Peter Kyle Portrait

Peter Kyle

Labour - Hove

Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

(since May 2021)

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

(since November 2021)
Shadow Minister (Justice)
10th Apr 2020 - 14th May 2021
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 11th May 2020
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
17th Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 17th Oct 2016


Department Event
Monday 6th December 2021
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Dec 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Wednesday 8th December 2021
11:30
Northern Ireland Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
8 Dec 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Northern Ireland
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Finance (No. 2) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 149 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 301 Noes - 206
Speeches
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Adult Social Care

It won’t take long.

Written Answers
Friday 3rd December 2021
Immigration: Afghanistan
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2021 to Question …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 23rd April 2019
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OPEN UNIVERSITY
That this House congratulates the Open University (OU) on its 50th anniversary; notes that its mission of opening up education …
Bills
Tuesday 9th February 2021
Victims of Crime and Anti-social Behaviour, Etc (Rights, Entitlements and Related Matters) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to make provision about the duties and responsibilities of the Victims’ Commissioner and about the Victims’ Code; to …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 26th April 2021
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: Anthony Watson
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: …
EDM signed
Thursday 27th May 2021
Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 161)
That the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 161), dated 18 February 2021, …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 11th June 2019
Climate Change (Emissions Targets) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Peter Kyle has voted in 301 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Peter Kyle 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
Victoria Atkins (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
(31 debate interactions)
Alex Chalk (Conservative)
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
(24 debate interactions)
Jess Phillips (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
(23 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(79 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(28 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(24 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(17 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Peter Kyle's debates

Hove 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).

Petitions with highest Hove signature proportion
Petition Open
144
of 17,152 signatures (0.84%)
Petition Open
100
of 12,393 signatures (0.81%)
Petition Open
116
of 18,774 signatures (0.62%)
Petition Open
110
of 18,849 signatures (0.58%)
Petition Open
187
of 36,489 signatures (0.51%)
Petitions with most Hove signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

As a country we see many water-related fatalities every year. We see many more call outs to water related incidents. Throughout lockdown year our coastguards were tasked to almost double the call outs than in the previous year. Our children NEED to learn about Cold water shock & rip currents.

Currently, it is not compulsory for primary or secondary school students to be educated on Britain's role in colonisation, or the transatlantic slave trade. We petition the government to make education on topics such as these compulsory, with the ultimate aim of a far more inclusive curriculum.

In the event of a spike we would like you not to close gyms as a measure to stop any spread of Covid. Also for gyms to not be put in the same group as pubs in terms of risk or importance. Gyms are following strict guidelines and most members are following rules in a sober manner.

Isolation essential to the Government’s strategy for fighting coronavirus, and UK citizens must remain healthy and exercise whilst keeping adequate distance between people. The Government should allow golf courses to open so families or individuals can play golf in order to exercise safely.


Latest EDMs signed by Peter Kyle

27th May 2021
Peter Kyle signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 27th May 2021

Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 161)

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 161), dated 18 February 2021, a copy of which was laid before this House on 19 February 2021, in the last Session of Parliament, be revoked.
8 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 7
Green Party: 1
27th May 2021
Peter Kyle signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 27th May 2021

Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 161) (No. 2)

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That this House believes no child in care should be placed in unregulated accommodation; welcomes measures to ban unregulated accommodation for children aged 15 and under; and regrets the failure of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 161) to extend this ban …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Green Party: 1
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Peter Kyle's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Peter Kyle, 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.


Peter Kyle has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Peter Kyle has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Peter Kyle


A Bill to make provision about the duties and responsibilities of the Victims’ Commissioner and about the Victims’ Code; to make provision about the rights of victims of persistent anti-social behaviour; to require local police forces to prepare victims’ services plans and take steps in connection with victim representative bodies; to establish a duty to report suspected child exploitation by those working in regulated activities; to establish a right of appeal by victims against a decision to cease a criminal investigation; to make provision for reviews of open or reopened homicide cases; to make provision about court procedures relating to vulnerable victims and witnesses; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 9th February 2021
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to reduce the voting age to 16 in parliamentary and other elections; to make provision for auto-enrolment onto the electoral register for people aged 16 to 24; to make provision about the use of educational establishments as polling stations; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th July 2017
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

340 Written Questions in the current parliament

(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
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many victims contacted the CPS to make a referral under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme in the most recent time period for which figures are available; whether his Department holds data on the number of referrals by type of offence in the relevant cases; and how many of those referrals resulted in a change to the sentence length of the offender.

Requests for referral under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) Scheme are made to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO). Many victims contact the AGO directly and do not go to the CPS, and therefore the CPS do not hold all relevant data. All requests made via the CPS are reflected in the AGO statistics.

The AGO received 787 requests to review sentences under the ULS in 2020 and 144 requests were from victims and family members of victims. Of those 84 were eligible for review within the scheme and 14 of those were referred to the Court of Appeal. The data held by the AGO shows of the 14 cases referred: 4 were homicide cases, 8 were non-fatal offences against the person and 2 cases were categorised as rape and sexual offences. The Court of Appeal increased the sentence in 9 of those cases.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many and what proportion of victims that contacted the CPS to make a unduly lenient sentence referral had that referral rejected for being outside the 28 day time limit from the point of sentencing.

Unfortunately, the CPS does not hold this information. The 28-day statutory time limit is absolute; the statute provides no power to extend or to apply for leave to refer sentences to the Court of Appeal out of time. I very much welcome the introduction of the new Victim’s Code which was introduced on 1 April 2021 and which places an obligation on Witness Care Officers to notify victims about the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to page 8 of the 2020 UK annual report on Modern Slavery, how many prosecutors dealing with high-volume drug crime in the Youth Courts have received face-to-face training on recognising the signs of criminal exploitation.

The CPS recognises that the exploitation, grooming, and trafficking of children and young people is abhorrent and it takes great care to ensure the right people are prosecuted for the right offences.

Face to face training on the circumstances in which a prosecution would not be appropriate has been delivered to in excess of 330 prosecutors dealing with high volume drug crime in Youth and Magistrates’ Courts in the last three years. This includes training on section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The CPS also delivers a face-to-face Youth Specialist course which includes training on how to recognise the signs of exploitation and slavery and has been delivered to in excess of 300 prosecutors this year. Both courses have been adapted for delivery via videoconference during the Covid-19 crisis.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to page 8 of the 2020 UK annual report on modern slavery, what plans she has to roll out face-to-face training on recognising the signs of criminal exploitation to prosecutors dealing with other types of crime in the Youth Courts.

The CPS recognises that the exploitation, grooming, and trafficking of children and young people is abhorrent and it takes great care to ensure the right people are prosecuted for the right offences.

Face to face training on the circumstances in which a prosecution would not be appropriate has been delivered to in excess of 330 prosecutors dealing with high volume drug crime in Youth and Magistrates’ Courts in the last three years. This includes training on section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The CPS also delivers a face-to-face Youth Specialist course which includes training on how to recognise the signs of exploitation and slavery and has been delivered to in excess of 300 prosecutors this year. Both courses have been adapted for delivery via videoconference during the Covid-19 crisis.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2020 to Question 95701, if she will publish the number of cases pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service that resulted in unsuccessful outcomes due to victim issues by offence type in each quarter since the third quarter of the 2018-19 financial year.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the outcomes of completed prosecutions, as a count of the number of defendants finalised, and collates the data collected by quarter. Each non-conviction (or ‘unsuccessful’) outcome is allocated a reason, indicating the principal reason the defendant was not convicted. The CPS also collects data which reports the number of prosecuted defendants allocated to twelve Principal Offence Categories.

The table below shows the number of non-convictions due to victim issues by Principal Offence Category in each quarter from Q3 2018-19 (October to December 2018) to Q4 2019-20 (January to March 2020).

18/19-Q3

18/19-Q4

19/20-Q1

19/20-Q2

19/20-Q3

19/20-Q4

Homicide

2

2

2

3

1

3

Offences Against The Person

2,770

2,687

2,419

2,520

1,997

1,992

Sexual Offences

96

65

47

49

59

49

Burglary

55

58

44

49

31

73

Robbery

59

81

49

86

68

62

Theft And Handling

106

104

112

100

84

98

Fraud And Forgery

22

23

22

16

26

15

Criminal Damage

237

218

189

199

162

159

Drugs Offences

7

5

6

14

8

9

Public Order Offences

150

140

151

147

134

127

All Other Offences (excluding Motoring)

21

23

14

17

17

19

Motoring Offences

66

60

47

67

51

57

Other (No Category Allocated)

3

2

9

19

5

10

Total Non-Convictions due to Victim Issues

3,594

3,468

3,111

3,286

2,643

2,673

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

The table below provides a breakdown by Principal Offence Category of prosecution outcomes resulting in a non-conviction due to victim issues as a percentage of all prosecutions. The table shows that the proportion of non-convictions due to victim reasons are a very small proportion of all prosecutions.

18/19-Q3

18/19-Q4

19/20-Q1

19/20-Q2

19/20-Q3

19/20-Q4

Homicide

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Offences Against The Person

2.3%

2.2%

2.1%

2.1%

1.8%

1.9%

Sexual Offences

0.1%

0.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

0.0%

Burglary

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

Robbery

0.0%

0.1%

0.0%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

Theft And Handling

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

Fraud And Forgery

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Criminal Damage

0.2%

0.2%

0.2%

0.2%

0.1%

0.1%

Drugs Offences

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Public Order Offences

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

All Other Offences (excluding Motoring)

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Motoring Offences

0.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

0.0%

0.1%

Other (No Category Allocated)

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Non-Convictions due to Victim Issues as a percentage of all prosecutions

3.0%

2.8%

2.7%

2.8%

2.4%

2.5%

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 21 July 2020 to Question 75406 on Sexual Offences: Private Rented Housing, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the updated January 2019 CPS guidance on sex for rent arrangements and advertisements; and whether that guidance has resulted on prosecutions.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of prosecutions for sex for rent arrangements and advertisements under section 52 or 53 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This information could only be obtained by an examination of individual CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost. Therefore, the CPS is unable to make an assessment of the effectiveness of updated CPS guidance on prosecutions of sex for rent arrangements and advertisements.

Prosecutors will consider all guidance available to them when applying the Code for Crown Prosecutors to determine whether there is enough evidence to charge and if it is in the public interest to bring a case to court.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 21 July 2020 to Question 75406 on Sexual Offences: Private Rented Housing, what estimate she has made of the number of prosecutions for Sex for Rent Arrangements and Advertisements under section 52 or 53 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in the last 12 months.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of prosecutions for sex for rent arrangements and advertisements under section 52 or 53 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This information could only be obtained by an examination of individual CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost. Therefore, the CPS is unable to make an assessment of the effectiveness of updated CPS guidance on prosecutions of sex for rent arrangements and advertisements.

Prosecutors will consider all guidance available to them when applying the Code for Crown Prosecutors to determine whether there is enough evidence to charge and if it is in the public interest to bring a case to court.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
1st May 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps his Department is taking to protect victims of crime from the suspects of those crimes that have been released from remand following delays to their trial as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Crown Prosecution Service is working to to protect the interests of victims and witnesses by ensuring that defendants properly remanded in custody remain in custody.

Custody Time Limits (CTLs) apply to all cases in which a defendant has been remanded in custody pending trial. Those time limits can be extended if the courts are satisfied that there is good and sufficient cause and if the prosecution have acted with all due diligence and expedition. The adjournment of criminal trials may require an extension of a CTL.

Following the suspension of jury trials the CPS agreed a Protocol for Custody Time Limit Cases with the Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS). The Protocol is a temporary framework during the Coronavirus pandemic for the efficient handling of cases that involve a custody time limit. The Protocol sets out an agreed process for the listing and handling of CTL cases; an agreed understanding of the law in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic; and arrangements for information sharing.

The courts consider the issue of bail at each hearing and on any application for bail made by a defendant. Should the court decide to grant bail, whether at the end of any CTL or at another hearing, the court can impose conditions to ensure that a suspect does not interfere with witnesses or obstruct the course of justice, including the electronic monitoring of suspects.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of people have (a) witnessed and (b) personally experienced antisocial behaviour in their local area for each local authority in the last 12 months.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that polling commissioned by Government or paid for with public funds is not (a) used for party political purposes or (b) accessed by a political party on preferential terms.

The office of the Prime Minister is an integral part of the Cabinet Office. Complete information on opinion poll and focus group spending is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate costs. However, the Government routinely publishes details of all contracts over £10,000 on Contracts Finder.

As has been the case under successive administrations, any Government research, polling or analysis would be for official use.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what procurement process was undertaken before selecting Hanbury Strategy and Communications Limited to recruit Government special advisors.

Special Advisers are appointed to assist a Minister of the Crown after being selected by that Minister personally. All appointments must be approved by the Prime Minister. This is set out in Section 15 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

Separately, and in advance of Ministerial approval in accordance with the statutory requirement, it is open to political parties to undertake activity to identify individuals that Ministers may wish to consider for selection. This is not part of the appointment by Government but rather for the political party concerned.

Previously, the existence of such opportunities has generally not been made public. Openly encouraging people to express their interest, with greater information about what the opportunities may entail, will help broaden the field of potential candidates.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many companies were considered before Hanbury Strategy and Communications Limited were selected to recruit Government special advisors.

Special Advisers are appointed to assist a Minister of the Crown after being selected by that Minister personally. All appointments must be approved by the Prime Minister. This is set out in Section 15 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

Separately, and in advance of Ministerial approval in accordance with the statutory requirement, it is open to political parties to undertake activity to identify individuals that Ministers may wish to consider for selection. This is not part of the appointment by Government but rather for the political party concerned.

Previously, the existence of such opportunities has generally not been made public. Openly encouraging people to express their interest, with greater information about what the opportunities may entail, will help broaden the field of potential candidates.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the position that homes built prior to 1920, which could be double glazed, and unlikely to have cavity walls would require gas central heating to reach an EPC rating of C.

The Government’s ambition is for as many homes as possible reach EPC Band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective and affordable. The UK has already made good progress in improving the energy performance of its homes, with 40% of homes in England now at Energy Performance Ratings (EPC) Band C or above, up from just 9% in 2008.

In order to support further improvements to homes, the Government is:

  1. Consulting on phasing in higher minimum performance standards to ensure all homes meet EPC Band C by 2035, where cost-effective, practical and affordable. In setting standards, BEIS is taking account of where properties face practical constraints to making improvements. For example, in the Private Rented Sector minimum standard regulations, there is already a range of exemptions where necessary consent for improvements cannot be obtained from third parties, where particular measures may have a negative impact on a property, or where all recommended measures have been carried out.
  2. Providing further targeted funding for improvements, focussed in particular on fuel poor and low-income households. The Government’s Heat and Building Strategy announced £3.9 billion of new funding which will fund the next three years of investment through Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, the Home Upgrade Grant scheme, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, and the Heat Networks Transformation Programme.
  3. Supporting consumer action through, for example:
    • Providing tailored advice and information to homeowners on making improvements to their properties, through our Simple Energy Advice service which has been used by over 1.5 million users to date;
    • Ensuring work can be carried out to a good standard, by working with industry to agree appropriate technical standards (eg. PAS 2035) and consumer protections through Trustmark registration;
    • Catalysing low-cost green home finance to help homeowners make improvements by working with lenders, and through innovation funding for new green finance products.
Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the position where owners of flats in old buildings may need to install (a) gas central heating or (b) storage radiators which require sub-main cabling to meet the EPC rating of C in the most cost-effective way.

The Government’s ambition is for as many homes as possible reach EPC Band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective and affordable. The UK has already made good progress in improving the energy performance of its homes, with 40% of homes in England now at Energy Performance Ratings (EPC) Band C or above, up from just 9% in 2008.

In order to support further improvements to homes, the Government is:

  1. Consulting on phasing in higher minimum performance standards to ensure all homes meet EPC Band C by 2035, where cost-effective, practical and affordable. In setting standards, BEIS is taking account of where properties face practical constraints to making improvements. For example, in the Private Rented Sector minimum standard regulations, there is already a range of exemptions where necessary consent for improvements cannot be obtained from third parties, where particular measures may have a negative impact on a property, or where all recommended measures have been carried out.
  2. Providing further targeted funding for improvements, focussed in particular on fuel poor and low-income households. The Government’s Heat and Building Strategy announced £3.9 billion of new funding which will fund the next three years of investment through Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, the Home Upgrade Grant scheme, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, and the Heat Networks Transformation Programme.
  3. Supporting consumer action through, for example:
    • Providing tailored advice and information to homeowners on making improvements to their properties, through our Simple Energy Advice service which has been used by over 1.5 million users to date;
    • Ensuring work can be carried out to a good standard, by working with industry to agree appropriate technical standards (eg. PAS 2035) and consumer protections through Trustmark registration;
    • Catalysing low-cost green home finance to help homeowners make improvements by working with lenders, and through innovation funding for new green finance products.
Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government plans to take to help make it easier for people with homes in conservation areas to achieve an EPC rating of C or higher.

The Government’s ambition is for as many homes as possible reach EPC Band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective and affordable. The UK has already made good progress in improving the energy performance of its homes, with 40% of homes in England now at Energy Performance Ratings (EPC) Band C or above, up from just 9% in 2008.

In order to support further improvements to homes, the Government is:

  1. Consulting on phasing in higher minimum performance standards to ensure all homes meet EPC Band C by 2035, where cost-effective, practical and affordable. In setting standards, BEIS is taking account of where properties face practical constraints to making improvements. For example, in the Private Rented Sector minimum standard regulations, there is already a range of exemptions where necessary consent for improvements cannot be obtained from third parties, where particular measures may have a negative impact on a property, or where all recommended measures have been carried out.
  2. Providing further targeted funding for improvements, focussed in particular on fuel poor and low-income households. The Government’s Heat and Building Strategy announced £3.9 billion of new funding which will fund the next three years of investment through Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, the Home Upgrade Grant scheme, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, and the Heat Networks Transformation Programme.
  3. Supporting consumer action through, for example:
    • Providing tailored advice and information to homeowners on making improvements to their properties, through our Simple Energy Advice service which has been used by over 1.5 million users to date;
    • Ensuring work can be carried out to a good standard, by working with industry to agree appropriate technical standards (eg. PAS 2035) and consumer protections through Trustmark registration;
    • Catalysing low-cost green home finance to help homeowners make improvements by working with lenders, and through innovation funding for new green finance products.
Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to help make it easier for people with homes without cavity walls to achieve an EPC rating of C or higher.

The Government’s ambition is for as many homes as possible reach EPC Band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective and affordable. The UK has already made good progress in improving the energy performance of its homes, with 40% of homes in England now at Energy Performance Ratings (EPC) Band C or above, up from just 9% in 2008.

In order to support further improvements to homes, the Government is:

  1. Consulting on phasing in higher minimum performance standards to ensure all homes meet EPC Band C by 2035, where cost-effective, practical and affordable. In setting standards, BEIS is taking account of where properties face practical constraints to making improvements. For example, in the Private Rented Sector minimum standard regulations, there is already a range of exemptions where necessary consent for improvements cannot be obtained from third parties, where particular measures may have a negative impact on a property, or where all recommended measures have been carried out.
  2. Providing further targeted funding for improvements, focussed in particular on fuel poor and low-income households. The Government’s Heat and Building Strategy announced £3.9 billion of new funding which will fund the next three years of investment through Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, the Home Upgrade Grant scheme, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, and the Heat Networks Transformation Programme.
  3. Supporting consumer action through, for example:
    • Providing tailored advice and information to homeowners on making improvements to their properties, through our Simple Energy Advice service which has been used by over 1.5 million users to date;
    • Ensuring work can be carried out to a good standard, by working with industry to agree appropriate technical standards (eg. PAS 2035) and consumer protections through Trustmark registration;
    • Catalysing low-cost green home finance to help homeowners make improvements by working with lenders, and through innovation funding for new green finance products.
Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the merits of gas central heating in providing a more beneficial score in an EPC rating than any form of electrical heating.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) use an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) to measure the energy performance of homes based on their estimated running costs. Since energy costs can be a significant outlay, it is important that homeowners and occupiers are aware of the running costs of their home. Basing the rating and recommendations of the EPC on cost ensures that improvements recommended by the EPC will lead to a reduction in energy costs.

The Government continues to keep the metrics on the EPC under review as we develop policy to decarbonise buildings and tackle fuel poverty. Recent consultations on policies that use EPCs, such as minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector, have sought views on different metric options, such as the use of both a carbon-based and cost-based metric.

Furthermore, to ensure electric heat pumps will be no more expensive to run than gas boilers, we want to work with energy providers to reduce the price of electricity over the next decade by shifting levies and obligations away from electricity. We will launch a call for evidence on the different options for rebalancing electricity and gas prices, with a view to taking decisions in 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 68388 on Construction Materials, what progress the Government has made on its work with the Construction Leadership Council’s Coronavirus Task Force; and what products have been identified as in short supply.

The Government continues to work closely with the construction sector to ensure that it can support the economic recovery. This includes the work of the Construction Leadership Council’s Coronavirus Task Force, which continues to monitor the supply and demand of products.

Products in short supply recently include plaster, ceramic roof tiles, external timber and related products, and hard landscaping products. Whilst the supply situation for most products has steadily improved over time, we continue to work closely with the industry to monitor this.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the capacity of the building supply trade to supply the needs of shovel ready projects.

The construction sector will be a key part of our economic recovery following the Covid-19 outbreak. The Government continues to work closely with the sector to ensure that it is in a position to support the economic recovery, including the building supply trade.

This includes the work of the Construction Leadership Council’s Coronavirus Task Force, which has established a product availability working group comprised of product manufacturers, builders’ merchants and suppliers, contractors of all sizes, and housebuilders. The Task Force will monitor the supply and demand of products and identify those in short supply.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what proposals he plans to include in the forthcoming Online Harms Bill to support women aged over 18 who are experiencing sexual exploitation.

The Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation, published in December 2020, sets out expectations on companies to keep their users safe online, including measures to tackle online abuse and exploitation. The Online Safety Bill, which will give effect to the Full Government Response, will be ready this year.

Under our proposals, websites, apps and other services which host user-generated content or allow people to talk to others online will need to remove and limit the spread of illegal content. This includes social media, online marketplaces and community forums. Where pornography sites host user generated content or facilitate online user interaction, that content will be subject to the new legal duty of care. The largest social media companies will be held to account for what they say they are doing to tackle activity and content that is harmful to adults using their services.

The non-consensual disclosure of private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress, is already a criminal offence under section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. This is often referred to as the “revenge porn” offence. Under the new online safety laws, all companies will need to tackle illegal content, including “revenge porn” and illegal online abuse on their services, by making sure it is taken down quickly and using tools to minimise the risk of similar material appearing. Failure to do so could result in enforcement action by the regulator.

The Government is also working with the Law Commission to review the criminal law related to non-consensual image sharing. This includes the creation and sharing of ‘deep-fake’ pornography, upskirting and revenge porn. This review is considering existing offences, including the current “revenge porn” offence, and will identify where there are any gaps in protection already offered to victims. The Law Commission will publish its consultation paper shortly.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the level of accountability of (a) subscription-based adult websites and (b) free community selling pages to prevent online abuse and exploitation.

The Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation, published in December 2020, sets out expectations on companies to keep their users safe online, including measures to tackle online abuse and exploitation. The Online Safety Bill, which will give effect to the Full Government Response, will be ready this year.

Under our proposals, websites, apps and other services which host user-generated content or allow people to talk to others online will need to remove and limit the spread of illegal content. This includes social media, online marketplaces and community forums. Where pornography sites host user generated content or facilitate online user interaction, that content will be subject to the new legal duty of care. The largest social media companies will be held to account for what they say they are doing to tackle activity and content that is harmful to adults using their services.

The non-consensual disclosure of private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress, is already a criminal offence under section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. This is often referred to as the “revenge porn” offence. Under the new online safety laws, all companies will need to tackle illegal content, including “revenge porn” and illegal online abuse on their services, by making sure it is taken down quickly and using tools to minimise the risk of similar material appearing. Failure to do so could result in enforcement action by the regulator.

The Government is also working with the Law Commission to review the criminal law related to non-consensual image sharing. This includes the creation and sharing of ‘deep-fake’ pornography, upskirting and revenge porn. This review is considering existing offences, including the current “revenge porn” offence, and will identify where there are any gaps in protection already offered to victims. The Law Commission will publish its consultation paper shortly.

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will put in place a staged roadmap for the return of business events similar to that which he put in place for the return of the performing arts.

We recognise the events industry’s disappointment at the delayed reopening of large business conferences and exhibitions.

We have always been clear that our roadmap to recovery is dependent on continued progress against the virus. Due to the sharp rise in cases over recent weeks, we needed to pause the planned 1st October reopening of business conferences and exhibitions.

Meetings of up to 30 for training, education and work purposes can still take place in permitted venues, as per the Covid-19 Secure guidance for the visitor economy. Since 11 July, a range of outdoor events have been able to take place, although again this is subject to COVID secure guidelines.

We are also aware that many in the sector support the notion of an events reopening roadmap. We continue to engage with stakeholders, including through the Visitor Economy Working Group and the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel, to assess how we can best support the sector’s safe reopening. The business events pilots we carried out in September will ensure that the correct advice and guidance is put in place to help larger events reopen when it is safe to do so.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to provide additional support to the business events industry as a result of the pause in the planned 1 October 2020 reopening of those events in England.

We are aware that the events and exhibition industry, as well as other sectors, have been severely impacted by Government measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

Businesses can continue to access the Government’s UK wide support package. This includes the Bounce Back Loans scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and, until the end of October, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

On top of existing measures, the Chancellor has expanded the Job Support Scheme to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of Covid-19 restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK.

The government intends for the Chancellor’s announcement to cover those directly employed by business conferences and exhibition centres which are unable to reopen. Further detail will be set out in due course.

We continue to engage with stakeholders, including through the Visitor Economy Working Group and the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel, to monitor the situation facing the sector.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many repair projects funded by the Condition Improvement Fund in 2021-22 (a) have been completed and (b) are on-track to be completed by summer 2022 as at 25 November 2021.

The total number of Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) projects approved in the 2021-22 round was 1,486.

For the CIF 2021-22 round:

(a) 75 projects have completed on site and provided a completion return to the department.

(b) Based on the latest monitoring return and our forecasted slippage assumptions, we anticipate a further 893 projects will be completed by the end of August 2022.

This information is correct as at 26 November 2021.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average cost of (a) one school meal and (b) a year's worth of school meals was in each of the last ten years.

The department does not set a price for school meals whether paid for or free.

School governing boards are responsible for the provision of both free and paid for meals and it is for them to decide on the price depending on local circumstances. The department knows that many factors influence the costs of school meals including, for example, catering arrangements, food prices and existing numbers of pupils taking up school meals.

Through the schools national funding formula, the department allocates £460 of funding to local authorities for each of the pupils in their area eligible for free school meals. Local authorities then distribute this money to schools through their local funding formula, which must include additional funding for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as those eligible for free school meals. This allocation will increase to £470 per eligible pupil as part of the overall increase to the core schools budget for the 2022-23 financial year.

It is then for schools to decide how to use their budget, including how much to allocate to pay for benefits-based free school meals.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's estimate was of the level of cash reserves held by multi-academy trusts as of 25 November 2021.

It is prudent financial planning for academy trusts to build reserves. Even trusts with strong balance sheets and adequate reserves can find themselves in a vulnerable position if they have insufficient cash assets. Academy trusts are accountable for, and transparent about, their reserves. As part of their short and long term financial planning, they must have a policy for holding reserves set out alongside financial data in their published annual accounts. These are clear requirements of the Academy Trust Handbook, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academy-trust-handbook.

The department publishes the Sector Annual Report and Accounts (SARA), which consolidates all academy accounts into one document. The last published report includes data on surpluses by academy trust size (page 25, figure 11b), available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/968362/SARA_Academies_Sector_Annual_Report_and_Accounts_201819_-_accessible.pdf.

The report for the 2019/20 academic year will be published in December 2021 and will include updated data on surpluses.

The National Audit Office’s recently published report on the financial sustainability of schools in England contains information about surpluses in all academy trusts (both single and multi-academy trusts), available here: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Financial-sustainability-of-schools-in-England.pdf. This reports that the net position across all academy trusts in the 2019/20 academic year was a cumulative surplus of £3.1 billion.

Data for the 2019/20 academic year on the financial position of individual academy trusts, including their surplus position, is available in academy trusts individual accounts and the schools financial benchmarking website, available here: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many National Leaders of Education (NLEs) have been trained over the last twelve months.

Over the past 12 months, National Leaders of Education (NLE) and multi-academy trust (MAT) leaders have been trained to support this year’s Trust and School Improvement Offer. As at 25 November 2021, there are 234 NLEs and 93 MAT leaders supporting schools and trusts as part of the offer.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils have received (a) at least one and (b) more than one tutoring session as part of the National Tutoring Programme as at 24 November 2021.

In the 2020/21 academic year, the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) reached over 300,000 pupils in its initial year. The programme has been significantly expanded and aims to engage up to 2 million pupils in the 2021/22 academic year.

In addition to tutoring delivered through tuition partners and academic mentors, this year we have also provided funding direct to schools to allow them the flexibility of choosing their own qualified staff to deliver school-led tutoring.

NTP participation data for has not yet been published. We continue to collect data from schools for all three strands of the programme and will be publishing this in due course following validation in accordance with the Statistical Code of Practice.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many new schools have opened since July 2019; and how many of those have been free schools.

The government’s free schools programme has delivered hundreds of new schools and provided thousands of high-quality new school places across the country.

Since July 2019, a total of 392 new state-funded schools have opened (including sponsored and converted academies), of which 169 are new free schools. These include mainstream, special and alternative provision, and 16-19 free schools. These schools will create more than 86,000 places at capacity.

Information about all schools in England is publicly available at: https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much and what proportion of the £10 million funding for Behaviour Hubs has been allocated to schools as of 24 November 2021.

Since April 2021, the £10 million behaviour hubs programme has supported 22 lead schools and two multi-academy trusts (MATs), who have been working with 34 partner schools and two MATs. A second cohort of 41 partner schools and two MATs have been recruited and their induction took place in September 2021.

Of the £10 million funding, around 70% is being used to fund teachers’ and senior leaders’ time to engage with the programme and implement action plans. The remainder is being used to contract behaviour and programme delivery experts to develop and deliver specialist training and resources for schools.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have been supported by the Behaviour Hubs programme as of 24 November 2021.

Since April 2021, the £10 million behaviour hubs programme has supported 22 lead schools and two multi-academy trusts (MATs), who have been working with 34 partner schools and two MATs. A second cohort of 41 partner schools and two MATs have been recruited and their induction took place in September 2021.

Of the £10 million funding, around 70% is being used to fund teachers’ and senior leaders’ time to engage with the programme and implement action plans. The remainder is being used to contract behaviour and programme delivery experts to develop and deliver specialist training and resources for schools.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the prevalence of covid-19 anti-vaccination protests outside school gates (a) nationally, (b) regionally and (c) by local authority.

The right to peaceful protest is a vital part of a democratic society. However, this does not extend to unlawful behaviour, and it is never acceptable for anyone to intimidate pupils and teachers. Should a protest contravene the law, the police have comprehensive powers to deal with activities that spread hate or deliberately raise tensions through violence or public disorder. The use of these powers and the management of demonstrations are an operational matter for the police.

Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the government is introducing new measures which will allow the police to take a more proactive approach in managing highly disruptive protests.

Separately, the Department for Education and the UK Health Security Agency have provided information in guidance for schools on how to handle any misinformation or disruption. In the event of a protest or disruptive activity outside a school, or if schools know a protest is planned, they should alert the School Age Immunisation Service provider, local authority and local police contacts to discuss the best way to manage the situation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many incidents of anti covid-19 vaccination protestors harassing schools and pupils have been recorded in 2021 as of 22 November 2021.

The department continues to closely monitor anti-vaccination activity occurring around schools alongside the Department of Health and Social Care and other government departments.

There is a close working relationship between the vaccine programme, local police, local authorities and other partners to gather intelligence and provide proportionate mitigations to keep people safe.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of education recovery funding to tackle cost pressures incurred by schools as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Helping children and young people to catch up is a key priority which is why, in this Spending Review, the department has announced a further £1.8 billion in dedicated support for education recovery. This takes government investment to just under £5 billion for an ambitious, multi-year approach for education recovery across early years, schools and 16-19.

The department has consistently targeted recovery funding where the evidence tells us it will be most effective, on tutoring and teaching, £650 million has already gone directly to schools via our catch-up premium, with more than £300 million going direct to schools this academic year via the recovery premium. Our recent announcement includes an additional £1 billion recovery premium for schools over the next two academic years (2022/23 and 2023/24).

Direct recovery funding comes on top of wider increases to early years, schools and college funding. Schools will receive an additional £4.7 billion in core funding in the 2024-25 financial year, including £1.6 billion in the 2022-23 financial year on top of already planned increases from the 2019 Spending Review, which is equivalent to a total cash increase of £1,500 per pupil between 2019-20 and 2024-25 financial years.

Additional funding via the Covid Exceptional Costs fund has also been provided to schools, which reimbursed them for costs identified as the biggest barrier to operating as they needed to between March and July 2020, to support vulnerable children and children of critical workers. The department has paid schools £139 million for all claims within the published scope of the fund across both application windows.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 96 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, how much of the £4.7 billion increase to school funding he plans to allocate to public sector compensation for employer costs of the Health and Social Care Levy.

As announced at the 2021 Spending Review, we are continuing to deliver year on year, real terms per pupil increases to school funding, investing a further £4.7 billion in the core school budget by financial year 2024-25 compared to previous plans. Overall, this is equivalent to a cash increase of £1,500 per pupil by financial year 2024-25 compared to financial year 2019-20.

The settlement includes a further £1.6 billion in financial year 2022-23, over financial year 2021-22 levels, on top of the £2.4 billion increase already announced as part of the 2019 spending round. This additional funding will help the school sector respond to the pressures we know they are facing, and includes £0.3 billion of funding for the public sector compensation for employer costs of the Health and Social Care Levy in each year of the Spending Review. We will make announcements on how the additional £1.6 billion of funding for financial year 2022-23 will be distributed in due course.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department his made of the differential impact of increases to per pupil funding, as announced on 27 October 2021, between the (a) most deprived and (b) least deprived fifth of schools.

The Autumn 2021 Spending Review delivers an additional £4.7 billion for the core schools budget by financial year 2024-25, compared to previous plans. That includes an additional £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in financial year 2022-23, on top of the funding we have previously announced. The department will confirm in due course how this additional funding for financial year 2022-23, and for the two subsequent years, will be allocated for schools and high needs.

In summer 2021 the department announced that, next year, funding through the schools national funding formula (NFF) is increasing by 3.2% overall, and by 2.8% per pupil, compared to financial year 2021-22. The NFF continues to distribute this fairly, based on the needs of schools and their pupil cohorts. The NFF is levelling up school funding by increasing core factors of the formula (such as the basic per-pupil funding rate, and deprivation factors) by 3%, while also ensuring that every school is allocated at least 2% more pupil-led per pupil funding. As part of that increase, the amount allocated towards deprivation in the financial year 2022-23 NFF is increasing by £225 million, or 6.7%, compared to financial year 2021-22.

The NFF targets funding to schools which have the greatest numbers of pupils with additional needs. In the 2022-23 financial year, the NFF is providing a total of £6.7 billion (17%) targeted at schools with higher numbers of pupils with additional needs, including deprivation. In addition, the department is allocating £2.5 billion in financial year 2021-22 through the pupil premium, to support schools to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. Allocations for the pupil premium in 2022-23 will be made in March 2022.

This funding is in addition to the three major interventions we have made to support education recovery in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the 2021 Spending Review provided an additional £1 billion for a Recovery Premium over the academic years of 2022/23 and 2023/24. Both the Recovery Premium and the National Tutoring Programme (which we have committed £1.2 billion since June 2020, including £579 million paid directly to schools to employ new or existing school staff as tutors), are directing funding based pupil premium eligibility figures, to ensure appropriate funding reaches schools facing the greatest challenges.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of schools have (a) external wall insulation, (b) double or triple-glazing, (c) solar panels and (d) heat pumps.

The department does not hold Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), these are held by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) who run the EPC scheme. We work closely with BEIS to understand the energy performance of the school estate.

The next round of the Condition Data Collection (CDC2) programme has started and will collect further information about the sustainability performance of the school estate, including heat pumps. Further information about this scheme can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/condition-data-collection-2-cdc2-programme. The previous Condition Data Collection (CDC1) programme was undertaken between 2017-19. However, this does not hold the specific data that you have identified.

More broadly, the department is committed to investing in the school estate and has recently announced that all new Department for Education delivered projects, delivered under our new construction framework, will be net zero carbon in operation. They will also respond appropriately to climate change adaptation such as overheating risk, biodiversity net gain and enhanced flood resilience measures, to contribute towards meeting the government’s climate change targets.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of schools had an EPC rating of C or above in each of the last 10 years.

The department does not hold Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), these are held by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) who run the EPC scheme. We work closely with BEIS to understand the energy performance of the school estate.

The next round of the Condition Data Collection (CDC2) programme has started and will collect further information about the sustainability performance of the school estate, including heat pumps. Further information about this scheme can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/condition-data-collection-2-cdc2-programme. The previous Condition Data Collection (CDC1) programme was undertaken between 2017-19. However, this does not hold the specific data that you have identified.

More broadly, the department is committed to investing in the school estate and has recently announced that all new Department for Education delivered projects, delivered under our new construction framework, will be net zero carbon in operation. They will also respond appropriately to climate change adaptation such as overheating risk, biodiversity net gain and enhanced flood resilience measures, to contribute towards meeting the government’s climate change targets.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of schools that are stockpiling food items in response to potential supply chain disruption to school meals.

Schools are responsible for the provision of school meals and may enter individual contracts with suppliers and caterers to meet this duty.

There is no evidence to suggest widespread supply issues. We routinely consider contingency arrangements and expect schools and catering companies supplying them to do the same.

The department does not monitor individual school contracts nor stock levels, but expects schools to continue providing pupils with nutritious school meals and to meet the School Food Standards which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-food-standards-resources-for-schools.

The department’s published guidance advises schools, further education colleges and local authorities on how to prepare for potential changes to food supplies so they can minimise the effect on pupils and young people in their care. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-food-standards-resources-for-schools/preparing-for-food-supply-problems-from-1-january-2021.

Schools are not encouraged to order more than they need, but do have flexibility under the School Food Standards to substitute food products if particular ingredients or meals are not readily available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to stop anti-vaccination protestors disrupting schools.

It is never acceptable for anyone to pressurise or intimidate pupils, teachers or the wider school community, and protestors engaging in this type of behaviour should immediately bring it to an end.

The department has provided information in guidance for schools on how to handle any misinformation or disruption. In the event of a protest or disruptive activity outside a school, or if schools know a protest is planned, they should alert the School Age Immunisation Service provider, local authority and local police contacts to discuss the best way to manage the situation.

Should a protest contravene the law, the police have comprehensive powers to deal with activities that spread hate or deliberately raise tensions through violence or public disorder.  This does not negate the right to peaceful protest.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children took part in the Holiday Activities and Food programme in the 2021 summer holidays in (a) total and (b) each local authority in England.

Local authorities were asked to send reports to the department by 15 October 2021, including detailed information on their delivery of the programme to date. The department is now examining these detailed individual reports and may need to clarify information with local authorities in some cases. The department will then consider the best way to share information on the programme. The department has also commissioned Ecorys UK to conduct an external evaluation of the programme. Fieldwork has taken place during and shortly after this year’s summer holidays, and we expect to publish findings in the new year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the results of his Department's trial of air purifiers in Bradford schools.

The trial of air purifiers is funded by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), who are contracting the trial management to Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust via their Centre for Applied Educational Research programme.

The full results of the study are expected in October 2022, but it is anticipated that an interim report on the feasibility of using air cleaners (HEPA and UV-C devices) in a school setting will be available early in 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's press release of 14 October 2021, 1,000 schools connected to top-of-the-class full fibre broadband, how many schools will not have access to full-fibre gigabit broadband by 2025.

According to data from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), 3,835 schools are in postcodes that do not have access to full fibre or are currently not in areas of proposed commercial build within the next 5 years.

The government remains committed to investing £5 billion to bring gigabit coverage to the hardest to reach areas and will continue to work with suppliers to accelerate this investment, taking account of industry capacity to bid for, and deliver, contracts to build in uncommercial areas alongside their commercial plans. GigaHubs is one of the programmes DCMS is using to deliver the government ambition of gigabit capabilities across the UK by 2030. As part of the wider Project Gigabit, GigaHubs will use up to £110 million to connect public buildings such as rural schools, doctors’ surgeries and libraries to gigabit broadband. This will help GPs provide remote video consultations and allow whole classes of school children to be online, at once, with no interruptions. Around 2,000 schools are in scope of the Gigabit Hubs programme and so will have access to gigabit capable connectivity by 2025.

These figures do not account for schools that already have access to fibre through a private leased line arrangement to enable gigabit capable connectivity. These figures are also open to flux as commercial build plans evolve over time.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools received their full allocation of CO2 monitors by the end of the autumn 2021 term.

The CO2 monitor roll out began in September across special schools and alternative provision, who were prioritised to receive their monitors first given their higher-than-average numbers of vulnerable pupils. These settings have now received their full allocation of monitors.  Monitors are now being dispatched to all schools and other eligible settings over the remainder of the autumn term. The roll out is on track, and we expect all eligible settings to have received their monitors by the end of the autumn term.

The department will begin publishing delivery data from 4 November. The first publication will cover all deliveries up to 25 October.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many CO2 monitors were distributed to schools by the end of the autumn 2021 term (a) nationally, (b) regionally and (c) by local authority.

The CO2 monitor roll out began in September across special schools and alternative provision, who were prioritised to receive their monitors first given their higher-than-average numbers of vulnerable pupils. These settings have now received their full allocation of monitors.  Monitors are now being dispatched to all schools and other eligible settings over the remainder of the autumn term. The roll out is on track, and we expect all eligible settings to have received their monitors by the end of the autumn term.

The department will begin publishing delivery data from 4 November. The first publication will cover all deliveries up to 25 October.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, excluding pupils absent for covid-related reasons, how many pupils (a) with an Education, Health and Care Plan, (b) who had a social worker and (c) eligible for free school meals attended a state-funded school on (i) 15 October 2020 and (ii) 14 October 2021.

The daily education setting (EdSet) survey asks schools and colleges to report data such as attendance at an institution level.

The department holds overall attendance data on the number of pupils attending state-funded schools on site, including for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan, with a social worker, and since 30 March 2021, for pupils who are eligible for free school meals. Table 1b contains available data for 15 October 2020 at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2020-week-42. Available data for 14 October 2021 is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2021-week-42.

Data is also collected daily on the number of pupils absent due to COVID-19 related reasons across all pupils overall. However, balancing data needs against reporting burdens, data is not collected on COVID-19 related absence for each of these pupil groups. Therefore, the department does not hold the figures requested. EdSet monitors COVID-19 related absence specifically by design and a full breakdown on absence for all reasons is not included in the survey.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of unexplained pupil absence in England from (a) 16 September 2021 and (b) 14 October 2021.

Nationally, education settings are open. Attendance is mandatory for schools and strongly encouraged for nurseries. The usual rules on school attendance continue to apply, including parents’ duty to secure their child’s regular attendance at school. Our priority is for schools to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils. The evidence is clear that being out of education can impact educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health. As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, it is imperative that we reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education. Schools should work closely with other professionals, where appropriate, to support school attendance. Where pupils are not able to attend school as they are following clinical or public health advice related to COVID-19, absence will not be penalised.

To maximise attendance within schools we have a comprehensive attendance strategy that has been implemented since the beginning of this academic year to ensure that any absence because of COVID-19 is minimised, and we are continuing to closely monitor absence levels and trends to ensure a focus on attendance remains throughout the rest of this academic year. The department has acted throughout the COVID-19 outbreak to help minimise the impact on pupils’ education and provided extensive support for schools. COVID-19 has caused particular challenges for some children who may already have been disengaged from education. That is why we have been working closely with local authorities and schools to help them re-engage pupils, including providing best practice advice.

Daily on-site attendance data is collected through the educational setting status form (EdSet). EdSet monitors COVID-19 related absence specifically by design and a full breakdown on absence for all reasons is not included in the survey.

Reasons for not attending on-site, other than for COVID-19 related reasons, includes off-site educational activities, such as school trips or work experience, other authorised absences, such as non-COVID illnesses, and unauthorised absences.

More detailed absence data is collected in the termly School Census. In line with usual reporting timetable, Autumn term 2021 statistics are due to be published in mid-2022. Autumn term data is not collected daily and has different coverage and definitions to the EdSet data and so they are not directly comparable.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) academies and (b) free schools have negotiated recognition agreements with teaching unions.

The information requested is not held centrally.

The department does not collect data on academies or free schools who have negotiated recognition agreements with teaching unions.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the rate of school exclusions has been in (a) local authority maintained schools and (b) academies in each of the last five years.

The requested data is in the attached table. Rates of permanent exclusion and suspension for local authority maintained schools and academies are affected by the mix of schools in each group. Comparisons across years are affected by the increasing numbers of academy schools.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of teachers hold a degree or degree-level qualification in the subject they teach (a) nationally, (b) regionally in England and (c) by local authority for the latest year for which figures are available.

Information on the proportion of teachers nationally that hold a degree or degree-level qualification in the subject they teach is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication. Teachers are counted against each subject taught and may therefore appear under more than one subject. This means it is not possible to calculate a total across all teachers. A breakdown for individual subjects is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/0ec7c7e8-7ad2-4a20-a343-e46150028b62.

To provide the information requested at regional and local authority level would require additional analysis which would incur disproportionate cost for a written parliamentary question.

To reduce burden during the COVID-19 outbreak, schools were not required to provide information on teacher qualifications in 2020. Therefore, the information provided relates to the November 2019 School Workforce Census.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to improve the retention rate of mathematics teachers.

There are more than 461,000 full-time equivalent classroom teachers, which is 20,000 more than in 2010. 41,472 new trainee teachers were recruited to start training in 2020/21, which is 23% more than in 2019/20, while just over two thirds of teachers who started teaching five years ago are still teaching.

However, the department recognises that some schools face challenges recruiting mathematics teachers, and that there is more to do to ensure that teaching remains a well-rewarded and prestigious profession. That is why we have announced a levelling up premium, worth up to £3,000 tax-free, for mathematics teachers in years 1 to 5 of their careers. This will support the recruitment and retention of maths teachers in the schools and areas that need them most. We will confirm the full eligibility details, including the eligible schools and areas, in due course. This is in addition to our tax-free bursaries worth up to £24,000 to encourage talented trainees into subjects such as mathematics.

As part of the education recovery plan, the department has announced that we are investing over £250 million of additional funding to help provide 500,000 teacher training opportunities to teachers so that they can access world-leading training appropriate for whatever point they are at in their career, from new teachers to headteachers. This includes £184 million of funding for new National Professional Qualifications (NPQs). Three new specialist NPQs have been launched to best address the broad range of responsibilities of current and aspiring middle leaders, including the NPQ for Leading Teaching. This aims to develop teachers who are subject leads or responsible for improving teaching practice in a subject or phase, including subjects such as mathematics.

Finally, we are taking action to reduce workload and improve wellbeing, which we know is crucial to teacher retention. The department has created an Education Staff Wellbeing Charter which sets out a range of commitments on the government and employers in schools and colleges on wellbeing. Furthermore, the Department for Education school workload reduction toolkit, developed alongside school leaders, is a helpful resource that is being used by schools to review and reduce workload in their unique context. We are working with the sector on an update to be published in the coming months.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the number of schools that have altered the length of their school day since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

In the 2020/21 academic year, schools made use of staggered start and finish times as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department does not hold data on the number of schools who made temporary changes to their school day during this period.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, by what date he plans to publish his Department's review into the impact of the length of the school day on education recovery.

The Department has collected information on the length of the school day from the school snapshot survey panel by region. The school snapshot panel is a regular online survey which gathers views from head teachers and classroom teachers in state-funded primary and secondary schools. The panel consists of around 4,500 members who have agreed to participate in short, regular research surveys on topical issues in education. The Department intends to publish the results of the survey in the autumn of 2021. The Department does not collect information regarding the length of school days from local authorities.

The Government is committed to an ambitious, long-term education recovery plan. The next stage includes a review of time spent in school and 16-19 education, and the impact this could have on helping children and young people to catch up. The findings of the policy review will be used to inform the Spending Review later in the year.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the average length of the school day by (a) local authority, (b) region and (c) nationally.

The Department has collected information on the length of the school day from the school snapshot survey panel by region. The school snapshot panel is a regular online survey which gathers views from head teachers and classroom teachers in state-funded primary and secondary schools. The panel consists of around 4,500 members who have agreed to participate in short, regular research surveys on topical issues in education. The Department intends to publish the results of the survey in the autumn of 2021. The Department does not collect information regarding the length of school days from local authorities.

The Government is committed to an ambitious, long-term education recovery plan. The next stage includes a review of time spent in school and 16-19 education, and the impact this could have on helping children and young people to catch up. The findings of the policy review will be used to inform the Spending Review later in the year.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to improve the provision of specialist after-school and holiday clubs for children with disabilities.

We recognise that after-school and holiday clubs play an important role in providing enriching activities for children, including those with disabilities, as well as being a valuable source of additional childcare for working parents and carers.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, vulnerable children, such as those with disabilities, have been prioritised for attendance at after-school, holiday clubs and other out-of-school settings. All children are now able to attend these settings without restrictions on the reasons for which they may attend, and we have provided updated COVID-19 guidance for providers to enable them to run their provision as safely as possible. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/covid-19-actions-for-out-of-school-settings.

Where parents are still finding it difficult to access sufficient childcare, we recommend that they contact their local authority’s family information services. Local authorities are required by legislation to secure sufficient free early years provision and paid-for childcare places, so far as is reasonably practicable, for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment, for children aged 0-14.

We have also published safeguarding guidance for out-of-school settings , available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-out-of-school-settings-code-of-practice/keeping-children-safe-during-community-activities-after-school-clubs-and-tuition-non-statutory-guidance-for-providers-running-out-of-school-settings. This guidance outlines the policies and procedures that providers should have in place to promote the welfare of the children attending them. This includes specific advice for providers that cater for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2021 to Question 42022 on Schools: Internet, how many further education colleges lack full-fibre internet connectivity (a) nationally, (b) regionally and (c) by local authority.

All further education (FE) colleges in England have a full-fibre internet connection. All except one are connected via the Janet network, which is funded by the Department for Education and college subscriptions.

288 FE providers in England, including FE colleges, sixth-form colleges and Independent Specialist Providers are connected via Janet. Janet also connects all FE and higher education establishments across the UK. The majority of colleges already have a 1 gigabyte per second connection and work is ongoing to provide this to all colleges.

The exception, the City of Liverpool College, has a full fibre connection via the local council.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2021 to Question 42022, what the (a) local authority and (b) regional breakdown is of the schools not in postcodes that (i) have access to full fibre internet and (ii) proposed commercial build within the next five years.

According to data from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), 3,835 schools are in postcodes that do not have access to full fibre or are currently not in areas of proposed commercial build within the next 5 years. Around 2,000 of those schools are in scope of DCMS’ Gigabit Hubs programme and so will have access to gigabit capable connectivity by 2025. These figures do not account for schools that have access to fibre through a private leased line arrangement to enable gigabit capable connectivity.

The future build plans of telecoms providers are commercially sensitive. The Government are therefore unable to disclose regional or local authority level data.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 4 of the Department's Realising the potential of technology in education: A summary report, published in April 2019, how many teachers have participated in training courses on the use of education technology since 2019.

The EdTech Demonstrator programme, launched in April 2020, provided peer-to-peer support on making the best use of technology to support remote teaching during the COVID-19 outbreak. Over 4,000 schools and further education colleges received support as part of Phase 1 of the EdTech Demonstrator Programme, with over 11,000 accessing live weekly webinars and tutorials.

891 schools and further education colleges have now registered for Phase 2 of the EdTech Demonstrator Programme, which aims to bridge the gap from crisis response to long-term sustained use of technology.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools lack full-fibre internet connectivity (a) nationally, (b) regionally and (c) by local authority.

According to data from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), 14,259 schools are in postcodes that either currently have access to full fibre internet, or are in areas of proposed commercial build within the next five years. Around 2,000 schools are in the scope of DCMS’ Gigabit Hubs programme and will have access to gigabit capable connectivity by 2025. These figures do not account for schools that have access to fibre through a private leased line arrangement to enable gigabit capable connectivity.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2021 to Question 21978, what data his Department holds on the number of (a) pupils enrolled and (b) schools onboarded in the National Tutoring Programme in each region.

Since November 2020, over 240,000 pupils have enrolled onto the National Tutoring Programme. The number of pupils enrolled by each region is provided in the table below:

London

41,842

South East

25,917

South West

18,207

East of England

28,641

West Midlands

26,123

East Midlands

23,062

Yorkshire and Humber

25,238

North West

40,178

North East

10,982

Over 5,000 schools in England have onboarded on the National Tutoring Programme. The number of schools onboarded by region is provided in the table below:

East of England

741

East Midlands

534

London

742

North East

298

North West

917

South East

753

South West

500

West Midlands

608

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children took part in the Holiday Activities and Food programme in the 2021 Easter holidays in (a) total and (b) each local authority in England.

The department funded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children, has been expanded to every local authority across England this year, backed by up to £220 million. It builds on previous programmes, including last summer’s, which supported around 50,000 children across 17 local authorities.

Ordinarily we require HAF provision to be face to face. However, we offered greater flexibility during the Easter holiday which led to every local authority delivering provision. Survey information from local authorities suggests hundreds of thousands of children benefited from attending holiday activities and food clubs across England.

We do not hold robust data on the number of children that benefited by area for Easter. All local authorities will be delivering provision across the summer. An independent evaluation of the HAF programme over the summer will take place.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to answer of 29 June 2021 to Question 21978 on National Tutoring Programme, how many and what proportion of the 234,000 pupils enrolled in the National Tutoring Programme are in each local authority.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) provides additional, targeted support to disadvantaged pupils by providing schools with access to high quality, subsidised tuition from a selection of approved Tuition Partners.

Since its launch in November 2020, over 234,000 pupils have enrolled to receive tutoring and, of those enrolled, over 186,000 pupils have already commenced tutoring. The Department does not have information on the split of the 234,000 pupils who have enrolled on the NTP at local authority level.

The programme ensures that additional support has been allocated to regions with the largest numbers of disadvantaged pupils and in regions where access to tutoring has been historically lower.

The NTP is led by demand by schools, and the Department has undertaken a range of activities with schools to ensure maximum awareness within the sector and to encourage schools to sign up to the programme. We are engaging directly with school leaders, local networks of schools, and national stakeholders to ensure that the NTP reaches as many disadvantaged pupils as possible. We will continue focusing on those areas with the most disadvantaged pupils, and where we would like to see more schools take up the opportunity.

Building on the successful first year of the programme, we aim to reach 750,000 disadvantaged pupils during the academic year 2021/22.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department has provided to schools to improve classroom ventilation since January 2021.

The Department has not provided specific additional funding for schools to improve classroom ventilation since January 2021.

The Department provided additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March and July 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets. This funding was targeted towards the costs that we identified as the biggest barrier to schools operating as they needed to. It covered claims for the premises costs of staying open over Easter and summer half term holidays, support for free school meals, and additional cleaning costs.

Schools have continued to receive their core funding throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of any periods of full or partial closure. This financial year marks the second year of the Department’s investment of £14.4 billion in total over the three years to 2022/23, compared to 2019/20. This is the biggest increase in a decade.

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the retention rate was after one year post-qualification for newly qualified teachers in each of the last ten calendar years by (a) region and (b) local authority.

The national retention rate of teachers who qualified in the last 10 years is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

Regional and local authority retention rates are not currently published. Figures for teachers who qualified in 2016 were published in the Teacher Analysis Compendium, which is availble on page 67 at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/748164/Teachers_Analysis_Compendium_4_.pdf. Estimates have not been compiled for other time periods as this would incur disproportionate cost.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of pupils achieved GCSEs in (a) art, (b) design and technology, (c) music and (d) drama in each of the last 10 calendar years.

The information requested is published at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/key-stage-4-performance-revised. This shows the number of entries to the Art Design, Applied Art and Design, Design and Technology, D & T: Electronic Products, D & T: Food Technology, D & T: Graphic Products, D & T: Resistant Materials, D & T: Systems & Control, D & T: Textiles Technology Music and Drama, as well as the percentage of pupils achieving A*-G/9-1 and A*-C/9-4 in these subjects: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/b4bd53da-dbea-4f25-804b-d61e0bac8987.

The information is available for each academic year between 2009/10 and 2019/20 in state funded schools.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many teachers are employed to teach (a) art, (b) design, (c) music and (d) drama in each English region.

It is not possible to provide information on teachers by subject taught at a regional level due to the manner in which data is collected from a sample of secondary schools.

A national level headcount of teachers by subjects taught is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much money has been provided to schools for art materials in each of the last 10 calendar years.

The Government is delivering the largest cash boost for schools in a decade. Core school funding increased by £2.6 billion in the 2020/21 financial year and is increasing by £4.8 billion and £7.1 billion in the 2021/22 and the 2022/23 financial years respectively, compared to 2019/20. In 2021/22, mainstream school funding is increasing by 3.5% overall.

The National Funding Formula (NFF) continues to distribute this funding fairly, based on the needs of schools and their pupil cohorts. It is for head teachers to decide how they use their core funding distributed through the NFF, and no separate allocation is made specifically for arts materials.

This Government values the arts and supports the creative arts throughout the education system. Alongside funding for schools, the Department has invested nearly £620 million from 2016 to 2021 in a diverse portfolio of music and arts education programmes to ensure all children, whatever their background, have access to a high-quality education in music and arts. A further £84 million has been made available for music programmes and a range of arts and cultural programmes in this financial year.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools lack a qualified teacher in (a) art and design, (b) drama and (c) music.

The number of state-funded schools in England with no teachers holding a relevant post-A level qualification in art and design, drama or music is provided in the attached table.

To reduce burden during the COVID-19 outbreak, schools and local authorities were not required to provide information on teacher qualifications in 2020. Therefore, the information provided relates to the November 2019 School Workforce Census.

Please note that this information relates to qualifications of teachers, not the subjects taught. Information on subjects taught and teacher post-A level qualifications is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many teachers were employed in (a) art and design, (b) drama and (c) music in schools in England in each of the last 10 calendar years.

The headcount of art and design, drama and music teachers in service in state funded secondary schools in November 2011 to November 2020 is provided in the attached table and published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

While there is no formal register for teachers of these subjects, for context, information is also shown on the percentage of hours spent teaching each subject in each year and the percentage of hours of which are taught by a teacher with a relevant post A level qualification.

24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2021 to Question 18546 on the National Tutoring Programme, of the 173,000 children who have commenced tutoring, how many were located in (a) the South East, (b) the South West, (c) London, (d) East of England, (e) East Midlands, (f) West Midlands, (g) Yorkshire and Humber, (h) the North West and (i) the North East.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) provides additional, targeted support to disadvantaged pupils by providing schools with access to high quality, subsidised tuition from a selection of approved Tuition Partners.

Since its launch in November 2020, over 234,000 pupils have been enrolled to receive tutoring and over 26,000 tutors are available to support schools. Of those enrolled, over 186,000 pupils have already commenced tutoring. We are on track to meet our ambition to support 250,000 pupils this academic year. The programme ensures that additional support has been allocated to regions with the largest numbers of disadvantaged pupils and in regions where access to tutoring has historically been lower. The Department does not have information on the regional split of the 186,000 pupils who have received tutoring.

The NTP is led by demand by schools, and we have undertaken a range of activities with schools, to ensure maximum awareness within the sector and encourage schools to sign up to the programme. We are engaging directly with school leaders, local networks of schools and national stakeholders to ensure that NTP support reaches as many disadvantaged pupils as possible. We will continue focusing on those areas with the most disadvantaged pupils, and where we would like to see more schools take up the opportunity.

Building on the successful first year of the programme, we aim to reach 750,000 disadvantaged pupils during the academic year 2021/22.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the level of awareness in schools of the National Tutoring Programme.

Since its launch in November 2020, over 230,000 pupils have been enrolled to receive tutoring and over 26,000 tutors are available to support schools. Of those enrolled, over 170,000 pupils have already commenced tutoring.

The Department is on target to offer tuition to 250,000 pupils in this first year. Through the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), the Department is investing over £1 billion to deliver up to 6 million, intensive 15 hour tutoring courses for 5 to 16 year olds by 2024, and the equivalent of 2 million, 15 hour courses for 16 to 19 year olds.

Evidence suggests that pupils who receive a course of small group tutoring can make between three and five months additional progress. The Department has continued to build on this successful engagement through a range of targeted communication activities with schools to increase awareness and continue to encourage pupils to enrol in the programme.

Alongside the NTP website, the programme is featured in regular communications to schools from the Department, and we continue to engage with school leaders, local school networks and national stakeholders to ensure that the NTP continues to reach as many disadvantaged pupils as possible. Communications include key programme updates, information to dispel myths about the programme and sharing evidence for the efficacy of the tutoring model. The Department also gathers and shares case studies of participating schools and successes to illustrate the impact of the programme.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 April 2021 to Question 183135, how many children are currently receiving tutoring by (a) local authority and (b) region.

The National Tutoring Programme will provide additional, targeted support for children and young people who have been hardest hit by disruption to their education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the launch of the programme in November 2020, over 232,000 pupils have been enrolled to receive tutoring, and of those enrolled over 173,000 have already commenced tutoring.

For this year’s programme, which is on track to meet its target of reaching 250,000 pupils, the Department will ensure there is good provision of tutoring across the regions so that schools can provide tutoring to pupils who need it most. We will also ensure that tutors offer a mix of both face-to-face and online tutoring to allow remote access to pupils if required.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2021 to Question 11547, what the anticipated regional breakdown is of the 750,000 pupils expected to receive tutoring under the National Tutoring Programme in academic year 2021-22.

The National Tutoring Programme will provide additional, targeted support for children and young people who have been hardest hit by disruption to their education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the launch of the programme in November 2020, over 232,000 pupils have been enrolled to receive tutoring, and of those enrolled over 173,000 have already commenced tutoring.

For this year’s programme, which is on track to meet its target of reaching 250,000 pupils, the Department will ensure there is good provision of tutoring across the regions so that schools can provide tutoring to pupils who need it most. We will also ensure that tutors offer a mix of both face-to-face and online tutoring to allow remote access to pupils if required.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide a breakdown of planned funding for school sports in 2021-22 by local authority.

The Government has confirmed the overall funding for the Primary PE and sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Schools will also be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure that this is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport and physical activity recovery. Funding will be allocated according to a formula and details will be confirmed in the autumn as in previous years.

The Department publishes PE and sport premium allocations by local authority. Information on allocations for the current academic year is available here: https://skillsfunding.service.gov.uk/view-latest-funding/national-funding-allocations/PSG/2020-to-2021.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many PE teachers were employed by schools in each of the last 10 calendar years, by local authority.

The headcount of physical education (PE) teachers in service in state-funded secondary schools in November 2011 to November 2020 is provided in the attached table. It is also published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

While there is no formal register for PE teachers, for context, information is also shown on the percentage of hours spent teaching PE in each year and the percentage of hours of PE which are taught by a teacher with a relevant post A level qualification. A relevant post A level qualification is a level 4 qualification or above in physical education, sports science, sports physiology, sports psychology or dance (including ballet).

Information for teachers in primary schools and broken down by local authority is not available due to the manner in which data is collected from a sample of secondary schools.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report, Fight or flight? How stuck schools are overcoming isolation: evaluation report, published by Ofsted in January 2020, what is his latest estimate of the number of schools defined as stuck which have been rated by Ofsted as less than good for 13 years or more; and how many pupils are enrolled in those schools.

As of 31 March 2021, there were 412 schools that have been rated by Ofsted as less than good for 13 years or more. Around 210,000 pupils were enrolled in the schools, rounded to the nearest 10,000.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the strength of the inspection regime for multi-academy trusts.

The Department requires a high level of accountability and transparency of all academy trusts. The Department’s Regional Schools Commissioners and their teams, together with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, provide robust educational and financial oversight of all academy trusts. Their status as companies, charities and public sector bodies means they are all subject to rigorous accountability systems.

Ofsted also plays a vital role in trust accountability by providing independent judgement on the educational performance of schools within a trust and through its process of trust summary evaluations. Ofsted’s summary evaluations are not currently being undertaken due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the Department will confirm details on when they will return shortly. Whilst these are still relatively small scale, the Department anticipates future findings from Ofsted’s summary evaluations as the programme continues and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, will continue to talk to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector about their robustness.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much covid-19 recovery funding has been allocated to school sports.

Physical education (PE) and school sport play an important part in supporting pupils to recover from the effects of school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government has confirmed that the Primary PE and sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Schools will be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure that this is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport, and physical activity recovery.


In June 2021, the Department announced £1.4 billion of additional funding for education recovery. This is in addition to the £1.7 billion already committed, bringing total investment announced for education recovery over the past year to over £3 billion. Schools have the flexibility to determine how they choose to spend some of this funding to support the needs of their pupils, including on activities to support health and wellbeing where needed. The Government has also provided £10.1 million of funding to support schools to reopen their sports facilities and increase the opportunity for children and young people to take part in extra-curricular and community sport.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of school-age children who receive at least 30 minutes of sport and physical activity each school day.

Sport England collects data on activity by children and young people through the annual Active Lives Children and Young People Survey. The data for the 2019/20 academic year showed that 44.9% of children and young people (3.2 million) met the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of taking part in sport and physical activity for an average of 60 minutes or more every day. Data for the 2018/19 academic year showed that 40% of pupils did an average of 30 active minutes during the school day. School closures mean that it is difficult to produce a comparable figure for the 2019/20 academic year, but the Government will continue to collect data for future years.


Physical activity and school sport play an important part in supporting pupils to recover from the effects of school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To support this, the Government has confirmed that the Primary PE and Sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Schools will also be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure that this is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport and physical activity recovery. In addition, in February the Department announced a £10.1 million investment into schools across England to help them to open their school sports facilities outside of the school day. This will allow them to open their facilities and run more sports activities and clubs before school, after school and during the summer holidays.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many school playing fields have been converted under section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 in each of the last 10 years.

Both changing the use of playing field land and disposals of playing field land require the Secretary of State’s consent for local authority owned land under section 77 of School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (“SSFA”).

The majority of change of use cases involve building on existing playing field land in order to build new or expand existing classrooms, either permanently or temporarily, to accommodate pupil numbers. Whilst this will change the area into non-playing field land, it remains educational land.

The Department has a clear policy presumption against the loss of publicly funded school land, particularly in the case of playing field land. Applicants are required to provide evidence that alternative proposals have been considered and consent is normally only given where an applicant provides sufficient sports and/or recreational mitigations to compensate for the loss of existing playing field and the department is satisfied that the benefits of the proposed change of use outweigh the loss of playing field land.

Whilst the Department has recorded information on change of use applications on its central database since 2017, this information is used for internal case management purposes only and does not reflect the total number of cases.

Regarding disposals of playing field land, since May 2010 the Department has published on GOV.UK details of disposals of publicly funded playing field land which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-land-decisions-about-disposals. The list will be updated shortly to include new playing field disposals since the last update in July 2020.

10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the requiring the installation of sprinkler systems in schools in England.

The Government attaches the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff, and to ensuring that the owners of school buildings take the necessary action to protect those buildings.

The Department’s policy, set out in Building Bulletin 100, is that sprinklers must be fitted where they are deemed necessary to keep pupils and staff safe. This is in accordance with the Building Regulations and all new school building projects must comply with building regulations on fire safety.

The Department is currently updating its guidance, Building Bulletin 100, on fire safety design for schools. To support this review, a call for evidence was issued asking for stakeholder views and supporting evidence on the benefits of multiple fire safety features, including sprinkler systems. A comprehensive review of the responses has been undertaken along with any information submitted subsequently. This included the merits of various fire safety systems, such as upgraded fire alarms, installation of evacuation lifts and sprinkler systems.

The Department’s consultation on the revised version of Building Bulletin 100 is currently live. Once the consultation has concluded, Ministers will review all responses to the consultation, particularly any new evidence, before agreeing a final version.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the proportion of pupils regularly being tested for covid-19 within schools.

The number of COVID-19 lateral flow tests that have been distributed to schools and further education colleges since 1 March 2021 is 192,931,671, of which 135,452,570 are for pupils. This includes 126,705,245 COVID-19 lateral flow self-test kits for testing at home.

The number of lateral flow tests that have been completed by pupils in secondary schools, excluding colleges, between 4 March and 2 June is 21.9 million.

The number of lateral flow tests that have been completed in total since 4 March and up to 2 June for all education settings, including higher education, is 47.7 million. This includes testing of pupils, staff, school household bubble testing, and school support bubble testing. Testing figures have been derived from the Department of Health and Social Care NHS Test and Trace published statistics which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/weekly-statistics-for-nhs-test-and-trace-england-27-may-to-2-june-2021.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many covid-19 lateral flow tests have been (a) distributed to schools for pupil use and (b) formally completed by pupils since March 2021.

The number of COVID-19 lateral flow tests that have been distributed to schools and further education colleges since 1 March 2021 is 192,931,671, of which 135,452,570 are for pupils. This includes 126,705,245 COVID-19 lateral flow self-test kits for testing at home.

The number of lateral flow tests that have been completed by pupils in secondary schools, excluding colleges, between 4 March and 2 June is 21.9 million.

The number of lateral flow tests that have been completed in total since 4 March and up to 2 June for all education settings, including higher education, is 47.7 million. This includes testing of pupils, staff, school household bubble testing, and school support bubble testing. Testing figures have been derived from the Department of Health and Social Care NHS Test and Trace published statistics which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/weekly-statistics-for-nhs-test-and-trace-england-27-may-to-2-june-2021.

7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of pupils' mental health and wellbeing during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor the emerging evidence on the experiences of children and young people during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the support measures being put in place by the government, including in the longer term, are informed by the most up-to-date evidence.

In particular, Public Health England is monitoring the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, including on children and young people, and is publishing regular surveillance reports. Their report about population mental health and wellbeing in England during the COVID-19 outbreak was last updated on 8 April: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-mental-health-and-wellbeing-surveillance-report.

On 10 October 2020, the Department for Education published its second annual ‘State of the Nation’ report, which focused on children and young people’s experience associated with wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. The report has helped the government, children and young people’s services, schools, parents and anyone interested in children and young people’s wellbeing to understand children and young people’s experiences of the COVID-19 outbreak, the measures put in place to reduce the impact of the outbreak, and the broader effects on society.

The department has also been collecting regular survey data on children and young people’s wellbeing and experiences during the COVID-19 outbreak. We expect to publish this data in the autumn.

Children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing is a priority for this government. We have supported schools and colleges to put the right pastoral support in place through the Wellbeing for Education Return scheme in the 2020/21 academic year, which funded expert advisers in every English local authority to offer training, support and resources for staff dealing with children and young people experiencing additional pressures from the last year – including trauma, anxiety, or grief. Our Mental Health in Education Action Group highlighted that schools and colleges continue to need help to understand, navigate and access the range of provision available locally, so we provided an additional £7 million funding to local authorities to provide further expert support to do this through the Wellbeing for Education Recovery programme.

On 5 March 2021, we announced an additional £79 million to accelerate the significant planned expansion of children and young people’s mental health services, which will allow around 22,500 more children and young people to access community health services; this includes 2,000 more children and young people getting access to eating disorder services and accelerating the coverage of mental health support teams over the financial year 2021/22. This will enable community mental health services to provide more children and young people more timely care.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) potential challenges faced by regional schools commissioners.

Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs) act on behalf of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, in relation to academies, free schools and school improvement, and are accountable to the National Schools Commissioner. Each RSC is supported by a head teacher board. Head teacher boards are made up of experienced academy head teachers and other sector leaders.

RSCs also play an important role in the Department’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, by leading our Regional Education and Children’s Teams to better co-ordinate how the Department captures information and intelligence about local needs and circumstances in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

RSC performance is managed through the normal and existing civil service arrangements for Senior Civil Servants. In addition, the Department publishes annual reports relating to school and academies performance, of which the work of RSCs is included. These can be found here: Annual Report and Accounts https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dfe-annual-reports, and Academies Sector Report and Accounts https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/968362/SARA_Academies_Sector_Annual_Report_and_Accounts_201819_-_accessible.pdf.

Over the coming months, areas of focus for the RSCs will be:

  • Supporting the school system to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak​.
  • Supporting underperforming schools to move into strong families of schools.
  • Supporting growth, development, and improvement of Academy Trusts.
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on implementing the recommendations of the Timpson Review of School Exclusion, published in May 2019.

Good behaviour and discipline in schools is crucial if children are to reach their full potential. The Department supports head teachers to use suspensions and expulsions when required as part of creating calm and disciplined classrooms that bring out the best in every pupil. Expulsion should only be used as a last resort, and expulsion from school should not mean exclusion from education.

Since the publication of the Timpson Review and agreeing the recommendations in principle, the Government has been pursuing a programme of work on school behaviour across the school system. In April we commenced the Behaviour Hubs programme, investing £10 million that will help schools to develop and sustain a culture where good behaviour is the norm. Training is also being reformed as part of the Early Career Framework, so that all new teachers will be shown how to effectively manage behaviour in their first two years in the profession from September 2021. The Department will continue to work with Ofsted to tackle the practice of ‘off-rolling’ which is an unacceptable practice. Additionally, the Department will be consulting on how to help head teachers remove phones in schools, and other revisions to the Department’s behaviour and discipline and expulsions guidance, later in the year.

The Department intends to go further and is committed to improving outcomes for children and young people in alternative provision who are most at risk of expulsion and disengaging from education. The Department will set out its plans in the forthcoming SEND review.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many complaints he has received about his Department from (a) parents and (b) teachers since (i) March 2020 and (ii) March 2015.

The attached tables detail the number of complaints sent by parents and teachers about the Department for Education for each 12 month period starting on March 2015 and March 2020. These are not complaints about Government policies, but about the provision of services from the Department.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to prevent the teacher-assessed grading process in the 2020-21 academic year leading to legal disputes.

Parents and pupils can have confidence in the grades awarded this summer. Teachers are being supported to assess their students, including through clear guidance published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ): https://www.jcq.org.uk/summer-2021-arrangements/. The JCQ guidance provides detailed information to schools and colleges on the grading process and the range of support that Awarding Organisations have and will continue to provide. The Department trusts teachers’ judgements as they are best placed to understand the content students have covered, their students’ performance and how they compare to other students this year and in previous years. Teacher assessed grades will allow results to reflect the knowledge students have acquired based on what they have been taught, recognising the variability in teaching that some young people have experienced.

To further support teachers, a robust quality assurance process is in place. There will be a process for both internal and external quality assurance to support teachers to do what is needed, ensure as much consistency as possible and reduce the risk of any malpractice. Head teachers will have to confirm to the exam boards that the requirements for quality assurance have been met at the time of submitting the grades for their centre.

Students should feel confident in their teacher assessed grades, but an appeals system will be in place as a safety net in exceptional circumstances, for example, where an error has been made and not identified in the earlier parts of the process.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the Ofsted review on sexual abuse in schools will be published.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member for Hove, and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what was the scientific basis for directing early years settings to stay open during the new national restrictions.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced on 4 January 2021 that early years settings remain open for all children during the national lockdown. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home.

Schools have been restricted because additional measures are needed to contain the spread of the virus. The wider significant restrictions in place as part of the national lockdown to contain the spread of the virus in the community enable us to continue prioritising keeping nurseries and childminders open, supporting parents and delivering the crucial care and education needed for our youngest children.

Early years settings remain low risk environments for children and staff. Current evidence suggests that pre-school children (0 to 5 years) are less susceptible to infection and are unlikely to be playing a driving role in transmission. There is no evidence the new strain of the virus causes more serious illness in either children or adults and there is no evidence that the new variant of coronavirus disproportionately affects young children.

PHE advice remains that the risk of transmission and infection is low if early years settings follow the system of controls, which reduce risks and create inherently safer environments.

Early years settings have been open to all children since 1 June 2020 and there is no evidence that the early years sector has contributed to a rise in virus cases within the community. Early modelling evidence from SAGE showed that early years provision had a smaller relative impact on transmission rate when modelled with both primary schools and secondary schools.

Early years childcare providers were one of the first sectors to have restrictions lifted last summer, in recognition of the key role they play in society. Childminders and nursery staff across the country have worked hard to keep settings open through the COVID-19 outbreak so that young children can be educated, and parents can work. The earliest years are the most crucial point of child development and attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development. We continue to prioritise keeping early years settings open in full because of the clear benefits to children’s education and wellbeing and to support working parents. Caring for the youngest age group is not something that can be done remotely.

These plans are being kept under review in the light of emerging scientific evidence. We are working with the scientific community to understand the properties and dynamics of the new variant VUI-202012/01 in relation to children and young people.

The department has been working closely with local authorities to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, setting up dedicated regional teams that are in frequent contact. Bringing together expertise from across the department, these teams monitor the challenges local authorities are facing. Our London regional team is in close contact with Havering and will be assessing the situation for early years settings in the authority.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 102886 on Crime: Children, what plans she has to make an assessment of the effectiveness of data sharing between local authorities relating to child criminal exploitation.

The department has no specific plans to review the effectiveness of data sharing between local authorities relating to child criminal exploitation.

As I set out in the answer I gave on 16 October 2020 to 102886, there is a robust statutory framework in place that requires effective sharing of information between practitioners, local organisations and agencies to help identify, assess and respond to risks or concerns about the safety and welfare of children. Ofsted inspect the effectiveness of local authority children’s services and arrangements. Guidance on the framework for inspecting local authority children’s services is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inspecting-local-authority-childrens-services-from-2018/inspecting-local-authority-childrens-services#introduction.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that information gathered during independent return home interviews is shared with (a) local authority children’s services, (b) police and (c) voluntary services, to allow those parties to prepare adequate action plans.

The department’s statutory guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or from care is clear that information-sharing between professionals and local agencies is essential in identifying patterns of behaviour for individual children, and for wider groups of children, at risk of harm. This guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-who-run-away-or-go-missing-from-home-or-care.

The collaboration between professionals and local agencies includes effective scrutiny and sharing of information from return interviews between local authorities, police forces, the voluntary sector and health and education settings. This ensures that the welfare concerns of individual children and wider ‘hotspots’ of risks, such as sexual and criminal exploitation, are identified, tackled and disrupted effectively.

The statutory guidance also makes clear that these local safeguarding partners should ensure that a local Runaway and Missing From Home and Care protocol is completed and reviewed regularly. A crucial part of this partnership join-up is the analysis of information and intelligence captured during return interviews.

As part of Ofsted’s inspections of children’s services, they consider how well children and young people are helped and protected and will challenge poor practice.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to strengthen legal obligations on local authorities to share information relating to children at risk of criminal exploitation.

The statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)’ is clear that effective sharing of information between practitioners and local organisations and agencies is essential to help identify, assess and respond to risks or concerns about the safety and welfare of children. In July 2018, the government published updated guidance ‘Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services (2018)’. The guidance sets out the golden rules and key principles to sharing information and includes a myth-busting guide aimed at dispelling common myths that prevent the effective sharing of information. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-practitioners-information-sharing-advice.

We are clear that that local authorities hold legal duties for protecting children in their areas and for developing policies, including on information sharing, to fulfil those functions. Guidance therefore seeks not to overly prescribe practice but allows for professional judgement to be used within the local framework in the best interest of children.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if guidance for the September 2020 reopening of secondary schools will be available to (a) local authorities and (b) other school providers by the end of this school term.

We want to get all children and young people back into education as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their wellbeing to have social interactions with their teachers and friends. As such we have announced that all children will return to school from September.

The guidance on the full opening of schools can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking in response to reported failures in the service offered by Edenred on free school meals vouchers to ensure that any schools affected have adequate food provision to offer vulnerable students.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals, by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible. Where this is not possible, we have introduced a national voucher scheme to provide headteachers with additional flexibility to decide what is best for families at their schools. More information about the national voucher scheme is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

We are working closely with our supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the national voucher scheme. We are grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience while we upgrade this service to meet increased demand.

Edenred has reported that over £70 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Tuesday 12 May, and that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. Schools will continue to receive their core funding allocations as normal. However, if schools are unable to use the national voucher scheme and choose an alternative approach, they can be reimbursed. Further details are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support online learning for disadvantaged university students.

As my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have both made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Despite the significant disruption being felt across the higher education (HE) sector, students rightly deserve the appropriate support and recognition for their hard work and dedication. HE providers take their responsibilities seriously and are best placed to identify the needs of their student body as well as how to develop the services needed to support it. Many HE providers have moved rapidly to develop new ways of delivering courses through online teaching and alternatives to traditional end-of-course exams.

When making changes to the delivery of their courses, HE providers need to consider how they support all students, particularly the most vulnerable. This includes students suffering from COVID-19, students who need to self-isolate, international students and students who are either unable or less able to access remote learning for whatever reason, as well as care leavers, students who are estranged from their families and students with disabilities.

The Office for Students (OfS) has recently published guidance setting out the actions that it will take to support providers to maintain standards and teaching quality. It highlights flexible models for teaching, learning and assessment that will most likely satisfy OfS quality and standard conditions. On 23 March, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education published the first in a series of good practice guidance notes that are available to all UK HE providers.

HE providers should make all reasonable efforts to enable students to complete their studies, for achievement to be reliably assessed and for qualifications to be awarded securely.

Many HE providers will have hardship funds to support students in times of need, including emergencies. The expectation is that where any student requires additional support, such as access to the Internet, providers will support them through their own hardship funds.

The OfS have stated that providers are permitted to divert more of their student premium funding to their hardship funds to support students, including through the purchase of IT equipment. Providers should particularly ensure that students in the most vulnerable groups are able to access this support where needed.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will enable childcare providers that receive early years entitlement funding to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The government has put in place a number of funding and financial measures to support organisations, both public and private, during the COVID-19 outbreak. These are intended to be temporary, timely and targeted in order to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption.

The ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial support for education, early years and children’s social care’ guidance, published on 17 April 2020, sets out the financial support that is available for different types of education, early years and children’s social care providers in England, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care#sector-specific-guidance.

Wider guidance for childcare providers is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

It is only fair that employers do not receive two public funding streams to pay for the same staff costs and this principle applies universally across all sectors.

A package of support for early years businesses is available, including a business rates holiday, a £10,000 grant for businesses too small to pay business rates and the Coronavirus Job Retention and Self Employment Income Support Schemes.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to Answer of 4 November 2019 to Question 1081 on Erasmus+, what recent discussions he has had with the European Commission on the UK's participation in Erasmus in the event of the UK leaving the EU (a) with and (b) without a deal.

The terms of the Withdrawal Agreement mean students, young people and learners will be able to participate fully in the remainder of the current programme and organisations can continue to bid for Erasmus+ funding up to the end of 2020.

As stated in the Political Declaration, the UK is open to participate in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so. The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised.

In light of the successful vote at Second Reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, the UK will leave the EU with a deal on 31 January 2020. Our future participation in the next Erasmus+ programme will be subject to negotiations on the UK – EU relationship, during 2020. Formal discussions with the EU on programme participation cannot begin until draft regulations have concluded. Both the EU and the UK committed to do a deal by the end of 2020 in the Political Declaration.

My officials and I are preparing for every potential outcome of these negotiations and are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to review funding levels for early years childcare providers in Hove.

The Government funds local authorities to deliver the early education entitlements. Last October we announced increases in hourly rates paid to local authorities for those entitlements for 2020-21.

In 2020-21, all local authorities will see an increase of 8p an hour to the hourly funding rates for the 2-year-old entitlement and an increase of 8p an hour for the vast majority of areas for the 3- and 4-year-old entitlement (including the Brighton and Hove local authority).

Details of rates paid to local authorities can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-funding-2020-2021

The Government is planning to spend more than £3.6 billion in 2020-21 to support these entitlements. Funding in 2021-22 and beyond will be determined at the next Spending Review.

The Department continues to monitor the market closely through a range of research projects which provide insight into various aspects of the childcare and provider market.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for early years childcare providers in Hove.

The Government funds local authorities to deliver the early education entitlements. Last October we announced increases in hourly rates paid to local authorities for those entitlements for 2020-21.

In 2020-21, all local authorities will see an increase of 8p an hour to the hourly funding rates for the 2-year-old entitlement and an increase of 8p an hour for the vast majority of areas for the 3- and 4-year-old entitlement (including the Brighton and Hove local authority).

Details of rates paid to local authorities can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-funding-2020-2021

The Government is planning to spend more than £3.6 billion in 2020-21 to support these entitlements. Funding in 2021-22 and beyond will be determined at the next Spending Review.

The Department continues to monitor the market closely through a range of research projects which provide insight into various aspects of the childcare and provider market.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of sanctions available to the Environmental Agency for water and sewerage companies which they assess as having performance significantly below target in multiple Environmental Performance Assessment metrics.

The Environment Agency (EA) uses a range of enforcement options ranging from warning letters to prosecutions. The EA has brought 44 prosecutions against water companies in the last five years, securing fines of £34 million. £7.9 million has also been donated to environmental and wildlife trusts organisations in the same period through enforcement undertakings. The EA will continue to prosecute water companies which fail to uphold the law or cause serious environmental harm.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timeframe is for his Department to consider the Sussex Near Shore Trawling Byelaw proposal submitted by the Marine Management Organisation.

Defra is reviewing the full byelaw package including the results of the byelaw consultation and the evidence set out in the impact assessment in accordance with the statutory guidance on Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority byelaws. An update will be provided when the final consideration process is concluded.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the Environment Agency undertaking year-round water testing at English beaches.

The Environment Agency (EA) is required to follow the monitoring requirements set out in the Bathing Water Regulations (2013). These specify a fixed bathing water season between 15 May and 30 September. Monitoring is required to take place within these dates, except for the first sample of the season which is to be taken shortly before the start of the season. This monitoring is used to produce a classification scheme set out within the Regulations.

No systematic assessment has been carried out by the Environment Agency of the impact, or merits of going beyond current statutory monitoring requirements. Changes to these requirements to produce a classification would require the legislation to be changed and the Environment Agency to be appropriately funded to deliver the sampling needed.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to increase the number of trees planted in (a) Hove and (b) Brighton and Hove.

The Government is developing policies to increase tree planting at a national scale and does not target particular constituencies.

The Government is committed to increasing tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025. The challenges we face to achieve net zero require cross-party support, collaboration with stakeholders and collective vision to mitigate and adapt to climate change. To support this we have announced a new Nature for Climate fund, which will support tree planting in England - our plans for this will be announced at the budget.

The Government currently supports tree planting and woodland creation through a range of existing grant schemes. For example, the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, which plants trees in partnership with local authorities and community organisations. We are working hard to increase the uptake of existing schemes and strongly encourage eligible organisations to do so.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans the Government has to support UK companies based in the UK teaching English to overseas students after the UK leaves the EU (a) with or (b) without a deal.

In either scenario, this Department will continue to support the UK English Language Training (ELT) sector. The Department for International Trade (DIT) has a dedicated Education team which has embedded within it an ELT Specialist whose role is to support the sector’s international interests. English UK, the organisation that represents over 400 ELT providers, is a member of the DIT/DfE Education Sector Advisory Group which I co-chair and our English Language Working Group includes key representatives from the sector. English UK received DIT funding to take ELT providers to ICEF (International Consultants for Education & Fairs) Berlin in 2019 and will again in 2020.

27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of school buses are hybrid or electric.

The Department for Transport Annual Bus Statistics include information on what proportion of buses used by local operators in England are electric or diesel-hybrid. These figures cover all operators who run local bus services, including those who also do non-local work (e.g. private hire, school contracts). Operators who do solely non-local work are excluded. Local bus services include school services that are accessible to the general public, school services where the service cannot be used by fare-paying members of the public at bus stops are not included.

The Annual bus statistics: year ending March 2020 show as at March 2020, two per cent of buses used by local operators in England were electric and 14 per cent were diesel-hybrid. The Annual bus statistics: year ending March 2021 are due to be published on 3rd November 2021.

As set out in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 £355 million of new funding has been made available for zero emission buses. The Department will provide further details on how the £355 million of new funding will be used in due course.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2021 to Question 23276, whether he has plans to introduce a national fixed discount level for flexible season tickets compared to annual season tickets on the same routes.

The flexible season ticket is a new option for commuters travelling 2-3 days a week. Previously, most flexible commuters have had no option but to use daily tickets or traditional season tickets, which work out as more expensive in the vast majority of cases.

Fares vary widely across the network and this means that there is no fixed discount level that will work for everyone. Instead, we have chosen to price flexible season tickets relative to the options passengers already have on their route.

That means the new flexible season tickets provide better value and convenience for most commuters travelling two to three days a week, compared to existing daily tickets or traditional season tickets.

There are currently no plans to introduce a national fixed discount level.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June 2021 to Question 21298, Railways: Season Tickets, what comparative assessment he has made of the cost-per-day savings offered to two and three days a week commuters travelling from Hove to London and back in a day using (a) a flexible season ticket and (b) annual season ticket.

The flexible season ticket is a national product, priced to provide better value and convenience for commuters travelling two to three days a week.

For most 2 and 3 day a week commuters, the flexible season ticket will offer savings against buying daily tickets or traditional seasons, provided that they are following this commuting pattern.

For those with different commuting patterns, existing tickets such as traditional seasons or dailies may be the best choice.

Commuters should always consider which product best suits their journey and travel pattern. This is easier than ever with the updated season ticket calculator.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimates he has made of the potential uptake of flexible season tickets in the first year they are in use (a) between Hove and London Terminals and (b) across the networks.

The Government has introduced new flexible season tickets across England, tickets are on sale now and will become available for travel from 28 June 2021.

Passenger demand has fallen significantly since March 2020 due to restrictions put in place in response to COVID-19. Due to this, the uptake of flexible season tickets is uncertain. However, we do expect the savings offered to encourage and support flexible working patterns.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 13 May 2020 to Question 46749, on Public Transport: Coronavirus, what progress he has made on introducing flexible season tickets; and when passengers will be able to access those tickets.

The Government recognises the change in travel patterns, the impact of COVID-19 and therefore the need to accommodate a more flexible style of working and travelling.

The Department is actively working with train operators to develop a solution that offers better value and convenience for those who commute flexibly, and we will provide further details in line with the Government’s four-step roadmap out of lockdown.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the introduction of flexible season tickets as part of his Department's covid-19 recovery plan for passengers.

The Government recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a fundamental change in working patterns and that this could have long-term effects on commuter behaviour. As we move from lockdown to recovery, it is important that we get the balance right in the short and medium term between managing demand and ensuring that we provide better value for money for passengers going forward. The Department is working with industry to explore flexible options already available for commuters, such as carnets, and what steps could be taken quickly to make these as useful and convenient for passengers as possible.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to make rail travel more affordable.

Government has frozen regulated rail fares in line with inflation for the seventh year in a row. In addition, we have already cut costs for thousands of young people with the 16-17 Saver railcard, and announced our intention to establish a new ‘fares trials fund’ to explore the benefits and costs of a clearer, more flexible and fairer fares system. Fares revenue is crucial to funding day-to-day railway operations and the massive upgrade programme we are delivering, all of which benefit passengers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve toilet facilities on coastal rail routes in the South East.

Operators are required through their Franchise Agreements to achieve challenging satisfaction targets across a range of key measures which include toilet facilities at stations and on trains. The Department closely monitors this, and if these targets are missed, they must invest in improvements for passengers. Furthermore, toilet facilities at some stations are being improved as part of the £15m Passenger Benefit Fund, that was established by GTR following the May 2018 timetable disruption.

Toilet improvements have been requested by over half of the coastal stations as a high priority as part of the Passenger Benefit Fund. The Department will review these requests using its due diligence and approval process. The aim is to progress to implementation to realise the passenger benefits as soon as practicably possible.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to introduce flexible season tickets for rail passengers.

We require all new franchise bidders to bring forward proposals that meet the needs of passengers who work or commute fewer than 5 days a week. This could include the use of multi-buy discounts such as carnet style tickets to provide passengers with a better deal than they get now.

Additionally, we are trailing a new, more flexible fares structure starting with part of GTR’s network and will use the findings to inform development of wider plans to improve fares. As operators often serve diverse markets it is more appropriate to trial different reforms on certain operators.

The detailed design of the trial and locations are being developed by DfT and industry; and there will be a further announcement when that work is complete.

Keith Williams, who has been tasked by my Department with conducting a root and branch review of the railway, has been clear that fares reform is fundamental to the creation of a modern, customer focused railway. This represents an essential first step towards a major overhaul of the whole fares system.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve rail ticketing services (a) in stations and (b) online.

Following the Department’s recent work with the rail industry to roll out smart ticketing, train companies have greatly expanded the range of smart tickets that can be bought online and at stations. The Government wants to improve passengers’ experience of buying tickets, which is why I wrote to train operators in the autumn asking for their plans to improve their customer offer. My department will work with train companies to deliver these improvements.

During the recent General Election the Government committed to extending contactless pay-as-you go ticketing to almost 200 more stations in the South East, meaning that 50 per cent of all rail journeys and almost all London commuter journeys can be completed using a contactless bank card. Pay-as-you-go means that passengers do not need to buy a ticket before travelling, which greatly simplifies rail travel and helps people commute more flexibly. Similarly, on 2 January the Government announced trials of part-time season tickets.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve staff support for rail passengers with mobility challenges.

The Department is committed to ensuring that measures are in place for supporting passengers with additional needs, including those with mobility challenges on the rail network. As promised in the Inclusive Transport Strategy, we are supporting the Rail Delivery Group to improve the Passenger Assist system, including creating a new application for mobile phones that would be used for booking assistance.

The Department also worked with the Office of Rail and Road to review the Disabled People’s Protection Policy guidance, now known as the Accessible Travel Policy guidance. The revised guidance includes strengthened provisions for staff support for disabled passengers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to introduce automatic compensation for rail passengers in respect of (a) delays and (b) poor service.

The Department is working with the rail industry to introduce more automated Delay Repay compensation schemes across all DfT franchises to make claiming for delays easier, by notifying passengers where possible that they are eligible for compensation. Five DfT franchises now offer automated Delay Repay schemes, including smartcard holders on Govia Thameslink. This forms part of government’s commitment to significantly improve compensation for passengers when things go wrong, as announced by the previous Secretary of State in October 2018.

In their Passenger’s Charters, most TOCs offer more than the minimum standard for passenger compensation as set out in the National Rail Conditions of Travel (NRCoT). TOCs can, at their discretion, go beyond the commitments in their Passenger’s Charter on a case by case basis to compensate for poor service.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many complaints her Department has received about the access to work scheme in each of the last five years.

The Department has received 621 complaints about Access to Work scheme in each of the last five years, comprising of:

16/17

17/18

18/19

19/20

20/21

Total

197

121

117

135

51

621

Please note, this data is for internal use and is not within the public domain.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer on 20 April 2021 to Question 179299 on Social Security Benefits: Payments, how many cases her Department's Serious Organised Crime team has (a) investigated and (b) prosecuted fully in each of the last five years.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has plans to reform benefits payments in order to protect recipients with complex needs from criminal exploitation.

The Department currently has no such plans.

We take every care to prevent incorrect payments being made and to ensure that benefits are paid to the correct recipients; and that their payments are accurate from the outset of a claim.

Operational staff also have instructions on how to alert DWP’s Serious Organised Crime (SOC) Team, who work closely with the National Crime Agency and the Home Office to investigate criminal activity, to potential cases of modern slavery, and receive guidance, for example, on raising awareness of the risks County Lines activity poses for our more vulnerable claimants who can be exploited by gangs.

Further information may be found in DWP’s Universal Credit (UC) Guidance which covers all aspects of UC and its administration, including claims and payments. Updated chapters are deposited in the House of Commons Library periodically by the DWP and can be found via the following link:

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/universal-credit-information-sources/

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of Kickstart placements have been offered to young people with a criminal record.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 110187

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the number of days for which a person can claim new style job seekers allowance during the covid-19 outbreak.

A person’s entitlement to contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance is limited to a maximum of 182 days in any period for which entitlement is established by reference to the person’s National Insurance record in the same two income tax years relevant to the claim or claims. The time limit strikes a balance in providing support whilst keeping the cost of this and other contributory benefits affordable based on the overall income to the National Insurance Fund each year.

People who are entitled to contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or whose entitlement ends before they find employment, may have access to income-related support through Universal Credit. Entitlement will depend on individual circumstances.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2020 to Question HL4637 on Universal Credit: Coronavirus, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of enabling claimants of universal credit to be granted a nine month grace period on the basis of average earnings over the previous 12 months before a benefit cap is applied.

Claimants may benefit from a nine-month grace period where their benefit will not be capped if they have a sustained work history with monthly earnings of at least £604 (£569 up to March 2020) in each of the previous 12 months. These earnings can include statutory sick pay, employer sick pay, earnings from self-employment as well as payments from the furlough scheme. It is not considered appropriate to undertake the averaging of earnings for the benefit cap grace period exemption to be applied, as that goes against the fundamental design of UC, which responds to fluctuating earnings monthly based on a claimants circumstances

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on child maintenance payments.

The Government recognises that as with other households, the income of many separated parents is being impacted by the public health emergency and some receiving parents may receive less maintenance as a result of a paying parent’s drop in income.

We are however clear that no parent should be using this time as an excuse not to pay what they owe. Those found to be abusing the system at this difficult time could find themselves subject to the full extent of our enforcement powers once the emergency passes.

We have made a number changes to the welfare system to ensure people are receiving the support they need. These include increasing the standard rate of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by around £1000 per year. People who need money urgently continue to be able to access up to a month’s Universal Credit advance upfront by applying online. In addition, Statutory Sick Pay now applies from day one, rather than the fourth day of illness. We are increasing in the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

Taken together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system and, along with the other job and business support programmes announced by the Chancellor, represent one of the most comprehensive packages of support introduced by an advanced economy in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support more deaf young people into employment.

The Government is committed to reducing the disability employment gap and seeing a million more disabled people, regardless of their disability, in work between 2017 and 2027. The DWP has a range of programmes and support to help disabled people, including deaf people.

These include:

  • The Work and Health Programme which is designed to help people, particularly people with disabilities, who need extra tailored support to find employment. It will help 275,000 people over 5 years, including 220,000 disabled people.

  • The Intensive Personalised Employment Support Programme which is a new, voluntary, contracted employment provision designed to help disabled people, who have complex needs or barriers and who want to work.

  • Access to Work which offers eligible disabled people a grant of up to £59,200 per year to fund support above the level of reasonable adjustments, to ensure that their health condition or disability does not hold them back in the workplace. People who are deaf and hard of hearing are the largest group of users of Access to Work, and in 2018/19 Access to Work grants totalled £129m, of which £45.8m was in respect of this group.
  • Jobcentre Plus: Our Jobcentres offer tailored support from Work Coaches and Disability Employment Advisers, backed by the Personal Support Package which is a 4 year, £330 million package of employment support targeted at claimants with disabilities and health conditions.

In addition, through the Disability Confident scheme, we are also working with employers to change attitudes and create employment opportunities by enabling businesses to recruit and retain disabled people in their workplace. There are already over 16,500 employers signed up to Disability Confident scheme, and their number continues to grow.

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will update the NHS App to enable children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old to provide evidence of their vaccination status for the purposes of international travel.

We are looking at ways to provide fully vaccinated 12 to 15 year olds with a travel NHS COVID Pass, which will be available shortly. Further information will be made available in due course, including details of the existing digital or non-digital NHS COVID Pass routes that will initially be available to this group.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of new covid-19 infections identified since 1 September 2021 did NHS Test and Trace attribute to a school setting as being the most likely location of transmission.

This information is not held in the format requested as it is not possible to identify where infection occurs in individual positive cases.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to allow children eligible for the covid-19 vaccine to use walk-in and mass vaccination centres.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to accelerate the covid-19 vaccination programme in schools.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to assess the effectiveness of covid-19 vaccines for those with compromised immune systems.

Public Health England is working with a range of partners to monitor the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations in clinical risk groups, including those with immunosuppression.

Public Health England recently published data on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness for clinical risk groups. It showed that for those who are immunosuppressed, vaccine effectiveness after a second COVID-19 vaccine dose is 74%, with similar protection to those who are not in a risk group. This rises from 4% after a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of (a) the number of referrals received by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and (b) childhood obesity rates in each London borough.

The information requested is attached.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cumulative number is of covid-19 vaccine doses found not suitable for use, by (a) vaccine type and (b) NHS Region of residence, since January 2021.

The data is not held centrally in the format requested.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with EU counterparts to help ensure that UK citizens who received an Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine will be able to participate in travel arrangements with the EU.

The Government continues to engage with the European Union on certification to ensure that travel between the United Kingdom and the EU is supported by a common approach.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactures both Vaxzevria and Covishield, branded vaccines which are the same as the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. All SII-made doses approved by the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and administered in the UK were branded as the ’COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca’ which is now known commercially as ‘Vaxzevria’. The MHRA has not approved doses branded as ‘Covishield’ and none have been administered in the UK. All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS COVID Pass as Vaxzevria. The European Medicines Agency has authorised the Vaxzevria vaccine and it is therefore recognised by the EU.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the notional PrEP allocation of £577,957 in the Public Health Grant 2021-2022 for Brighton and Hove Council was calculated.

Notional pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) funding allocations were calculated using a formula that considers the costs associated with continuing to deliver PrEP to residents who who received it through the PrEP Impact Trial and once the trial ended in October 2020, as well as to residents who would be starting PrEP for the first time during 2021-22. This approach was informed by feedback on the 2020/21 PrEP allocations from commissioner representatives and sexual health providers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to issue guidance to clinicians working with clinically extremely vulnerable children on when it is appropriate to administer a covid-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care should be offered a COVID-19 vaccination. The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use in those aged 16-17 years old.

Children under 16 years of age, even if they are clinically extremely vulnerable, are at low risk of serious morbidity and mortality and given the absence of safety and efficacy data on the vaccine, are not recommended for vaccination. The JCVI has not yet provided any further advice on children under the age of 12 years old. Any further recommendations on vaccinating children with other underlying conditions will be reviewed after the initial phase. At this stage additional data should allow a better assessment of risks and benefits.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in each of the last five years, how many (a) referrals were made by youth offending teams to children and young people's mental health services (CYPMHS), and (b) children referred by youth offending teams to CYPMHS received support.

The information is not held in the format requested Data showing the referrals made by youth offending teams to children and young people’s mental health services is only available from 2019/20. Prior to 2019/20, such referrals were included in the total referrals made by the wider justice system.

Available data shows that in 2019/20, there were 845 referrals made by youth offending teams to children and young people's mental health services and 483 children and young people were in contact with mental health services after being referred by youth offending teams. Data showing the number of children and young people receiving support is not available.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to February 2021 research into the risks of aerosolisation of SARS-CoV-2 from oxygen delivery systems and coughing, if he will review the NHS infection prevention and control guidance and expand the situations in which an FFP3 mask should be used by workers.

The United Kingdom-wide Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Cell recently reviewed the evidence in relation to the transmission route for COVID-19 and the IPC precautions required and agreed that no changes to the current personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements were needed. PPE, including FFP3 masks should continue to be worn in line with the current IPC guidance.

Emerging evidence and data are continually monitored and reviewed, and the guidance will be amended accordingly if needed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of long covid symptoms in children.

No specific assessment has been made.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on supplying high risk supported living care settings with rapid tests as proposed in the November Covid-19 Winter Plan presented by the Prime Minister.

Following the single round of national testing in the most high-risk extra care and supported living settings, we launched regular polymerase chain reaction retesting on 9 December with weekly testing for staff and monthly for residents. We currently we do not offer any rapid lateral flow device testing for high-risk supported living settings. However, we are currently reviewing our position and will provide more information in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the trials of covid-19 vaccines in children aged 12 to 15 years old.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have approved one United Kingdom vaccine trial that includes the 12-15-year age group.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will review the Units of Dental Activity Targets for dental practices in response to the January 2021 covid-19 restrictions.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have set a 45% dental activity target. This target is based upon clinical advice and modelling from the office of the Chief Dental Officer and has taken into consideration robust adherence to infection prevention and control guidance and social distancing requirements. Furthermore, data on the percentages of activity dental practices have achieved to date supports the view that the target can be safely attainable.

National Health Service commissioners have the discretion to make exceptions, for instance in cases where a dental practice has been impacted by staff being required to self-isolate and the reinstatement of shielding during the national lockdown. There are currently no plans to review or change the unit of dental activity targets for January to March 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making regular repeat covid-19 tests available to domiciliary care users.

Home care workers employed by Care Quality Commission-registered organisations are able to access weekly PCR tests, which can be self-administered at home. This will help identify whether any home care workers have COVID-19 asymptomatically.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date ordinarily resident EU nationals will be able to apply for the new UK EHIC card.

A new United Kingdom European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has been developed for those eligible under the Withdrawal Agreement to protect the existing healthcare rights of people living, working and studying in the European Union prior to the end of the transition period. The new card will be valid from when it is received and for travel from 1 January 2021.

EU nationals living in the UK before 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for the new UK EHIC in December 2020. We will work with stakeholders and target communications at the relevant groups and audiences to ensure they get the call to action to apply for a new EHIC.

Should an EU national who is eligible for a new EHIC under the Withdrawal Agreement not have the card in time for any travel, they will still remain covered. If they require necessary healthcare whilst in the EU, they will be able to ask for a Provisional Replacement Certificate from the NHS Business Services Authority.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to introduce regular repeat covid-19 tests for domiciliary care workers.

On 23 November 2020, we began offering Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered domiciliary care organisations access to regular, weekly COVID-19 testing for their carers looking after people in their own homes.

Those working for CQC-registered organisations are able to access weekly polymerase chain reaction tests to administer at home, which will help identify more asymptomatic cases and protect care recipients who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Proactively testing asymptomatic carers helps to identify those who unknowingly have the virus and enables those who test positive and their contacts to self-isolate. This is crucial to break the chains of transmission of the virus.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the minutes of the fifty-fifth meeting of SAGE on covid-19 on 3 September 2020, if he has developed a national strategy defining key principles for additional covid-19 testing in universities.

We have quickly established walk-through sites and deployed mobile test sites so that almost all universities are within three miles of an in-person test site and the majority within one and a half miles, allowing staff and students to get access to tests should they develop symptoms. In cases of outbreaks we are working with universities to deliver large batches of home test kits which can then be distributed to students isolating in their households or halls to residence to test themselves. The Department for Education has updated its guidance in line with the latest public health advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to begin regular repeat covid-19 tests for district nurses who visit care homes.

Our first priority continues to be to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in care homes and prevent future outbreaks, to ensure the health and safety of both care workers and residents.

We recognise the need to ensure professionals such as district nurses are able to visit care homes safely to provide vital care to residents. Therefore, alongside publishing guidance on infection prevention control measures for health and social care professionals, we are also currently running a pilot to test professionals who visit care homes weekly in Northamptonshire, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. This includes all professionals that visit care homes two or more times a week and where carrying out their role requires them to be within one metre of residents.

We will use the data from this pilot to consider the next steps for testing professionals, including district nurses, who visit care homes and we will continue to review our social care testing strategy in light of the latest evidence and available capacity.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have been carried out on each day in September 2020 in the Hove constituency.

We publish data on the number of pillar 2 tests processed in each local authority weekly alongside the Test and Trace statistics publication on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

The number total number of pillar 2 tests processed in Brighton and Hove in September was 14,582, with a daily average of 486.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish local data on the number of people requesting covid-19 tests using the Government portal who are told that none is available.

The Government does not publish the data requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of conducting covid-19 tests on incoming university students this winter, in areas with low current infection rates where testing has been de-prioritised.

We have quickly established walk-through sites and deployed mobile test sites so that almost every university student now has access to testing within one and a half miles when displaying symptoms. In cases of outbreaks we are working with universities to deliver large batches of home test kits which can then be distributed to students isolating in their households or halls of residence to test themselves. Use of multiple new testing technologies for asymptomatic students could significantly improve our detection of positive cases and further reduce the spread of the virus

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the residents of Brighton and Hove will have access to a local covid-19 testing site following the closure of the AMEX stadium regional test centre on 25 August 2020.

As of 22 January we have opened three local test sites in Brighton at the East Brighton Park Tennis Courts; the disused school site at the junction of Mile Oak Road; and Preston Park on Preston Road


These are part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities including 86 drive-through sites, 458 walk-through sites, 19 satellite test sites, 258 mobile testing units, home testing and satellite kits and six lighthouse laboratories.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Sep 2020
What recent assessment he has made of the causal factors for the mortality rate in the care home population during the covid-19 outbreak.

Care homes were hard hit by COVID-19 despite all the efforts of Government, local authorities and care homes themselves.

Our understanding of this cruel disease has informed all the steps taken to protect residents.

And there is ongoing work by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies care home working group to improve our understanding which will in turn inform our actions.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many items of personal protective equipment have been delivered as part of Government's Clipper scheme since 1 May 2020.

In partnership with the e-commerce industry, we designed a new online portal to help primary care and small social care providers who have been under-represented in terms of access to wholesalers. We have now invited over 21,000 general practitioners and small adult social care providers to register and order through the Clipper scheme, also known as the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Portal.

As of Wednesday 15 July, approximately 28 million items of PPE have been delivered via the PPE Portal, with nearly 40,000 total orders having been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of locating covid-19 testing facilities in major train stations and transport hubs to ensure that passengers and commuters have convenient access to those facilities.

COVID-19 testing is generally only available to those who have symptoms. These people should not be using public transport and be self-isolating, unless driving to a test site.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing exemptions to the Government's 14 day quarantine requirement for visitors who have come to the UK to visit terminally ill relatives and can prove that they test negative for covid-19.

The purpose of these measures is to manage the risk of transmissions being introduced from abroad. Testing before or at the border is currently not a part of these measures as the 14-day incubation period for COVID-19 could result in false negatives and undetected asymptomatic travellers entering the UK. The regulations will be reviewed on 29 June to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific evidence and remain effective and necessary.

Visitors entering the United Kingdom from outside of the Common Travel Area are required to self-isolate for the first 14 days on their arrival. However, an individual may leave the place where they are self-isolating for compassionate reasons, including attending a funeral of a close family member or close friend, or to attend to a terminally ill relative.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing exemptions to the Government's 14 day quarantine requirement for visitors to the UK who can prove that they have tested negative for covid-19 within the last seven days.

The purpose of these measures is to manage the risk of transmissions being introduced from abroad. Testing before or at the border is currently not a part of these measures as the 14-day incubation period for COVID-19 could result in false negatives and undetected asymptomatic travellers entering the UK. The regulations will be reviewed on 29 June to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific evidence and remain effective and necessary.

Visitors entering the United Kingdom from outside of the Common Travel Area are required to self-isolate for the first 14 days on their arrival. However, an individual may leave the place where they are self-isolating for compassionate reasons, including attending a funeral of a close family member or close friend, or to attend to a terminally ill relative.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contact tracing operations there were following risk assessments undertaken by Public Health England in response to outbreaks of covid-19 in care homes in March and April 2020.

Contact tracing is not carried out in care homes in the same way as in non-health and social care residential settings. Staff and residents are managed in line with current guidance at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884263/admission-and-care-of-residents-during-covid-19-incident-in-a-care-home.pdf

Public Health England Health Protection Teams (HPTs) undertake a risk assessment whenever there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in a care home. HPTs arrange for swabs to be sent to the home to test symptomatic residents for confirmatory purposes via Pillar 1 testing.

HPTs manage all staff and residents as potential contacts once one or more cases have been identified in a care home. Advice is provided to staff and residents within a care setting that has been risk assessed as having an ‘outbreak’ with respect to infection control measures including any requirements for isolation of contacts.

As part of the national Pillar 2 testing process, prioritisation is now being given to testing asymptomatic/symptomatic staff and all other residents in care settings when an outbreak is confirmed in a care home. On 13 May, the Director General for Adult Social Care wrote to Directors of Public Health and Directors of Adult Social Services outlining this prioritisation. A copy of the letter is attached.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th May 2020
What steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of deaths in the social care sector as a result of covid-19.

Every death from COVID-19 is a tragedy and the full weight of the Government is behind the effort to help the social care sector protect the most vulnerable in society. We have published a comprehensive action plan, including ramping up testing, overhauling the way personal protective equipment is delivered to care homes, and minimising the spread of the virus through cohorting and infection control. We continually review our policies in line with the best scientific advice.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to make operational the NHS telephone helpline for the 1.5 million most at-risk people who have been told to stay at home during the covid-19 outbreak.

From 21 March, letters were sent out from general practices to the 1.5 million people considered to be most medically at-risk from COVID-19, informing them that they should stay at home and avoid all face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks.

The Government have set up a National Shielding Helpline, which is a support service that will contact those who have received letters but not responded by telephone to ensure that their food and wellbeing support needs are being met. The helpline makes outbound calls only and does not accept inbound calls. This is already operational.

On 1 April 2020, NHS England published Frequently Asked Questions for patients at highest clinical risk from COVID-19 which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/20200402-FAQs-Patients-vFINAL.pdf

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much personal protective equipment the NHS (a) has and (b) plans on purchasing.

As of 14 April, since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak we have delivered over 923 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 58,000 different health and care settings including National Health Service trusts, general practitioners, pharmacies, care homes and community providers.

The Government’s PPE plan was published on 10 April and can be found at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/879221/Coronavirus__COVID-19__-_personal_protective_equipment__PPE__plan.pdf

As Strand 3 details, we have set up a cross-Government PPE sourcing unit to secure new supply lines from across the world and a call to industry has been issued to companies at home to manufacture and supply additional PPE at scale.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date the decision was made to approach British businesses for help producing ventilators in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Work preparing the National Health Service for the COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing and we have already nearly doubled ventilator capacity. New and existing suppliers are being asked to build as many as they can. The Prime Minister has issued a call to United Kingdom industry to produce additional ventilators and the Department asked appropriate potential manufacturers on 13 March to come forward with proposals for new ventilation machines. Around a dozen potential prototypes have now been presented to the Department which we are currently pursuing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date contact was first made with manufacturers to produce additional ventilators in response to covid-19.

Work preparing the National Health Service for the COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing and we have already nearly doubled ventilator capacity. New and existing suppliers are being asked to build as many as they can. The Prime Minister has issued a call to United Kingdom industry to produce additional ventilators and the Department asked appropriate potential manufacturers on 13 March to come forward with proposals for new ventilation machines. Around a dozen potential prototypes have now been presented to the Department which we are currently pursuing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department provides for women going through the menopause.

To help ensure women receive the best possible care, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published a guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of the menopause in November 2015. This set out the support, information and treatments needed to address the often debilitating symptoms that women suffer.

Recently in December 2019, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists published ‘Better for Women’ which calls for a life course approach and includes a focus on general health during and after the menopause.

The Government will continue to encourage employers to rise to the challenge by creating supportive and flexible ways to help those living with these conditions.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve the training GPs receive on the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

The curriculum for general practitioner (GP) specialty training is set by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the General Medical Council (GMC) approves the curriculum and assessment systems for the programme. The curriculum integrates the GMC’s generic professional capabilities framework covering the professional behaviours, knowledge and skills that doctors in GP specialty training must demonstrate.

The RCGP Curriculum: Being a General Practitioner, has recently been reviewed and a wide range of conditions are covered in the clinical topic guides.

The menopause is emphasised in the clinical topic guides that supplement the curriculum and is listed in the Common and Important Conditions section of the topic guide on gynaecology and breast health.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to announce on what date in April routine commissioning of PrEP will begin.

The Department is continuing to work closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and local authorities to plan for routine commissioning of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) from April 2020. NHS England and NHS Improvement have already agreed to fund the on-going costs of drugs for PrEP going forward. We will provide information on how other elements of the programme will be funded and how commissioners will be supported very shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what budget the non-drug additional funding will come from to fully roll-out PrEP.

The Department is continuing to work closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and local authorities to plan for routine commissioning of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) from April 2020. NHS England and NHS Improvement have already agreed to fund the on-going costs of drugs for PrEP going forward. We will provide information on how other elements of the programme will be funded and how commissioners will be supported very shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish information on how (a) routine commissioning of PrEP will be implemented, (b) PrEP will be funded and (c) local authority commissioners will be supported.

The Department is continuing to work closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and local authorities to plan for routine commissioning of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) from April 2020. NHS England and NHS Improvement have already agreed to fund the on-going costs of drugs for PrEP going forward. We will provide information on how other elements of the programme will be funded and how commissioners will be supported very shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will introduce an (a) access and (b) waiting time standard for adults with eating disorders in England.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits the National Health Service to testing and rolling out waiting time standards for adults in selected areas. Twelve areas in England have received over £70 million of transformation funding in 2019/20 and 2020/21 to test new integrated models of primary and community mental health care for adults.

Eight of these sites are implementing innovative service models that will improve access and quality for adults and older adults with eating disorders in line with new national guidance on adult eating disorder care.

It is important with any new standards are clinically appropriate, and ambitious yet achievable. We are starting by testing four-week waiting times for adults and children to build the evidence, before rolling out new standards across the NHS.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to reduce outpatient waiting times for adults with eating disorders.

We are committed to expanding and improving services for adults with mental health conditions, including eating disorders. As part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s investment of an extra £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24, eating disorder services are being ramped-up across England.

We announced last year that 12 pilot sites will receive £70 million in funding to improve the provision of mental health care in the community. The pilots will bring together staff with expertise in treating a range of severe mental health issues including eating disorders. Alongside work to explore the effectiveness of different approaches to integrated delivery with primary care, NHS England will also test four week waiting times for adults and older adults in the community, and including for eating disorder services in some selected pilot sites. This will build our understanding of how best to introduce ambitious but achievable improvements to access, quality of care and outcomes.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed reduction in UK aid to Yemen, Syria and other countries where there is ongoing conflict on trends in the number of (a) migrants and (b) asylum seekers from those countries to (i) the UK and (ii) other European countries.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK economy has forced the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce how much the UK spends on Official Development Assistance (ODA). The FCDO is working through the implications of these changes for individual programmes. No final decisions have yet been made.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the relationship between investment in education and long-term financial returns to the public purse.

The Chancellor regularly considers a range of evidence when taking decisions, including considerations on the long-term returns to the taxpayer from investment in education.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer on 11 January 2021 to Question 133991 on the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, what plans he has to include newly self-employed people who file a tax return for the 2019-20 financial year in the fourth grant of that scheme.

The Government recognises that taxpayers have faced immense challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and it has prioritised delivering support to as many people as possible while guarding against the risk of fraud or abuse.

The first Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant supported 2.7 million individuals with claims totalling £7.8 billion. A further £5.9 billion has been claimed through the second and, as of 13 December, £4.8 billion through the third SEISS grant.

The fourth grant will cover February to April 2021. The Government will set out further details in due course. The Government has taken a flexible and responsive approach and it will continue to look for ways to improve the SEISS grant and existing support.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed which includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the eligibility criteria for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to provide greater coverage during the January 2021 ovid-19 lockdown period.

Throughout the crisis, the Government’s priority has been to protect lives and livelihoods. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was designed to target support at those who most need it, while protecting the Exchequer against error, fraud, and abuse.

The Government has taken a flexible and responsive approach and will continue to consider the matter carefully and work closely with stakeholders to explore how it can best support different groups.

Moreover, the SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed. Those ineligible for the SEISS may still be eligible for other elements of the support available. The Universal Credit standard allowance has been temporarily increased for 2020-21 and the Minimum Income Floor relaxed for the duration of the crisis, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have fallen significantly, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments, and other business support grants.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 8 October 2020 to Question 97543 on Housing: Insulation, if he will make it his policy to extend the temporary reduced rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax for home buyers.

To boost the housing market, the Government decided to cut Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) by temporarily increasing the nil rate band of SDLT to £500,000. This applies from 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021. The Government keeps all taxes under review, including SDLT, but has no plans to extend the relief.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will waive the repayment of the childcare element of working tax credit for working parents who lacking adequate childcare provision over summer 2020 used non-Ofsted-registered childcare to retain their jobs.

It is important that children get the best start in life, good quality childcare can help with this and we want to ensure that families have access to this.

Without a definition of standards, the quality of childcare can be variable. A consistent regulatory regime for childcare helps ensure children receive the relevant safeguarding and quality standards. This is why, to be entitled to the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, the childcare service used must be registered with the appropriate authority.

Those registered childcare providers were able to continue to provide childcare to key worker and vulnerable children throughout summer 2020.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure access to cash is maintained in (a) Brighton and Hove and (b) England.

The Government is committed to supporting digital payments while safeguarding access to cash for those who need it across the UK.

To support this, the Government has launched the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy (JACS) Group – which is chaired by HM Treasury and brings together the Payment Systems Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England – to ensure a comprehensive oversight of the UK’s overall cash infrastructure.

The Government-established Payment Systems Regulator regulates LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s largest ATM network, and is holding LINK to account over their commitments to maintain the broad geographic spread of free-to-use ATMs.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Office for Tax Simplification recommendation in its October 2019 publication, Taxation and Life Events: Simplifying tax for individuals, to review the administrative arrangements linked to the operation of Child Benefit.

The Government has always urged parents to claim Child Benefit, in order to receive the associated National Insurance credits and help protect their future right to the State Pension. Parents are advised to do this on the Child Benefit claim form which is included in information packs that go to new parents, through the HMRC helpline, online at GOV.UK, and through partners such as Citizens Advice.

Since April 2019 the Child Benefit claim form and accompanying notes have been updated, with a prominent message on the front page to help people make a decision on whether they should claim and be paid Child Benefit, and to explain the importance of claiming even if they opt not to receive payments.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when his Department plans to respond to the Office for Tax Simplification’s Review, Taxation and Life Events: Simplifying tax for individuals, published 10 October 2019.

The OTS undertook the review of ‘Taxation and Life Events’ as an own initiative review.

Officials will continue to consider the recommendations made in ‘Taxation and Life Events’ carefully.

30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2021 to Question 81078 on the revised policy on overseas fee waivers, whether any urgent applications have been granted a fee waiver since the policy was suspended pending revision.

The Home Office has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many anti-vaccination protestors have been arrested for harassment and intimidation outside school gates since September 2021.

The Home Office does not centrally hold data regarding the number of anti-vaccination protesters arrested outside of school gates since September 2021.

The use of powers to manage protests is an operational decision for the police. Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the Government is introducing new measures which will allow the police to take a more proactive approach in managing highly disruptive protests.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2021 to Question 51783 on the revised policy on overseas fee waivers, how many urgent applications have been granted a fee waiver since the policy was suspended pending revision.

Home Office Migration Statistics do not currently capture the number of applications for overseas fee waivers received or placed on hold since the previous policy was suspended and the new route has not been officially launched.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Public Space Protection Orders have been issued by local authorities in response to covid-19 anti-vaccination protests outside school gates.

The use of Public Spaces Protection Orders are matters for Local Authorities. The Home Office does not centrally collate data on the use of Antisocial Behaviour powers, including Public Spaces Protection Orders.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much her Department has spent on the use of hotels to house asylum-seeking children in Hove since January 2021.

Accommodation costs are considered to be commercially confidential, therefore the Home Office does not publish this information.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average waiting time was for an initial decision on an asylum case made by an unaccompanied minor in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) the first six months of 2021.

The Home Office is unable to state what the average waiting time was for an initial decision on an asylum case made by an unaccompanied minor in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020 and (e) the first six months of 2021 as the Home Office does not publish this information and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what resources she plans to make available to schools to prevent anti-vaccine protestors disrupting pupils and staff.

The right to peaceful protest is a vital part of a democratic society. However, this does not extend to unlawful behaviour and it is never acceptable for anyone to intimidate pupils and teachers. Should a protest contravene the law, the police have comprehensive powers to deal with activities that spread hate or deliberately raise tensions through violence or public disorder. The use of these powers and the management of demonstrations are an operational matter for the police.

Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the Government is introducing new measures which will allow the police to take a more proactive approach in managing highly disruptive protests.

Separately, the Department for Education and the UK Health Security Agency have provided information in guidance for schools on how to handle any misinformation or disruption. In the event of a protest or disruptive activity outside a school, or if schools know a protest is planned, they should alert the School Age Immunisation Service provider, local authority and local police contacts to discuss the best way to manage the situation.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 28 September 2021 to Question 51784, for what reason her Department does not hold a record of the number of overseas fee waiver applications her Department has received since March 2021.

Home Office Migration Statistics do not currently capture the number of applications for overseas fee waivers received or placed on hold since the previous policy was suspended.

This will be revisited very shortly.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 September 2021 to Question 45845, if she will publish the guidance used by caseworkers to determine whether an applicant for an overseas fee waiver has an urgent need to travel to the UK.

The overseas fee waiver policy is being revised to include an assessment of affordability for specified applications on the human rights route.

The revised policy is expected to be published by the end of 2021.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will authorise entry clearance without biometrics for visa applications from Afghan nationals in (a) Afghanistan and (b) countries bordering Afghanistan.

A policy statement onAfghanistan resettlement and immigration was published on 13 September.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version

We do not comment on security matters, but security checks underpin the UK’s immigration system and help identify against immigration and criminality records to prevent leave being granted to those who pose a harm to national security or are likely to breach our laws.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 September 2021 to Question 45845 on the revised policy on overseas fee waivers, what proportion of applications for overseas fee waivers have been (a) treated as urgent applications and (b) placed on hold since the previous policy was suspended pending revision.

Home Office Migration Statistics do not currently capture the number of applications for overseas fee waivers received or placed on hold since the previous policy was suspended.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 September 2021 to Question 45845 on the revised policy on overseas fee waivers, whether applications from Afghanistan will be assessed to see if they meet the criteria for urgent applications before being automatically placed on hold.

In line with the current policy on overseas fee waivers and with reference to Question 45845, applicants can still apply for an overseas fee waiver, but the application will be placed on hold pending the revised guidance. If an application is received and it is clear the applicant’s need to travel to the UK is urgent, the application will be considered. This applies to all nationalities, including Afghan nationals.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has put in place to ensure Biometric Residence Permits are distributed to applications without any delays.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advises applicants they can expect delivery of their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 working days of receiving their decision notification.

BRPs are produced on behalf of UKVI by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). DVLA has a service level agreement to complete 90% of production requests within one working day and the remaining 10% within two working days. For quarter one of financial year 2021/22 they achieved 85.1% (218,527) within 24 hours and 100% (256,730) within 48 hours.

FedEx took over the BRP delivery contract from DX in February 2020, after a bedding in period formal reporting started in July 2020. Between 1 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 FedEx attempted to deliver 99.2% of BRPs within 48 hours of collection from DVLA, against a target to attempt delivery within 48 hours of collection for 99% of BRP packages.

Therefore, first delivery will have been attempted within 10 working days of decision notification for all BRPs successfully produced by DVLA.

Between March and mid-December 2020, as a social distancing measure due to the coronavirus pandemic, UKVI agreed to allow FedEx to post all BRP packages which resulted in higher first time delivery success rates of 92.73% between August and December 2020, but higher volumes of mis-posts and losses. We therefore re-introduced the contractual requirement to knock on every door, check identity, capture the name of the recipient and take a photograph of the front door within FedEx’s tracking system. Once all social distancing restrictions have eased, signatures will also be required for every delivery. As a result, between January and May 2021 FedEx achieved 84.34% first time delivery success rate.

Where it is possible to do so FedEx will leave a ‘Sorry we missed you’ card detailing how the customer can re-arrange delivery. Where UKVI has been able to share customer contact details with FedEx it will also email or SMS message the customer with a delivery failure message explaining how to re-arrange delivery.

UKVI meets with FedEx at least twice a week, to discuss measures to improve first time delivery success rates.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of Biometric Residence Permits are despatched to applicants within seven to 10 days of them receiving a decision letter.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advises applicants they can expect delivery of their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 working days of receiving their decision notification.

BRPs are produced on behalf of UKVI by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). DVLA has a service level agreement to complete 90% of production requests within one working day and the remaining 10% within two working days. For quarter one of financial year 2021/22 they achieved 85.1% (218,527) within 24 hours and 100% (256,730) within 48 hours.

FedEx took over the BRP delivery contract from DX in February 2020, after a bedding in period formal reporting started in July 2020. Between 1 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 FedEx attempted to deliver 99.2% of BRPs within 48 hours of collection from DVLA, against a target to attempt delivery within 48 hours of collection for 99% of BRP packages.

Therefore, first delivery will have been attempted within 10 working days of decision notification for all BRPs successfully produced by DVLA.

Between March and mid-December 2020, as a social distancing measure due to the coronavirus pandemic, UKVI agreed to allow FedEx to post all BRP packages which resulted in higher first time delivery success rates of 92.73% between August and December 2020, but higher volumes of mis-posts and losses. We therefore re-introduced the contractual requirement to knock on every door, check identity, capture the name of the recipient and take a photograph of the front door within FedEx’s tracking system. Once all social distancing restrictions have eased, signatures will also be required for every delivery. As a result, between January and May 2021 FedEx achieved 84.34% first time delivery success rate.

Where it is possible to do so FedEx will leave a ‘Sorry we missed you’ card detailing how the customer can re-arrange delivery. Where UKVI has been able to share customer contact details with FedEx it will also email or SMS message the customer with a delivery failure message explaining how to re-arrange delivery.

UKVI meets with FedEx at least twice a week, to discuss measures to improve first time delivery success rates.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the efficiency of her Department's manufacture and distribution of Biometric Residence Permits.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advises applicants they can expect delivery of their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 working days of receiving their decision notification.

BRPs are produced on behalf of UKVI by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). DVLA has a service level agreement to complete 90% of production requests within one working day and the remaining 10% within two working days. For quarter one of financial year 2021/22 they achieved 85.1% (218,527) within 24 hours and 100% (256,730) within 48 hours.

FedEx took over the BRP delivery contract from DX in February 2020, after a bedding in period formal reporting started in July 2020. Between 1 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 FedEx attempted to deliver 99.2% of BRPs within 48 hours of collection from DVLA, against a target to attempt delivery within 48 hours of collection for 99% of BRP packages.

Therefore, first delivery will have been attempted within 10 working days of decision notification for all BRPs successfully produced by DVLA.

Between March and mid-December 2020, as a social distancing measure due to the coronavirus pandemic, UKVI agreed to allow FedEx to post all BRP packages which resulted in higher first time delivery success rates of 92.73% between August and December 2020, but higher volumes of mis-posts and losses. We therefore re-introduced the contractual requirement to knock on every door, check identity, capture the name of the recipient and take a photograph of the front door within FedEx’s tracking system. Once all social distancing restrictions have eased, signatures will also be required for every delivery. As a result, between January and May 2021 FedEx achieved 84.34% first time delivery success rate.

Where it is possible to do so FedEx will leave a ‘Sorry we missed you’ card detailing how the customer can re-arrange delivery. Where UKVI has been able to share customer contact details with FedEx it will also email or SMS message the customer with a delivery failure message explaining how to re-arrange delivery.

UKVI meets with FedEx at least twice a week, to discuss measures to improve first time delivery success rates.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the (a) scale and (b) nature of the criminal practice known as cuckooing in (i) England and (ii) Wales; what steps her Department has taken to tackle that practice; and what (A) financial, (B) technical and (C) other resources her Department is making available to tackle that crime.

Cuckooing is a form of exploitation that devastates lives. This Government takes all forms of exploitation seriously and is determined to tackle it.

We recognise that the use of cuckooed addresses remains a feature of county lines gangs’ activities. We work closely with law enforcement partners on this issue through our £25m County Lines Programme. Through our programme, we are funding the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) to improve the intelligence picture and co-ordinate the national law enforcement response, including related exploitation and vulnerability. NCLCC are responsible for delivering the National Strategic Assessment for county lines and the next assessment, for the period covering 2020, will be published shortly where Cuckooing will be highlighted.

In addition, on 20 January 2021, the Government announced £40m dedicated funding for FY 21/22 to tackle drugs supply and county lines and surge our activity against these ruthless gangs. This will allow us to expand and build upon the successful results of our £25m county lines programme. The funding has already seen more than 3,400 people arrested, more than 550 lines closed, drugs with a street value of £9 million and £1.5 million cash seized, and more than 770 vulnerable people safeguarded.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to provide support for local authorities to waive the fee for a further notice of intention to marry for couples whose wedding ceremonies have been cancelled as a result of covid-19 restrictions.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government provides guidance on how to access the local government income compensation scheme for lost sales, fees and charges as a result of Covid -19.

This new, one-off income loss scheme will compensate local authorities for irrecoverable and unavoidable losses from sales, fees and charges income generated in the delivery of services in the last financial year

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress the Government has made on establishing a National Crime Laboratory.

Establishing a National Crime and Justice Laboratory is part of the Government’s ambition to make better use of data in the fight against crime.

We are working closely with stakeholders from across the Criminal Justice System to deliver this manifesto commitment. This has included a project working with stakeholders and suppliers to explore the technical requirements needed to underpin its development.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to page five of the National Crime Agency's report entitled County Lines Drug Supply, Vulnerability and Harm 2018, what recent assessment she has made of the prevalence of concealing drugs internally for transportation in (a) England and (b) Wales.

This Government is taking action to target those who seek to exploit vulnerable children through their county lines operations, which includes the practice of concealing drugs internally for transportation.

On 20 January, the Government announced £40m of dedicated investment to tackle drugs supply and county lines and surge our activity against these ruthless gangs. This will allow us to expand and build upon the successful results of our existing £25m county lines programme and brings the total invested to £65 million since November 2019.

Through our county lines programme we are funding the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) to improve the intelligence picture and co-ordinate the national law enforcement response. NCLCC are responsible for delivering the National Strategic Assessment for county lines and the next assessment, for the period covering 2020, will be published shortly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of Biometric Residence Permit cards are produced by the DVLA within 10 working days of a notification of the decision to grant leave being sent out.

DVLA processes all BRP within 10 working days of receiving the request. It has a service level agreement to complete 90% of production requests within one working day and the remaining 10% within two working days. For the financial year 2020/21 it achieved 69.3% (630,173) within 24 hours and 97.9% (259,977) within 48 hours. 2.1% (19,250) took longer than 48 hours.

The production of BRPs outside the 48 hour target was the result of a production failure at DVLA over a three working day period between 22 – 26 October 2020. The average processing time of the 19,250 affected was three working days. This enabled our secure delivery provider, FedEx, to attempt to deliver all BRPs within 10 working days of the decision notification being issued.

UKVI meets with DVLA weekly to monitor performance. The impacts of Covid-19 restrictions and safe working practices have reduced staffing capacity within the production site and contributed to the delays experienced in failing to achieve the 24 hour SLA.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of existing modern slavery legislation in tackling child criminal exploitation.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery in all its forms and strengthening the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to ensure it continues to be world leading as the forms of modern slavery and the nature of exploitation continue to evolve. It is for this reason, in 2018, the Government commissioned Frank Field, Maria Miller MP and Baroness Butler-Sloss to lead an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The Review’s purpose was to report on the operation and effectiveness of the Act, which provides the legal framework for tackling modern slavery in the UK. The final Review made 80 recommendations across four themes:

  • The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner;
  • Transparency in Supply Chains;
  • Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (formerly known as Advocates);
  • Legal application of the Modern Slavery Act.
The Government welcomed the findings of the Review and accepted or partially accepted the majority of the recommendations The Review considered the definition of Child Criminal Exploitation under the Act and concluded that it should not be amended as the definition currently in place is sufficiently flexible to meet a range of new and emerging forms of modern slavery. The Review recommended that the Government should produce policy guidance to assist in the interpretation of the Act. Child Criminal Exploitation is defined in statutory guidance for frontline practitioners working with children, including the Keeping Children Safe in Education and Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance.

The Home Office has also rolled out Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs), as set out in Section 48 of the Act, in one-third of local authorities across England and Wales. ICTGs provide an independent source of advice for trafficked children. As part of the ICTG service model, ICTG Regional Practice Co-ordinators (RPCs) have been introduced to raise awareness amongst professionals about the non-punishment principle and the section 45 defence of the Act for children who commit offences in the course, or as a consequence of, being trafficked. The continued national roll-out of ICTGs is being progressed as part of the National Referral Mechanism Transformation Programme, which is improving the UK’s system for identifying and supporting all victims of modern slavery. More widely, the Home Office is working to ensure law enforcement agencies and partners make full use of the powers and tools available, including slavery and trafficking prevention and risk orders to tackle county lines and associated Child Criminal Exploitation.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the efficacy of the National Referral Mechanism process in supporting victims of child criminal exploitation.

This Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that all victims, including children, are provided with the support they need.

Where children are found to be potential victims of human trafficking or modern slavery, including child criminal exploitation, their safety and welfare are addressed as a priority. Local authorities are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their area, including child victims of modern slavery. Local children's services will work in close co-operation with the police and other statutory agencies to offer potentially trafficked children the protection and support they require.

In addition to this statutory support, the Government has rolled out Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs) who provide an additional source of advice and support for all potentially trafficked children, irrespective of nationality, and somebody who can advocate on their behalf. The ICTG service is currently available in one third of local authorities in England and Wales. To ensure the correct ICTG model is rolled out, a staggered approach has been adopted with built in evaluations along the way, the evaluation of the ICTG early adopter sites can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-evaluation-of-independent-child-trafficking-guardians-early-adopter-sites-final-report

The Government is continuing the roll out of ICTGs as part of the NRM Transformation Programme, focused on the areas of highest need.

As part of the Government’s efforts to strengthen the support provided to child victims, we will shortly begin piloting a devolved model of National Referral Mechanism (NRM) decision-making for children. These pilots will utilise established safeguarding procedures and the existing forums available to local authorities and their safeguarding partners to take decisions about whether children are victims of modern slavery. These pilots will test whether this model can bring decision making, the provision of support, and the law enforcement response into closer alignment. We are keen to understand whether this devolved approach to decision making will also improve local understanding of modern slavery and the needs of child victims to deliver a more holistic approach to identification and support. The pilots will be subject to a robust evaluation.

Finally, the Home Office continues to work with First Responders to ensure they understand the indicators of different exploitation types and can refer children into appropriate support. That is why, in July 2020, we released an E-Learning module available to all First Responders to improve their understanding of their responsibilities and the support available.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of statutory responsibilities to support adults who are selling sex and/or experiencing sexual exploitation.

We are committed to tackling the harm and exploitation that can be associated with selling sex and continue to work closely with the police and other partners to ensure the legislation achieves these aims.

We continue to provide support to those who are most vulnerable in society, including those involved in selling sex or victims of sexual exploitation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we allocated £76m to support victims of modern slavery, domestic abuse and sexual violence. This included a £25m package to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, £10m of which was ringfenced for organisations supporting victims of rape and sexual violence. MoJ have also recently announced that £10.1m will be provided to rape and domestic abuse support centres and Police and Crime Commissioners to fund services in local areas.

Potential victims of sexual exploitation have access to specialist support and advocacy services regardless of their immigration status to assist them in rebuilding their lives and reintegrating into local communities.

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is the process by which the UK identifies and supports potential victims of modern slavery including sexual exploitation by connecting them with appropriate support, which may be delivered through the specialist Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract (MSVCC), local authorities and asylum services. The introduction of the new MSVCC, which went live on the 4 January 2021, has brought about a number of new services and greater prescription to existing services to better meet the needs of each victim, including those with specialist or complex needs. The MSVCC will continue to provide accommodation, financial support payments, translation and interpretation, transport and access to an outreach support worker for those who are identified as a potential victim and receive a positive Reasonable Grounds decision from the Single Competent Authority.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding her Department has spent on (a) identifying and (b) supporting missing children since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

People that go missing include some of the most vulnerable in our society. The Government is determined that missing people and their families receive the best possible protection and support; from Government, statutory agencies and the voluntary sector.

While the majority of incidents of children going missing result in no harm, missing incidents can be associated with a number of criminal harms. The Home Office does not hold missing persons data centrally, but the NCA compiles missing persons statistics from police forces in the Missing Persons Unit Data report, published annually at

https://missingpersons.police.uk/cy-gb/resources/downloads/missing-persons-statistical-bulletins

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate his Department has made of how many and what proportion of missing children have previously been victims of (a) crime and (b) modern slavery.

People that go missing include some of the most vulnerable in our society. The Government is determined that missing people and their families receive the best possible protection and support; from Government, statutory agencies and the voluntary sector.

While the majority of incidents of children going missing result in no harm, missing incidents can be associated with a number of criminal harms. The Home Office does not hold missing persons data centrally, but the NCA compiles missing persons statistics from police forces in the Missing Persons Unit Data report, published annually at

https://missingpersons.police.uk/cy-gb/resources/downloads/missing-persons-statistical-bulletins

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of missing children have a record of being (a) in care and (b) subject to a Child Protection Plan.

People that go missing include some of the most vulnerable in our society. The Government is determined that missing people and their families receive the best possible protection and support; from Government, statutory agencies and the voluntary sector.

While the majority of incidents of children going missing result in no harm, missing incidents can be associated with a number of criminal harms. The Home Office does not hold missing persons data centrally, but the NCA compiles missing persons statistics from police forces in the Missing Persons Unit Data report, published annually at

https://missingpersons.police.uk/cy-gb/resources/downloads/missing-persons-statistical-bulletins

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 12 September 2017 to Question 7781, if she will provide an updated timeline for the publication of her Department's Missing Children and Adults Strategy.

People that go missing include some of the most vulnerable in our society. The Government is determined that missing people and their families receive the best possible protection and support; from Government, statutory agencies and the voluntary sector.

While the majority of incidents of children going missing result in no harm, missing incidents can be associated with a number of criminal harms. The Home Office does not hold missing persons data centrally, but the NCA compiles missing persons statistics from police forces in the Missing Persons Unit Data report, published annually at

https://missingpersons.police.uk/cy-gb/resources/downloads/missing-persons-statistical-bulletins

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding from the Violence Reduction Unit programme has been allocated to organisations supporting victims.

Under the Violence Reduction Programme, the Government has allocated £35m to support Violence Reduction Units in 20/21. Violence Reduction Units then work on a multi-agency basis to determine how best to apply this funding in implementing a ‘whole system’ or ‘public health’ approach to tackling serious violence, which may include funding various organisations.

The Home Office does not hold victim/offender classification information relating to organisations funded by Violence Reduction Units.

As noted in the Government’s April 2018 Serious Violence Strategy, there is evidence of considerable overlap between victims and offenders and serious violence. As part of their implementation of a ‘whole system’ approach, Violence Reduction Units seek to implement those interventions that are most effective in preventing violence from happening in the first place.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of victims of modern slavery who were not identified as such by first responders since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to the safety and security of victims of modern slavery and ensuring they receive the support they need, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hidden nature of modern slavery makes providing an accurate measure of its scale difficult. From 1 April to 30 September 2020, 4,715 potential victims of modern slavery were referred into the National Referral Mechanism.

Given that victims of modern slavery may be especially isolated as a result of the lockdown measures required to combat the pandemic, the Government published additional guidance on GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-victims-of-modern-slavery/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-victims-of-modern-slavery) for First Responder Organisations and frontline staff with information about how to spot the potential signs of modern slavery and refer suspected cases to appropriate services.

We also recognise victims are coming into contact with different services during the pandemic and we have worked to raise awareness of the indicators of modern slavery in these areas to ensure victims continue to be identified and supported.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to page 7 of her Department's 2020 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery, what progress has been made on establishing a robust estimate of the prevalence of modern slavery in the UK.

The hidden nature of modern slavery makes producing an accurate measure of its scale difficult. In March 2020 the Office for National Statistics noted that there is no definitive source of data or suitable method available to accurately quantify the number of potential victims of modern slavery in the UK:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/modernslaveryintheuk/march2020

The Government is, however, committed to improving its understanding of the nature and scale of this complex crime. In July 2019, the Government announced a £10 million investment to create a new Policy and Evidence Centre for Modern Slavery and Human Rights to transform our understanding of modern slavery. The Home Office will continue working with the Centre and other partners to strengthen the evidence base underpinning our policy and operational response to modern slavery.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the total value is of confiscation orders and forfeitures issued for modern slavery offences from March to December 2020.

The most recently published Asset Recovery Statistical Bulletin, which sets out data on the recovery of criminal assets extracted from the Joint Asset Recovery Database, is available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/923194/asset-recovery-financial-years-2015-to-2020-hosb2320.pdf

Annex A of this bulletin shows the value of confiscation and forfeitures connected to modern slavery offences for financial years 2014/15 to 2019/20.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average number of days taken was to make conclusive grounds decisions in National Referral Mechanism cases relating to children, in each of the last five years.

The Home Office publishes statistics on referrals into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) on a quarterly basis, as well as a yearly summary.

Published statistics include the average time taken by the Single Competent Authority (SCA) to make Conclusive Grounds decisions. There is no target to make a Conclusive Grounds decision within a specific timeframe but the decision should be made as soon as possible after the 45-day Recovery and Reflection period has ended, and only when sufficient information has been made available on the case. The average time for a Conclusive Grounds decision to be made was 344 days for the third quarter of 2020.

Between now and March 2021, over 350 new staff will join the Home Office to work in the SCA. The vast majority of these staff will be decision-makers, with the remainder of the new staff working in case preparation, workflow management, technical specialist and management roles.

Recruiting in these numbers will give us the capacity to make significantly more Conclusive Grounds decisions than we are currently able to do with existing resource, and therefore we expect to bring down decision-making timescales for victims.

The latest published NRM statistics can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modern-slavery-national-referral-mechanism-and-duty-to-notify-statistics-uk-quarter-3-2020-july-to-september/modern-slavery-national-referral-mechanism-and-duty-to-notify-statistics-uk-quarter-3-2020-july-to-september.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the backlog of 46,000 asylum cases where people have been waiting more than six months for an initial decision on their asylum application.

We are fixing a broken asylum system and creating a new one which will be fairer and firmer and compassionate towards those who need our help.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the length of time to process and asylum claim but we are determined to clear the backlog to help speed up decisions and prevent people becoming stuck in the system for long periods of time.

We are working to streamline cases and have already made significant progress in prioritising cases with acute vulnerability, those in receipt of the greatest level of support including, UASCs, and those that require a reconsideration.

Asylum Operations has developed a recovery plan focused on returning interviews and decisions back to pre-COVID-19 levels as soon as possible. We are also seeking to secure temporary resources to assist from within the Home Office and other government departments, along with other potential options.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of the recent decision to reduce the Official Development Assistance budget on trends in the number of (a) economic migrants and (b) asylum seekers.

The Spending Review settlement provides £459.5 million in Official Development Assistance (ODA) resource funding to support and protect vulnerable people in the asylum system, to deliver refugee resettlement, and to support victims of modern slavery.

However, the final allocations by departments has yet to be settled owing to the ongoing review into how ODA is allocated against the government’s priorities. The full impact assessment will not be known until this has concluded.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the number of queries from MPs which her Department does not answer within the 20 working-day target timeframe.

The Department works to a target of responding to 95% of MPs written correspondence within 20 working days. Performance has been impacted by a very significant increase in the volume of correspondence received, alongside the need for Ministers and officials to instigate a remote process for drafting and signing correspondence during the period of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Department recognises we have not been able to meet service standard in some cases but have implemented an action plan to clear backlogs and drive up performance.

Staff unable to perform front facing roles in the Department have been redeployed to assist in clearing MPs correspondence backlogs. This has started to impact productivity after initial investment in their training and development. The Department are also contacting MPs offices by telephone to offer to close urgent cases by telephone while we continue to work through the backlog and to offer regular engagement surgeries to discuss and resolve enquiries.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many times the Community Trigger process in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 has been used in each of the last five years.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced specific measures designed to give victims and communities a say in the way that complaints of anti-social behaviour are dealt with. The Community Trigger, gives victims of persistent anti-social behaviour the ability to demand a formal case review (where a locally defined threshold is met), in order to determine whether there is further action which can be taken.

Data on the use of the ASB powers locally is not collated centrally. The powers in the 2014 Act are deliberately local in nature and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in specific circumstances.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2020 to Question 105467, how many times the COVID-19 Vulnerable Children's Hub has met since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

Supporting vulnerable children and young people, in light of COVID-19, continues to be a cross-government priority. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Home Office’s Vulnerable Children Hub was quickly created at the end of March. The Hub provided a forum for cross Home Office policy making across multiple risk areas and provided a wider, cross government forum for engagement in which we developed and implemented cross cutting social policy at pace. From the period of March to early July the Hub met on a weekly or fortnightly basis during which time its work supplemented Cabinet Office led work to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing bilateral engagements between senior officials and Ministers.

The Hub also supplemented the wider Department for Education led Government response to COVID-19 for vulnerable children and has now been formally succeeded by DfE led governance structures. As part of this governance, policy officials from across government meet fortnightly to discuss key operational issues and risks in relation to vulnerable children and young people including school attendance and attainment, safeguarding and wellbeing. A Vulnerable Children and Young People Programme Board continues to meet monthly, with senior officials across several government departments in attendance to plan, track, review and challenge activity to support children and young people in response to COVID-189. A National Board also meets regularly which brings together education and care system leaders to support the development of a consistent, cross-system approach, and to better understand challenges facing children. Children’s charity CEOs are also regularly consulted by this Board.

Throughout the response to COVID-19 we undertook and continue to undertake numerous bilateral discussions with OGDs to discuss relevant policy areas to ensure we maintain collaboration and drive forward action to safeguard vulnerable children.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to commence covid-secure face-to-face substantive asylum interviews for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

The Home Office takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously and has put in place a range of measures to support asylum seekers affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

Asylum Operations have been clear it would not restart substantive asylum interviews until it was safe to do so and recommenced with adult interview at the end of July 2020. On 21 September 2020 we recommenced remote video interviewing for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). Plans are in place to expand the number of UASC and minors’ interviews utilising remote video interviewing and, where it is established that a face to face interview is more appropriate, an in-person interview will also be available.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to page 43 of the 2020 UK annual report on modern slavery, if she will publish the minutes of meetings held by the covid-19 vulnerable children's hub since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Home Office’s Vulnerable Children Hub was established to ensure close collaboration both within the Department and between government departments to ensure the delivery of effective safeguarding responses for children. In addition to this forum, the PM led, cross-Government Hidden Harms Summit brought together stakeholders to share best practice on proactive policing, improving criminal justice outcomes and improving the intelligence picture on hidden crimes including Modern Slavery, Domestic Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse. A summit report was published in July, detailing clear commitments and ongoing activity to safeguard children and vulnerable adults from hidden harms.

We continue to drive forward this work through the centrally led Cabinet Office processes.

The COVID-19 Vulnerable Children’s Hub work relates to the development of ongoing Home Office policy, and as with any internal government discussions we would not publicly disclose records of its discussions.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many victims of modern slavery have been moved on from their Government-funded accommodation under the Victim Care Contract since 6 August 2020.

The Victim Care Contract (VCC) provides accommodation to adult victims of modern slavery who are referred into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and who have a need for safe house accommodation. The VCC provider, The Salvation Army, publishes an annual report which provides statistics for those that have exited VCC accommodation.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to issue guidance for police forces on (a) recognising and (b) responding to signs of child exploitation at the point of arrest.

The Government takes child criminal exploitation extremely seriously and is determined to tackle it. Last year we published a Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit to help the police and other frontline safeguarding professionals understand and access tools to target the sexual and criminal exploitation of children and young people. We have also published specific guidance on county lines which provides advice on how to recognise the signs and respond appropriately so victims get the help and support they need.

We continue to work across government to identify further opportunities to strengthen and improve the response to child criminal exploitation, including regular meetings with frontline youth workers and charities to listen to their experiences. As part of this work we are examining the recommendations and learning from HMICFRS report ‘Both sides of the coin’ and the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s report ‘It was Hard to Escape’, as well as those from other safeguarding reviews relating to child criminal exploitation.

We also continue to invest in support for children and young people who are criminally exploited. This includes £860,000 this year to expand specialist one-to-one support for victims of county lines exploitation in London, the West Midlands and Merseyside. Additionally, through the Trusted Relationships Fund we are identifying innovative approaches to tackling vulnerability among children and young people at risk of exploitation including child criminal exploitation, by fostering healthy, trusting relationships with responsible adults.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to review the effectiveness of police forces in (a) identifying and (b) supporting victims of child criminal exploitation.

The Government takes child criminal exploitation extremely seriously and is determined to tackle it. Last year we published a Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit to help the police and other frontline safeguarding professionals understand and access tools to target the sexual and criminal exploitation of children and young people. We have also published specific guidance on county lines which provides advice on how to recognise the signs and respond appropriately so victims get the help and support they need.

We continue to work across government to identify further opportunities to strengthen and improve the response to child criminal exploitation, including regular meetings with frontline youth workers and charities to listen to their experiences. As part of this work we are examining the recommendations and learning from HMICFRS report ‘Both sides of the coin’ and the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s report ‘It was Hard to Escape’, as well as those from other safeguarding reviews relating to child criminal exploitation.

We also continue to invest in support for children and young people who are criminally exploited. This includes £860,000 this year to expand specialist one-to-one support for victims of county lines exploitation in London, the West Midlands and Merseyside. Additionally, through the Trusted Relationships Fund we are identifying innovative approaches to tackling vulnerability among children and young people at risk of exploitation including child criminal exploitation, by fostering healthy, trusting relationships with responsible adults.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many video conference interviews her Department has conducted with unaccompanied asylum seeking children since August 2020.

The Home Office takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously and has put in place a range of measures to support asylum seekers affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

Asylum Operations have been clear it would not restart substantive asylum interviews until it was safe to do so. We are now able to ensure safe social distancing of our staff and customers and restarted remote video interviewing for adults from 17th July 2020.

On 21st September 2020, we recommenced with face to face substantive interviews for adults. On the same date, we also commenced remote video interviewing for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC).

We are focused on increasing the number of interviews at pace and working towards returning back to pre-COVID-19 levels as soon as we are able.

Information on video conference interviews with UASCS is not routinely published.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to commence covid-secure face-to-face substantive asylum interviews.

The Home Office takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously and has put in place a range of measures to support asylum seekers affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

Asylum Operations have been clear it would not restart substantive asylum interviews until it was safe to do so. We are now able to ensure safe social distancing of our staff and customers and restarted remote video interviewing for adults from 17th July 2020.

On 21st September 2020, we recommenced with face to face substantive interviews for adults. On the same date, we also commenced remote video interviewing for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC).

We are focused on increasing the number of interviews at pace and working towards returning back to pre-COVID-19 levels as soon as we are able.

Information on video conference interviews with UASCS is not routinely published.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of victims of crime have subsequently committed criminal offences in each of the last five years.

The Home Office does not hold information on the number of victims of crime who subsequently go on to commit crimes.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many missing children incidents were reported at each risk level (a) in each quarter since March 2019 and (b) since 23 March 2020.

Annual missing persons statistics, including how many children are reported missing, are published by the National Crime Agency’s Missing Person’s Unit. The latest report is for 2018-19 and is available at https://www.missingpersons.police.uk/en-gb/resources/downloads/missing-persons-statistical-bulletins. The Home Office does not hold data on missing children incidents.

The Government recognises the importance of accurate and timely data on both current and historic missing incidents. We are working with the national policing lead for Missing Persons and the NCA’s UK Missing Persons Unit through the Home Office National Law Enforcement Data Programme (NLEDP) to deliver a National Register for Missing Persons (NRMP). The NRMP will provide a snapshot of live missing incidents across police forces in England and Wales.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the reasons for the increase in modern slavery referrals for children during the first three months of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office published the Q2 2020 NRM statistics in September. This data shows a small increase in the number of victims exploited as a child referred into the NRM (1231 to 1274 referrals).

The data tables, which are published alongside the statistical bulletin, break down child referrals by a number of different characteristics which show that children exploited in the UK appear to be driving the increase in referrals. Newly published data in the same publication also shows a rise in county lines flagged cases.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children have been released under investigation in (a) Sussex police force area, and (b) England and Wales since 23 March 2020.

The Home Office does not hold information on people, including children, who have been released under investigation by the police.

Decisions on whether to use pre-charge bail or release suspects pending further enquiries are operational matters for individual police forces and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

The government completed its public consultation on the pre-charge bail system, including release under investigation, on 29 May 2020. The Government’s response to the consultation will be published in due course.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how she plans to allocate the additional £60 million announced by the Prime Minister on 22 September 2020 for covid-19 enforcement across the 43 police force areas of England and Wales.

On 22 September 2020 the Prime Minister announced £60m of additional funding for COVID-19 enforcement to be shared between local authorities for COVID-19 marshals and the 43 police forces of England and Wales.

The Home Office is finalising details of the funding allocations to police forces, which will be published on Gov.uk in the coming days.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much additional funding has been allocated to Sussex Police to support enforcement of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

On 22 September 2020 the Prime Minister announced £60m of additional funding for COVID-19 enforcement to be shared between local authorities for COVID-19 marshals and the 43 police forces of England and Wales.

The Home Office is finalising details of the funding allocations to police forces, which will be published on Gov.uk in the coming days.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to reimburse police forces with funds commensurate with additional costs incurred as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has been clear that the Police will get the financial support they need to keep our communities safe through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government took immediate steps to increase the availability of funding for forces to meet cashflow pressures caused by the pandemic. We flexed half of the £168 million Police Uplift ringfenced grant to include expenditure on COVID-19 related pressures for the first six months of the financial year. We also brought forward payment of the £142.6 million police pensions grant, which forces received in April this year.

The Home Office continues to gather evidence of forces’ additional Covid-19 related expenditures since the introduction of social distancing measures, developed in close consultation with policing sector finance leads. We will use this evidence base to inform cross-Government decisions on the police’s future funding needs.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to improve scrutiny of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner; and what steps her Department takes to monitor the performance of immigration advisers.

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Home Office.

Under the provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, immigration advisors (other than those who are members of the legal profession and regulated by their professional body) are regulated by the Immigration Services Commissioner to ensure they are fit and competent and act in the best interest of their clients.

The OISC works in line with a Framework Agreement between the Commissioner and the Home Office, which, along with its annual reports and accounts, are published on the website of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.

The OISC’s overall performance, including on prosecutions, is reviewed on a regular basis by the Home Office.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 21 June 2019 to Question 266278, what plans her Department has to review the decision to not provide EU citizens with physical documentation confirming their settled status after the UK leaves the EU.

The Home Office is developing a border and immigration system which is “digital by default” for all migrants, which over time means we will increasingly replace physical and paper-based products and services with accessible, easy to use online and digital services. This mirrors the approach adopted by other countries, such as Australia, in administering their immigration systems and the way in which people increasingly live their lives.

Individuals – including those going through the EU Settlement Scheme - will still receive written notification of their immigration status, by email or letter, which they can retain for their own records. They will also be given access to a digital version of their immigration status information, which can be accessed at any time via the online ‘view and prove’ service, and which unlike a physical document cannot be lost or stolen. It also allows individuals to view information about their status whenever they wish and share it securely with third parties such as employers or public and private service providers.

We are making this move because it provides a better level of service. Individuals have greater transparency and control over their immigration status data, and tailored digital services mean that only the information that the individual agrees to share is shown, unlike a physical document which must fulfil many purposes. Digital services also allow us to provide information in a format that is easy to understand and accessible to all users, removing the need for employers, landlords and others to interpret myriad physical documents, complex legal terminology or confusing abbreviations. Users can be confident that they are getting information direct from Home Office systems and that it tells them what they need to know.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance has been issued to police on the criteria that frontline officers may use to determine if a person is sufficiently alert for the purposes of Government covid-19 guidelines.

We are working closely with policing partners to make sure there is clear guidance for officers on what the new measures entail.?This guidance is available at https://www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/COVID-19/understanding-the-law/Pages/default.aspx

We expect people to do the right thing and follow the guidance that will help to keep us all safe. And the Gov.uk guidance is clear in its instruction to the general public:?https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will extend leave to remain visas until October 2020 for people that are applying for indefinite leave to remain but are unable to take a life in the UK test during the covid-19 outbreak.

Individuals in the UK legally whose visa expired after 24 January 2020 have had their visa extended to 31 May 2020 where they cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus.?This is being kept under regular review in case further extensions are needed.

The Home Office is taking steps to ensure nobody will be penalised for not being able to take Life in the UK tests due to circumstances beyond their control. Therefore individuals can still apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and their application will be held until testing resumes, with their existing leave continuing until their application is decided.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will extend spousals visas where one spouse is unable to re-enter the country before their visa expiration date due to global travel restrictions.

The Home Office has put in place a range of measures to support those affected by the covid-19 outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation closely and take these exceptional circumstances into account.

These are unprecedented times and we may make further adjustments to requirements where necessary and appropriate, to ensure people are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control.

A coronavirus immigration mailbox CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk has also been set up and there is a freephone number 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) for those who wish to discuss their individual circumstances.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will allow the extension of visas for foreign nationals who are unable to re-enter the country before their visa expiration date due to global travel restrictions.

The Home Office has put in place a range of measures to support those affected by the covid-19 outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation closely and take these exceptional circumstances into account.

These are unprecedented times and we may make further adjustments to requirements where necessary and appropriate, to ensure people are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control.

A coronavirus immigration mailbox CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk has also been set up and there is a freephone number 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) for those who wish to discuss their individual circumstances.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how often the Life in the UK citizenship test is reviewed.

The Life in the UK test is reviewed regularly to ensure the test remains effective and questions are updated to reflect amendments to the handbook. The last update was in February 2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what date she plans to respond to her Department's consultation on violence and abuse toward shop staff.

We launched a call for evidence on violence and abuse toward shop staff to help strengthen our understanding of the scale and extent of the issue. The call for evidence has now closed and we are carefully analysing the responses before deciding what further action may be required. During the Westminster Hall debate on ‘Protection of retail workers’, which took place on 11 February, I committed to publishing the government’s response in March.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress he has made on removing onerous ground rents for existing leaseholders.

The Government has set out a package of measures to tackle unfair practices in the leasehold market and promote transparency and fairness for both leaseholders and freeholders. We will bring forward legislation in the upcoming session to set future ground rents to zero.

We understand the difficulties and frustrations for existing leaseholders who are unhappy with the ground rent they are required to pay and feel their leases should be changed. We are pleased that the CMA is taking enforcement action in relation to two key issues. First, to tackle certain instances of mis-selling of leasehold property. Second, to address the problems faced by homeowners from high and increasing ground rents. The Government is keeping a close eye on this issue and will consider any next steps once the CMA have progressed their enforcement action.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress his Department has made in bringing forward legislative proposals to protect leaseholders from unreasonable charges when they seek to extend the lease on their property.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. We are taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market.

Through our reforms, the length of a statutory lease extension will increase to 990 years, from 90 years (for flats) and 50 years (for houses). Leaseholders will be able to extend their lease with zero ground rent on payment of a premium. Leaseholders will also be able to voluntarily agree to a restriction on future development of their property to avoid paying ‘development value’.

The Law Commission’s report on enfranchisement includes recommendations relating to lease extensions, including payment of costs incurred by this process and the terms of the new lease. We will bring forward a response to these and the other remaining Law Commission recommendations in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to announce the funding criteria for applications to the Shared Prosperity Fund; and when the fund will open to applications.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK for places most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and for people who face labour market barriers.

The November 2020 Spending Review set out the main strategic elements of the UKSPF in the Heads of Terms.  The Government will publish a UK-wide investment framework in Spring 2021 and confirm multi-year funding profiles at the next Spending Review.

In addition, to help local areas prepare over 2021/22 for the introduction of the UKSPF, we will provide additional UK funding to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches. Further details on the operation of the additional funding in 2021/22 will be published soon.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many landlords have received banning orders under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 for offering rent in exchange for sex.

There have been no banning orders for landlords offering rent in exchange for sex. Where a local housing authority becomes aware of a landlord receiving a conviction for a banning order offence, the local housing authority may apply to the first-tier tribunal for a banning order to be granted. The Government is unequivocal that so-called ‘sex for rent’ arrangements have no place in society.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many landlords have been placed on the database of rogue landlords and property agents for offering rent in exchange for sex since the introduction of the Housing and Planning Act in 2016.

There have been no landlords placed on the database for offering rent in exchange for sex. Where a landlord receives a banning order the local housing authority must place the landlord on the database. Where a landlord receives two or more civil penalties for housing related offences or a becomes aware of a conviction for a banning order offence, the local housing authority has discretion to make an entry. The Government is unequivocal that so-called ‘sex for rent’ arrangements have no place in society.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason tiling systems are classified as cladding according to his Department's Building Safety Programme guidance published on 21 Nov 2020; and if he will provide more information on the composition of the tiling systems which are regarded as (a) high and (b) low risk.

Analysis and definitions relating to estimates of EWS1 requirements on residential buildings in England can be found in this release: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-estimates-of-ews1-requirements-on-residential-buildings-in-england/building-safety-programme-estimates-of-ews1-requirements-on-residential-buildings-in-england.

For the purposes of this analysis, materials classified as non-cladding focused on the traditional construction materials of brick, stone, concrete and glass. All other materials were classified as cladding. The risk of cladding systems has not been considered as part of this analysis, and is currently unavailable.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) credit rating of renters and (b) rental market.

The Government has established an unprecedented package of support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic which is supporting the rental market by enabling renters to sustain tenancies and continue paying rent.

Our comprehensive support package includes a range of support for businesses to pay staff salaries, including through the furlough scheme which has now been extended to March 2021. We have also strengthened the welfare safety-net with billions of additional pounds, including increasing Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates so that they cover the lowest 30 per cent of market rents.

For those renters who require additional support, there is an existing £180 million of Government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments made available this year, an increase of £40 million from last year and which is for councils to distribute to support renters with housing costs.

Our approach continues to be informed by a range of data sources and the Government continues to keep this matter under review.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what reports he has received on mortgage providers routinely requesting ESW1 forms for flats in buildings under 18 metres in height; and if the Government will publish guidance on when an ESW1 form (a) is and (b) is not required.

To support the valuation process for high-rise residential buildings with cladding, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) designed the EWS1 process. RICS have issued guidance on its use. The Department is aware that mortgage lenders have requested EWS1 forms for a greater range of buildings than the process was designed for.

The EWS1 process is not a Government or regulatory requirement and the Department does not support a blanket approach to EWS1. The Department is working with mortgage lenders to support a more pragmatic approach in their valuation of homes within multi occupancy, multi storey residential buildings and encouraging lenders to accept a broader range of evidence to assure themselves of a building’s safety.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the situation of (a) buyers and (b) leaseholders of low-level flats who are unable to obtain mortgages or re-mortgage their properties because they do not possess an External Wall System 1 form; and whether the Government will take that matter into account in deciding whether to extend the cut to Stamp Duty Land Tax beyond 31 March 2021.

The External Wall System form (EWS1) and process was designed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) with mortgage lenders to assist with valuation of high-rise residential buildings. It is not a Government policy or regulatory requirement and the Government does not support a blanket approach in EWS1 use for lower risk properties. Some lenders do not require an EWS1 form, and others seek them for a greater range of buildings than the process was designed for. It is not a Government policy or regulatory requirement and the department does not hold data on its use.

The temporary increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax nil rate band was designed to provide an immediate stimulus to the property market, where property transactions fell during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Government does not plan to extend this relief and will continue to monitor the property market.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of potential merits of accounting for the unique circumstances of unitary authorities when allocating financial support in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

In allocating resources to councils to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has treated all classes of local authority on an equivalent basis. The funding allocation for each local authority depends on their local circumstances and reflects the pressures they are experiencing as a result of the pandemic.

We will continue to work with?local government?over the coming weeks to ensure they are managing as the pandemic progresses?and?we have a collective understanding of the costs they are facing.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the sectors of the economy from which newly homeless or rough-sleeping people originate.

MHCLG does not currently hold information on from which sectors of the economy newly homeless or people who are newly rough sleeping originate.

The Government has taken wider steps to help protect jobs and incomes. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme to protect workers and to support those on low incomes, as well as announcing a package of temporary welfare measures. Taken together, measures, including those announced at Budget, provide over £6.5 billion of additional support through the welfare system for people affected by COVID-19.

This includes increasing the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents. The Government has taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic. On 5 June we announced that the suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation had been extended by a further two months.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has plans to amend the equality impact assessment for assaults on emergency workers in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to include information on the impact on disabled people.

The government has already published a full equalities assessment on its proposals to increase the maximum penalty of assaulting an emergency worker. I am aware of the ongoing nature of the Public Sector Equality Duty and our obligation to consider the equalities impacts of the proposals as they develop and are implemented in light of any new evidence. However there are no plans to update this assessment at this stage. As explained in the assessment, statistical data in relation to offenders who are disabled are not centrally recorded.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many suspects in (a) murder and (b) rape cases received bail in each of the last five calendar years.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on defendants remanded on bail in England and Wales up to December 2019, prior to court, at magistrates’ court and at Crown Court:

Remand status prior to court (relating to suspects) is available in the magistrates’ court data tool and is labelled ‘Remand status with Police’.

Magistrates’ court

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888658/remands-magistrates-court-tool-2019.xlsx

Crown Court

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888657/remands-crown-court-tool-2019.xlsx

In the data tools, search for murder and rape using the ‘Offence’ filter and the pivot table will populate with the number of defendants by principal (i.e. most serious) remand status for the chosen offences.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to publish the Covid Recovery Plans submitted by youth offending teams to the Youth Justice Board.

The Youth Justice Board has oversight of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) and has received Covid-19 Recovery Plans from each YOT. There is no current plan for MoJ or the YJB to publish Covid-19 Recovery Plans as it is the responsibility of local authorities to make their individual plans available to the public.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the size of the case backlog in the youth court system.

In 2020 outstanding youth cases at the magistrates' court reached an annual peak of 12,138 in June, then consistently fell to 9,930 cases by December. In the same period, outstanding youth cases at the Crown Court remained stable, peaking at 665 in October then falling to 629 by December.

The focus for 2021 will be to drive the continued reduction of outstanding cases in the Youth Court, working with agencies across the Criminal Justice System to minimise delays.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Failure to Appear warrants were issued by courts for (a) murder and (b) rape in each of the last five years up to March 2020.

Data showing the number of failure to appear warrants issued for (a) murder and (b) rape from 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2020 in both Crown and Magistrates’ Courts can be found in the table below:

YEAR

CROWN

MAGISTRATES

MURDER

RAPE

MURDER

RAPE

2015/16

27

71

18

143

2016/17

29

76

26

227

2017/18

13

65

10

146

2018/19

29

28

23

146

2019/20

29

33

21

161

5 YR TOTAL

127

273

98

823

Notes:
1. Data are taken from a live management information system and can change over time

2. The data is based on statistics from management information system extract only

3. Data are management information and may differ from previously published stats and are not subject to the same level of checks as official statistics

4. Magistrates where a defendant is charged with an indictable offence and if more than one offence and a Failure to Appear Warrant is issued each offence is counted separately

5. Crown if a defendant has had a bench warrant issued on more than one occasion, they have been counted separately

6. Offences include attempted and conspiracy sub-groups

7. Data has not been cross referenced with case files.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to improve the evidence base on the experience of girls in the youth justice system.

The number of girls entering the youth justice system for the first time has fallen by 92% between 2009-10 and 2019-20 (from around 22,400 to around 1,900). The national standards for youth justice guide local authorities’ youth offending teams to personalise the approach to each child under their supervision and assess children’s individual needs, which will include those relating to gender.

Girls in secure settings form a small but vulnerable cohort, often with complex needs. To develop the evidence base to better support girls in custody, the Youth Custody Service and NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned the Centre for Mental Health to review the needs of, and pathways for, girls in the secure estate.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the (a) needs and (b) characteristics of girls in the youth justice system.

The number of girls entering the youth justice system for the first time has fallen by 92% between 2009-10 and 2019-20 (from around 22,400 to around 1,900). The national standards for youth justice guide local authorities’ youth offending teams to personalise the approach to each child under their supervision and assess children’s individual needs, which will include those relating to gender.

Girls in secure settings form a small but vulnerable cohort, often with complex needs. To develop the evidence base to better support girls in custody, the Youth Custody Service and NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned the Centre for Mental Health to review the needs of, and pathways for, girls in the secure estate.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many failure to appear warrants have been issued for (a) murder, (b) rape and (c) serious sexual assault offences since March 2020.

Data showing the number of failure to appear warrants issued for (a) murder, (b) rape and (c) all sexual offences excluding rape since March 2020 until 30 September 2020 in both Crown and Magistrates’ Courts can be found in the table below:

Offence Category

Crown Court

Magistrates’ Court

Murder

9

17

Rape

14

61

All Sexual Offences (excl Rape)

109

28

Source: HMCTS management information

Notes:

  1. Data are taken from a live management information system and can change over time.
  2. The data is based on statistics from management information system extract only.
  3. Data are management information and may differ from previously published stats and are not subject to the same level of checks as official statistics.
  4. Magistrates where a defendant is charged with an indictable offence and if more than one offence and a Failure to Appear Warrant is issued each offence is counted separately.
  5. Crown if a defendant has had a bench warrant issued on more than one occasion, they have been counted separately.
  6. Offences include attempted and conspiracy sub-groups.
  7. Data has not been cross referenced with case files.
  8. Serious sexual assault isn’t a specific offence category; therefore, no statistics are available. However, we have collated data available for all sexual offences excluding rape.
Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many employees of youth offending teams have left the profession in each of the last five years (a) nationally, and (b) by region.

The Ministry of Justice and the Youth Justice Board do not hold data on how many employees of youth offending teams have left the profession in the last five years.

The annual youth justice statistics include national totals for the youth offending team workforce. However, the data does not show if individuals have left the profession or have moved elsewhere in the profession. The most recent staffing data is published in Annex E in the additional annexes at Youth Justice Statistics: 2019 to 2020.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of children cautioned or sentenced in each of the last five calendar years had previously been resident in unregulated care settings.

We do not hold information on the number of children sentenced or cautioned who have previously been in unregulated care settings. We published experimental statistics in January 2021 setting out the assessed care status of children who receive a custodial sentence, Youth Rehabilitation Order, Referral Order or Reparation Order. These statistics can be found on the page https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/youth-justice-statistics-2019-to-2020 under ‘Assessing the needs of sentenced children in the Youth Justice System: Supplementary Tables’.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times a young person has been remanded to custody due to a lack of suitable local authority accommodation in each of the last five calendar years.

Courts apply the provisions of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which sets out the basis for deciding whether a child is remanded into custody or Local Authority accommodation. The reasons for the court’s decision on remand are not recorded and so the information requested is not held.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 11 of the Criminal Justice Inspectorates January 2021 report, Impact of the pandemic on the Criminal Justice System, what steps he is taking to reduce the digital divide amongst children under youth offending supervision.

As a direct response to the lack of digital access amongst some of the children with whom Youth Offending Teams work, the Youth Justice Board has amended the terms and conditions in the Youth Justice Grant for 2020/21 to allow Youth Offending Teams, where appropriate, to use funds from their annual grant to provide children under their supervision with access to suitable equipment to facilitate regular virtual engagement. The Youth Justice Board is also revising its national protocol for case responsibility as part of new Case Management Guidance, which will take into account remote working and virtual service delivery. This is due for publication later this year.

Within the custodial estate, the Youth Custody Service will be rolling out in-room technology in public sector under-18 Young Offender Institutions. This will help enhance connectivity, facilitate education, and improve outcomes for children in custody. It is also providing additional free phone credits and ‘virtual visits’ via the Purple Visits app.

Local Authorities are responsible for Youth Offending Teams provision. In recognition of the fact that Local Authorities are best placed to decide how to meet Covid-19 service pressures in their area, the Government has allocated over £8 billion directly to councils since the start of the pandemic. Much of this funding is un-ringfenced and could be used to support any areas of local pressure, including potentially Youth Offending Teams. The Youth Justice Board works with Local Authorities and Directors of Children’s Services to provide strategic support as to how they can best provide for the needs of all their vulnerable children.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times the provisions of section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 have been used by (a) victims and (b) witnesses since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

HMCTS does not hold data on how many times the provisions of section 28 have been used by (a) victims and (b) witnesses. Special measures applications are recorded in part, but HMCTS management information systems do not hold the data needed to answer the question. The information requested is not held centrally and can only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much compensation has been paid to victims of modern slavery in each financial year up to December 2020.

Crown Court: Modern Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders

Calendar Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

Jan 20 to Sept 20

Count of Defendants

32

28

38

39

~

Notes:

1. The data source is the Crown Court system Xhibit, which is a live system and as such data is liable to change.

2. The data comprises of defendants who have received one or more of the above listed court orders.

3. If the same order type is received on different occasions during the same year then it has been counted only once.

4. If a defendant receives the same order type in different years, then it has been counted in each year.

~ If a request is made for information and the total figure amounts to five people or fewer, the MoJ must consider whether this could lead to the identification of individuals and whether disclosure of this information would be in breach of our statutory obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation and/or the Data Protection Act 2018.

Magistrates' Courts: Slavery & Trafficking Prevention and Risk Order Cases

Calendar Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

Jan 20 to Sept 20

Slavery & Trafficking Prevention Order

~

~

~

Slavery & Trafficking Prevention Order on Application

~

~

Slavery & Trafficking Risk Order

~

5

10

15

7

Notes:

1. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that the data has been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts. Data are taken from a live management information system and can change over time.

2. Figures quoted for the Magistrates' Courts are for each Case where a 'full' Order was made/granted in the year specified, rather than a count of defendants. Hence, where a defendant has more than one case for which the relevant result code has been applied, each case will be counted separately.

~ If a request is made for information and the total figure amounts to five people or fewer, the MoJ must consider whether this could lead to the identification of individuals and whether disclosure of this information would be in breach of our statutory obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation and/or the Data Protection Act 2018.

There are several ways for victims of modern slavery to seek or be awarded compensation.

This could be through civil claims and actions brought under statutory law (such as the Human Rights Act 1998) or the common law. However, records of compensation paid out in the civil courts for claims of this nature are not held centrally as data is not broken down into this level of detail.

Where a person is convicted of an offence, including offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, criminal courts in England and Wales may make a compensation order in cases involving personal injury, loss or damage. We do not hold data on the compensation paid to victims of modern slavery as a result of compensation orders imposed by the criminal courts, as the HMCTS system does not report at that level of detail.

The GB-wide Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme provides state-funded compensation to victims of violent crime who cannot pursue compensation or redress from other routes. Payments are available for physical or psychological injuries resulting directly from a crime of violence, as defined under Annex B of the Scheme. Victims of modern slavery who have been conclusively identified as such (through the National Referral Mechanism) may be eligible for compensation under the Scheme regardless of residence status or nationality, subject to wider eligibility criteria.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority does not hold data on the amount of compensation awarded to victims of modern slavery. Modern slavery is not defined for the purposes of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. Victims are compensated for the injuries they have sustained rather than the nature of the incident (with the exception of sexual assault or abuse).

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of Youth Offending Teams offering Intensive Supervision and Surveillance as part of Youth Rehabilitation Orders.

A Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO) with Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS) is a community order which may be given by a court in relation to an offence which would be serious enough to make a custodial sentence appropriate. The community order must include supervision, curfew and activity of between 90 and 180 days and may include electronic monitoring.

The information requested is not collected centrally. Youth Justice Statistics are published annually, including information of sentencing occasions resulting in a YRO, and the number and type of requirements given to children who received a YRO. This information can be found in the Youth Justice statistics: 2018 to 2019 supplementary tables, Chapter 5 – Sentencing of Children, Table 5.7 https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/youth-justice-statistics

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders and (b) Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders have been issued each year up to December 2020.

Crown Court: Modern Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders

Calendar Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

Jan 20 to Sept 20

Count of Defendants

32

28

38

39

~

Notes:

1. The data source is the Crown Court system Xhibit, which is a live system and as such data is liable to change.

2. The data comprises of defendants who have received one or more of the above listed court orders.

3. If the same order type is received on different occasions during the same year then it has been counted only once.

4. If a defendant receives the same order type in different years, then it has been counted in each year.

~ If a request is made for information and the total figure amounts to five people or fewer, the MoJ must consider whether this could lead to the identification of individuals and whether disclosure of this information would be in breach of our statutory obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation and/or the Data Protection Act 2018.

Magistrates' Courts: Slavery & Trafficking Prevention and Risk Order Cases

Calendar Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

Jan 20 to Sept 20

Slavery & Trafficking Prevention Order

~

~

~

Slavery & Trafficking Prevention Order on Application

~

~

Slavery & Trafficking Risk Order

~

5

10

15

7

Notes:

1. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that the data has been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts. Data are taken from a live management information system and can change over time.

2. Figures quoted for the Magistrates' Courts are for each Case where a 'full' Order was made/granted in the year specified, rather than a count of defendants. Hence, where a defendant has more than one case for which the relevant result code has been applied, each case will be counted separately.

~ If a request is made for information and the total figure amounts to five people or fewer, the MoJ must consider whether this could lead to the identification of individuals and whether disclosure of this information would be in breach of our statutory obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation and/or the Data Protection Act 2018.

There are several ways for victims of modern slavery to seek or be awarded compensation.

This could be through civil claims and actions brought under statutory law (such as the Human Rights Act 1998) or the common law. However, records of compensation paid out in the civil courts for claims of this nature are not held centrally as data is not broken down into this level of detail.

Where a person is convicted of an offence, including offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, criminal courts in England and Wales may make a compensation order in cases involving personal injury, loss or damage. We do not hold data on the compensation paid to victims of modern slavery as a result of compensation orders imposed by the criminal courts, as the HMCTS system does not report at that level of detail.

The GB-wide Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme provides state-funded compensation to victims of violent crime who cannot pursue compensation or redress from other routes. Payments are available for physical or psychological injuries resulting directly from a crime of violence, as defined under Annex B of the Scheme. Victims of modern slavery who have been conclusively identified as such (through the National Referral Mechanism) may be eligible for compensation under the Scheme regardless of residence status or nationality, subject to wider eligibility criteria.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority does not hold data on the amount of compensation awarded to victims of modern slavery. Modern slavery is not defined for the purposes of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. Victims are compensated for the injuries they have sustained rather than the nature of the incident (with the exception of sexual assault or abuse).

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to increase the availability of local authority accommodation for children on remand.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring there is sufficient accommodation for children in their local area who need it, including those remanded by a court to local authority accommodation. The Youth Justice Board is supporting a three-year project to enable local authorities in London to create bespoke accommodation for children on remand. The aim of the project is to demonstrate both improved outcomes for the children and value for money.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a breakdown of the £40 million in funding for victim services announced in the Spending Review 2020.

The Spending Review will provide a total of £40m for victims and support services. We are continuing to provide £15 million this year to fulfil the manifesto commitment to increase support for victims of sexual violence and rape, including funding for new Independent Sexual Violence Advisors to support victims through the justice system. As well as this, we are providing an additional £25 million this year for victims and support services. This recognises the negative impact that Covid-19 has had on vulnerable victims of crime, including victims of domestic abuse and builds on the £20 million we provided last year to help domestic abuse and sexual violence community-based services meet Covid-driven demand. In due course, more detailed allocations will be announced.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to enact Paragraph 35 of Schedule 1 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 to allow sentencers to review Youth Rehabilitation Orders.

Paragraph 35 in Schedule 1 to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 can now be found in section 194 of the Sentencing Act 2020. Section 194 gives the Secretary of State the power, by regulation, to make provision for the review of a Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO) and to make provision about the frequency and conduct of those reviews and the court’s powers on review. This has not changed with the commencement of the Sentencing Act 2020, no secondary legislation has been made under this power.

We are aware of innovative local approaches and informal arrangements between some magistrates and Youth Offending Teams to improve information sharing and involve magistrates in reviewing the ongoing progress of children in relation to their orders. We are actively considering how the Ministry of Justice can learn from and best support these approaches, while ensuring we maintain the impartial court process. We have no current plans to make an order under section 194 of the Sentencing Act 2020 but are considering this carefully.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of rolling out the Sexual Violence Complainants' Advocate Scheme, piloted in Northumbria under the Home Office Violence Against Women & Girls Service Transformation Fund.

The Government wants to ensure that victims of sexual offences are treated with dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice process.

We are aware of the Sexual Violence Complainants’ Advocate Scheme in Northumbria and are considering the evaluation of this pilot as part of the Criminal Justice Board’s end-to-end review of the criminal justice response to rape and serious sexual offences.

The Government will publish its initial findings and recommendations for action in due course. We are committed to continuing work with partners from across the criminal justice system after that to improve the system in the longer term.

The recently revised Victims’ Code, which comes into force on 1 April 2021, will also ensure that victims benefit from a clearer set of rights and that these rights are recognised at every stage of the justice system. The revised Victims’ Code provides a solid foundation on which we can progress the Victims’ Law. We aim to consult on the detail of the Victims’ Law next year.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many calls have been made using the Purple Visits app in youth custodial settings since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

As of 14 December the information available shows that there have been 657 video calls made using the Purple Visits app at Cookham Wood, Werrington and Wetherby Young Offender Institutions and Oakhill and Rainsbrook Secure Training Centres since the start of May. There have also been 491 calls for the entirety of HMYOI Feltham (A and B sites, for children and young adults respectively). 241 calls were also made at HMYOI Parc (which includes a specific young people’s unit), however, it is not currently practical to break down how many of these were made by children and young people.

This has supplemented access to regular phone calls (with young people having been allocated additional free phone credits) as well as ‘face to face’ social visits, which re-commenced across public sector under 18 Young Offender Institutions from mid-July. Furthermore, ‘SECURE STAIRS - the integrated framework of care jointly led by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Youth Custody Service (YCS) and which provides the foundations as to how the YCS works with children - has adapted its approach during this period to underline the importance of connectivity, whilst adhering to the guidance on physical distancing.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has produced a forecast of the number of children who are considered potentially likely to self-harm in youth custodial settings over the Christmas 2020 period.

Forecasting potential levels of self-harm is challenging, however, the rates of self-harm across the Youth Custody Service estate are reviewed regularly. We are very aware of the difficulties many children in custody will have experienced as a result of Covid-19 and the need to follow physical distancing, and that feelings of uncertainty may be heightened over Christmas. We will be working hard to support children in custody at this time, especially for those children who are at a greater risk of self-harm. As a result of the pandemic, ‘SECURE STAIRS’ - the Framework for Integrated Care jointly led by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHS E&I) and the YCS - has enhanced its approach to meet the needs of both children and staff focusing on the importance of connectivity, whilst adhering to physical distancing principles.

We have also been progressing work with a focus to some of the most vulnerable and challenging young people in custody through the Critical Case Pathway (CCP), which is jointly led by the YCS’s Directorate lead Psychologist and NHS E&I Quality Lead. The CCP is a multi-disciplinary pathway which aims to provide oversight, assurance and support to professionals working with the most exceptionally complex young people in the youth custody estate, and take action as necessary to ensure effective assessment, planning and co-ordination of services to ensure that every effort is made to meet the needs of this group of children.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) visited Cookham Wood, Parc and Wetherby Young Offender Institutions on 21 April, and to Feltham and Werrington on 7 July to undertake monitoring visits, with reports subsequently published on the HMIP website. HMIP noted that self-harm had reduced since the start of the pandemic at four of the five sites (and was stable at the fifth); however, we continue to monitor rates of self-harm very closely, whilst also looking to enhance regime opportunities, in a manner which is safe for children and staff.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much his Department has spent on the youth custodial estate (a) in total and (b) on consultants or third party contractors in each of the last five years.

The information requested for 2015/16 and 2016/17 is available at the following links:

2015/16: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/539930/Youth_Justice_Board_Annual_Report_and_Accounts__2015_to_2016.pdf

2016/17: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/630201/YJB_Annual_Report_and_Accounts_2016-17_Web.pdf

Information for 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 is provided in the table below and is a subset of data published as part of the annual HMPPS Annual Report and Accounts publication. The budget for the youth estate moved from the Youth Justice Board to the Youth Custody Service in the middle of the 2017/18 financial year. The contracted-out figure is included in the total spend across the youth custodial estate.

Resource DEL 2017/18

Full Year Outturn (£m)

Full Year Budget (£m)

Total

£103

£108

Contracted Out

£52

£52

Resource DEL 2018/19

Full Year Outturn (£m)

Full Year Budget (£m)

Total

£146

£147

Contracted

£76

£77

Resource DEL 2019/20

Full Year Outturn (£m)

Full Year Budget (£m)

Total

£172

£176

Contracted

£77

£79

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that children in youth custodial settings do not have to spend Christmas alone as a result of ongoing covid-19 restrictions.

We are very aware of the difficulties many children in custody will have experienced as a result of Covid-19 and the need to follow physical distancing, and that feelings of uncertainty may be heightened over Christmas. During the Covid-19 period, ‘SECURE STAIRS’ - the integrated framework of care jointly led by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Youth Custody Service (YCS) - has adapted its approach to meet the needs of children focusing on the importance of connectivity, whilst adhering to physical distancing principles.

The YCS continue to look to enhance regime opportunities, in a manner which is safe for children and staff. This will continue over Christmas, with staff working hard to ensure children have sufficient time out of their rooms with peers and staff (whilst complying with Covid-19 requirements), access to entertainment, phone calls and other activities over this period.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish updated figures from the Relative Rate Index (RRI) model for the measures specified in the 2016 Ministry of Justice paper entitled Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic disproportionality in the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales.

In February 2020, a report on Tackling Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice was accompanied by tables which included a 5 year time-series of RRIs up to 2018. The report is the most up to date analysis and links to the biennial Race and the Criminal Justice System Statistics (2018) published in November 2019.

Relative rate indexes (RRIs) are currently being used across a number of Ministry of Justice publications including in the Race in the Criminal Justice System, Youth Justice annual publications and the Judicial Selection and Recommendations for Appointment publications. RRIs allow clear comparisons to identify and understand disparity. A consistent approach across the criminal justice system ensures that the treatment and outcomes for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups can be examined in more detail, with a greater degree of analysis in order to understand disparities and direct reforms where they cannot be explained.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number prisoners who met the criteria for parole but who could not be released as approved premises were not accepting referrals as a result of covid-19 restrictions, in the last nine months.

Approved Premises contribute to the management of high and very high-risk offenders to support their resettlement into the community. We have continued to accept referrals to Approved Premises throughout the pandemic. A priority referral allocation process is in place which includes the prioritisation of high and very high-risk parole cases. Where appropriate, those whose release has been directed by the Parole Board with a condition that they reside in an Approved Premises upon release have been accommodated in Approved Premises throughout the pandemic.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has put in place to allow prisoners eligible for parole to access approved premises and leave prison during the covid-19 outbreak.

Approved Premises contribute to the management of high and very high-risk offenders to support their resettlement into the community. We have continued to accept referrals to Approved Premises throughout the pandemic. A priority referral allocation process is in place which includes the prioritisation of high and very high-risk parole cases. Where appropriate, those whose release has been directed by the Parole Board with a condition that they reside in an Approved Premises upon release have been accommodated in Approved Premises throughout the pandemic.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps have been taken to use the findings from his Department’s Expert Panel on Harm in the Family Courts to inform the make-up of the advisory panel for the Review of the Presumption of Parental Involvement.

The Review of the Presumption of Parental Involvement builds directly on the work of the Harm Panel. Independent researchers will draw from the evidence gathered during the public call for evidence from that review and will conduct additional research which will include detailed case file analysis to assess the application of the presumption of parental involvement.

The Advisory Group has been assembled from a range of voices from across the family court system, and beyond. Their collective experience will be drawn upon to provide advice and inform the commissioned researchers.

A core element of the work of the independent researchers undertaking the evidence gathering will be to understand how the application of the presumption of parental involvement impacts upon people with protected characteristics and how the interpretation of those characteristics may have influenced the outcome. As part of this they will be engaging with the relevant groups – including, but not limited to, Black and Minority Ethnic survivors, deaf and disabled survivors, survivors of sexual violence and mothers.

The independent researchers undertaking the review will consider all available evidence, including from academics and professionals specialising in domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will consult domestic abuse and sexual violence specialist lawyers and academics during his Review of the Presumption of Parental Involvement.

The Review of the Presumption of Parental Involvement builds directly on the work of the Harm Panel. Independent researchers will draw from the evidence gathered during the public call for evidence from that review and will conduct additional research which will include detailed case file analysis to assess the application of the presumption of parental involvement.

The Advisory Group has been assembled from a range of voices from across the family court system, and beyond. Their collective experience will be drawn upon to provide advice and inform the commissioned researchers.

A core element of the work of the independent researchers undertaking the evidence gathering will be to understand how the application of the presumption of parental involvement impacts upon people with protected characteristics and how the interpretation of those characteristics may have influenced the outcome. As part of this they will be engaging with the relevant groups – including, but not limited to, Black and Minority Ethnic survivors, deaf and disabled survivors, survivors of sexual violence and mothers.

The independent researchers undertaking the review will consider all available evidence, including from academics and professionals specialising in domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what representation there is on the advisory panel for his Ministry's Review of the Presumption of Parental Involvement for (a) Black and Minority Ethnic survivors, (b) Deaf and disabled survivors, (c) survivors of sexual violence and (d) mothers.

The Review of the Presumption of Parental Involvement builds directly on the work of the Harm Panel. Independent researchers will draw from the evidence gathered during the public call for evidence from that review and will conduct additional research which will include detailed case file analysis to assess the application of the presumption of parental involvement.

The Advisory Group has been assembled from a range of voices from across the family court system, and beyond. Their collective experience will be drawn upon to provide advice and inform the commissioned researchers.

A core element of the work of the independent researchers undertaking the evidence gathering will be to understand how the application of the presumption of parental involvement impacts upon people with protected characteristics and how the interpretation of those characteristics may have influenced the outcome. As part of this they will be engaging with the relevant groups – including, but not limited to, Black and Minority Ethnic survivors, deaf and disabled survivors, survivors of sexual violence and mothers.

The independent researchers undertaking the review will consider all available evidence, including from academics and professionals specialising in domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 65 of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons’ Annual Report 2019-20, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the statement from the inspector that there has been a strategic failure in the delivery and governance of children's custody.

I welcome Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons’ Annual Report 2019-20 and take very seriously the report’s assessment of youth custody highlighted by the Hon. member.

In the short to medium term, the Youth Custody Service is carrying out a reform programme designed to create a child-focused youth estate. For example, the new youth justice specialist role continues to be embedded within the YCS, with funding for every prison officer in youth custody services to take up a foundation degree in youth justice. The YCS has also commissioned a programme of research, in collaboration with academics, to evaluate and learn lessons from the impact and response to Covid-19. The results will inform its recovery planning.

In the longer term, we aim to replace the existing estate with a network of secure schools and similar smaller units, drawing on evidence that smaller, more therapeutic units operated by child-focused providers are more effective in reducing reoffending and improving outcomes for children in custody. We are making progress toward the planned opening of the first secure school in 2022.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 65 of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons’ Annual Report 2019-20, for what reason more than 50 per cent of recommendations made by the inspector in the outcome categories of safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement had not been achieved by young offender institutions.

Unlike the adult estate, HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) run an annual inspection process for under 18 Young Offender Institutions (YOIs). Whilst it is of great importance that sites take necessary actions to improve outcomes for children, in line with recommendations, it can be challenging to fully implement all recommendations within this timeframe. To ensure HMIP recommendations are implemented as fully as possibly, the Youth Custody Service is increasing assurance activity in this area to ensure that support and challenge can be directed as needed.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 68 of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons’ Annual Report 2019-20, for what reason the use of force and persistent use of pain-inducing techniques have increased in young offender institutions.

The safety and wellbeing of children in custody is paramount and I am clear that restraint should be used only when there is no other suitable alternative. Whilst the number of children in custody has reduced by 68% over the last ten years since 2009/10, this has resulted in a concentrated cohort with particularly complex needs or challenging behaviour, with children and young people (including 18 year olds) serving sentences for violence against the person offences accounting for over half (55%) of the youth custody population in 2019/20.

Following the publication of Charlie Taylor’s independent review in June, we have committed to removing the use of pain inducing techniques (PITs) from the Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint (MMPR) syllabus, to ensure that these are a last resort to prevent serious physical injury to children or staff. Work is well underway on this, and we are looking to remove the use of PITs from the MMPR syllabus by the end of the year, with a suite of training to commence throughout 2021 to ensure full implementation and understanding across sites. In line with the recommendations made, an independent review panel has been set up which will sit for the first time in December to agree Terms of Reference, prior to the panel reviewing incidents involving PITs or serious injury or warning signs (SIWS) in each establishment twice a year and creation of individual action plans for each site.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) have visited all under 18 Young Offender Institutions for scrutiny visits during the Covid-19 period. It is encouraging that they found all sites to appear ‘calm and well-ordered’. However, there is still more work to do and the Youth Custody Service will continue to closely monitor levels of violence, self-harm and restrictive physical intervention across the youth secure estate as work continues to evaluate and learn lessons from the Covid-19 period and inform future planning.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to pp. 67-68 of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons’ Annual Report 2019-20, what steps he is taking to remedy the increase in violence and self-harm at Feltham A.

Following the annual inspection of Feltham A by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) last Summer, a resulting action plan saw changes to the senior leadership team at the site as well as a number of actions for urgent improvements including an intervention plan focused on reducing the risk of violence. This included a targeted review of specific Use of Force incidents, focussing on governance, reporting procedures, techniques, practice and review.

Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that Feltham A has not been fully inspected by HMIP since, they visited in July as part of scrutiny visits during the Covid-19 period with HMIP praising the ‘swift actions’ taken at the start of the pandemic, communication and creativity shown by managers and noting that the YOI appeared ‘calm and well-ordered’ and that recorded self-harm had reduced since the start of the pandemic. Whilst this is encouraging, there is still more work to do and the Youth Custody Service will continue to monitor levels of violence and self-harm at Feltham A to ensure stability within the site.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to accelerate the identification of accommodation for children released from custody.

I recognise that stable accommodation is a key factor in the substantial wraparound support that children require upon their release from custody. My department is working across government to explore options for improving the provision of accommodation.

To plan for the effective resettlement of children who are released from custody, the Youth Custody Service is reviewing its casework model. This will lead to a new Resettlement Framework and improvements to the multi-agency working that is required to support children in preparing for their release.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 74 of Her Majesty's Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales Annual Report 2019-20, for what reason the secure training centres at (a) Oakhill and (b) Medway have not achieved the changes recommended to improve their effectiveness.

The Youth Custody Service (YCS) have been working with the contractors at Oakhill to drive improvements in the service delivered to children. Since 2017, Oakhill has moved from overall ‘Inadequate’ inspection rating to ‘Requires Improvement to be Good’ for the Centre in 2018. The YCS continued to work with the Centre to drive improvement with the April 2019 annual inspection showing all areas assessed as being either ‘Good’ or ‘Requiring Improvement to be Good’ displaying upward progress from the previous year. However, inspectors observed that significant progress was still needed for the Centre to achieve an improved overall rating of ‘Good’.

Inspectors said after visiting in April 2019 that “Incremental progress has been made by a newly formed permanent senior leadership team in addressing some, but not all, of the recommendations made at the last inspection. The recently introduced range of structural changes and newly introduced initiatives are intended to accelerate the progress of improvement over the coming year. However, at the point of the inspection, several significant shortcomings in critical areas of the centre’s work with children continue to require significant improvement, particularly the need for stronger operational management oversight, in order to embed their implementation”.

The YCS recognises the need for further change at Oakhill and since the April 2019 inspection G4S have strengthened their management through the appointment of a new Deputy Director and a new Head of Education. To ensure Oakhill are making progress on the actions, the Centre is being overseen by an external assurance team led by an experienced operational manager and former interim Director of Oakhill.

Medway STC stopped accommodating children in January 2020 and was decommissioned at the end of March 2020 as part of plans to establish our first Secure School run by Oasis Charitable Trust. We have now launched the tender for the refurbishment of classrooms and residential areas For the Oasis Restore Secure School. These refurbishments are being carried out to provide an environment where young people feel able to engage with integrated care, health and education services in order to begin to turn their lives around.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to improve contact between children in young offender institutions and their (a) parents, (b) carers and (c) friends.

During the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever that children are able to speak to family, friends and carers given this will be a particularly unsettling period for many children in custody.

There has been a focus within the Youth Custody Service (YCS) on delivering essential activities such as regular phone calls (with young people having been allocated additional free phone credit and phone lines being opened for longer periods) and ‘Enhanced SECURE STAIRS’. This integrated framework of care jointly led by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the YCS provides the foundations on how the YCS works with children, underlining the vital role of social interaction and the importance of connectivity while adhering to the guidance on physical distancing. The Youth Estate has also been prioritised for in-room telephony installation and have used technology to facilitate virtual visits to enable all children and young people to stay in touch with their loved ones, and additional funding has been received for the roll out of secure in-room technology across public sector YOIs. Children and young people also have the opportunity to write and send letters, as well as having access to advocacy services and charities such as Barnardo’s and Childline.

Following publication of the National Framework for Prison Regimes and Services on 2 June, key aspects of regime delivery restarted across under 18 Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) from mid-July including social visits and the Custody Support Plan (CuSP) – providing children with a personal officer to work with on a weekly basis in order to build trust and consistency - as we continue to look to maintain regime in a manner that is safe and sustainable. During this period, it has been the priority of the YCS to maintain social interaction with children and their family: that is why, following the further national restrictions announced in England, face-to-face social visits with family (and contact with corporate parents and professionals) will continue for children in custody, ensuring sustained mental health and wellbeing. Where face-to-face visits are not possible, children and young people will still be able to continue contact virtually with their loved ones.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a right to review for children held in custody cells for more than 20 hours per day.

Following the H M Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) thematic report on separation in under-18 Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) published in January, and the subsequent publication of the Separation Taskforce’s report in June, we have committed to establishing a new system and approach for separation, with work now progressing. This work and policy will include a range of aspects, including review of decisions and representations.

This is in addition to immediate actions taken in response of the HMIP thematic report, including: the introduction of additional resources to ensure robust management and improve national and local oversight; the introduction of a national single point of contact to review oversight arrangements for separation, ensuring local accountability is in place across establishments and feeding in centrally; and a new approach to ensure separation data for public sector YOIs is captured centrally on a monthly basis.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure best practice Contextual Safeguarding approaches within youth justice settings.

We believe that safeguarding children in the youth justice system is key and we continue to take steps to ensure children are properly protected.

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) are currently revising their Case Management Guidance for Youth Offending Teams, which will include contextual safeguarding approaches. In addition, the YJB’s AssetPlus assessment and planning interventions framework, encourages practitioners to consider peer as well as family relationships within the assessment and planning process.

In 2018 the Government updated statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ to emphasise that children may also be at risk of harm from outside the home and that practitioners should be aware of environmental or contextual factors when undertaking assessments.

In addition, in 2019 the Ministry of Justice published ‘County Lines Exploitation: Practice guidance for YOTs and frontline practitioners’ as a best practice template when responding to, and safeguarding children involved in county lines.

In youth custodial settings, we are aiming to develop more child focussed approaches to security management, which will include elements of contextual safeguarding, alongside our partners.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much financial compensation has been distributed to victims by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority since 23 March 2020 by (a) total money awarded, and (b) number of victims in receipt of compensation.

The total compensation accepted under the schemes administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority between 24 March 2020 and 6 November 2020 was £100.9m, benefitting 9,598 victims of violent crime.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will update his Department's 2016 report entitled Understanding the educational background of youth offenders for the most recent year for which sentencing and educational data is available.

MoJ are in the process of updating the ‘Understanding the educational background of youth offenders’ report using the most recent MoJ/DfE analytical data share. We will be updating our future release schedule when we are in a position to commit to a publication date. The data in this share relates to offenders with at least one caution or conviction from 2000 or later, who were on the Police National Computer at the end of 2017 and were matched to individuals on the National Pupil Database.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to provide support to young victims affected by backlogs in the youth courts.

The Ministry of Justice is committed to ensuring young victims of crime receive the support they need during this challenging time.

That is why throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with criminal justice agencies and victim and witness support services, to ensure victims are kept well informed through regular communications and guidance. We are also working across government and with key stakeholders through our Covid-19 Victim and Witness Silver Command Group, which allows us to monitor and respond to emerging risks and issues, such as those impacting young victims at court.

The Government has also funded Barnardo’s See Hear Respond service, offering rapid support for children, young people and families, to help them cope with the Covid-19 crisis.

Alongside this, the Court-Based Witness Service continues to provide emotional and practical support to all witnesses, including children, to help them give their best evidence in criminal proceedings, with young, vulnerable and intimidated witnesses eligible for further outreach support prior to attending court. This will often include home visits, or remote meetings during Covid-19.

In consultation with Public Health England, and Public Health Wales, HMCTS has put in place arrangements for social distancing and mitigation of the risks associated with the pandemic. These arrangements have, since July, enabled Youth Courts to conclude more cases every week than have been received, with the safety of all those involved in these hearings being paramount. We do not currently envisage that it will be necessary to revert to any contingency listing arrangements during a second wave of covid-19.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to improve BAME representation amongst the staff of the Youth Justice Board (a) overall and (b) at Grade 7-5 level.

The YJB is a non-departmental public body and as such has responsibility for its own recruitment policies and processes. They are seeking to address disproportionality by implementing good practice from other organisations.

The YJB’s actions to date include:

  • Mandatory unconscious bias training for all those involved in the recruitment process;
  • Race Awareness training for all staff;
  • Widening the advertising of posts to include specific networks for black and minority ethnic individuals;
  • Promoting staff networks to black and minority ethnic staff;
  • A review of current recruitment practices and processes for potential bias;
  • A promotion of mentoring and coaching programmes and how these can be expanded to specifically support black and minority ethnic staff; and
  • Mentoring by YJB Chair and Board members for staff.

The YJB’s Equality and Diversity Group are reviewing the success of YJB’s measures and may make recommendations to the organisation on further good practice.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to support the welfare of victim support staff during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in demand for victim support services, resulting in increased pressure on victim support staff. We recognise the impact the continued delivery of critical support has on providers. The Ministry of Justice is committed to ensuring victims of crime, and the organisations that work with them, receive the support they need during this challenging time. We continue to work across government and in partnership with key stakeholders, including through the Covid-19 Victim and Witness Silver Command Group, which allows us to remain alert, and respond quickly to emerging issues and risks that support services raise including those related to staff wellbeing and resilience.

We have now distributed £22 million emergency Covid-19 funding, benefiting more than 540 charities. An additional £600,000 funding was reallocated by the Ministry of Justice to assist victim support helpline services. Following the Prime Minister's Hidden Harms Summit, the government also committed to developing a Victim Funding Strategy, which aims to place the support sector on a more sustainable footing and ensure victim support staff are able to deliver their vital work.

Much of the emergency funding has been used to provide additional support for staff. For example, for sexual violence and domestic abuse services, investment has been made in increasing IT infrastructure to allow staff to provide support remotely, providing extra clinical and safeguarding support to maintain staff welfare, and funding extra PPE equipment and deep cleaning costs for organisations returning to face-to-face support.

We have also invested in providing support and networking sessions to support Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) through this period of change, so that they can continue to help victims feel informed and supported at every stage of their recovery journey.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 1 October 2020 to Question 96135, what plans he has to extend the emergency funding for victim support charities and helplines throughout a second wave of the covid-19 outbreak.

We remain committed to ensuring victims of crime receive the support they need during this challenging time and continue to work across government, with the sector and local bodies to identify emerging needs.

In response to concerns, we have extended the funding period from 31st October to allow organisations to spend the Covid-19 funding until the end March 2021.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to p55 of the Youth Justice Board Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20, what proportion of Youth Justice Board staff are from a BAME background, by geographical region.

Due to the geographical spread of YJB staff, YJB records only allow them to split staff geographically by ‘London’ and ‘National’. In this context ‘National’ represents YJB staff who are based outside of London. The latest diversity figures have been provided by the YJB below.

72% of YJB staff are London based. Within this:

25% of London based staff are Black or from an ethnic minority group.

63% of London based staff are white

12% of London based staff have chosen not to state their ethnicity

28% of YJB staff are based Nationally. Within this:

0% of National staff are black or from an ethnic minority group.

96% of National based staff are white

4% of National based staff have chosen not to state their ethnicity.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to develop specific training and employment opportunities to help people in the cohort of youth offending teams to tackle the economic effect on those people of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the importance of employment and training in helping young people turn their lives around and that Covid-19 brings new challenges in securing employment.

On the 8 September 2020, the Youth Justice Board alongside the Youth Futures Foundation hosted a workshop with a range of stakeholders on improving options for employment and training for Black, Asian and minority ethnic children and care leavers in the youth justice system. This event aimed to explore practical solutions and opportunities for training and employment for children and young people, recognising the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this group. The Youth Justice Board will consider the findings of this workshop.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many minors were found not guilty through successful use of a Section 45 defence under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in each year in the last five years.

Information on the use of the defence under section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 is not held in the court proceedings database so these cases cannot be separately identified.

The Government is acting to tackle modern slavery, ensuring that victims are supported to rebuild their lives, and the criminals and perpetrators of slavery face justice for their crimes and activities. On the 19th of October 2020 the Government published the Modern Slavery Annual Report 2020 which sets out the world-leading action of the UK Government, Scottish Government, and Northern Ireland Executive over the last year to tackle modern slavery. The Modern Slavery Annual Report 2020 can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/927111/FINAL-_2020_Modern_Slavery_Report_14-10-20.pdf

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to improve the timeliness for young people on remand being informed of trial dates.

As part of the COVID recovery, the Judiciary has set the criteria for the prioritisation of hearings across all jurisdictions which includes Youth cases especially where delay might mean a relevant age-threshold was crossed.

If the court remands a young person in Youth Detention Accommodation following an appearance before the Youth Court and retains jurisdiction to hear the case, it will try to take a plea at the first hearing of the case. If that plea is not guilty, the court will endeavour to list for trial within 56 days. Youth cases are listed as a matter of priority, particularly those cases where a young person is remanded either into a custodial establishment or into the care of the local authority. As part of recovery planning, outstanding youth cases are monitored closely to ensure they are listed as expeditiously as possible.

Where a young person is sent to the Crown Court for trial, the Crown Court will, if possible, take a plea at the initial Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing (PTPH) and, if the plea is not guilty, the judge can fix the date of the trial at that hearing. Listing is a judicial decision. If the young person is remanded into Youth Detention Accommodation by the Crown Court, custody time limits will apply, and the court will prioritise the listing of the case for trial. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is currently developing a review of the end to end management of youth cases which aims to identify opportunities for further improvement.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 9 of the 2020 UK annual report on modern slavery, if he will publish the (a) dates and (b) content of the guidance and training on criminal exploitation provided to Youth Offending Teams.

We are clear that tackling child criminal exploitation is key to ensure improved outcomes for children.

Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) are run by local authorities which are responsible for putting in place training to meet the needs of their area. The approach of the Crown Prosecution Service in providing training in relation to criminal exploitation and the Modern Slavery Act 2015 has been to engage with YOTs locally, often alongside local community policing. This training has included explaining how the defence under section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 operates, and the role that YOTs have in that process. There are no plans to publish further details of individual training with YOT teams across the country.

The CPS has not contributed to any new guidance for YOTs.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of trends in the (a) number and (b) type of concerns measured by youth offending teams using the AssetPlus assessment tool, during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Youth Justice Board (YJB) has actively monitored a range of existing and new sources of information to evaluate the impact on children coming into contact with Youth Offending Teams. AssetPlus data is included in the oversight of YOT performance, and to protect vulnerable children and sustain best outcomes for children under COVID-19 restrictions.

The YJB plan to publish updated and additional data from AssetPlus again as Experimental Statistics under the Code of Practice [COP] for statistics in January 2021. The forthcoming publication will cover up to 31st March 2020 and will not focus specifically on the COVID-19 period.

Note that experimental statistics are a subset of newly developed or innovative official statistics undergoing evaluation. They are developed under the guidance of the Head of Profession for Statistics and published to involve users and stakeholders in the assessment of their suitability and quality at an early stage. [‘Regulatory Guidance Experimental statistics – official statistics in development’, https://osr.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Regulatory-Guidance-Experimental-Statistics-2019.pdf].

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to manage the delivery of youth court hearings during a second wave of covid-19.

In consultation with Public Health England, and Public Health Wales, HMCTS has put in place arrangements for social distancing and mitigation of the risks associated with the pandemic. COVID-19: Update on the HMCTS response for Criminal Courts in England and Wales.

These arrangements have, since July, enabled youth courts to conclude more cases every week than have been received, with the safety of all those involved in these hearings being paramount.

We do not currently envisage that it will be necessary to revert to any contingency listing arrangements during a second wave of covid-19. The position will be kept under review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent estimate he has made of the number of interventions mandated by Youth Rehabilitation Orders that are being delivered.

Youth Rehabilitation Orders (YROs) can be imposed in any case where the mandatory referral order conditions do not apply. It provides the court with a menu of 18 requirements to choose from (such as education, activity or curfew requirements).

Youth Offending Teams supervise young people serving a community sentence and figures on the delivery of requirements that have been given to children who received a YRO are not held centrally. Youth Justice Statistics are published annually, including the number of requirements that have been given to children who received a YRO. In the year ending March 2019 this was as follows:

Table: Types of requirements given to children receiving a Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO), year ending March 2019(1)

Requirement

Number of requirements

Share

Supervision

3,655

32%

Activity

2,138

19%

Electronic Monitoring

1,556

14%

Curfew

1,478

13%

Programme

930

8%

Unpaid Work

434

4%

Prohibited Activity

418

4%

Attendance Centre

330

3%

Exclusion

290

3%

Education

108

1%

Residence

74

1%

Local Authority Residence

54

0%

Drug Treatment

24

0%

Drug Testing

13

0%

Mental Health Treatment

12

0%

Intoxicating Substance Treatment

11

0%

Total

11,525

100%

(1) In the year ending March 2019 according to Youth Justice Application Framework (YJJAF) there were 5,075 YROs given to 3,883 children. These YROs had 11,525 requirements attached to them. For 1,240 of 5,075 YROs given no requirement type was recorded.

Source: Youth Justice statistics: 2018 to 2019 supplementary tables, Chapter 5 – Sentencing of Children, Table 5.7 https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/youth-justice-statistics

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of young people convicted for (a) drugs offences, (b) robbery and (c) violence against the person were (i) looked after children and (ii) care leavers in each of the last five years.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on people convicted of offences, including the age ranges of those convicted, up to December 2019, which is available in the Outcomes by Offence data tool available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888664/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2019.xlsx

Use the ‘age range’ variable in the data tool to filter.

The Department for Education has published information on offending by looked after children in England, for years ending March 2017 to 2019. This is available in Table I1 of the National Tables: children looked after in England including adoption 2018 to 2019, here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/850322/Children_looked_after_in_England_2019_National_Tables.xlsx

Furthermore, a recent publication of experimental statistics provides some information on the assessed care status of sentenced children. This is available in Assessing the needs of sentenced children in the Youth Justice System, England and Wales, April 2018 to March 2019, here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887644/assessing-needs-of-sentenced-children-youth-justice-system.pdf

Centrally held information by the Ministry of Justice does not include whether a defendant was a looked after child or a care leaver. This information may be held on court record but can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 21 of the report entitled Childhood in the time of Covid, published by the Children's Commissioner in September 2020, what steps he is taking to reverse the decline in advocacy referrals by people in the youth custodial estate.

Ensuring the wellbeing of children in custody is of the upmost importance, especially during a period of unprecedented challenge. The Youth Custody Service (YCS) is committed to working with Barnardo’s to deliver an advocacy model that best meets the needs of children and young people, while taking account of the need to reduce the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus. As an on-demand service, it is important that children are aware of the service and how to access provision. As such, there has been regular communication and information to children to advise them of service delivery during the COVID-19 period, with further communications shared with Governors and Directors detailing the revised service and protocols which include a safeguarding protocol.

To ensure the distinct needs of children in custody are met, the YCS, working with colleagues from NHS England & NHS Improvement, has developed a set of youth-specific Exceptional Delivery Models (EDMs), with priority given to education and physical education, visits and advocacy. The advocacy EDM was implemented across all under 18 Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) and Secure Training Centres across July and August.

The YCS discusses referral trends directly with the provider to ensure there is a consistent service, and will continue to do so. Since the return of advocates to sites, internal data indicates referrals to the service have increased. Advocates continue to check in with every wing. They are able to have direct contact with young people in their rooms using the in-room telephony service where available, and arrange to meet face-to-face as required. Regular review meetings have continued to take place between Governors and Directors and Barnardo’s.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to improve digital communication between (a) youth offending teams and (b) young people and their families during the covid-19 pandemic.

Local authorities are responsible for the delivery of Youth Offending Team (YOT) provision.

However, the Youth Justice Board has oversight of Youth Offending Teams and has taken steps, in light of Covid-19, to support YOTs to improve digital communication with young people and their families. It has amended the terms and conditions in the Youth Justice Grant for 2020/21 to provide for capital spend, allowing flexibility for Youth Offending Teams to use funds, as appropriate, from their annual grant to provide children under their supervision access to suitable equipment to facilitate regular virtual engagement.

Practitioners have also developed innovative ways of providing positive interventions, using technology wherever possible. Similarly, many referral order panels have been conducted virtually. Face to face contacts, maintaining physical distance, have been used if the risk is deemed justified. Youth Offending Teams are working with highly vulnerable children and are working to use digital technology to make a positive change.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) assaults and (b) self-harm incidents have occurred in youth custodial settings since 23 March 2020.

The information requested will be published via Gov.uk in future youth justice statistics publications.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he has taken to prevent victims of crime from becoming offenders.

The Ministry of Justice is committed to ensuring victims receive the right support at the right time, to help them cope and recover in the aftermath of crime, and to break the cycles of both victimisation and offending. We recognise that many individuals may have experience as both a victim and an offender and are working to better address this.

For example, we have included a requirement for reachable moment interventions within the Homicide Service. Reachable moments are events or circumstances in an individual’s life which can lead to positive behavioural change. These moments of intense crisis, in this instance the trauma of being bereaved by homicide, can act as a catalyst for change. This provides a cue for services to act, to address underlying vulnerabilities, to support individuals to cope and recover, and reduce the risk of involvement in serious violence going forward. We are also piloting an extension of the service to those that witness murder or manslaughter in London, to address the trauma they have experienced. We know that unresolved trauma can have a huge impact on victim and witnesses’ lives, who may go on to offend, repeating this cycle.

The MoJ has also committed to a number of other pilots to address this issue, including support for young people with experience of victimisation in a youth offending institution, in order to address the underlying complex needs they face, and to divert them away from re-offending upon release. Also, piloting a victim pathway for female offenders who are victims of crime, supporting them to cope and recover, to again reduce re-offending.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the backlog of cases has been at Hove Trial Centre for (a) adult and (b) youth cases in each quarter since the first quarter of 2018.

It is not possible to separately identify the criminal caseload at Hove Trial Centre in the data that is centrally collated by the Ministry of Justice. Hove is a satellite of Lewes Crown Court and as such it does not have its own caseload.

A table detailing the volume of outstanding cases at Lewes Crown Court by adult and youth from Q1 2018 to Q2 2020 (latest published) can be found below:

Table 1: Outstanding1 cases in the Lewes Crown Court, quarterly Q1 2018 - Q2 2020

All Cases

Year

Quarter

Total

18 and over

Under 18

2018

Q1

965

949

16

Q2

908

891

17

Q3

773

766

7

Q4

583

576

7

2019

Q1

564

558

6

Q2

529

522

7

Q3

521

519

2

Q4

554

550

4

2020

Q1

596

585

11

Q2

643

634

9

1)Outstanding cases excludes cases that have a live bench warrant issued on the case, at the end of the period. The number of cases outstanding at the end of each period will not be equal to the sum of cases outstanding at the start of the period and those received during the period, minus cases disposed due to the exclusion of cases that have a live bench warrant issued on the case.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the level of victim satisfaction with the criminal justice system.

The Government recognises that public confidence in the criminal justice system is a principle on which a fair and effective criminal justice system is dependent. In order to support victims and witnesses in giving their best evidence, and improve their experience of the criminal justice system, significant progress has been made over the last 18 months to increase the scale of the Section 28 (pre-recorded cross examination) service, with the most recent extension to a third wave of Crown Courts, bringing the total to 34 Section 28 enabled courts across England and Wales. The Section 28 service is now available to at least one court in every Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals (HMCTS) region. HMCTS aim to complete a national roll out of this service to all Crown Courts by the end of this year to support vulnerable victims and witnesses.

The MoJ have put in place robust and flexible plans to ensure we can continue to support victims both within and outside the criminal just system during the pandemic. To date, we have distributed £22m as part of the £76m government package for charities supporting vulnerable people including victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse, made almost £600k of funding available to assist helpline services, and committed an additional £3m per annum to Independent Sexual Violence advisers until 2022. We also mobilised the Victim and Witness Silver Command Group, to engage with stakeholders, ensure criminal justice system wide awareness of issues, and monitor victim related issues with the system. The Group meets fortnightly to discuss topical justice issues as a result of Covid-19, particularly focussed on those with the potential to impact victims and witnesses. The Group identifies developing risks and issues that may have an impact on victim and witness strategy, policy or operational effectiveness and resolves or escalates those issues where necessary to mitigate any potential impact on levels of victim satisfaction.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of court closures on victims during the covid-19 outbreak.

In response to COVID-19, HMCTS temporarily closed around half of its buildings to focus effort and resources more effectively, and the most urgent cases were prioritised by the judiciary to ensure public safety, protect the vulnerable and safeguard children. 74 out of 81 Crown Court buildings have now resumed jury trials, alongside two other existing court sites and four Nightingale Courts. 152 out of 155 magistrates’ courts are now open.

Early on in the pandemic, MoJ mobilised a multi-agency Victim and Witness Silver Command Group, to ensure criminal justice system wide awareness of the issues affecting victims during COVID-19, and to monitor and respond to victim related issues that might arise.

In response to COVID-19, HMCTS has also accelerated the rollout of the Section 28 (pre-recorded cross examination) service and is now on track to complete national roll out of this service to all Crown Courts by the end of November.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he has taken to mitigate the risk of increased victim attrition from court cases as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is committed to understanding and mitigating the impact that Covid-19 is having on victims’ engagement with the justice system. We know that victim support services have a vital role to play in ensuring victims continue to engage with the criminal justice process. In recognition of this, we have distributed £22m as part of the £76m government package for charities supporting vulnerable people including victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse, made almost £600k of funding available to assist helpline services, and committed an additional £3m per annum to Independent Sexual Violence advisers until 2022.

Significant progress has been made over the last 18 months to increase the scale of the Section 28 (pre-recorded cross examination) service, with the most recent extension to a third wave of Crown Courts, bringing the total to 34 Section 28 enabled courts across England and Wales. The Section 28 service is now available to at least one court in every Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals (HMCTS) region. HMCTS aim to complete a national roll out of this service to all Crown Courts by the end of this year, to vulnerable victims and witnesses. There is real benefit in having this service available to support more victims and witnesses in giving their best evidence.

Following the prioritisation of domestic abuse cases by HMCTS, the MoJ coordinated the development of a triage process for trials listed in the Magistrates’ Courts prior to 28 March. The triage process aims to maximise the effectiveness of court hearings through early identification of issues and a clear understanding of the needs of victims and witnesses in domestic abuse cases.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department's White Paper, A Smarter Approach to Sentencing, published on 16 September 2020, whether he plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of using (a) community settings and (b) parental involvement in youth offender panels prior to bringing forward legislative proposals on youth sentencing.

We are aware that problem-solving approaches work well within the current youth justice system, and we recognise that effective multi-agency working can have a positive impact on a child’s rehabilitation. In the Smarter Approach to Sentencing White Paper, published on 16 September 2020, we proposed pilots for adult problem-solving courts. We are keen to learn from these pilots, to explore problem-solving approaches in the youth justice system and build the evidence base for the use of panels in youth justice beyond their current use for Referral Orders.

Youth Offender Panels already operate for children who are given Referral Orders; parents are always requested to join both the initial panel meeting and the review meetings. The guidance on Referral Orders is clear that constructive engagement with the child’s parents or carers is an important aspect of the youth offender panel process. Youth Offender Panels must also take place in spaces that are safe, appropriate and practical to do so and Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) are encouraged to hold Panels in an inclusive community-based settings. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/young-offenders-referral-orders

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Victims Strategy, what steps he has taken to introduce uniform standards and a new framework of indicators for (a) centrally funded victims services, (b) PCCs, and (c) Sexual Assault Referral Centres.

The Government has taken steps to improve the funding for victims’ services as part of the Victims Strategy, and with greater investment comes with greater accountability.

Since 2014 grant agreements for all Ministry of Justice nationally funded victims’ services have included reporting standards to demonstrate accountability, accuracy and robustness of data. To satisfy these standards, victims’ services must complete biannual returns capturing data on spend, outputs and outcomes.

In addition, from April 2020 we have introduced new reporting standards for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) to ensure we are capturing quality data on victims’ services at the local level.

In England, the Department of Health and Social Care funded Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) have been measured against national indicators since 2016 with SARC services reporting against a national data set on a quarterly basis.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Government's Victim Strategy, what steps he has taken to require that Police and Crime Commissioners ensure that restorative justice services are available in their areas.

The Ministry of Justice provides funding to Police and Crime Commissioners. The Grant Agreement in place requires Police and Crime Commissioners to provide or commission a wide range of local support services for victims, including Restorative Justice services, supporting the commitment in the Victim Strategy.

Restorative Justice services are well established within local commissioned victim support services commissioned through Police and Crime Commissioners. Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code), all victims have the right to receive information about how to access Restorative Justice services in their local area in order to participate if they wish to do so.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many applications for special measures at court were (a) made and (b) granted in each of the last five years.

HM Courts and Tribunals does not hold the data centrally on how many applications for special measures at court were (a) made and (b) granted in each of the last five years.

Applications made at court are recorded but do not identify the type or the specific volumes of each which are received and granted.

Similarly judicial directions are made but there is no categorisation to which aspect of a case these refer or if they are in response to a particular application.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Victims Strategy, what progress has been made on publishing revised police guidance on interviewing and supporting victims.

The Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) guidance is an important document in providing the police with good practice advice on the process and considerations for interviewing victims and witnesses, and preparing them to give their best evidence in court.

The Ministry of Justice remains committed to working with criminal justice partners to update and align the ABE guidance to reflect the upcoming changes to the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code).

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he has taken to (a) develop an online information hub for victims and (b) improve the allocation of funding for victims services as part of the Victims Strategy.

(A) An online hub for victims is already available: https://www.victimandwitnessinformation.org.uk/ providing information based on victim need. It also provides a search facility so victims can access free local support based on their needs.

(B) The Government has taken steps to improve the funding for victims services as part of the Victims Strategy. We have brought greater sustainability to the sector through multi-year grant settlements, awarding three-year funding (2019-2022) to provide sexual violence services with greater stability and security to ensure they can focus on delivering their essential services.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, £25 million out of the £76 million government package of support to charities supporting vulnerable people, was ringfenced for sexual violence and domestic abuse support services to ensure they continue providing their vital services.

More recently, in recognition of the complexity of the wider victim support funding landscape, the Government has committed to developing a Victims Funding Strategy underpinned by a new delivery model. This will consider how to place the victim support sector on a more sustainable footing, ensuring that commissioning is joined up and not fragmented between departments and agencies, and to improve service provision.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to make an assessment of the effectiveness of short-term custodial sentences below six months in duration for children before bringing forward legislative proposals on sentencing.

The reoffending rate for children is the highest in the criminal justice system and particularly for those children sentenced to short periods in custody. That is why we are proposing changes to strengthen community sentences, which can be more effective at reducing reoffending, to give courts more confidence in their ability to act as a robust sentencing option. However, we are clear that the courts must always have the option to impose custody, including short custodial sentences where necessary.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to make an assessment of the potential effect on capacity in young offender institutions of proposed changes to youth sentencing before bringing forward legislative proposals.

The Smarter Approach to Sentencing White Paper, which was published on 16 September 2020, included impact assessments which outline the impact the proposed changes would have on Youth Custody Services (YCS).

The Government is aware that the Youth Custody Service may face an increased population due to some individuals spending longer in custody than they otherwise would. However, our assessment has shown that reform of the Detention and Training Order will result in an increase in the youth custody population of fewer than 50 offenders in steady state by 2024/25.

The impact assessments can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-smarter-approach-to-sentencing.

The YCS regularly reviews capacity of youth secure establishments, engaging with secure settings to ensure that children continue to be placed based on their needs and requirements, which may change over time.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how long the backlog in youth courts was in each quarter since the second quarter of 2015.

Jun-16

Sep-16

Dec-16

Mar-17

Jun-17

Sep-17

Dec-17

Mar-18

10,283

10,291

10,616

10,256

10,434

10,188

10,324

9,926

Jun-18

Sep-18

Dec-18

Mar-19

Jun-19

Sep-19

Dec-19

Mar-20

9,847

9,786

9,636

9,568

9,826

9,485

9,569

9,938

Data show number of outstanding youth cases in each quarter. It should be noted that this data has only been captured nationally since April 2016

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average length of time from (a) offence to charge and (b) offence to completion in the youth courts was in each quarter since the second quarter of 2015.

The data requested is published by the Youth Justice Board and can be found here (in Annex E-average time from offence to completion): https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/youth-justice-statistics-2018-to-2019

Please note that the figures for 2020 have not yet been published.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many convictions there have been of landlords offering accommodation in return for sex under the offence of causing prostitution for gain under section 52 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in the last 12 months.

It is not possible to identify from centrally held data the number of offenders convicted for arrangements where sex had been requested in return for the provision of accommodation under section 52 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This particular behaviour cannot be disaggregated from broader “sexual offences” under the Act.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Solicitor's Regulation Authority on ensuring good practice among immigration solicitors.

The legal profession in England and Wales is independent of Government and solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Solicitors must comply with detailed Code of Conduct, which ensures that high standards of conduct are met.

The SRA has undertaken a range of work including carrying out research and a thematic review into the quality of service delivery, and consulting on changes to their Standards and Regulations to confirm regulatory arrangements for immigration solicitors.

Guidance was published for the profession to accompany the thematic review, which highlighted common risks that solicitors and firms face when they provide immigration services.

The SRA Risk Outlook also regularly reminds the profession of managing risks involved with working with vulnerable clients, which includes those seeking immigration work.

The SRA is already working with charities, consumer representatives, provider representatives, other regulators and the Legal Ombudsman to consider whether there is more they can do to help ensure immigrants and asylum seekers understand their rights and can access quality advice.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many breaches of community orders imposed by (a) youth, (b) family, and (c) all courts have (i) been processed and (i) are outstanding since 23 March 2020.

We cannot provide information from the beginning of 2020, as that information forms a subset of the Criminal Justice Statistics data that is part of Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) National Statistics output, which will be published later in 2020 (quarter 1 2020 is due for publication in August 2020) in line with the Code of Practice for statistics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused MoJ to change its data gathering, access and release practices, focusing efforts on priority analysis and statistics. Their statement explains this further.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of delays in trials as a result of the covid-19 outbreak, on justice outcomes.

COVID-19 has been an unprecedented challenge for the criminal justice system, but we have continued to deliver justice throughout. The UK has been a global leader and we are ahead of most comparable systems.

Social distancing meant jury trials were paused, but the Courts did not stop. Across all Jurisdictions 159 Courts remained fully open to the public, and our ambitious use of technology has led to the Cloud Video Platform (CVP) being operational in over 100 courts, 90 police custody suites and 30 prisons, enabling us to conduct over 6,000 hearings on this platform. We will continue to roll this out at pace, and the benefits will be felt long after the pandemic has ended.

HMCTS have worked hard to keep Courts open and jury trials have now resumed. HMCTS are pursuing an ambitious plan to continue to increase capacity. Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been protecting the public which is why we have made sure the most urgent cases, such as domestic violence and overnight custody cases, have been prioritised.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the level of the backlog in (a) courts and (b) tribunals in each region in each of the last six months.

In response to the level of the backlog in (a) courts in each region in each of the last six months, National Statistics on the level of outstanding work in the crown and magistrates’ courts for the first and second quarter of 2020 are due for publication in June and September 2020 respectively at the following link; https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/criminal-court-statistics. National Statistics for the period up to December 2019 have been published at the same link. National Statistics on the level of outstanding work in the family and civil courts are not available.

In response to the level of the backlog in (b) tribunals in each region in each of the last six months, data for the period October 2019 to March 2020 is provided at Annex A. These figures represent the total number of cases outstanding in each jurisdiction. Official Statistics on the level of outstanding work in tribunals for the second quarter of 2020 are due for publication in September 2020 at the following link; https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics.

Figures on the level of outstanding work at the national level in the largest jurisdictions across HM Courts & Tribunals Service are published as monthly management information at the following link; https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmcts-management-information. The exception to this is the civil courts, for which figures relating to outstanding work are not currently collated because a large proportion of cases that begin are subsequently settled out of court or discontinued without HMCTS being notified. The latest figures relate to April 2020 for most jurisdictions and March for the family courts.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to eliminate barriers to third sector provision of probation services.

Voluntary and third sector organisations play a critical role in supporting rehabilitation and helping offenders turn their lives around. The Ministry of Justice is working closely with Clinks, the umbrella group for third sector organisations in criminal justice, to ensure we harness the full range of expertise and experience in the sector as part of the future probation system. This includes plans for a Dynamic Framework which will allow the National Probation Service (and other commissioners) to directly commission services in a way that encourages the participation of smaller suppliers and is responsive to the needs of local areas. We will set out further information shortly regarding services to be commissioned through the Dynamic Framework.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to give victims of crime enforceable rights in the criminal justice system.

This Government is fully committed to introducing a Victims’ Law but first, we need to complete the revision of the Victims’ Code to address its complexity, accessibility and to establish a clear set of rights for victims.

Our consultation ‘Improving the Victims’ Code’ is due to close on the 28th of May. We will publish a finalised version of the revised Victims’ Code as part of the Government’s response as soon as possible thereafter and bring it into force later this year.

The revised Code will be followed by a consultation on a Victims’ Law that will guarantee victims’ their rights and the level of support they can expect.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of prisoners newly admitted from courts have been tested for covid-19 before arrival at prison, since 4 March 2020.

Although there is some testing conducted on symptomatic prisoners, COVID-19 testing is not as yet a routine part of the prison reception process. New cohorting strategies have been developed however, and as a result prisons are implementing units to isolate the sick, shield the vulnerable and quarantine new arrivals for a period of 14 days to reduce risk of transmission.

All new receptions into prison are screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 by healthcare professionals.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of suspects that have been released on remand as a result of delays in court proceedings during the covid-19 outbreak.

The requested data is not available at this time. Data relating to releases from prison covering January to March 2020 is planned for publication in July 2020 and data covering April to June 2020 is planned for publication in October 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been admitted to prison since the start of the covid-19 lockdown on 23 March 2020; and how many of those prisoners were tested for covid-19 as part of the prison admission process.

Prison receptions data covering January – March 2020 is planned for publication in July 2020 and receptions data covering April – June 2020 is planned for publication in October 2020.

Although official statistical prison receptions data is unavailable at this time, our published management information suggests that as of 24th April, the prison population is 81,124[1], showing a reduction of 2,744 since 28th February 2020 and giving the estate headroom of 4,381. This data is not yet verified.

Although tests are conducted on symptomatic prisoners, COVID-19 testing is not as yet a routine part of the prison reception process. New cohorting strategies have been developed however, and as a result prisons are implementing units to isolate the sick, shield the vulnerable and cohort new arrivals to reduce risk of transmission.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-population-figures-2020

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress he has made on installing temporary sleeper pods in prisons to aid the isolating of covid-19 prisoners; how many pods have been ordered; and how long those pods are planned to be used.

Creating additional space in the existing estate, alongside measures to limit prisoner movement and releasing low-risk offenders, will help prevent our NHS being overwhelmed.

We began installing the first wave of 500 temporary, single occupancy cells in the week commencing 6 April. So far, 300 units have now been delivered to eight HMPPS sites and installation is in progress. The first 48 were installed at HMP North Sea Camp and we have also installed 24 cells at both HMPs Highpoint and Hollesley Bay. These are undergoing the final operational checks before being occupied. Installation continues at HMPs Littlehey, Moorland/Lindholme, Wymott, Coldingley and Hatfield.

Our ambition is to secure and install 2000 additional cells to help contain the spread of COVID-19 within our prisons. A further 80 single occupancy cells have been confirmed to hire, bringing the total confirmed at 580. We are successfully working with further companies to secure hundreds more to place across the prison estate.

These units are a temporary measure to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Prisoners will return to their usual accommodation arrangements when safe to do so. Once the units are no longer required they will be removed.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)