gender Recognition Certificate"

It has been reported that the Government may amend the Equality Act to "make it clear that sex means biological sex rather than gender." The Government has previously committed to not remove legal protections for trans people, an already marginalised group, but this change would do so.

No general statutory duty of care exists in HE. Yet, a duty of care is owed to students, and the Government should legislate for this. HE providers should know what their duty is. Students must know what they can expect. Parents expect their children to be safe at university.

1.Restaurants to put all information about allergens in their food on the face of the main menu so customers have full visibility on what they're ordering.
2.Servers must initiate a discussion with customers about allergies on all occasions.
3.National register for anaphylaxis deaths

The Government should appoint an Allergy Tsar to act as a champion for people with allergies to ensure they receive appropriate support and joined up health care to prevent avoidable deaths and ill health.

We want the Government to commit to not signing any international treaty on pandemic prevention and preparedness established by the World Health Organization (WHO), unless this is approved through a public referendum.

The Education Committee has recently recommended introducing a statutory home educated register, and greater assessment of home educated children. These recommendations are in contrast to the views of many parents who home educate.

Remove the clauses relating to 'Children not in school' from Part 3 of the Schools Bill, and do not pursue compulsory registration of all home-schooled children. We see no evidence that this would be beneficial, and we believe the proposals place a discriminatory burden on supportive parents.

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.

The Government should prohibit the sale, use and manufacture of free-running snares under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, putting them in the same category as self-locking snares, which are already illegal.

Ensure any ban fully includes trans people and all forms of conversion therapy.

Have non binary be included as an option under the GRP (Gender Recognition Panel)/ GRC (Gender Recognition Certificate), in order to allow those identifying as non binary to be legally seen as their true gender identity. As well as having ‘Non-binary’ be seen as a valid transgender identity.

The Government’s modernising vehicle standards proposal suggested new offences for tampering with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road. This could have a hugely detrimental impact on the UK motorsport and custom aftermarket industry.

Shooting of Badgers is licensed by Natural England as part of the DEFRA Badger cull. 24,000+ Badgers were shot in 2019.

Mark Allen, aged 18, drowned after jumping into a freezing reservoir on a hot day in June 2018.

In May 2019 we watched whilst 3 throwlines were installed where he died.

Mark could have possibly been saved if they were in place beforehand.

In 2014 the Human Medicines Act was amended so that schools could keep emergency stocks of salbutamol inhalers without prescription. Asthma is increasing in the UK and we believe that adult sufferers of Asthma working in high-risk commercial kitchens should have similar life-saving support.

The Government should class in-person interaction with family members and unmarried partners abroad as an essential reason to travel.

The SNP government appears solely intent on getting independence at any cost.

The Coronavirus Act grants potentially dangerous powers including to detain some persons indefinitely, to take biological samples, and to give directions about dead bodies. Powers last up to 2 years with 6 monthly reviews, and lockdown powers could prevent protests against measures.

The Government should allow golf courses to remain open during the second lockdown, and any future restrictions. Shops and clubhouses can close, but courses should be allowed to remain open, with social distancing in place.

Consider keeping gyms open during lockdown because so many people have mental health and stress and they need something to do to take their mind off it closing all fitness facilities can affect us pretty badly.

Urgent call for the government to close all nurseries and early years settings in light of the new lockdown to protect early years staff.

We want the government to recognise the importance of gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and swimming pools in empowering people to look after their health and stay fit and for them to open first as we come out of lockdown.

We're also calling for government to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme.

Illegal immigrants are entering the UK in many different ways, including small boats from France which are not stopped by either French or British forces.

The UK's departure from the EU looms but questions remain about the legitimacy of the Referendum. The Electoral Commission said illegal overspending occurred during the Referendum. Were the vote/any subsequent political acts affected? Article 50 was triggered. Was the overspend known about then?

There is now strong evidence of serious misconduct during the 2016 EU Referendum, including intereference by foreign actors and governments. This must be investigated under the Inquiries Act (2005).

The government should consider delaying negotiations so they can concentrate on the coronavirus situation and reduce travel of both EU and UK negotiators. This would necessitate extending the transition period; as there can only be a one off extension, this should be for two years.

I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.

To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.

We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.

Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.

After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.

To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare

Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.


Latest EDMs signed by Nick Fletcher

19th December 2019
Nick Fletcher signed this EDM on Friday 20th December 2019

Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit

Tabled by: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big Ben currently only chimes for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve; further notes that the United Kingdom will now leave the European Union at 11.00pm GMT on 31 January 2020; …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 43
Independent: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Labour: 1
Reform UK: 1
View All Nick Fletcher's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Nick Fletcher, 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.


Nick Fletcher has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Nick Fletcher

Monday 24th October 2022

1 Bill introduced by Nick Fletcher


A Bill to require local authorities to publish a register of derelict buildings in their area; to make provision in respect of the preparation and maintenance of such registers; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 25th October 2023
(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
3 Other Department Questions
14th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking with the Secretary of State for Education to help close the gap in exam results between boys and girls.

Raising attainment for all pupils, no matter their gender or background is at the heart of this government’s agenda, and we are committed to providing a world-class education system for all.

The latest data show that, while girls continue to outperform boys across most headline measures, the gender gap between boys and girls is narrowing.

At KS2 in 2022/23, the gender gap between boys and girls at the expected standard in reading, writing and maths has decreased since 2021/22 and is the lowest it has been since 2016/17. KS4 results show the gender gap has narrowed across all headline measures when comparing 2022/23 with both 2018/19 and 2021/22.

The Schools White Paper (March 2022) was clear about the direction of travel needed to improve attainment. It set out our long-term vision for a school system that helps every child to fulfil their potential by ensuring that they receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time – founded on achieving world-class literacy and numeracy.

This is supported by significant investment in education. Next year, including the recently announced funding for pension contributions, overall school funding is increasing by £2.9 billion compared to 2023-24, taking the total to £60.7 billion in 2024-25 – the highest ever level in real terms per pupil. This will help schools in their vital work to close attainment gaps, and level up educational opportunities.

Alongside this, the department takes a range of steps to improve attainment and outcomes for all pupils, including improving the quality of teaching and curriculum resources, strengthening the school system, increasing attendance, and providing targeted support where needed.

We know that disadvantaged pupils and those with additional needs are more likely to fall behind and need extra support to reach their full potential. This is why we provide additional funding as part of schools’ overall funding to support disadvantaged pupils through the pupil premium, which will rise to over £2.9 billion in 2024-25, an increase of £80 million from 2023-24.

Programmes such as Free School Meals that support over 2 million children, the Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF), and support for up to 2,700 breakfast clubs also support disadvantaged pupils.

We also continue to collaborate with other government departments to address out-of-school factors that we know have a significant impact on attainment outcomes.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to help encourage video on demand services to adopt British Board of Film Classification age ratings.

The Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) well-recognised age ratings and content advice continue to be of huge value to audiences.

My Department is consulting with the BBFC and video-on-demand services on the role of age ratings, as part of work on the future regulation of video-on-demand services.

I was pleased to see the new partnership between Amazon Prime Video and BBFC. Netflix already carries BBFC age ratings across their entire UK catalogue and we welcome BBFC’s continued engagement with other providers in the sector.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she has had recent discussions with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission on the provision of guidance on when employers can legally restrict certain job vacancies by sex.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Codes of Practice on Employment and guidance on sex discrimination cover the exceptions in the Equality Act 2010 which mean in certain circumstances, it is lawful for an employer to require a job applicant or worker to have a particular protected characteristic (e.g. sex), provided certain statutory conditions are met.

Codes of Practice on Employment can be found here (Chapter 13): https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/employercode.pdf

Guidance on Job Advertising can be found here: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/ehrc_advertising_-_equality_law_12.pdf

and here: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/advertising_-_faq.pdf

There are no plans to produce new guidance in this area, but EHRC keeps all its guidance under review.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
7th Nov 2023
To ask the Attorney General, which organisations the Crown Prosecution Service (a) met and (b) consulted as part of developing its consultation on proposed revisions to its legal guidance on sexual offences involving deception as to gender.

The Crown Prosecution Service is unable to supply details of organisations they consulted as part of the proposed revision of their legal guidance on 'Deception as to Gender' as the information requested is the subject of a Freedom Of Information request which is subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
7th Nov 2023
To ask the Attorney General, which organisations the Crown Prosecution Service (a) met and (b) consulted when developing Annex D of its legal guidance on domestic abuse.

The information requested is subject to an open Freedom Of Information request to the Crown Prosecution Service, which they are considering in the normal way.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
6th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) part-time and (b) full-time paid positions the a:gender staff network has; and what the cost to the public purse is of that network.

The costs (covering the period 2022-23) were £82,000. A decision has been made since then that no further funding will be provided.

Some of the information requested is being withheld because disclosure of that information would contravene one of the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation and section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Specifically, we consider that disclosure of the information would contravene principle A under article 5(1)(a) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which requires that personal data should be processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently.

We have found that on balance the legitimate interest and necessity in disclosure are overridden by the reasonable expectations of privacy of the individual[s] concerned.

In this case, the numbers concerned are 5 individuals or fewer. We cannot provide details in such cases as the individuals concerned could be identifiable. This is standard statistical reporting.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of deaths in (a) 2021 and (b) 2022 were (i) male and (ii) female.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Hon Gentlemen’s Parliamentary Question of 27 March is attached.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he could list the (a) national headquarters of government agencies and UK wide or English statutory bodies, (b) other English non-departmental public bodies and (c) central functions of Government departments that are based in South Yorkshire, broken down by (i) location, (ii) employment numbers and (iii) year of establishment.

Government Agencies, statutory bodies, non-departmental public bodies and central functions of Government departments are located across the United Kingdom, including in South Yorkshire.

The Cabinet Office has published as Open Data on data.gov.uk basic information on the location of Government Departments, agencies, public bodies and functions

(https://data.gov.uk/dataset/3145b9dd-bf34-4cbf-8c40-1f726f9db261/occupation).

The number of staff employed at each site and year of establishment is not held centrally.

4th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had Cabinet colleagues on allowing registry office ceremonies to resume by 2 July 2020.

Further to the answer given to PQs 54003, 54280 and 54102 on 8 June 2020, the Government understands the huge significance of weddings to couples planning to get married. We are working to ease restrictions safely to enable weddings to take place.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, how many grants were awarded to local authorities for net zero projects in the last twelve months; and what the total value of those grants was.

The Government provides a wide range of funding to support local authorities in reaching net zero. Through their core settlement, grant funding schemes, and UK growth funding, the Government is enabling local authorities to tackle net zero goals.

The Government has established the UK Infrastructure Bank with an initial £12 billion of capital for the twin goals of tackling climate change and levelling-up. This includes a loan facility for local government to deliver net zero.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, with reference to the Angiolini Inquiry Part 1 report, published in February 2024, when she plans to publish the findings of her Department's review entitled Pornography Regulation, Legislation and Enforcement, published on 11 January 2024; and whether that review will address the societal impact of violent and extreme pornography.

The Independent Pornography Review will involve a comprehensive assessment of the impact of pornography on viewers and wider society, including the impact of violent and extreme pornography, identifying any links to violence against women and girls. It will also review how effective current legislation, regulation, and law enforcement are in tackling extreme pornographic content. The review is being led by an independent lead reviewer, Baroness Gabby Bertin, who oversees the delivery of the review and the final report and recommendations. The independent review’s Terms of Reference state that it aims to conclude by Summer 2024.

Saqib Bhatti
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, with reference to (a) page 8 of the Home Office's Tackling violence against women and girls strategy, published July 2021 and (b) Section 54 of the Online Safety Act 2023, whether men and boys are included within Ofcom's guidance on protecting women and girls.

The phrase Violence Against Women and Girls (otherwise known as ‘VAWG’) is an umbrella term used by the Government, which refers to acts of violence or abuse that we know disproportionately affect women and girls. This definition is set out in our 2021 Tackling VAWG Strategy which seeks to support all victims of these crimes, including male victims.

The Online Safety Act takes an approach which will protect all users online, which includes men and boys. The section 54 guidance is a summary document, pulling together measures that protect users from content and abuse as set out in the Act, that disproportionately affects women and girls, but do not only affect women and girls.

Saqib Bhatti
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, with reference to Section 54 of the Online Safety Act 2023, what guidance Ofcom issues to media providers on the type of (a) content and (b) activity that disproportionately affects women and girls.

Ofcom will produce guidance which will summarise in one clear place measures that can be taken to tackle the abuse that women and girls disproportionately face online.

The guidance will capture online activity and content as set out in the Act, including the priority offences, the priority harms to children, and relevant content and activity subject to the Category 1 duties.

Ofcom’s timelines for producing the guidance are set out in its implementation plan which was published on 26 October 2023.

Saqib Bhatti
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
20th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that users of mobile phones without internet access will continue to have access to telephone networks when (a) 2G and (b) 3G networks are switched off.

We have set out our expectation that all mobile network operators should have switched off their 2G and 3G networks by 2033. This will free up spectrum for 5G and beyond and is an important part of the UK’s strategy to increase diversity in the telecoms supply chain, contributing to the nation’s security and resilience.

The Government’s Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, published in April 2023, outlined our unwavering commitment to extending 4G coverage to 95% of the UK’s landmass, alongside setting out our ambition for the UK to have nationwide coverage of standalone 5G to all populated areas by 2030.

We welcome the fact that some operators have indicated they are likely to decommission their 2G/3G networks, particularly their 3G networks, earlier than 2033. We will continue to work with network operators to ensure a smooth transition that meets the needs of business users, ensuring that consumers, including vulnerable groups, are treated fairly and can continue to access the services they need.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether people living in mobile homes on caravan sites who do not have a conventional gas supplier but buy gas canisters will receive the £400 supplement under Energy Bills Support Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

On 29 July, the Government set out further details of the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) and confirmed that further funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the small percentage of domestic energy consumers not reached by EBSS, such as park homes residents.

The Government will shortly announce how these households will receive the £400 of support.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that momentum is maintained behind the future build of the UK’s nuclear fleet.

The Government made clear its commitment to new nuclear in the 2020 Energy White Paper, setting out its aim to bring at least one large-scale project to a Final Investment Decision this parliament, subject to value for money and all relevant approvals. Alongside the White Paper, the Government announced it was entering negotiations on Sizewell C. The Government will also provide up to £385m for an Advanced Nuclear Fund for the next generation of nuclear technology aiming, by the early 2030s, to develop a Small Modular Reactor and to build an Advanced Modular Reactor demonstrator.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help ensure future investment in the UK’s nuclear sector after completion of Hinkley Point C.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and the Energy White Paper set out multiple plans and objectives for supporting the UK’s nuclear sector.

For large-scale nuclear, we aim to bring at least one large-scale nuclear project to a Final Investment Decision this Parliament and entered negotiations with EDF on Sizewell C. A large-scale nuclear power plant could support a peak of around 10,000 jobs during construction and provide significant investment opportunities. Having consulted on the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model for funding new nuclear, we are continuing to discuss this model with project developers and to consider the potential role of Government finance during construction, provided there is value for money and subject to relevant approvals.

We are also investing further in Small Modular Reactors and Advanced Modular Reactors. We announced the £385m Advanced Nuclear Fund, comprised of up to £215m to develop a domestic SMR power plant design and up to £170m for an ambitious AMR programme.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential effect of continuity within the nuclear supply chain following the completion of Hinkley Point C on jobs and skills.

The Government is committed to further nuclear beyond Hinkley Point C, as set out in the Energy White Paper. Future nuclear projects can benefit from the expertise in the UK supply chain demonstrated at Hinkley, a project that EDF says will provide 25,000 employment opportunities and train over 1,000 apprentices. Alongside the White Paper, the Government announced it was entering into negotiations on Sizewell C, which EDF intends to replicate Hinkley - a strategy which should ensure continuity in UK supply chain jobs and skills.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the (a) monetary and (b) employment benefits from the UK’s nuclear supply chain to the North.

Oxford Economics’ Nuclear Economics Report 2016 suggests that the nuclear sector contributes approximately £6.4bn GVA to the UK economy, with each civil nuclear worker contributing an estimated average £96,600 – significantly higher than the UK average of £56,200.

In 2018, the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group – of which BEIS is a member - estimated that the sector employed approximately 89,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) across the UK, including in the north of England.

The estimated figures are across the UK, but not specific to each of the regions.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure prompt payments to tradespeople who have received payment for works done in Green Home Grant scheme vouchers.

The payment process is a four-step process that requires the customer to confirm the work has been completed, the installer to record the work on the TrustMark database, the scheme administrator to check the conditions of the voucher issued have been met, and then the scheme administrator ICF to make the payment. The scheme administrator check is to ensure consumer protection and value for money, including undertaking fraud checks. The scheme administrator aims to pay tradespeople as soon as possible after the check is complete.

BEIS officials are working with consumers and installers to ensure they are clear on the information and checks required as part of the payment process, so that installers can be paid as quickly as possible. We will continue to work closely with scheme administrator ICF to identify further process improvements, increase the number of vouchers issued, and ensure timely release of payment.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council was unsuccessful in its bid to receive funding from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator scheme.

Funds for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator were awarded through a competitive assessment process which was completed on 30th November 2020. The assessment was undertaken against the criteria set out in the scheme guidance and involved 3 independent assessors and a moderation panel. On this occasion, within the total funding envelope available and the success criteria, the bid from Doncaster Council was not successful. Feedback was provided to Doncaster Council on 11th December by Ricardo PLC who are acting as the scheme administrators. Following the Spending Review announcement in November 2020 there will be a further round of the scheme in the next financial year.

If you would like to get in touch with the SHDF Demonstrator team, please email SHDF.Demonstrator@beis.gov.uk.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support businesses that need to increase the amount of money they have borrowed through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), businesses can apply for between £2,000 up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available under the Scheme is £50,000. Once a business has received a BBLS facility, it is not eligible to apply for a second loan under the Scheme.

Businesses using BBLS, who later decide that they need more financing, may be able to refinance under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provided they are eligible for the CBILS.

Businesses are not permitted to access more than one of either the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, CBILS, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme at the same time.

5th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she plans to take to ensure that Ofcom's review of video-on-demand services' (a) age ratings and (b) other audience protection measures, as required by section 32 of the draft Media Bill, is sufficiently thorough.

The Media Bill will give Ofcom an enhanced ongoing duty to assess all video-on-demand providers’ audience protection measures – such as age ratings, content warning, and parental controls – to ensure that the systems put in place are effective and fit for purpose, as they have done with broadcast television.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that streaming content is age appropriate for viewers.

The Media Bill, introduced to Parliament on 8 November, will give Ofcom new powers to draft and enforce a Video-on-demand Code, aimed at mainstream TV-like on-demand services. This will be similar to the Broadcasting Code, which sets out appropriate standards for content on linear television. The Code will include new rules for on-demand content including rules on harmful and offensive material, and specific protections for under-eighteens.

Ofcom will also be given an enhanced ongoing duty to assess video-on-demand providers’ audience protection measures, such as pin codes, content warnings, and age ratings, to ensure that the systems put in place to protect younger audiences are effective and fit for purpose.

12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will hold discussions with Arts Council England on steps to promote freedom of speech and conscience in that organisation.

Ministers and officials regularly meet the leadership of Arts Council England (ACE) to discuss a range of matters. As an arm’s-length body of the Department, ACE is operationally independent and, like all the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's arm’s-length bodies, is responsible for complying with legislation, including the Equality Act 2010, under which religion or belief is a protected characteristic.

Darren Henley, Arts Council England’s Chief Executive, was clear to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on 8 December 2022 about Arts Council England’s commitment to respecting and protecting all those with protected characteristics. Arts Council England has a number of policies in place that protect freedom of conscience within the organisation.

1st Jul 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the classification guidelines used by the British Board of Film Classification.

The Government has great trust in the BBFC best practice age ratings. The BBFC’s Classification Guidelines are based on consultations every 4-5 years with experts and over 10,000 members of the public. This ensures the guidelines remain in step with societal standards and parental expectations. More information on the guides themselves can be found on the BBFC’s website.

In addition, the latest public consultation in 2019 showed 83% of parents trust BBFC age ratings all or most of the time.



30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if his Department will reopen ice rinks in areas with Tier 3 covid-19 restrictions so that professional athletes can resume their training at those venues.

Elite and professional athletes may train and compete at ice rinks in all tiers.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to reopen ice skating rings as covid-19 restrictions are eased to allow British athletes to train for international competitions.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.The Government has made it clear that it will adopt a phased approach based on scientific and medical advice, and that the primary goal is to protect public health. Ice-skating rinks were able to reopen from 15 August. These facilities are able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance. Elite athletes have been able to access specialist sports facilities for training purposes since mid April.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that martial arts clubs are able to reopen as lockdown restrictions are eased during the covid-19 outbreak.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. The Government has made it clear that it will adopt a phased approach based on scientific and medical advice, and that the primary goal is to protect public health. Martial arts are able to resume on a non-contact basis so long as they are done in alignment with Government guidance on group sizes, social distancing and venues. The Government is in discussions with representatives from martial arts governing bodies about the steps required to restart contact safely.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with stakeholders in the hospitality industry on the equity of single supplement charges.

I regularly attend weekly meetings with tourism stakeholders. As soon as it is safe to open the hospitality and tourism sector, I will continue to engage with stakeholders on a range of issues to help support the industry's recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has taken steps to implement recommendation 27 on page 260 of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's report entitled Equality and Human Rights Monitor, published in November 2023, on the under-performance of boys relative to girls in primary and secondary education.

Raising attainment for all pupils, no matter their gender or background is at the heart of this government’s agenda and the government is committed to providing a world-class education system for all.

The latest data shows that, while girls continue to outperform boys across most headline measures, the gender gap between boys and girls is narrowing.

At key stage 2 in 2022/23, the gender gap between boys and girls at the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics has decreased since 2022 and is the lowest it has been since 2016. Key stage 4 results show the gender gap has narrowed across all headline measures when comparing 2022/23 with both 2018/19 and 2021/22.

The Schools White Paper, published in March 2022, was clear about the direction of travel needed to improve attainment. It set out the department’s long-term vision for a school system that helps every child to fulfil their potential by ensuring that they receive the right support, in the right place, at the right time – founded on achieving world-class literacy and numeracy.

This is supported by significant investment in education with the overall core school budget totalling over £59.6 billion in 2024/25 which is the highest ever level in real terms per pupil. This will help schools in their vital work to close attainment gaps, and level up educational opportunities.

Alongside this, the department takes a range of steps to improve attainment and outcomes for all pupils, including improving the quality of teaching and curriculum resources, strengthening the school system, increasing attendance, and providing targeted support where needed.

The department is aware that disadvantaged pupils and those with additional needs are more likely to fall behind and need extra support to reach their full potential. This is why the department has provided additional funding to support disadvantaged pupils through the pupil premium, which will rise to over £2.9 billion in 2024/25, an increase of £80 million from 2023/24.

Programmes such as free school meals that support 2 million children, the Holiday Activities and Food programme, and support for up to 2,700 breakfast clubs also support disadvantaged pupils.

The department continues to collaborate with other government departments to address out-of-school factors that we know have a significant impact on attainment outcomes.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the new draft guidance for Relationship, Sex, and Health Education will be published.

The department aims to be in a position to publish a draft of the guidance for consultation very shortly so that the new guidance will be available as soon as possible.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
5th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that local councils secure the specified special educational provision for children and young people as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.

Local authorities are statutorily responsible for securing the special educational provision specified in the Education, Health and Care plans they issue. They must work with schools, colleges, Integrated Care Services, parents and young people to design and deliver a Local Offer of services and provision to meet the Special Educational Needs of their children and young people.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission inspect local areas’ Special Educational Needs and Disabilities services. Where inspection identifies significant weaknesses, the department may intervene to require improvement.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to protect Jewish university students from antisemitism at university campuses.

It has been deeply concerning to see a rise in hate towards Jewish people following Hamas's heinous terrorist attacks in Israel. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I wrote to Vice Chancellors on 11 October 2023, urging them to respond swiftly to hate-related incidents and actively reassure Jewish students, so they can study without harassment or intimidation. We have also written to school and college leaders in similar terms.

On 23 October, I attended a meeting of the Jewish Community, Crime, Policing and Security Taskforce chaired by the Home Secretary, to discuss how we can crack down on any antisemitism or glorification of terrorism in schools, colleges, and universities. We are very clear; all education settings must take swift and robust action against this unacceptable behaviour.

The department is liaising closely with Community Security Trust, the University Jewish Chaplaincy, the Union of Jewish Students, and higher and further education mission groups. We are very aware of the impact of the evolving conflict on Jewish students and the steps being taken by education providers to support them.

18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she plans to publish draft guidance for public consultation on the teaching of relationship, health, and sex education in schools.

The Department has brought forward the review of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) statutory guidance, including an independent expert advisory panel, which will advise the Secretary of State on the introduction of age limits for certain subjects. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/terms-of-reference-for-review-panel-on-rshe.

The work of the expert panel will inform the public consultation, which will be published in the autumn, prior to publishing revised guidance in 2024.

5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2023 to Question 189737 Primary Education: Boys, whether her Department has produced research on interventions at Key Stage 1 and 2 that have closed attainment gaps in (a) literacy and (b) phonics between boys and girls.

The Government is committed to continuing to raise literacy standards for all pupils, regardless of gender. English is fundamental to education and provides the skills and knowledge pupils need to communicate with others, both in school and in the wider world. Language in the early years is also associated with long-term employment outcomes. Children with poor vocabulary at age five are more than twice as likely to be unemployed at age 34 as children with good vocabulary, according to research which is available at: https://eresearch.qmu.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/20.500.12289/1057/eResearch_1057.pdf?sequence=1.

By ensuring high quality systematic synthetic phonics teaching, the Government wants to improve literacy levels to give all children a solid base upon which to build as they progress through school, and help children to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Sutton Trust are, together, the Government-designated What Works Centre for Education. The EEF has carried out a comprehensive review of robust studies on the effects of phonics. They found that phonics is more effective on average than other approaches for early reading, when embedded in a rich literacy environment. Phonics approaches have been consistently found to be effective in supporting younger readers to master the basics of reading, with an average impact of an additional four months’ progress.

Since 2010, the Government has accelerated the effective teaching of phonics, by placing it at the heart of the curriculum and introducing the annual phonics screening check in 2012 for pupils at the end of Year 1.

The recent publication of the international literacy study, Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2021, showed England was among the top scoring countries, coming fourth out of the 43 countries that tested children of the same age. The performance of England’s pupils in PIRLS 2021 remained stable after significant improvements in 2011 and 2016. As well as the overall success, both the gender gap and the gap between the highest and lowest achievers have continued to narrow, driven in the long term by the improvement of the scores of boys and the lowest attainers. Researchers have found that the Phonics Screening Checks (PSC) score was the most significant predictor of PIRLS performance.

In 2018, the Department also launched the £60 million English Hubs Programme to improve the teaching of reading, with a focus on phonics, early language development and reading for pleasure. The English Hubs have delivered intensive support to 1,700 schools to date. Departmental analysis shows that partner schools supported by the English Hubs Programme outperformed other schools by around seven percentage points in their PSC.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has provided guidance to schools on whether they should enter into formal partnerships with Stonewall.

Both the Relationships Sex and Health Education (RSHE) statutory guidance and the Department’s ‘Political impartiality in schools’ guidance are clear that schools should assess external agencies thoroughly before agreeing to any work with them. This can include challenging or asking for evidence of claims made by external agencies about their work and how this interacts with schools’ legal duties on political impartiality.

All schools should consult with parents on what is to be covered and ensure that they provide examples of the resources that they plan to use. This will give parents an opportunity to understand what will be taught and when, and to clarify how the resources being used will support delivery of the different aspects of the RSHE curriculum. This is particularly important where schools plan to work with external organisation and/or use their materials.

On 31 March, the Secretary of State wrote to all schools to set out that, under current arrangements, schools can and should share curriculum materials with parents. The Department will consider, as part of the review of the RSHE statutory guidance, whether any further changes are needed to reinforce the need for transparency around RSHE materials.

In May, the Secretary of State announced the details of the independent expert advisory panel who will advise on the review of the RSHE curriculum. The panel will provide expert advice to the Secretary of State on what is appropriate to be taught in RSHE and at what age.

It will remain important that schools take full responsibility for ensuring lessons and materials are age appropriate, suitable, and politically impartial, particularly when using materials produced by external organisations.

Oak National Academy, the independent provider of freely available online curriculum and lesson resources, will develop curriculum materials to make sure every school can access high quality, compliant RSHE resources.

14th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has produced research on improving learning for boys at primary school.

The Government is committed to improving outcomes and raising attainment for all pupils no matter their gender.

Attainment in the phonics screening check increased significantly for boys and girls between its introduction in 2012 and the last assessments before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. In 2019, 78% of boys and 85% of girls met the expected standard by Year 1 compared to 54% of boys and 62% of girls in 2012. In 2022, following the pandemic, attainment in the phonics screening check was down by 6% for both boys and girls. 72% of boys met the expected standard compared to 79% of girls.

At Key Stage 2, the proportion of pupils meeting the expected standard in reading, writing and maths increased between 2016 and the last assessments before the pandemic in 2019. 65% of pupils met the expected standard in all three subjects in 2019 including 60% of boys and 70% of girls, compared to 53% in 2016 including 50% of boys and 56% of girls. In 2022, following the pandemic, attainment fell among both girls and boys in all subjects except reading; the fall was slightly larger for girls. Girls continue to outperform boys in all subjects except maths.

Outcomes, as measured by international comparison studies, show improvements in key subjects like reading and maths. Most recently, England came fourth out of the 43 countries that tested children of the same age, in the Progress in International Literacy Study (PIRLS), with an average score of 558.

The Department funds and supports research into improving attainment through the Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF), which aims to build a high quality evidence base on ‘what works’ in education practice, as well as supporting schools, colleges and nurseries to access and effectively mobilise this evidence to raise the attainment of disadvantaged two to nineteen year olds. The Department recently re-endowed the EEF with £137 million in 2022 to continue to build the evidence base until at least 2032. This funding will cement the EEF’s role as a central, long term feature of the education landscape for at least the next decade.

The Department also continues to invest in programmes that contribute to primary pupils’ education attainment:

- In 2018, the Department launched its English Hubs Programme to improve the teaching of reading with a focus on phonics, early language development and reading for pleasure.

- The Government has also transformed the way maths is taught in schools based on the best available international evidence, including approaches from the highest performing countries in the world. Reform of the mathematics curriculum was accompanied by the introduction of a National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, which is now working with a network of 40 maths hubs to help local schools improve the quality of their teaching through the £100 million Teaching for Mastery programme.

5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the terms of reference entitled Terms of Reference: Independent Advisory Panel to inform the DfE Review of the RSHE Statutory Guidance, published on 31 May 2023, whether the independent advisory panel will be restricted to advising only on age restrictions for each topic.

The Department is providing dedicated secretariat support to service all aspects of the Panel’s work, including the identification of further experts and stakeholders for the Panel to engage with. The Department expects the Panel to report back regularly.

The Department expects that any engagement with schools undertaken by the Panel will be prioritised to ensure relevant activity takes place before the school holidays. The Department has already engaged with parent groups as part of the review and will facilitate their engagement with the Panel.

The terms of reference stipulate that the Panel will identify the topics within the relationships, sex and health education curriculum which would benefit from age limits. The Panel will bring together expertise on health, teaching, curriculum development, and safeguarding. It will advise on the application of suitable age limits for some topics to ensure pupils are protected from inappropriate concepts they are too young to understand. In doing so, it will draw on wider expertise on specific matters. The Panel will be independent and make its own recommendations to the Secretary of State for Education on age restrictions, including whether some topics are unsuitable. It will be for the Panel to determine what topics they wish to look at and whether they deem further work is necessary.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to ensure that the Independent Advisory Panel for the DfE Review of the RSHE Statutory Guidance engages adequately with (a) schools and (b) parents as set out in the terms of reference published on 31 May 2023, in the context of the announcement that it will conclude its work by September 2023 and of the school summer holidays which will take place from late July to September.

The Department is providing dedicated secretariat support to service all aspects of the Panel’s work, including the identification of further experts and stakeholders for the Panel to engage with. The Department expects the Panel to report back regularly.

The Department expects that any engagement with schools undertaken by the Panel will be prioritised to ensure relevant activity takes place before the school holidays. The Department has already engaged with parent groups as part of the review and will facilitate their engagement with the Panel.

The terms of reference stipulate that the Panel will identify the topics within the relationships, sex and health education curriculum which would benefit from age limits. The Panel will bring together expertise on health, teaching, curriculum development, and safeguarding. It will advise on the application of suitable age limits for some topics to ensure pupils are protected from inappropriate concepts they are too young to understand. In doing so, it will draw on wider expertise on specific matters. The Panel will be independent and make its own recommendations to the Secretary of State for Education on age restrictions, including whether some topics are unsuitable. It will be for the Panel to determine what topics they wish to look at and whether they deem further work is necessary.

16th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the remit of her Department's review into relationships, sex and health education will include a consideration of whether parents with children at (a) primary and (b) secondary schools should have the option of withdrawing their children from all relationships, health and sex education lessons.

The right to withdraw is set out in the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019. The review announced by the Department in March 2023 will be focused on the content of the statutory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) guidance. The Department has no current plans to revisit the legislation.

The Department remains committed to ensuring that all pupils receive age appropriate RSHE to support their wellbeing and attainment and helping them to become successful adults who make a meaningful contribution to society.

As part of the review, the Department is setting up an independent panel of experts to advise on what can be done to ensure that what is taught is appropriate, including introducing age restrictions: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-of-relationships-sex-and-health-education-to-protect-children-to-conclude-by-end-of-year.

16th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of extending access to 30 free hours of childcare to working parents of all children over the age of nine months on (a) workforce participation and (b) the economy over the next two years from the go live date; and what estimate her Department has made of the annual cost to the public purse of this policy over the next two years from the go live date.

The department is determined to support as many families as possible with access to high-quality, affordable childcare, which is why in the Spring Budget 2023, my Right Hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced significant new investments to expand the free early education entitlements.

From September 2025, eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year, from when their child is nine months old to when they start school.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) expects the new 30 hours entitlement to gradually increase labour market participation of parents with young children. A 2016 study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies had found that expanding from part-time to full-time free childcare leads to significant increases in labour force participation and employment of mothers, which emerge immediately and grow over the months following entitlement.

By 2027/28, the OBR expects around 60,000 to enter employment and an equivalent effect from 1.5 million mothers of young children already in work increasing their hours.

The department will substantially uplift the hourly rate paid to local authorities to increase hourly funding rates paid to childcare providers, to deliver the existing free early education entitlements. We will provide £204 million of additional funding in 2023/24, increasing to £288 million by 2024/25.

This funding is in addition to the £4.1 billion that the government will provide by 2027/28 to facilitate the expansion of the new free hours offer, by which time we will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
16th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing parents who do not wish to use the 30 hours of free childcare with grants to pay for relatives and friends to look after their children.

In the 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, the 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.

As set out in the Childcare Act 2006, the definition of ‘childcare’ excludes care provided for a child by a parent or other relative. The government has no current plans to extend the definition of childcare to include relatives. Friends or acquaintances known to the parent can receive government funding, but they must be registered childcare providers.

Parents who are eligible for Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) or Universal Credit (UC) Childcare can use it to pay for any childcare provision registered with Ofsted or a childminder agency. If a relative registers as a childminder and cares for a related child outside the child’s own home, or registers as a nanny and cares for a related child inside the child's own home, that childminder or nanny can qualify for TFC or UC.

As part of the government’s biggest ever expansion to childcare provision, low-income families will be able to access increased childcare support worth a total of £900 million from 28 June 2023.

Later this month, the Department for Work and Pensions will raise the amount that parents in Great Britain can claim back monthly for their childcare costs on Universal Credit, up to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two or more children. This is a rise of 47% from the previous limits of £646 for one child or £1,108 for two or more children.

At the same time, the government will help eligible parents to cover the costs of the first month of childcare when they enter work or significantly increase their hours, removing one of the most significant barriers to parents working and helping to grow the economy.

Those parents will also receive up to 85% of their childcare costs back before their next month’s bills are due. This means they should have money to pay for childcare one month in advance going forward.

The government is also supporting families by providing additional cost of living payments of up to £900 for households on eligible means-tested benefits. Over 6 million people across the UK on eligible ‘extra-costs’ disability benefits will receive a further £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment during summer 2023/24, to help with the additional costs they face.

UC improves incentives for parents to enter work. Claimants with children are entitled to a work allowance which is an amount they can earn before their benefit is affected. Once earnings are above their work allowance, a single taper is applied. This ensures their UC reduces gradually as their earnings increase.

The government has consistently said that the best way to support people’s living standards is through good work, better skills and higher wages. To that end, the UC taper rate was reduced from 24 November 2021 from 63% to 55%, meaning that claimants can keep more of their earnings. At the same time, we also increased the work allowance by £500 a year, in addition to the normal benefits uprating.

State Pensions, benefits, and statutory payments have been increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index for the year to September 2022, which was 10.1%. These increases took effect from April 2023.

The government is committed to protecting vulnerable claimants by providing a last resort repayment method for arrears of essential services. The government recognises the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
16th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of giving stay at home parents the same level of funding as that provided to working parents of all children over the age of nine months to access 30 hours of free childcare.

In the 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, the 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.

As set out in the Childcare Act 2006, the definition of ‘childcare’ excludes care provided for a child by a parent or other relative. The government has no current plans to extend the definition of childcare to include relatives. Friends or acquaintances known to the parent can receive government funding, but they must be registered childcare providers.

As part of the government’s biggest ever expansion to childcare provision, low-income families will be able to access increased childcare support worth a total of £900 million from 28 June 2023.

Later this month, the Department for Work and Pensions will raise the amount that parents in Great Britain can claim back monthly for their childcare costs on Universal Credit, up to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two or more children. This is a rise of 47% from the previous limits of £646 for one child or £1,108 for two or more children.

At the same time, the government will help eligible parents to cover the costs of the first month of childcare when they enter work or significantly increase their hours, removing one of the most significant barriers to parents working and helping to grow the economy.

Those parents will also receive up to 85% of their childcare costs back before their next month’s bills are due. This means they should have money to pay for childcare one month in advance going forward.

The government is also supporting families by providing additional cost of living payments of up to £900 for households on eligible means-tested benefits. Over 6 million people across the UK on eligible ‘extra-costs’ disability benefits will receive a further £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment during summer 2023/24, to help with the additional costs they face.

Universal Credit (UC) improves incentives for parents to enter work. Claimants with children are entitled to a work allowance which is an amount they can earn before their benefit is affected. Once earnings are above their work allowance, a single taper is applied. This ensures their UC reduces gradually as their earnings increase.

The government has consistently said that the best way to support people’s living standards is through good work, better skills and higher wages. To that end, the UC taper rate was reduced from 24 November 2021 from 63% to 55%, meaning that claimants can keep more of their earnings. At the same time, we also increased the work allowance by £500 a year, in addition to the normal benefits uprating.

State Pensions, benefits, and statutory payments have been increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index for the year to September 2022, which was 10.1%. These increases took effect from April 2023.

The government is committed to protecting vulnerable claimants by providing a last resort repayment method for arrears of essential services. The government recognises the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she will publish the membership of the independent panel which will inform the review of the relationships, sex, and health education guidance; and what steps she will take to ensure that the views of faith groups are represented on that panel.

The Department is in the process of identifying the members for an independent expert panel to inform the wider review of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education statutory guidance. The Department expects the process to be completed shortly and will then make public more details of the panel and their work. The Department will ensure that the views of faith groups are represented in the review process.

3rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she plans to publish the terms of reference and review team for the review into Relationship and Sex Education in Schools.

The Department is in the process of appointing the members of an independent expert panel to inform the wider review of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education statutory guidance. The Department expects the process to be completed shortly and will then make public more details of the panel and their work.

21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department plans to review the eligibility criteria for the Holiday Activities and Food programme.

The department is investing over £200 million per year in free holiday club places for children from low-income families through the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme.

HAF supports disadvantaged children and their families with enriching activities, providing them with healthy food, helping them to learn new things, and improving socialisation.

The programme takes place all across England and has reached over 685,000 children, of which 475,000 children were receiving benefits-related free school meals (FSM), during last year’s summer holidays.

While the department asks local authorities to focus the majority of the funding on FSM children, local authorities have the flexibility to use up to 15% of their funding to target and support other children and families that align with the local authorities’ own priorities.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero