Tahir Ali Portrait

Tahir Ali

Labour - Birmingham Hall Green and Moseley

First elected: 12th December 2019


European Scrutiny Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 30th May 2024
High Speed Rail (Crewe - Manchester) Bill Select Committee (Commons)
6th Feb 2023 - 30th May 2024
Justice Committee
28th Mar 2023 - 30th May 2024
Child Support Collection (Domestic Abuse) Bill
7th Dec 2022 - 14th Dec 2022
Skills and Post-16 Education [HL] Bill
24th Nov 2021 - 7th Dec 2021


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Tahir Ali has voted in 778 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Tahir Ali 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
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Leader of HM Official Opposition
(6 debate interactions)
Toby Perkins (Labour)
(6 debate interactions)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(19 debate contributions)
Home Office
(18 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Tahir Ali's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Tahir Ali

8th May 2024
Tahir Ali signed this EDM on Monday 20th May 2024

Public ownership of water

Tabled by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)
That this House condemns the mismanagement and underinvestment which led to untreated sewage being discharged into English waterways for more than 3.6 million hours in 2023; notes that water companies in England have incurred debts of more than £64 billion and paid out £78 billion in dividends since they were …
39 signatures
(Most recent: 23 May 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 26
Scottish National Party: 5
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Workers Party of Britain: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
23rd February 2024
Tahir Ali signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 26th February 2024

Administration of SSB Law

Tabled by: Imran Hussain (Labour - Bradford East)
That this House notes with concern the collapse of SSB Law that has left hundreds across the country facing demands for payment stretching into thousands of pounds; stresses that a number of those affected by SSB Law’s collapse cannot meet the large demands for payment and will face significant consequences, …
20 signatures
(Most recent: 13 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 17
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Tahir Ali's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Tahir Ali, 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.


Tahir Ali has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Tahir Ali has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Tahir Ali has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Tahir Ali has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


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
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many deaths occurred in care homes in Birmingham, Hall Green in each month in 2019.

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

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many deaths have occurred in care homes in Birmingham, Hall Green in each month of 2020.

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

17th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is taking to promote businesses owned by women.

The Government promotes women-led businesses through partnerships with the private sector. With the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs we have created the Invest in Women Hub (iiwhub.com) which provides information and free access to expert mentors.

We are working with the Invest in Women Taskforce towards their goal of making the UK the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur, including by raising private sector capital to invest in women-led businesses.

The Women’s International Networking Programme aims to increase the participation of women-led businesses in international trade through access to networks, role models and DBT intelligence.

Kevin Hollinrake
Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Trade
17th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is taking to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Birmingham.

Business Growth West Midlands is a regional business support function and is funded by both the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). DBT supports small and medium enterprises with national programmes such as the Growth Hub network and through schemes such as Help to Grow. The new Help to Grow Campaign includes a dedicated website, acting as a resourcing hub for business support and advice, as well as SME leadership training schemes, Help to Grow Management and Help to Grow: Management Essentials.

UK businesses, including those in Birmingham, can access DBT’s wealth of export support via Great.gov.uk. This comprises a digital self-serve offer and our wider network of support, including trade advisers, Export Champions, the Export Academy, our International Markets network and UK Export Finance.

Kevin Hollinrake
Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Trade
17th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is making to promote (a) international trade and (b) investment opportunities for businesses based in Birmingham.

The Department for Business and Trade’s export promotion campaign ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ is tailored regionally, and in March 2024 Lord Offord, Minister for Exports held the ‘Made in the Midlands’ Roadshow in the region

The International Trade Advisory Service has staff in Birmingham supporting businesses to export. The Export Academy provides online educational support and the Export Digital Enquiry Service answers specific international trade queries

The Government has provided £160M for the creation of a West Midlands Investment Zone. The West Midlands Combined Authority estimate that this may bring up to £5.5B investment and 30,000 new jobs by 2034.

19th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that workers are not dismissed for their legal political opinions.

The UK has a longstanding tradition of ensuring individuals’ rights and liberties are protected. The right to freedom of expression is protected by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is given further effect domestically by the Human Rights Act 1998.

Employees who are dismissed and consider that their dismissal was unfair can complain to an employment tribunal, generally subject to a qualifying period of 2-years' continuous service.

Kevin Hollinrake
Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Trade
13th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she plans to take to respond to the findings of the Competition and Markets Authority that manufacturers of branded food products have been increasing prices above inflation.

The Government notes the CMA's findings and supports its continued work on groceries pricing. Tackling the cost of living is a priority issue for this Government and the cost of grocery products is a key component of household expenditure. Through regular engagement, the Government will continue to work with food retailers and producers to explore the range of measures they can take to ensure the availability of affordable food.

Kevin Hollinrake
Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Trade
5th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what steps she is taking to help support SMEs with utility costs.

Eligible Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are supported with their energy costs through the Energy Bills Discount Scheme which provides a baseline discount on high energy bills for 12 months from April 2023 until 31 March 2024. A higher level of support is also provided to some Energy and Trade Intensive Industries (ETIIs) that are particularly exposed to energy cost increases due to their energy and trade intensity and are therefore less able to pass these costs through to their customers due to international competition.

20th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will have discussions with energy regulators on reducing standing charges.

I regularly meet with Ofgem to discuss the energy retail market, including standing charges. On 16th November, Ofgem announced a call for input on standing charges. Government welcomes this and looks forward to Ofgem’s conclusions.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the levels of profitability of the Post Office’s Crown office network during (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2018-19.

While the Post Office is publicly owned, it is a commercial business that operates independently of the Government. BEIS has not made an assessment on the profitability of the 114 remaining Directly Managed Branches (DMBs) in the Post Office's network of 11,500 branches as this is a matter for Post Office Ltd.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if any Crown post office branches will be franchised under (i) the Post Office’s multi-year Group Strategic Plan; and (ii) the Post Office’s most recent 12 month Group Business Plan.

£210 million in capital investment was allocated to Post Office Ltd between 2018 and 2021. Post Office Ltd received £168 million in 2018/2019 and £42 million in 2019/2020. No capital investment was provided to Post Office Ltd in 2020/2021. This investment funding was designed to modernise the branch network and improve the systems and processes in place so that the Post Office could continue its journey towards commercial sustainability.

In the most recent Spending Review for 2021/2022, the Government announced further Post Office investment funding of £227 million. This reflects the Government’s commitment to the role that post offices play in our communities. This funding consists of £50 million subsidy to safeguard services in the uncommercial parts of the network, and a further £177 million which will allow Post Office Ltd to invest for the future and to ensure the Post Office remains a vital force on our high streets.

This investment includes supporting Post Office Ltd's future strategy for its network, including the remaining Directly Managed Branches. The management of the Post Office network, including decisions on Directly Managed Branches, is an operational matter for the Company. Changes to the branch network are subject to local consultation processes.

It is important to note that over 99% of the Post Office network is already successfully franchised. This is the preferred business model for the Post Office as it delivers significant cost savings without impacting service provision for local communities. Franchising enables longer opening hours, increased convenience, and greater accessibility for communities.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what amount of the £70m capital investment awarded to the Post Office for 2020-2021 will be spent on franchising any Crown post office branches.

£210 million in capital investment was allocated to Post Office Ltd between 2018 and 2021. Post Office Ltd received £168 million in 2018/2019 and £42 million in 2019/2020. No capital investment was provided to Post Office Ltd in 2020/2021. This investment funding was designed to modernise the branch network and improve the systems and processes in place so that the Post Office could continue its journey towards commercial sustainability.

In the most recent Spending Review for 2021/2022, the Government announced further Post Office investment funding of £227 million. This reflects the Government’s commitment to the role that post offices play in our communities. This funding consists of £50 million subsidy to safeguard services in the uncommercial parts of the network, and a further £177 million which will allow Post Office Ltd to invest for the future and to ensure the Post Office remains a vital force on our high streets.

This investment includes supporting Post Office Ltd's future strategy for its network, including the remaining Directly Managed Branches. The management of the Post Office network, including decisions on Directly Managed Branches, is an operational matter for the Company. Changes to the branch network are subject to local consultation processes.

It is important to note that over 99% of the Post Office network is already successfully franchised. This is the preferred business model for the Post Office as it delivers significant cost savings without impacting service provision for local communities. Franchising enables longer opening hours, increased convenience, and greater accessibility for communities.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if any of the £177m capital investment awarded to the Post Office for 2021-22 will be spent on franchising any Crown post office branches.

£210 million in capital investment was allocated to Post Office Ltd between 2018 and 2021. Post Office Ltd received £168 million in 2018/2019 and £42 million in 2019/2020. No capital investment was provided to Post Office Ltd in 2020/2021. This investment funding was designed to modernise the branch network and improve the systems and processes in place so that the Post Office could continue its journey towards commercial sustainability.

In the most recent Spending Review for 2021/2022, the Government announced further Post Office investment funding of £227 million. This reflects the Government’s commitment to the role that post offices play in our communities. This funding consists of £50 million subsidy to safeguard services in the uncommercial parts of the network, and a further £177 million which will allow Post Office Ltd to invest for the future and to ensure the Post Office remains a vital force on our high streets.

This investment includes supporting Post Office Ltd's future strategy for its network, including the remaining Directly Managed Branches. The management of the Post Office network, including decisions on Directly Managed Branches, is an operational matter for the Company. Changes to the branch network are subject to local consultation processes.

It is important to note that over 99% of the Post Office network is already successfully franchised. This is the preferred business model for the Post Office as it delivers significant cost savings without impacting service provision for local communities. Franchising enables longer opening hours, increased convenience, and greater accessibility for communities.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how the £70m capital investment awarded to the Post Office for 2020-2021 was agreed to be spent.

£210 million in capital investment was allocated to Post Office Ltd between 2018 and 2021. Post Office Ltd received £168 million in 2018/2019 and £42 million in 2019/2020. No capital investment was provided to Post Office Ltd in 2020/2021. This investment funding was designed to modernise the branch network and improve the systems and processes in place so that the Post Office could continue its journey towards commercial sustainability.

In the most recent Spending Review for 2021/2022, the Government announced further Post Office investment funding of £227 million. This reflects the Government’s commitment to the role that post offices play in our communities. This funding consists of £50 million subsidy to safeguard services in the uncommercial parts of the network, and a further £177 million which will allow Post Office Ltd to invest for the future and to ensure the Post Office remains a vital force on our high streets.

This investment includes supporting Post Office Ltd's future strategy for its network, including the remaining Directly Managed Branches. The management of the Post Office network, including decisions on Directly Managed Branches, is an operational matter for the Company. Changes to the branch network are subject to local consultation processes.

It is important to note that over 99% of the Post Office network is already successfully franchised. This is the preferred business model for the Post Office as it delivers significant cost savings without impacting service provision for local communities. Franchising enables longer opening hours, increased convenience, and greater accessibility for communities.

6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has had recent discussions with the BBC board on impartiality in its news coverage of the conflict in Gaza.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Ministerial team regularly meets with BBC leadership, including members of the Board, to discuss a range of issues.

The BBC has a duty to provide accurate and impartial news and information. In delivering that duty, the BBC is editorially and operationally independent and decisions around its editorial policies and guidelines are a matter for the BBC. Ofcom is the external independent regulator responsible for ensuring BBC coverage is duly impartial and accurate under the Broadcasting Code and BBC Charter.

The Secretary of State has repeatedly made clear that the BBC’s accuracy and impartiality is critical to viewer trust. It is particularly important when it comes to coverage of highly sensitive events, such as the terrorist acts committed in Israel on 7 October and the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The Secretary of State has regularly stated that point in meetings with the BBC.

Julia Lopez
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to restrict advertising for high-carbon products and services.

The Government has no plans to restrict new categories of advertising, including on high carbon products.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support his Department has allocated to providers of (a) arts and (b) sports training for children and young people during the covid-19 outbreak.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and on the youth services that support them. A £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund has been announced which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country.

The funding will be allocated from the Government’s unprecedented £750 million package of support which is benefiting tens of thousands of frontline charities, so they can continue their vital work. More than £60 million of this package has already been provided to organisations working with vulnerable children and young people. In addition, we have allocated over £800m from the Culture Recovery Fund to almost 3,800 cultural organisations and sites in England, including organisations that focus on arts provision for children and young people.

The Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recent announced Spending Review £30m of this was committed as capital investment for 2021-22. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation will be announced in due course.

Separately, Sport England have invested £194m into children and young people since 2016, including £40M over four years for the Families Fund; £11M each year on School Games, supported by a further £7M from DHSC; £34M over four years to the Satellite Club program; and £13.5M over four years on Teacher training.

16th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that children are not hungry at school.

The department provides a range of support designed to ensure that children in schools are provided with healthy and nutritious meals throughout the school day.

The department is investing up to £35 million in the National School Breakfast Programme until the end of July 2025. This funding is supporting up to 2,700 schools in disadvantaged areas, meaning that thousands of children from low-income families are being offered free nutritious breakfasts at school to better support their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to learn.

In addition to this, the department spends over £1 billion a year on free school meals, including £600 million for Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM). Under the benefits-based criteria, two million of the most disadvantaged pupils are eligible for free meals. Close to 1.3 million additional infants enjoy a free, healthy and nutritious meal at lunchtime following the introduction of the UIFSM policy in 2014. In total, over one third of pupils are in receipt of this crucial support, which is up from one in six in 2010.

Furthermore, the department provides over 2.2 million children in reception and Key Stage 1 with a portion of fresh fruit or vegetables each day at school through the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme.

The department supports the provision of nutritious food in schools through ‘The Requirements for School Food Regulations’ (2014), which require schools to provide children with healthy food and drink options and to make sure that children get the energy and nutrition they need across the school day.

Damian Hinds
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
13th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help increase the number of children getting a place at their preferred school in Birmingham.

Local authorities have a statutory duty, under Section 14 of the Education Act 1996, to ensure that there are sufficient primary and secondary school places for all children living in their area, with a view to securing diversity of provision and increasing opportunities for parental choice and special educational provision for pupils who have Special Educational Needs. The department’s Pupil Place Planning Advisers engage with local authorities on a regular basis to review their plans for creating additional places and to consider alternatives where necessary. When local authorities are experiencing difficulties, they offer support and advice. The department provides capital funding through the Basic Need grant to support local authorities to meet their statutory duty to provide sufficient school places. This funding is based on their own pupil forecasts and school capacity data. Local authorities can use the funding to provide places in new schools or through expansions of existing schools and can work with any school in their local area, including academies and free schools.

The funding is not ringfenced, subject to the conditions set out in the published Grant Determination Letter, nor is it time bound, meaning local authorities are free to use this funding to best meet their local priorities.

The department has announced Birmingham City Council will receive just over £51 million to support the provision of new school places needed between May 2022 and September 2026, paid across the 2022/23 and 2025/26 financial years. This takes their total funding allocated between 2011 and 2026 to just over £345.7 million.

Damian Hinds
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
13th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the prevalence of difficulties in the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of teachers in (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools in Birmingham, Hall Green constituency.

The most recent School workforce census shows that, as at November 2022, there are over 468,000 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in state-funded schools in England, which is an increase of 27,000 (6%) since 2010. This makes it the highest FTE of teachers since the School Workforce Census began in 2010.

Teacher numbers at a school level are published in the additional supporting files. This can be found in the School workforce census 2022 publication, available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england#dataBlock-d32da738-358d-4c1f-955b-6c6f83552d65-tables. The department also produces national targets for postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT) for each subject based on estimates from the Teacher Workforce Model to ensure focus on the right subjects each year. These are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/postgraduate-initial-teacher-training-targets.

The department knows that some schools face challenges with recruitment and retention, particularly in some secondary subjects, and action is being taken to increase teacher recruitment and retention.

The department is offering a financial incentives package worth up to £196 million for those starting ITT in the 2024/25 academic year, including bursaries worth up to £28,000 and scholarships worth up to £30,000 to encourage trainees to apply to train in key secondary subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computing. The department is also offering a £25,000 tax-free bursary for biology, design and technology, geography and languages (including ancient languages), and a £10,000 tax-free bursary for English, art and design, music and RE.

The department is providing a Levelling Up Premium worth up to £3,000 annually for mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computing teachers in the first five years of their careers who work in disadvantaged schools nationally, including within education investment areas (EIAs). For 2024/25 and 2025/26, the department will be investing approximately £100 million each year to double the rates of the Levelling Up Premium to up to £6,000 after tax. This builds on knowledge gained from similar pilots and will support recruitment and retention of specialist teachers in these subjects and in the schools and areas that need them most.

There are 97 schools in the Birmingham local authority area eligible for the Levelling Up Premium, including nine schools in the Birmingham, Hall Green constituency. The eligibility criteria and list of eligible schools is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/levelling-up-premium-payments-for-teachers.

Earlier this year the department accepted the School Teachers’ Review Body’s recommendations for the 2023/24 pay award for teachers and leaders. This means that teachers and leaders in maintained schools will receive a pay award of 6.5%. This is the highest pay award for teachers in over thirty years and delivers the manifesto commitment of a minimum £30,000 starting salary for school teachers across England.

To support teacher retention across all school phases, the department has published a range of resources to help address staff workload and wellbeing. This includes the workload reduction toolkit and the education staff wellbeing charter. More than 3,000 schools have signed up to the wellbeing charter so far. The wellbeing charter can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-staff-wellbeing-charter. The workload reduction toolkit is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-workload-reduction-toolkit. As part of the pay announcement for 2023/24, the department also convened a workload reduction taskforce to explore how to further support trusts and school leaders to minimise workload.

Damian Hinds
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
13th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she is taking steps to help teachers reduce vaping in classrooms.

Schools are required by law to have a behaviour policy that sets out what is expected of all pupils, including what items are banned from school premises. The department supports head teachers in taking proportionate and measured steps to ensure good behaviour in schools. To support schools to do so, the department has strengthened the Behaviour in Schools guidance which is the primary source of help and support for schools on developing and implementing a behaviour policy that can create a school culture which has high expectations of all pupils. This guidance outlines effective strategies that will encourage good behaviour and the sanctions that will be imposed for misbehaviour, including vaping anywhere in school.

Schools have the autonomy to decide which items should be banned from their premises, and these can include e-cigarettes or vapes. School staff can search pupils for banned items as outlined in the department’s searching, screening and confiscation guidance available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/searching-screening-and-confiscation.

On 1 June 2023, the Prime Minister announced an intervention which will take steps to prevent children obtaining e-cigarettes illegally. The government consulted on measures to reduce the appeal and availability of vapes to children. The consultation response will be published in the coming weeks.

The department is planning to include a specific reference to the dangers of e-cigarettes in the amended relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum. The RSHE statutory guidance sets out the curriculum topics and already states that in primary and secondary school, pupils should be taught the facts about legal and illegal harmful substances and associated risks. This includes smoking, alcohol use, and drug taking. To support schools to deliver this content effectively, the department published a suite of teacher training modules, including drugs, alcohol and tobacco, which makes specific reference to e-cigarettes. The RSHE statutory guidance is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

Damian Hinds
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has plans to introduce mandatory training on (a) learning disabilities and (b) autism for secondary school teachers.

The department considers all teachers as teachers of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including autism, and is committed to ensuring that all pupils can reach their potential and receive excellent support from their teachers.

The Teachers’ Standards set clear expectations that teachers must understand the needs of all pupils. To be awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), trainees must demonstrate that they have met all the Teachers’ Standards at the appropriate level. The standards are also used to assess the performance of all teachers with QTS under the School Teachers’ Appraisal Regulations (2012). Therefore, most teachers need to adhere to the standards throughout their careers.

The Teachers’ Standards require teachers to adapt teaching to respond to the needs of all pupils, and to have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs.

To support all teachers in meeting the Teachers’ Standards, the department is implementing high-quality teacher training reforms which begins with Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and continues as their careers progress. The department’s Universal Services programme, backed by almost £12 million, provides SEND-specific training to the school and college workforce, with over 100,000 professionals undertaking autism awareness training since 2022.

The department is exploring opportunities to build teacher expertise through a joint review of the ITT Core Content Framework and Early Career Framework. The review, due to published in early 2024, has an aim to support trainees and Early Career Teachers to be more confident in meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND, including autism, both through engaging with the most up to date evidence to inform their practice, and applying this in the contexts in which they work as new teachers.

In May 2023, the department published guidance for accredited ITT providers and their partners, to support the involvement of special schools and alternative provision in ITT. The guidance is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1157879/ITT_-_special_schools_and_alternative_provision_May_2023.pdf#:~:text=It%20has%20been%20produced%20to%20help%20accredited%20Initial,units%2C%20and%20mainstream%20schools%20with%20SEN%20resource%20units.

The department’s reforms to teacher recruitment and retention will support all teachers, including teachers of children with SEND.

20th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to increase the uptake of T-level qualifications.

In order to raise awareness of T Levels, and to ensure that as many young people as possible benefit from these qualifications, the department has invested around £11 million in national communications campaigns. These campaigns will continue into at least 2025.

The department continues to work with the Careers and Enterprise Company and Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge programme to ensure students make informed decisions about qualifications at 16. In addition, the department has provided additional funding for all T Level providers to help them to promote T Levels locally in this financial year.

To support providers in scaling up their T Level provision, the department announced a 10% increase to the national funding rates for T Levels for the 2023/24 academic year. The department has also committed over £450 million in capital funding to ensure T Level students have access to high quality facilities and equipment. To help staff prepare to deliver T Levels, the T Level Professional Development programme continues to offer free support, with over 18,000 individuals in further education providers and schools benefitting.

Industry placements are a critical part of the T Level and the department is committed to ensuring a strong pipeline of employers across all sectors are ready to offer placements. The department has introduced a range of flexibilities to ensure that industry placements are deliverable across all industries. Since 2018/19 over £250 million has been invested in capacity funding to help providers build relationships with employers and secure high-quality industry placements. The department has also recently introduced a £12 million Employer Support Fund to support employers with the costs incurred when delivering placements in the 2023/24 financial year.

20th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an estimate of the proportion of eligible school children who do not receive free school meals.

The department wants to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming free school meals (FSM). FSM eligibility has been extended several times and to more groups of children than any other government over the past half a century. Over a third of pupils in England now receive FSM in schools, compared with one in six in 2010.

The department wants to make it simple for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility. To support this, the department is providing an Eligibility Checking System to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities. The department has also developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for FSM, and provided guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including FSM.

Damian Hinds
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an estimate of how many newly qualified teachers work abroad because of (a) pay and (b) working conditions.

The department does not collect data on teachers teaching outside England.

One of the department’s top priorities is to ensure that we continue to attract, retain and develop the highly skilled teachers we need to inspire the next generation.

On 13 July 2023, the department announced that we are accepting the School Teachers Review Body’s (STRB) recommendations for the 2023/24 pay award for teachers and headteachers. This means that teachers and leaders in maintained schools received the highest pay award in over thirty years and it delivers our manifesto commitment of at least a £30,000 starting salary for school teachers in all regions of the country.

The department has created an entitlement to at least three years of structured training, support and professional development for all new teachers underpinned by the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework and the Early Career Framework Together, these ensure that new teachers will benefit from at least three years of evidence-based training, across ITT and into their induction.

The department has also launched a new and updated suite of National Professional Qualifications for teachers and headteachers at all levels, from those who want to develop expertise in high-quality teaching practice to those leading multiple schools across trusts.

There are now over 468,000 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in state funded schools in England, which is an increase of 27,000 (6%) since 2010. This makes it the highest FTE of teachers since the School Workforce Census began in 2010.

The department’s reforms are aimed not only at increasing teacher recruitment through an attractive pay offer and financial incentives such as bursaries, but also at ensuring teachers stay and thrive in the profession.

Damian Hinds
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has for extending the provision of funding for school breakfasts beyond July 2021.

Up to £24 million will be available to extend our support for school breakfast clubs until 2023, to make sure thousands of children in disadvantaged areas have a healthy start to the day.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that schools in the Birmingham city local authority area are adequately funded to enable a return to operations five days a week in September 2020.

Our plan is for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term, and on 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this.

This guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

Schools have continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20. As stated in our guidance, schools should use their existing resources when making arrangements to welcome all children back for the autumn.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on children in social care in (a) Birmingham, Hall Green constituency and (b) the UK.

Ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is a top priority for the government. The COVID-19 outbreak represents a time of severe pressure across society, which we know presents heightened levels of risk for some children, especially those known to social care.

We have been working closely with local authorities, including Birmingham, to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable children and ensure that children are being adequately protected.

Our Regional Education and Care Team (REACT) for the West Midlands is in contact with Birmingham Children’s Trust and Birmingham Council on a regular basis, to understand how they are supporting vulnerable children to attend school and ensure their systems and processes for maintaining contact with vulnerable children are robust. We also collect fortnightly data from local authorities across the country, including Birmingham, around their contact with vulnerable children, workforce availability and other system pressures in order to offer support and challenge where needed.

The government has provided £3.7 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures, including for looked after children and wider children’s services.

We are continuing to intervene with local authorities that have been found to be failing in their delivery of children’s services and judged inadequate by Ofsted. It remains an absolute priority for the government that children are kept safe. Where they are in place, we have also asked commissioners and advisers to support local authorities, for example, by helping them to manage conflicting priorities and reviewing their contingency plans to ensure they are robust.

Our guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services.

23rd Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce flooding in urban areas.

The Government is investing £5.6 billion between 2021 and 2027 to better protect communities across England from flooding and coastal erosion. This investment includes a record £5.2 billion capital investment programme, a £200 million Flood and Coastal Innovation Programme, £170 million for economic recovery from flooding and over £30 million of funding for flood incident management.

This investment will benefit both urban and rural communities. We forecast that around 55% of the £5.2bn investment, and around 60% of schemes, will better protect properties in urban areas. This includes investment in major flood projects benefitting urban areas, such as the Thames Estuary Programme, the Southsea Coastal Scheme, and others.

Flood risk is also an important consideration in the planning system and there are strong safeguards in place. In 2022/23, 96% of all planning decisions complied with Environment Agency advice on flood risk.

On 13 March 2024 the Government published its response to the National Infrastructure Commission’s study into ‘reducing the risk of surface water flooding’. Our response sets out actions to strengthen and further develop the implementation of current policy, supporting lead local flood authorities to access better data, information and to improve co-operation between bodies.

17th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps with local authorities to increase access to mobile household recycling centres in cities.

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) play an important role in helping people manage the waste they produce in a convenient and sustainable way. Local authorities are responsible for managing HWRCs and determining how best to support their residents to manage waste responsibly. We encourage any innovative approaches that local authorities take to improve access and availability of their waste services.

6th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions his Department has had with Birmingham City Council on levels of tree planting in Birmingham.

Defra has had no recent discussions with Birmingham City Council on tree planting rates in Birmingham. Local authorities can take advantage of grant schemes to help increase levels of tree planting in their areas, including:

  • The Urban Tree Challenge Fund, which provides 80% funding of standard costs for planting large trees and their establishment costs for three years following planting in urban and peri-urban areas.
  • The Local Authority Treescapes Fund, which supports the planting and maintenance of trees in urban areas, including beside roads and footpaths.
  • The England Woodland Creation Offer administered by the Forestry Commission.
13th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to increase the number of Highly Protected Marine Areas.

The first three Highly Protected Marine Areas in English waters were designated in summer 2023 and we are currently working to put in place management measures.

Defra continues to explore additional sites for potential consideration. Any future sites would be subject to Ministerial agreement and public consultation.

23rd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to help support farmers to redistribute their surplus food to food charities.

The Government supports a thriving, productive and efficient farming sector that prevents waste occurring in the first place. For instance, we are supporting investment in productivity-boosting equipment, technology and infrastructure through the Farming Investment Fund. This provides grants to farmers, foresters, and growers (including contractors to these sectors) that will help their businesses to prosper, while improving their productivity and enhancing the environment. At the recent Farm to Fork Summit we announced new reviews into fairness in the horticulture and egg supply chain building on what we have already got underway to improve transparency and contracts in the pork and dairy markets. We launched the review into the egg supply chain on 31 October 2023, and will launch a public consultation on horticulture in the coming weeks.

We acknowledge that more can be done to reduce food waste in the primary production stage. The ‘fair dealings’ powers contained in the Agriculture Act 2020 can be used to prevent these kinds of unfair trading practices where they occur, as we are aware that unreasonably late cancellations or specification changes can sometimes lead to produce being unharvested.

The Government works closely with businesses through our delivery partner the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to overcome any barriers to redistribution. This includes the development of guidance and best practice through a sector wide working group, and support for the Target Measure Act (TMA) approach to understanding and acting on food waste in supply chains, including the redistribution of any surplus should it arise and is supported by the National Farmers Union (NF8). Where the NFU stands on food waste – NFUonline.

Since 2018, Defra funding of nearly £13m has supported both large and small redistribution organisations across the country to increase their capability and capacity.

The total amount of food redistributed in the UK in 2022 was over 170,000 tonnes and a value of around £590 million, an increase of 133% since 2019.

22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what research his Department has undertaken on the causes of trends in the instances of flooding in cities.

Defra and the Environment Agency use research to help policy makers and practitioners develop options to better manage flood and coastal erosion risk management.

The Joint Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Research and Development Programme undertakes research on flooding. The Programme is overseen by the Environment Agency, Defra, Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government on behalf of all risk management authorities in England and Wales. The Joint Programme has funded new projections for sea level rise to the year 2300 - which are critical for our long-term planning, including in coastal cities. It has also funded new projections of how climate change will affect river flooding, and in 2020 we published a synthesis of current knowledge on sources of river and coastal flooding in the UK. More information can be found on Gov.uk.

Defra has previously commissioned research to review the causes of flooding events that Lead Local Flood Authorities have assessed under Section 19 of the Floods and Water Management Act 2010. This research provided an understanding of the principal factors contributing to flooding from surface water in England and Wales since 2010.

Finally, the Environment Agency is developing a new National Flood Risk Assessment (NaFRA2) to provide a wide range of more accurate data, covering risk from rivers, the sea and surface water. The new Assessment will be published in 2024 and will provide a refreshed evidence base to better inform our management of risk.

14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department considered alternative measures to the ban on the XL Bully breed of dog.

We considered the ban on XL Bully type dogs carefully and we firmly believe that it is necessary to reduce the risks to the public by this type. This is why we have taken urgent action to ban XL Bully type dogs by the end of the year.

6th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to use funds saved by the cancellation of HS2 Phase 2f to tackle problems on rail links between Birmingham and Manchester.

As announced in the Network North command paper, every penny of the £19.8 billion committed to the Northern leg of HS2 will be reinvested in the North; every penny of the £9.6 billion committed to the Midlands leg will be reinvested in the Midlands; and the full £6.5 billion saved through our rescoped approach at Euston will be spread across every other region in the country.

Network North provided £500m to improve rail capacity North of Birmingham and work is ongoing to develop value for money interventions using these funds. This includes upgrades around Handsacre, where the HS2 line joins the West Coast Mainline, and other potential enhancements on the network.

6th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help increase safety at regional airports.

Most airport operators are either in the commercial private sector or are public/private partnerships which operate commercially. As such, it is for airports to ensure they adhere to regulations and standards relating to safety and security.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issues either an aerodrome licence or aerodrome certificate to regional aerodromes on the basis that the aerodrome, and its operation, meets the licencing/certification criteria. The CAA establishes an oversight programme for each licensed/certificated aerodrome in which the continued compliance with the regulatory requirements is verified. Additionally, the aerodrome operator is required to have a safety management system, the effectiveness of which falls within the scope of the CAA oversight Programme. These UK regulations are developed and implemented to adhere to and go beyond the minimum international safety Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

13th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve rail services between Birmingham and Manchester.

In May 2023, CrossCountry increased service frequency to two trains per hour from Birmingham to both Manchester and Bristol.

A new CrossCountry National Rail Contract commenced in October 2023. This will deliver improvements for passengers travelling on CrossCountry services, including between the West Midlands and Manchester. Cascaded additional carriages will be introduced and the entire CrossCountry train fleet is due to be refurbished over the next few years.

6th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of the time taken to make a decision on the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management PFI contract on (a) the total funding and (b) maintenance of Birmingham Highways.

The Government has funded Birmingham City Council’s Highways Maintenance contract at £50.3 million a year for 13 years and will continue to do so, maintaining the current level of funding to the council at £50 million a year for the remainder of the current spending review period until 2023/24.

After this time, West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will become eligible for an additional share of the £8.3 billion as the £151 million for WMCA did not previously include an allocation for Birmingham City Council’s roads. This is part of the £2.2 billion wider funding for East Midlands and West Midlands.

This is in addition to the £1bn of CRSTS funding to WMCA up to 2026/27, and CRSTS 2 indicative funding of over £2.6billion over 5 years from 2027/28 to 2031/32.

5th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his planned timetable is for providing feedback on the Full Business Case for the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management PFI contract, submitted to his Department by Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Highways Ltd in August 2023.

The Government has funded Birmingham City Council’s Highways Maintenance contract at £50.3 million a year for 13 years and will continue to do so, maintaining the current level of funding to the council at £50 million a year for the remainder of the current spending review period until 2023/24.

After this time, West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will become eligible for an additional share of the £8.3 billion as the £151 million for WMCA did not previously include an allocation for Birmingham City Council’s roads. This is part of the £2.2 billion wider funding for East Midlands and West Midlands.

This is in addition to the £1bn of CRSTS funding to WMCA up to 2026/27, and CRSTS 2 indicative funding of over £2.6billion over 5 years from 2027/28 to 2031/32.

22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase road safety in inner city areas.

Responsibility for making decisions about the roads under its care, including measures to protect the safety of inner city road users, sits with the relevant Local Traffic Authority (LTA) for that inner city area.

The Department for Transport provides guidance to LTAs on various traffic management measures which impact road safety. A collection of these can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-transport-notes.

Guidance provided by the Department for LTAs is kept updated to maintain the highest road safety standards possible.

14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will fund more speed cameras in (a) Birmingham and (b) the West Midlands.

It is up to the traffic authority and the police to decide whether to use speed cameras and how they wish to operate them. This is a local decision in which the Department for Transport does not become involved.

The Department for Transport provides funds direct to local authorities, which may be used for road safety purposes, allowing authorities to spend their allocations according to their own priorities. It is therefore for each authority to decide how it allocates its resources and which transport improvement projects to support. This could include decisions on the installation of speed cameras.

12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to provide additional funding to the Camp Hill railway line in Birmingham for increases in costs arising from the delay in opening that line until the end of 2024.

In Summer 2021 the Department released £59m of Rail Network Enhancement (RNEP) funding towards the delivery of five new stations, including three on the Camp Hill line.

I understand from West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), who are responsible for managing delivery of the work, that the stations remain on budget despite the recent delay.

17th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department has taken to support unemployed people in Birmingham with (a) skills training and (b) financial management.

In Birmingham, our local Jobcentre Plus partnership teams are working directly with colleges and training providers to ensure claimants have access to the right skills support. Our successful Sector Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) have seen almost three hundred customers in Sparkhill take up this support in the last year. This provision includes pre-employment training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview across a variety of sectors, with further SWAPs available with employers such as HS2, Compass Group, Air Scaffolding, Weatherspoon’s, and Jet 2.

In the Hall Green constituency, we have recently supported customers into jobs in the hospitality sector through English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision based at Sparkhill Jobcentre. Customers have also taken up non-teaching roles within local schools through the skills training we have set up with Pineapple Recruitment, and Sparkhill Jobcentre staff work closely with Joseph Chamberlain College to support claimants move into self-employment.

We are committed to ensuring that all staff can identify and signpost customers to the financial support they require. Across all our Jobcentres in Birmingham, Work Coaches have regular conversations with customers about the Flexible Support Fund (FSF) and how this can help to remove barriers to work, such as support with childcare costs.

The ‘Move In Move On’ programme helps customers in supported accommodation to move into work via a partnership with the Salvation Army. This programme offers financial education, tenancy skills and employability. We also work with The Money House which offers a financial education course to support 16–25-year-olds with banking, budgeting, and spending habits to support in reducing youth homelessness.

To help facilitate signposting discussions with customers, staff have access to a database of national and local support information, the District Provision Tool, which ensures that customers can access tailored support where required.

16th Apr 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to help people claim each benefit to which they are entitled.

GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) provides information on eligibility and how to make a claim for benefits, including signposting to telephony routes (including textphone and Relay UK) for people who are unable to complete forms online. There are videos on the DWP YouTube channel that provide further information on a range of benefits including Personal Independence Payment, Universal Credit, Winter Fuel Payment, Pension Credit and DLA for Children and these explain how to claim and what to expect once a claim has been made.

Guidance on GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) includes information on benefits people may be able to claim and other financial support. This includes housing support, help with council tax and direct payments for social care. Where appropriate DWP letters include signposting to additional help and support.

6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Cities Outlook 2024, published on 22 January 2024 by the Centre for Cities, what steps his Department is taking to reduce child poverty in Birmingham.

The Government is committed to reducing poverty, including child poverty, and supporting low-income families. We will spend around £276bn through the welfare system in Great Britain in 2023/24 including around £124bn on people of working age and children.

Working age benefits will increase by 6.7% from April 2024, subject to Parliamentary approval, following a 10.1% increase in 2023/24. To further support low-income households, we are also raising the Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of local market rents in April 2024, benefiting 1.6 million low-income households.

With over 900,000 vacancies across the UK, our focus remains firmly on supporting parents to move into and progress in work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment - particularly where it is full-time - in substantially reducing the risk of child poverty. The latest statistics show that children living in workless households were around 5 times more likely to be in absolute poverty after housing costs than those where all adults work.

To further support parents into work, we increased the Universal Credit childcare costs cap to £951 a month for one child and £1630 a month for two or more children in June 2023. We will also increase the National Living Wage by 9.8% to £11.44 for workers aged 21 years and over from this April - an annual increase in gross earnings of over £1800 for someone working full-time on the National Living Wage.