Priti Patel Portrait

Priti Patel

Conservative - Witham

First elected: 6th May 2010


1 APPG membership (as of 8 Apr 2024)
Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers
3 Former APPG memberships
East of England, Freeports, Motorsport
Home Secretary
24th Jul 2019 - 6th Sep 2022
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
27th Feb 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Foreign Affairs Committee
20th Feb 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls
27th Feb 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Secretary of State for International Development
14th Jul 2016 - 8th Nov 2017
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Cabinet)
8th May 2015 - 14th Jul 2016
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jul 2014 - 8th May 2015
Members' Expenses Committee
18th Jul 2011 - 30th Mar 2015
Public Administration Committee
5th Dec 2011 - 23rd Jun 2014
Draft Deregulation Bill (Joint Committee)
10th Jul 2013 - 11th Dec 2013


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Priti Patel has voted in 470 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2023 - Northern Ireland - View Vote Context
Priti Patel voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 515 Noes - 29
22 Mar 2023 - CRIMINAL LAW - View Vote Context
Priti Patel voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 282 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 290 Noes - 14
4 Dec 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Priti Patel voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 217 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 381 Noes - 37
View All Priti Patel 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
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(57 debate interactions)
Yvette Cooper (Labour)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department
(54 debate interactions)
Nick Thomas-Symonds (Labour)
Shadow Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
(42 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(1573 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(29 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(27 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Nationality and Borders Act 2022
(7,338 words contributed)
National Security Act 2023
(6,642 words contributed)
Online Safety Act 2023
(4,711 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Priti Patel's debates

Witham 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).

Priti Patel has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Priti Patel

22nd March 2024
Priti Patel signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Friday 22nd March 2024

Town and Country Planning

Tabled by: Priti Patel (Conservative - Witham)
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Town and Country Planning (Former RAF Airfield Wethersfield) (Accommodation for Asylum-Seekers etc.) Special Development Order 2024 (S.I., 2024, No. 411), dated 20 March 2024, a copy of which was laid before this House on 21 March 2024, be …
2 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 2
21st March 2024
Priti Patel signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 21st March 2024

Town and Country Planning

Tabled by: Edward Leigh (Conservative - Gainsborough)
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Town and Country Planning (Former RAF Scampton) (Accommodation for Asylum-Seekers etc.) Special Development Order 2024 (S.I., 2024, No. 412), dated 20 March 2024, a copy of which was laid before this House on 21 March 2024, be annulled.
22 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 22
View All Priti Patel's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Priti Patel, 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.


Priti Patel has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Priti Patel has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

12 Bills introduced by Priti Patel

Introduced: 11th May 2022

Make provision about threats to national security from espionage, sabotage and persons acting for foreign powers; about the extra-territorial application of Part 2 of the Serious Crime Act 2007; about the award of damages in proceedings relating to national security and the payment of damages at risk of being used for the purposes of terrorism; about the availability of legal aid to persons connected with terrorism; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 11th July 2023 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 11th May 2022

A Bill to make provision for new offences relating to public order; to make provision about stop and search powers; to make provision about the exercise of police functions relating to public order; to make provision about proceedings by the Secretary of State relating to protest-related activities; to make provision about serious disruption prevention orders; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 2nd May 2023 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 6th July 2021

Make provision about nationality, asylum and immigration; to make provision about victims of slavery or human trafficking; to provide a power for Tribunals to charge participants where their behaviour has wasted the Tribunal’s resources; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 19th March 2020

A Bill to make provision about the application of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises; and to confer power to amend that order in future for the purposes of changing the premises to which it applies.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 3rd March 2020

To make provision in relation to domestic abuse; to make provision for and in connection with the establishment of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner; to prohibit cross-examination in person in family proceedings in certain circumstances; to make provision about certain violent or sexual offences, and offences involving other abusive behaviour, committed outside the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 5th March 2020

A Bill to make provision to end rights to free movement of persons under retained EU law and to repeal other retained EU law relating to immigration; to confer power to modify retained direct EU legislation relating to social security co-ordination; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 11th November 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 24th September 2020

A Bill to make provision for, and in connection with, the authorisation of criminal conduct in the course of, or otherwise in connection with, the conduct of covert human intelligence sources.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 1st March 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 1st March 2022

A Bill to Set up a register of overseas entities and their beneficial owners and require overseas entities who own land to register in certain circumstances; to make provision about unexplained wealth orders; and to make provision about sanctions.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 14th March 2022 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 8th January 2020

To provide for the payment out of money provided by Parliament of expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State or a government department under, or in connection with, the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 8th June 2020 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to amend the amount of the limit in section 15 of the Commonwealth Development Corporation Act 1999 on the government’s financial assistance.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 23rd February 2017 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision approving for the purposes of section 8 of the European Union Act 2011 certain draft decisions under Article 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

This Bill received Royal Assent on 17th December 2015 and was enacted into law.


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 make provision for a code of practice to be observed by all those working in the criminal justice system setting out the rights of victims of crime and their families; and for connected purposes;

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 14th December 2011

Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
9th Nov 2023
the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Church Commissioners will review the decision to demolish the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Birch, Essex.

The Church Commissioners have been closely involved with local and diocesan discussions on the future of St Peter & St Paul, Birch. The Commissioners are responsible for the oversight and management of the relevant legislation and have ensured that the decision-making to allow demolition has followed due process


Whilst the Commissioners have no plans to review the decision, it is now for the Diocese of Chelmsford to take forward the demolition (or not as they may decide).

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the Commission has had recent discussions with any party on utilising the space in Portcullis House previously occupied by fig trees; or if the Commission has received any representations by (a) hon. Members and (b) stakeholders on this matter.

The trees in Portcullis House were removed as they had become root bound, and as a result were no longer viable.

House teams are developing plans for the space in the Portcullis House atrium now the trees have been removed. The use of the space has been raised with the Administration Committee and it discussed the matter on 31 October. The Committee will be consulted later this year on the plans as they evolve.

21st Nov 2022
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Crown Prosecution Service's support of victims of crime.

Improving the experience of victims is a priority for the CPS and is an important part of building public confidence. His Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) independently assesses the CPS to help drive improvement and build public confidence in the prosecution process. Last year, in response to findings from HMCPSI about CPS communication with victims, the CPS commissioned independent research to better understand victims’ needs and have since committed to transforming the service they provide to every victim. A long-term victim transformation programme is underway to improve the way the CPS communicates and engages with victims. This includes plans for a new universal service to improve the minimum level of service that all victims receive and an enhanced service offer for victims with the greatest need. As part of this transformation programme, the CPS has also committed to innovate and pilot new ways to strengthen engagement with victims. Building on the work of Operation Soteria to improve the support victims of rape receive, the CPS has extended the number of CPS Areas testing new approaches. Over half of CPS Areas are now testing new activities to improve the way they communicate and engage with rape victims. This includes introducing more contact points, different methods of communications, better information sharing and collaborative working with partners. In addition to the CPS online guide for victims of rape and sexual offences published in December 2021, a new guide specifically for all victims of crime has been prepared and is available on the CPS website. The guides clarify the role of the CPS within the wider Criminal Justice System, explain how the CPS makes decisions in cases, what support is available to victims to help them give their best evidence and what their Rights are under the Victims’ Code.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Attorney General, what discussions she has had with the Director of Public Prosecutions on the Crown Prosecution Service making representations on compensation orders in criminal cases for victims of crime.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is committed to delivering justice for victims of crime, and where appropriate this includes obtaining compensation orders. Section 134 of the Sentencing Act 2020 sets out that compensation orders are available to the court when an offender is convicted of an offence. HM Courts and Tribunal Service is responsible for the enforcement of any compensation order made. The CPS has produced publicly available guidance which states that all CPS prosecutors should be ready to assist the court to reach the appropriate decision as to sentence, which includes drawing the court's attention to its obligation to consider compensation, inviting them to make such an order where appropriate and providing information in order to assess an appropriate award. Where a case relates to acquisitive crime, the matter will be dealt with by the Proceeds of Crime Division who will seek a Confiscation Order and, where there are identifiable victims, will also seek a compensation order. £118m out of £530m received in payment of confiscation orders over the last five years have been returned to victims by way of compensation.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
22nd Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what guidance his Department has issued to (a) Ministers and (b) staff on maintaining the confidentiality of official documents after they leave office.

In addition to the requirements set out in the Ministerial Code, Ministers are reminded on leaving office of their ongoing duty of confidentiality and the Official Secrets Act.

Departments and agencies are obliged to remind those who leave the civil service that they remain subject to the requirement in Civil Service Code not to disclose official information without authority, which continues to apply after leaving their role, as well as the Official Secrets Act.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out more detail on the requirements on civil servants with regards to maintaining confidentiality, including key principles (section 4.1.3.a.) and standards (4.2.4), and the obligations on departments and agencies (4.2.1).



Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the (a) total and (b) full-time equivalent head count was of the civil service in each year since 1997.

Civil service employment on both a headcount and full-time equivalent basis since 1997 is shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Civil Service employment on both a headcount and full-time equivalent basis since 1997 (thousands)

Reference point

Headcount

Full-time Equivalent (FTE)

Mar-97

496 [1]

495

Mar-98

484 [1]

481

Mar-99

497

475

Mar-00

509

485

Mar-01

519

494

Mar-02

529

502

Mar-03

552

521

Mar-04

565

534

Mar-05

558

525

Mar-06

555

521

Mar-07

538

504

Mar-08

518

485

Mar-09

519

485

Mar-10

522

487

Mar-11

508

465

Mar-12

459

424

Mar-13

443

409

Mar-14

435

401

Mar-15

434

400

Mar-16

419

387

Mar-17

419

389

Mar-18

430

399

Mar-19

446

414

Mar-20

456

423

Mar-21

505

468

Mar-22

512

480

Mar-23

521

489

Sep-23

529

496

Sources:

1997-1998 Civil Service Statistics, Cabinet Office. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/civil-service-statistics

1999-2023 Public Sector Employment Statistics, ONS

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/publicsectorpersonnel/datasets/publicsectoremploymentreferencetable

Notes:

1. All data refer to total Civil Service employment for both permanent and temporary/casual employees, except for 1997 and 1998 headcount numbers. The figures for 1997 and 1998 do not include temporary/casual employees in the headcount totals as they are not available.

2. ONS Public Sector Employment Statistics is the preferred headline measure for Civil Service employment since 1999. Civil Service Statistics, published annually by the Cabinet Office, provides more detailed demographic information for the Civil Service workforce, and prior to 1999, also provides the preferred headline measure for Civil Service employment.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many civil servants were employed in each (a) Government department and (b) other public sector bodies by (i) head count and (ii) full time equivalent in each year since 1997.

Civil Service employment on both a headcount and full-time equivalent basis by government departments and their executive agencies and Crown NDPBs has been published on a quarterly basis since 2005 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as part of Public Sector Employment Statistics. The ONS statistics are our preferred headline measure for overall Civil Service and departmental employment. Departmental information back to 2005 can be accessed from the following ONS releases:

2011 to 2023

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/publicsectorpersonnel/datasets/publicsectoremploymentreferencetable

2010

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20100910182617mp_/http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/Table6AllDepts.xls

2009

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20090904133714mp_/http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/Table6AllDepts.xls

2008

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20080620171700mp_/http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/Table6AllDepts.xls

2007

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20070705132738mp_/http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/Table6AllDepts.xls

2006

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20070202114523/http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/pse0906.pdf

2005

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20090104164723mp_/http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/documents/xls/statistics/qpses/pses_q1_2005_revised_jan06.xls

Information on Civil Service employment, on both a headcount and full-time equivalent basis by government department and their executive agencies and Crown NDPBs, is also available and published annually by Cabinet Office as part of Civil Service Statistics and can be accessed from the webpages below:

2006 to 2023 https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/civil-service-statistics

1970 to 2005 https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20110422215349/http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/about/resources/stats-archive/archived-reports.aspx

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost was of civil service salaries in each year since 1997.

The Cabinet Office does not hold actual outturn salary cost information for all Civil Service departments and organisations since 1997.

However, estimated nominal Civil Service salary costs have previously been calculated for the years 2010 to 2023. These are provided in Table 1 below.

Table 1

Year

Estimated nominal salary cost (£ billions)

2010

12.7

2011

12.4

2012

11.6

2013

11.4

2014

11.6

2015

11.7

2016

11.6

2017

11.8

2018

12.4

2019

13.2

2020

14.0

2021

15.4

2022

16.6

2023

17.8

Source: Civil Service Statistics

Figures are based on Civil Service salaries as at 31st March in each year, and have been adjusted for missing values. They have not been adjusted for inflation (i.e. they are nominal values).

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent progress his Department has made on implementing the public bodies reform programme 2020 to 2025; and if he will make an estimate of the impact of that reform programme on costs to the public purse (i) so far and (ii) in each of the next three financial years.

To date the Public Bodies Reform Programme 2020 to 2025 and wider Public Bodies Team has provided value for money for the taxpayer through:

  • conducting a prototype of corporate service benchmarking across 90 arm’s length bodies (ALBs), uncovering spend discrepancies and identifying scope for savings if ALB spending is brought in-line with the median spend;

  • the Public Bodies Review Programme, which commits departments to review 125 ALBs, covering 90% of ALB expenditure. Departments are expected to identify 5% operating expenditure savings in each full-scale review. So far, 60% of the 125 planned reviews have been initiated and £35 million in efficiency savings identified;

  • tightening approval processes for new ALBs, diverting almost 70% of proposed ALBs to less expensive delivery options;

  • publishing codes of practice for ALBs to improve financial oversight and risk management between department and ALBs; and

  • introducing quarterly non-executive (NED) board member inductions.

The Public Bodies Reform Programme runs until 31 March 2025. The Government will take a decision about the priorities for future public bodies reform in due course.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an estimate of the cost to the public purse of maintaining under-utilised (a) buildings, (b) other property and (c) land held by Government departments in the last 12 months.

The requested information is not centrally held by the Cabinet Office and complying with this request would incur a disproportionate cost to the Department. Estates operations, performance and finances are for the operating department to manage themselves.

The Government Property Strategy, published August 2022, commits to a smaller, better, greener estate, disposing of surplus, under-utilised and poor quality property to enable efficiency savings and bring in capital receipts. The full report can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-property-strategy-2022-2030

Managing Public Money sets out protocols for the disposal and transfer of surplus property and land assets at Annex A4.15, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/managing-public-money.

Departments can upload data on properties or land that are no longer required for operational purposes on the Government Property Finder (https://www.gov.uk/find-government-property) and / or Register of Surplus Land (https://www.data.gov.uk/dataset/28c593bf-85fa-4676-a47b-45189d396ed9/land-register-of-surplus-land).

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an estimate of the total value of (a) land, (b) buildings and (c) other property owned by the Government.

The Government Property Strategy, published August 2022, commits to a smaller, better, greener estate, disposing of surplus, under-utilised and poor quality property to enable efficiency savings and bring in capital receipts. The full report can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-property-strategy-2022-2030

Full information on the spend for each site and the functions performed as well as property and land leases across the Government is held by individual departments and is not centrally held. The answer would therefore incur a disproportionate cost to the Cabinet Office. Additionally, disclosing information on rent and leases is often deemed commercially sensitive and may undermine businesses' trust in us as a commercial partner.

Information on the total land value of Government owned land, buildings and other property is published on gov.uk as part of the State of the Estate 2021-2022 (SofTE) report, Section 1.1, found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/6436b48e877741000c68d867/State-of-The-Estate-21-22-Accessible.pdf

From the SofTE report, Section 1.1, the Central government estate was valued at £188.2bn. The total value of (a) land was £4.7bn with (b) buildings and (c) other property being a combined £183.5bn between 2020-21.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) buildings, (b) other properties and (c) land leased by the Government have leases that are due to expire in each of the next ten years; how much the Government pays for each site each year; and what functions are performed on each site.

The Government Property Strategy, published August 2022, commits to a smaller, better, greener estate, disposing of surplus, under-utilised and poor quality property to enable efficiency savings and bring in capital receipts. The full report can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-property-strategy-2022-2030

Full information on the spend for each site and the functions performed as well as property and land leases across the Government is held by individual departments and is not centrally held. The answer would therefore incur a disproportionate cost to the Cabinet Office. Additionally, disclosing information on rent and leases is often deemed commercially sensitive and may undermine businesses' trust in us as a commercial partner.

Information on the total land value of Government owned land, buildings and other property is published on gov.uk as part of the State of the Estate 2021-2022 (SofTE) report, Section 1.1, found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/6436b48e877741000c68d867/State-of-The-Estate-21-22-Accessible.pdf

From the SofTE report, Section 1.1, the Central government estate was valued at £188.2bn. The total value of (a) land was £4.7bn with (b) buildings and (c) other property being a combined £183.5bn between 2020-21.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
15th Dec 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has made a recent assessment of the effectiveness of the Recruiting for vacancies requiring National Security Vetting clearance: code of practice; whether he has made a recent estimate of the (a) number and (b) proportion of vacancies advertised that do not comply with the code of practice; and what recourse applicants have if they are unable to apply for an advertised vacancy which does not comply with the code of practice.

The code of practice is in place to ensure that those who do not already hold National Security Vetting are not at a disadvantage when applying for a role in the Civil Service.

Whilst the Cabinet Office does not currently collect data on the number or proportion of vacancies advertised that do not comply with the code of practice, the government aims to reduce non-compliance.

Candidates unable to apply for an advertised vacancy which does not comply with the National Security Vetting Code of Practice may raise a complaint with the recruiting department in the first instance. If they remain dissatisfied and the vacancy was advertised publicly, they may bring their complaint to the Civil Service Commission on the basis they feel the selection for appointment has not met the requirements of the Civil Service Recruitment Principles. In open competitions anyone who wishes must be allowed to apply.

21st Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many civil servants are entitled to leave for (a) trade union and (b) activities; what assessment he has made of the total value of facilities provided to trade unions; and what estimate he has made of the total cost to the public purse of facility time.

There are 4,427 Trade Union representatives across the civil service. Trade union representatives have a statutory right to reasonable unpaid time off to carry out trade union activities. Facility time in the Civil Service as of the most recently reported annual data cost approximately £10 million.

28th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will publish (a) reports and (b) briefings provided to (i) Ministers and (ii) officials in her Department and its predecessor Departments by the (A) former UK Shareholder Executive and (B) UK Government Investments on the Horizon IT system.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is looking into the nature of information provided to Ministers and officials on the Horizon system. It would be wrong for the Government to prejudice its work. Government continues to cooperate fully with the Inquiry.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has made an assessment of the adequacy of Royal Mail's compliance with the universal service obligation in each postal code area in Witham constituency in each week of (a) 2023 and (b) 2024; on how many occasions each post code area in (i) Essex and (ii) Witham constituency did not receive (A) letters and (B) parcels in accordance with the universal service obligation since 1 January 2023; and what steps she is taking to ensure that Royal Mail complies with the universal service obligation in (1) Essex and (2) Witham constituency.

As the independent regulator for the postal sector, it is for Ofcom to monitor Royal Mail’s delivery of the universal service obligation and decide how to respond should Royal Mail fail to meet its obligations.

Ofcom fined the business £5.6m for failing to meet its service delivery targets in 2022-23 and is closely monitoring Royal Mail’s performance to ensure service issues are addressed as a priority.

I met Mr Seidenberg, the CEO of Royal Mail’s parent company, International Distributions Services, to directly raise concerns about performance and will continue to do so if service levels do not improve.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what weighting the Post Office Horizon compensation scheme gives to individual sub-postmaster’s (a) mental health, (b) physical health and (c) family circumstances when calculating compensation offers.

Across the compensation schemes, cases are assessed individually on their facts in accordance with established legal principles. On the Horizon Shortfall Scheme (HSS) and GLO scheme, postmasters can claim for any losses they have experienced as a result of Horizon shortfalls. Similarly, postmasters with overturned convictions can claim for any loss they have suffered as a result of their conviction. These losses can include the impact on their mental or physical health.

Where family members have also been affected, the joint losses are also recoverable under the various Horizon-related compensation schemes.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether she is taking steps to secure private investment to develop an offshore energy grid in the East of England.

Reinforcement of the electricity network is being delivered through a range of approaches, including upgrades to existing infrastructure, building innovative offshore transmission routes, undergrounded new cabling in protected areas and, where necessary building new overhead lines. Ofgem’s regulatory frameworks are designed to encourage anticipatory investment into the grid whether on or offshore and, through the Energy Act 2023, we enabled competitions in electricity networks, opening this market to new parties for the first time.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether she plans to approve future sites for offshore wind farms in the North Sea.

Applications for development consent for offshore wind projects under the Planning Act 2008 progress through an Examination process by the Planning Inspectorate and will result in the final decision taken by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero. Due to the Secretary of State’s quasi-judicial role in taking such decisions it would not be appropriate to comment further. The Scottish Ministers also have executively devolved powers in relation to applications for consent under s.36 of the Electricity Act 1989 throughout Scotland’s entire marine region (inshore and offshore).

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, with reference to (a) page 61 of the Autumn Statement 2023 and (b) the connections action plan, when she plans to publish eligibility criteria for community benefits.

On 22 November, the Government published its community benefits for transmission network infrastructure government response. Within this we confirmed our intention for eligibility for wider community benefits to be agreed on a project-by-project basis. For electricity bill discounts, we will work up further proposals on eligibility, including on proximity, and will provide an update in 2024.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, with reference to page 61 of the Autumn Statement 2023 and page 64 of the connections action plan, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of including in the Strategic Spatial Energy Plan (SSEP) (a) the development of an offshore grid covering offshore wind farms off the coast of the East of England and (b) a reassessment of proposals from National Grid for the Norwich to Tilbury Great Grid Upgrade.

The Strategic Spatial Energy Plan will determine the optimal scale and location of energy infrastructure needed to transition to homegrown energy. This will inform the delivery of the Central Strategic Network Plan, which will consider what network and other infrastructure is needed to link new energy generation with end users.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will publish the number of planning applications for offshore wind farms that (a) have been approved and (b) are under consideration since 2010 broken down by (i) location and (ii) amount of new electricity that will be generated.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero publishes full details, including the capacity, location, and development status of Offshore Wind projects, in the Renewable Energy Planning Database (REPD). Updated following the end of each quarter, an extract from the October 2023 version can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/renewable-energy-planning-database-monthly-extract

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what estimate she has made of how much new energy generation from offshore wind farms due to connect to the Norwich substation has (a) consent, (b) an application under consideration and (c) an application pending.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is responsible for ensuring the electricity system is operated safely, reliably and efficiently and for managing the electricity market. The ESO sets out the high-level design for the necessary transmission through independent, evidenced based assessment of generation connection. Ofgem, the regulator has ultimate oversight to ensure regulated monopoly companies are performing their duties as we expect them to.

The Department cannot comment on specific issues regarding a proposed infrastructure project to avoid prejudicing any ultimate planning decision. Information about past, current and pending planning consents for projects can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website at https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what estimate she has made of how much new energy generation from offshore wind farms the transmission network between Norwich and Tilbury can sustain.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is responsible for ensuring the electricity system is operated safely, reliably and efficiently and for managing the electricity market. The ESO sets out the high-level design for the necessary transmission through independent, evidenced based assessment. National Grid Electricity Transmission, as the transmission owner for England and Wales, are responsible for the development of that proposed project. NGET recently published further information on their website related to this matter as part of their latest consultation.

Given the Secretary of State’s role as the decision-taker in the consenting process for nationally significant infrastructure, the Department cannot comment on specific issues regarding a proposed infrastructure project to avoid prejudicing future planning decisions.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what progress has been made on the Shared Rural Network arrangements to improve (a) outdoor and (b) indoor 4G coverage in (i) Essex and (ii) Witham constituency.

This Government is taking steps to improve both 4G and 5G coverage across the country.

Improvements in 4G coverage have already started to be delivered through the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme, which is targeting areas of the country with partial or no coverage. This agreement will see the government and industry jointly invest over £1 billion to increase outdoor 4G mobile coverage across the UK to 95% by the end of 2025. All four MNOs expect to increase coverage in both Witham and the East of England as they fill partial ‘not spots’ in these areas.

In addition to the SRN, the mobile network operators invest around £2 billion annually in enhancing and improving their networks.

In our Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, published in April this year, we set out the Government’s vision for wireless connectivity and shared a new ambition for nationwide coverage of higher quality standalone 5G in all populated areas by 2030. This provides a long-term ambition to help the private sector invest in 5G networks by supporting competition, driving down deployment costs and driving the take-up of innovative, 5G-enabled tech by the business and the public sector.

The Department provides extensive guidance for local authorities and operators to help facilitate broadband and mobile deployment through the Digital Connectivity Portal. We have also taken steps to make it easier and cheaper for operators to deploy 4G and 5G. This includes reforming the planning system in England. Alongside this, measures within the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Act 2022, will support upgrades of sites to 5G.

23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps her Department is taking to improve (a) 4G and (b) 5G coverage in (i) Essex and (ii) Witham constituency.

This Government is taking steps to improve both 4G and 5G coverage across the country.

Improvements in 4G coverage have already started to be delivered through the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme, which is targeting areas of the country with partial or no coverage. This agreement will see the government and industry jointly invest over £1 billion to increase outdoor 4G mobile coverage across the UK to 95% by the end of 2025. All four MNOs expect to increase coverage in both Witham and the East of England as they fill partial ‘not spots’ in these areas.

In addition to the SRN, the mobile network operators invest around £2 billion annually in enhancing and improving their networks.

In our Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, published in April this year, we set out the Government’s vision for wireless connectivity and shared a new ambition for nationwide coverage of higher quality standalone 5G in all populated areas by 2030. This provides a long-term ambition to help the private sector invest in 5G networks by supporting competition, driving down deployment costs and driving the take-up of innovative, 5G-enabled tech by the business and the public sector.

The Department provides extensive guidance for local authorities and operators to help facilitate broadband and mobile deployment through the Digital Connectivity Portal. We have also taken steps to make it easier and cheaper for operators to deploy 4G and 5G. This includes reforming the planning system in England. Alongside this, measures within the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Act 2022, will support upgrades of sites to 5G.

16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what estimate she has made of how many households are affected by the retirement of the public switched telephone Network; and what steps she is taking with telecommunications providers to support vulnerable people so affected.

According to Ofcom’s latest figures, as of August 2023, more than 50% of the UK’s 30 million premises have already been moved from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The remaining phone lines will be moved by the telecoms industry in a phased migration between now and the end of 2025.

Ofcom is responsible for ensuring telecoms providers adhere to their regulatory obligations throughout the migration process, which includes protecting vulnerable consumers. Ofcom has published guidance which states that providers must take steps to identify at-risk consumers who are dependent on their landline and provide them with additional support.

Providers have a range of solutions to ensure vulnerable consumers receive additional support. These options include, for example: free battery back-up units; engineer supported installations; or hybrid landline phones. The Government is working together with Ofcom to ensure customers receive appropriate support and are protected throughout the migration.

My Department meets regularly with Communications Providers to monitor their migration process, and to ensure adequate provisions are in place to protect vulnerable consumers. This includes, but is not limited to, quarterly progress meetings with individual providers, quarterly meetings with all government departments/agencies, and monthly meetings with Ofcom.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support he is providing to businesses in the pharmaceutical sector to (a) expand their premises and (b) manufacture more products.

In 2021, the Government published the Life Sciences Vision, which set out an ambition to create a globally competitive environment for Life Science manufacturing investments. To help meet these ambitions and incentivise globally mobile manufacturing investments in the UK, the Office for Life Sciences launched the £60 million Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF) in March 2022. The LSIMF will provide capital grants for investment in the manufacture of human medicines (drug substance and drug product), medical diagnostics and medical technology products. The fund has received a large number of high-quality applications and we expect to announce the successful grant awards from spring 2023.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to make a decision on development consent for the East Anglia Green Energy Enablement project.

No planning application has yet been made, so I cannot answer that directly.

We are working flat out to minimise the impacts of network infrastructure on my Rt hon Friend’s constituents, and I pay tribute to her for championing their interests so assiduously.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits providing support for an offshore energy grid rather than the new overhead powerlines and pylons proposed as part of the East Anglia Green Energy Enablement project.

Private network operators, in this case National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET), are responsible for delivering network infrastructure necessary to meet consumer needs. This includes identifying preferred options for the infrastructure, considering a range of factors.

In the case of East Anglia Green, NGET recently published a letter to MPs outlining the total estimated lifetime costs of the onshore route, costing £1,136m, and the equivalent offshore option, costing £7,332m. Given the Secretary of State’s role in the consenting process for nationally significant infrastructure, no assessment has been made by the Department which would prejudice the outcome of the independent planning processes.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to make available financial support for businesses using heating oil.

The Government is in discussions with electricity suppliers and delivery bodies and will set out the timings for payments as soon as possible.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
3rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will withdraw the planning consent given to the Rivenhall Incinerator in 2010.

The Government has no plans to withdraw the planning consent given to the Rivenhall incinerator.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 January 2024 to Question 7553 on Apprentices: Taxation, what the process is for the reallocation of funds in apprenticeship accounts that have expired; and what the destination of those funds were in the latest period for which data is available.

The funds in levy-paying employers’ apprenticeship service accounts are distinct from, and operate on a different basis to, the department’s apprenticeships budget. The former represents funding for apprenticeships notionally available for use by individual levy-paying employers over a two-year period. The latter represents the total amount of funding available annually to support apprenticeships in England for all employers, including those who do not pay the apprenticeship levy.

The funds available to levy-paying employers through their apprenticeship service accounts are notionally hypothecated based on their levy contributions over a two-year period. These funds do not constitute a ‘physical’ pot of money; they should be considered more as credit that is available for each levy-paying employer to use if they wish.

When a levy-paying employer has an employee on an apprenticeship, their account will show their available funds being debited each month to reflect the cost of this training and assessment. In parallel but entirely separately, the training provider receives an equivalent value monthly payment directly from the department’s apprenticeships budget. These payments do not actually come from levy-paying employers’ accounts.

Since available funds in each levy-paying employer’s account are notionally hypothecated, there are no monies to ‘reallocate’ when unused funds expire after 24 months. The credit is either drawn down, and equivalent payments separately made to training providers from the department’s annual budget, or expires when not used and the department’s annual budget remains the same). The government expires funds after 24 months because otherwise levy-paying employers would accrue unreasonably large balances, with the potential to create financial commitments that the government has not planned to meet.

On average, 98% of the English apprenticeships budget has been spent over the last two financial years. If the department’s apprenticeships budget is not fully spent by the end of the financial year, funds are returned to HM Treasury in line with standard practice set out in the Consolidated Budgeting Guidance.

17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 January 2024 to Question 7553 on Apprentices: Taxation, what the total spend from apprenticeship levy accounts was in each year since 2017; and how much and what what proportion of that spend came through the (a) apprenticeship levy and (b) top-up.

The table below shows the total spend from levy-paying employers’ apprenticeship service accounts in each financial year since 2017/2018.

These figures do not cover the total spend on apprenticeships in levy-paying employers, such as additional payments for English and maths support and for taking on apprentices aged 16 to 18.

It is not possible to provide a breakdown of this spend by employers’ levy contributions and the 10% government top-up to those contributions.

Financial Year

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Levy spend from employer accounts (£m)

170

639

961

1,041

1,238

1,366

17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 January 2024 to Question 7553 on Apprentices: Taxation, what estimate he has made of the amount of apprenticeship levy that will expire and be returned in each month from December 2023 over the next three years.

The government introduced the apprenticeship levy to incentivise larger businesses to develop and invest in their own apprenticeship programmes whilst ensuring the availability of funding for smaller employers wanting to offer apprenticeships. Through the levy, the government is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion in the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes to boost the skills of their workforces.

The funds in apprenticeship service accounts are available for levy-paying employers to draw on for 24 months before they expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis. In December 2023, £104 million expired from levy-paying employers’ apprenticeship service accounts. Demand for apprenticeships is employer-led and the government does not have an estimate of future levy expiry from employers’ apprenticeship service accounts.

The funds available to levy-paying employers through their apprenticeship service accounts are not the same as the apprenticeships budget which funds apprenticeships in England for employers of all sizes. As such, expired funds from employers’ accounts do not represent funding that is lost to the system. Rather, the department directs this funding to supporting apprenticeships in small and medium-sized enterprises, to English and mathematics training for apprentices and to additional payments to employers, training providers and apprentices. Therefore, the department’s spend against its annual apprenticeship budget is a better indicator of the extent to which employers’ levy contributions are being utilised to drive skills development in England. On average, 98% of the English apprenticeships budget has been spent over the last two financial years.

19th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which (a) sectors and (b) employers were (i) most and (ii) least likely to utilise the funds provided through the apprenticeship levy in the latest period for which data is available.

The government introduced the apprenticeship levy to incentivise larger businesses to develop and invest in their own apprenticeship programmes whilst ensuring the availability of funding for smaller employers wanting to offer apprenticeships. Through the levy, the government is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion in the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes to boost the skills of their workforces. As the apprenticeship levy is UK-wide, income from the levy also supports the Devolved Administrations to invest in their skills programmes.

Employers in England who pay the apprenticeship levy can access funds for apprenticeship training and assessment by registering for an apprenticeship service account. The funds in employers’ accounts reflect the ‘English percentage’ of an employer’s levy contribution and include a 10% top-up from the government. The department does not record industry, sector or organisation type when levy-paying employers register an apprenticeship service account. For this reason, data which shows which sectors were most or least likely to spend their funds cannot be provided. The department does hold information relating to individual employer accounts but it would not be appropriate to disclose this information without consulting with employers.

Employers can use their levy funds for apprenticeships in their own business or transfer up to 25% of their funds to other businesses. Funds that levy payers do not draw on are used to fund apprenticeships in small and medium sized businesses who do not pay the levy. Levy payers are not expected to use all funds available to them, though they are able to do so.

The funds in apprenticeship service accounts are available for levy-paying employers to draw on for 24 months before they expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis. The table attached shows the total funds that expired from levy-paying employers apprenticeship service accounts in each month since May 2019. The decline in levy expiry value for October 2021 was due to a delay transferring levy into employer accounts. As a result, employers were granted an additional month to spend those funds, to ensure that the 24-month window to spend funds was maintained.

The funds available to levy-paying employers through their apprenticeship service accounts are not the same as the apprenticeships budget which funds apprenticeships in England for employers of all sizes. As such, expired funds from employers’ accounts do not represent funding that is lost to the system. Rather, the department directs this funding to supporting apprenticeships in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to English and mathematics training for apprentices and to additional payments to employers, training providers and apprentices. On average, 98% of the English apprenticeships budget has been spent over the last two financial years.

19th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 13 December 2023 to Question 3789 on Apprentices: Taxation, what the total expired unused Apprenticeship Levy funds were in each month since May 2019.

The government introduced the apprenticeship levy to incentivise larger businesses to develop and invest in their own apprenticeship programmes whilst ensuring the availability of funding for smaller employers wanting to offer apprenticeships. Through the levy, the government is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion in the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes to boost the skills of their workforces. As the apprenticeship levy is UK-wide, income from the levy also supports the Devolved Administrations to invest in their skills programmes.

Employers in England who pay the apprenticeship levy can access funds for apprenticeship training and assessment by registering for an apprenticeship service account. The funds in employers’ accounts reflect the ‘English percentage’ of an employer’s levy contribution and include a 10% top-up from the government. The department does not record industry, sector or organisation type when levy-paying employers register an apprenticeship service account. For this reason, data which shows which sectors were most or least likely to spend their funds cannot be provided. The department does hold information relating to individual employer accounts but it would not be appropriate to disclose this information without consulting with employers.

Employers can use their levy funds for apprenticeships in their own business or transfer up to 25% of their funds to other businesses. Funds that levy payers do not draw on are used to fund apprenticeships in small and medium sized businesses who do not pay the levy. Levy payers are not expected to use all funds available to them, though they are able to do so.

The funds in apprenticeship service accounts are available for levy-paying employers to draw on for 24 months before they expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis. The table attached shows the total funds that expired from levy-paying employers apprenticeship service accounts in each month since May 2019. The decline in levy expiry value for October 2021 was due to a delay transferring levy into employer accounts. As a result, employers were granted an additional month to spend those funds, to ensure that the 24-month window to spend funds was maintained.

The funds available to levy-paying employers through their apprenticeship service accounts are not the same as the apprenticeships budget which funds apprenticeships in England for employers of all sizes. As such, expired funds from employers’ accounts do not represent funding that is lost to the system. Rather, the department directs this funding to supporting apprenticeships in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to English and mathematics training for apprentices and to additional payments to employers, training providers and apprentices. On average, 98% of the English apprenticeships budget has been spent over the last two financial years.

5th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which companies her Department has contracted to provide temporary classrooms following the publication of the guidance entitled Installing temporary buildings on school sites with RAAC, published on 31 October 2023; and what the value was of each contract.

Details of the companies contracted to provide temporary accommodation and associated services to mitigate schools’ disruption due to rebuilding, condition and refurbishment programmes are published on Contracts Finder and are available via the links below:

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
5th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the quality of the (a) resources and (b) temporary classrooms provided by Mitie to schools affected by RAAC.

The department takes the safety and quality of school buildings very seriously. The department has not procured temporary classrooms from Mitie. Responsible bodies may have done so and are responsible for doing so in line with guidelines. All temporary buildings must meet the requirements of the building regulations, including being signed off by a building inspector before they can be occupied.


Guidance for responsible bodies on key issues to consider when procuring temporary classrooms has been developed and is available from caseworkers assigned to each project affected by RAAC.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the (a) amount raised through the apprenticeship levy and (b) number of apprenticeship levy service accounts in each year since its introduction.

The apprenticeship levy is a key part of the government’s reforms to the apprenticeship system and enables employers of all sizes to make a long-term, sustainable and high-quality investment in training. Monthly receipts data for the apprenticeship levy is published by HM Revenue and Customs in their tax and national insurance contributions receipts publication, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hmrc-tax-and-nics-receipts-for-the-uk.

The table below shows the total number of levy-paying employer accounts created on the apprenticeship service in each financial yearsince its introduction in the 2016/17 financial year. It is pleasing to see annual increases in the number of levy-paying employers registering an account on the apprenticeship service.

FY

New accounts created

Total accounts (cumulative)

2016/17

4,630

4,630

2017/18

8,640

13,270

2018/19

2,970

16,240

2019/20

2,030

18,270

2020/21

1,870

20,140

2021/22

1,920

22,060

2022/23

1,280

23,340

2023/24

750

24,090

27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has plans to increase the number of courses and training schemes that are eligible to be funded through the resources available to employers raised through the apprenticeship levy.

The government introduced the apprenticeship levy to incentivise larger businesses to develop and invest in their own apprenticeship programmes whilst ensuring the availability of funding for smaller employers wanting to offer apprenticeships. Through the levy, the government is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion in the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes build their workforces. As the apprenticeships levy is UK wide, income from the levy also supports the Devolved Administrations to invest in their skills programmes.

In England, employers can use their levy contributions to fund apprenticeships in their own business or transfer their funds to other businesses in their supply chain, sector or region. Funds that levy payers do not draw on is used to fund apprenticeships in small and medium sized businesses. Levy payers are not expected to use all funds available to them, though they are able to do so.

The table below shows the number of registered employer apprenticeship service accounts that utilised all their funds available, as well as the number that did not, in each financial year since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017.

FY

Number of registered employer accounts on the apprenticeship service that utilised all funds available

Number of registered employer accounts on the apprenticeship service that did not utilise all their funds available and therefore had expired funds

2017/18

5650

7570

2018/19

5030

10660

2019/20

4930

11960

2020/21

5210

12230

2021/22

6790

11920

Please note that:

  • Funds remain available for 24 months before they begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis; as employers began to pay the apprenticeship levy in April 2017, unused levy funds began to expire in May 2019.
  • The sum of expiry figures for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years are not specified as funds do not expire for 24 months.
  • Expiry figures for the 2017/2018 financial year will appear lower than future years due to the oldest funds in an employers’ accounts being utilised first.
  • Expiry figures for the 2021/22 financial year only include data to October and therefore does not represent a full year.

The funds available to levy-paying employers through their apprenticeship service accounts are not the same as the apprenticeships budget which funds apprenticeships for employers of all sizes. On average, 98% of the apprenticeships budget has been spent in the last two financial years. Spend for the 2023/24 financial year, and for future years, will be set out in the department’s annual report and accounts which will be published when available. The apprenticeships budget beyond 2024/25 will be determined at the next Spending Review.

With regard to allowing levy-paying employers to spend funds on non-apprenticeship training schemes and courses, I refer my right hon. Friend, the Member for Witham to the answer I gave on 10 November 2023 to Question 614.

27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate her Department has made of the amount and proportion of apprenticeship levy funds that will be unspent in financial year 2023-24; and whether she has made an assessment of potential trends in the level and proportion of that underspend in each of the next five financial years.

The government introduced the apprenticeship levy to incentivise larger businesses to develop and invest in their own apprenticeship programmes whilst ensuring the availability of funding for smaller employers wanting to offer apprenticeships. Through the levy, the government is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion in the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes build their workforces. As the apprenticeships levy is UK wide, income from the levy also supports the Devolved Administrations to invest in their skills programmes.

In England, employers can use their levy contributions to fund apprenticeships in their own business or transfer their funds to other businesses in their supply chain, sector or region. Funds that levy payers do not draw on is used to fund apprenticeships in small and medium sized businesses. Levy payers are not expected to use all funds available to them, though they are able to do so.

The table below shows the number of registered employer apprenticeship service accounts that utilised all their funds available, as well as the number that did not, in each financial year since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017.

FY

Number of registered employer accounts on the apprenticeship service that utilised all funds available

Number of registered employer accounts on the apprenticeship service that did not utilise all their funds available and therefore had expired funds

2017/18

5650

7570

2018/19

5030

10660

2019/20

4930

11960

2020/21

5210

12230

2021/22

6790

11920

Please note that:

  • Funds remain available for 24 months before they begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis; as employers began to pay the apprenticeship levy in April 2017, unused levy funds began to expire in May 2019.
  • The sum of expiry figures for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years are not specified as funds do not expire for 24 months.
  • Expiry figures for the 2017/2018 financial year will appear lower than future years due to the oldest funds in an employers’ accounts being utilised first.
  • Expiry figures for the 2021/22 financial year only include data to October and therefore does not represent a full year.

The funds available to levy-paying employers through their apprenticeship service accounts are not the same as the apprenticeships budget which funds apprenticeships for employers of all sizes. On average, 98% of the apprenticeships budget has been spent in the last two financial years. Spend for the 2023/24 financial year, and for future years, will be set out in the department’s annual report and accounts which will be published when available. The apprenticeships budget beyond 2024/25 will be determined at the next Spending Review.

With regard to allowing levy-paying employers to spend funds on non-apprenticeship training schemes and courses, I refer my right hon. Friend, the Member for Witham to the answer I gave on 10 November 2023 to Question 614.

27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much and what proportion of funds raised from the apprenticeship levy have remained unspent within the two year threshold in each year since its introduction.

The government introduced the apprenticeship levy to incentivise larger businesses to develop and invest in their own apprenticeship programmes whilst ensuring the availability of funding for smaller employers wanting to offer apprenticeships. Through the levy, the government is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion in the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes build their workforces. As the apprenticeships levy is UK wide, income from the levy also supports the Devolved Administrations to invest in their skills programmes.

In England, employers can use their levy contributions to fund apprenticeships in their own business or transfer their funds to other businesses in their supply chain, sector or region. Funds that levy payers do not draw on is used to fund apprenticeships in small and medium sized businesses. Levy payers are not expected to use all funds available to them, though they are able to do so.

The table below shows the number of registered employer apprenticeship service accounts that utilised all their funds available, as well as the number that did not, in each financial year since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017.

FY

Number of registered employer accounts on the apprenticeship service that utilised all funds available

Number of registered employer accounts on the apprenticeship service that did not utilise all their funds available and therefore had expired funds

2017/18

5650

7570

2018/19

5030

10660

2019/20

4930

11960

2020/21

5210

12230

2021/22

6790

11920

Please note that:

  • Funds remain available for 24 months before they begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis; as employers began to pay the apprenticeship levy in April 2017, unused levy funds began to expire in May 2019.
  • The sum of expiry figures for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years are not specified as funds do not expire for 24 months.
  • Expiry figures for the 2017/2018 financial year will appear lower than future years due to the oldest funds in an employers’ accounts being utilised first.
  • Expiry figures for the 2021/22 financial year only include data to October and therefore does not represent a full year.

The funds available to levy-paying employers through their apprenticeship service accounts are not the same as the apprenticeships budget which funds apprenticeships for employers of all sizes. On average, 98% of the apprenticeships budget has been spent in the last two financial years. Spend for the 2023/24 financial year, and for future years, will be set out in the department’s annual report and accounts which will be published when available. The apprenticeships budget beyond 2024/25 will be determined at the next Spending Review.

With regard to allowing levy-paying employers to spend funds on non-apprenticeship training schemes and courses, I refer my right hon. Friend, the Member for Witham to the answer I gave on 10 November 2023 to Question 614.

27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprenticeship levy funded service accounts have (a) utilised all of the funds in their account and (b) not utilised all of the funds available within the two-year time period in each year since its introduction.

The government introduced the apprenticeship levy to incentivise larger businesses to develop and invest in their own apprenticeship programmes whilst ensuring the availability of funding for smaller employers wanting to offer apprenticeships. Through the levy, the government is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion in the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes build their workforces. As the apprenticeships levy is UK wide, income from the levy also supports the Devolved Administrations to invest in their skills programmes.

In England, employers can use their levy contributions to fund apprenticeships in their own business or transfer their funds to other businesses in their supply chain, sector or region. Funds that levy payers do not draw on is used to fund apprenticeships in small and medium sized businesses. Levy payers are not expected to use all funds available to them, though they are able to do so.

The table below shows the number of registered employer apprenticeship service accounts that utilised all their funds available, as well as the number that did not, in each financial year since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017.

FY

Number of registered employer accounts on the apprenticeship service that utilised all funds available

Number of registered employer accounts on the apprenticeship service that did not utilise all their funds available and therefore had expired funds

2017/18

5650

7570

2018/19

5030

10660

2019/20

4930

11960

2020/21

5210

12230

2021/22

6790

11920

Please note that:

  • Funds remain available for 24 months before they begin to expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis; as employers began to pay the apprenticeship levy in April 2017, unused levy funds began to expire in May 2019.
  • The sum of expiry figures for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years are not specified as funds do not expire for 24 months.
  • Expiry figures for the 2017/2018 financial year will appear lower than future years due to the oldest funds in an employers’ accounts being utilised first.
  • Expiry figures for the 2021/22 financial year only include data to October and therefore does not represent a full year.

The funds available to levy-paying employers through their apprenticeship service accounts are not the same as the apprenticeships budget which funds apprenticeships for employers of all sizes. On average, 98% of the apprenticeships budget has been spent in the last two financial years. Spend for the 2023/24 financial year, and for future years, will be set out in the department’s annual report and accounts which will be published when available. The apprenticeships budget beyond 2024/25 will be determined at the next Spending Review.

With regard to allowing levy-paying employers to spend funds on non-apprenticeship training schemes and courses, I refer my right hon. Friend, the Member for Witham to the answer I gave on 10 November 2023 to Question 614.

16th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding her Department plans to provide to (a) schools, (b) academy trusts and (c) Essex County Council to support pupils with special educational needs in each of the next three years.

The department provides funding for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to local authorities through their dedicated schools grant (DSG) allocations.

In respect of mainstream schools, local authorities are required by regulations to identify, for each of the mainstream schools in their area, an amount (sometimes referred to as a notional budget) within their overall budget, which helps the school understand what may be required to meet the additional cost of pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN), up to £6,000 a year per pupil.

During the 2023/24 financial year the department has provided local authorities’ DSG allocations totalling £42.9 billion for their mainstream schools. Of this amount, local authorities have identified notional SEN budgets for their schools amounting to a total of £4.9 billion.

Essex County Council has been allocated £1.1 billion for mainstream schools in its area, of which it has identified £160.7 million in total as the amount that schools might need for their pupils with SEN.

When the costs of additional support required for a pupil with SEN exceed £6,000, the local authority should also allocate additional top-up funding to cover the excess costs. This funding comes from the authority’s high needs budget. This may follow a statutory assessment producing an Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plan, though local authorities have the discretion to provide top-up funding to pupils without an EHC plan.

Local authorities are also allocated high needs funding through their DSG. Of the total high needs budget of over £10.1 billion nationally, the great majority of which is allocated to local authorities in England, Essex County Council has been allocated high needs funding amounting to £227 million in the 2023/24 financial year for securing provision for those with complex needs.

High needs funding is increasing in the 2024/25 financial year to a total of over £10.5 billion, an increase of over 60% from the 2019/20 allocations. We have announced provisional 2024/25 high needs allocations for local authorities, and Essex County Council’s allocation is £240 million, which is an increase of 5% per head, and a cumulative 31% per head over the three years from 2021/22.

Local authorities have not yet determined how much of their DSG will be identified for schools' notional SEN budgets in future years. All allocations of school funding beyond 2024/25 will be subject to decisions by the government that have not yet been taken.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many Education, Health and Care Plans have been agreed in each local authority area in each year since 2014; and if she will make an estimate of the number of plans that will be agreed in each local authority area in each of the next five years.

The number of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans in each Local Authority area is set out in published statistics, which are accessible at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/150da0a4-2fef-4836-8c12-08dbe514ee42.

The department does not make estimates of the number of plans in each Local Authority area for the next five years. However, in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, published on 2 March 2023, the department set out its proposals for EHC plans reform, including to develop reformed templates and guidance to deliver a nationally consistent EHC plan process. The department’s proposed reforms aim to improve the system and ensure that children and young people who require an EHC plan get access to the support they need.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)