Tip: To match a phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate"


View sample alert
Written Question
Educational Visits and Outdoor Education: Coronavirus
19 Mar 2021

Questioner: David Warburton

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the Government's timescale is for allowing the (a) reopening of residential outdoor learning centres and (b) recommencement of residential school trips as covid-19 restrictions are eased; and what plans he has to provide additional financial support to residential outdoor learning centres.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Schools are advised against all educational visits at this time. The Department is working on advice for schools on the planning and booking of residential visits when it is safe to do so and in line with the Government’s roadmap to recovery, as set out in: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021. The advice will be published shortly.

The Government will continue to work closely with local authorities, businesses, business representative organisations, and the financial services sector to monitor the implementation of current support and understand whether there is additional need.

The Government would encourage businesses who are unable to access support, or who are unsure of the support available, to access free tailored advice through the Business Support Helpline, which can be accessed through the Business Support website at: www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline, or through local Growth Hubs in England: www.lepnetwork.net/local-growth-hub-contacts. Businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can access business support through the devolved Governments.


Written Question
Summer Camps Trust
15 Mar 2021

Questioner: David Amess

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of engaging with The Summer Camps Trust to promote the use of summer camps.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

The department recognises the significant benefits learning outside the classroom can have on children’s educational development, as well as their mental health and wellbeing, and is taking steps to unlock outdoor learning and educational visits in line with the COVID-19 road map.

The government also recognises the vital role they can play in character development opportunities they afford for social mixing, which promotes children and young people’s wellbeing. That is why we ensured that all before and after-school clubs, holiday clubs, and other out-of-school settings were able continue to stay open for those children that need or rely on these settings most, for the duration of the national lockdown, and why we have extended eligibility of attendance when children returned to school on 8 March.

At present, providers are able to offer face-to-face provision for all children, where that provision supports certain essential purposes; with vulnerable children and young people able to continue accessing provision under any circumstance. We have updated our protective measures guidance for the sector, which outlines eligibility and aims to support providers to allow them to open for as many children as safely as possible. This guidance can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

The government’s intention is that out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers will be able to open to all children, without restrictions on access, in time for the summer term, and no earlier than 12 April. However, the government continues to advise against all educational visits. The department is working on advice for schools on the planning and booking of residential visits when it is safe to do so and in line with the government’s roadmap to recovery, as set out in: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021. The advice will be published shortly.

While the department has not thus far engaged with The Summer Camps Trust specifically, since June 2020, we have been in close communication with various stakeholders, to understand the specific challenges that they face. These discussions have been incredibly beneficial for the department, and the collaboration on this policy area has led to a supportive relationship, which is still ongoing.


Written Question
Outdoor Education
15 Mar 2021

Questioner: David Amess

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential contribution that residential summer camps can play in promoting (a) character development and (b) social mixing as part of young people’s education.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

The department recognises the significant benefits learning outside the classroom can have on children’s educational development, as well as their mental health and wellbeing, and is taking steps to unlock outdoor learning and educational visits in line with the COVID-19 road map.

The government also recognises the vital role they can play in character development opportunities they afford for social mixing, which promotes children and young people’s wellbeing. That is why we ensured that all before and after-school clubs, holiday clubs, and other out-of-school settings were able continue to stay open for those children that need or rely on these settings most, for the duration of the national lockdown, and why we have extended eligibility of attendance when children returned to school on 8 March.

At present, providers are able to offer face-to-face provision for all children, where that provision supports certain essential purposes; with vulnerable children and young people able to continue accessing provision under any circumstance. We have updated our protective measures guidance for the sector, which outlines eligibility and aims to support providers to allow them to open for as many children as safely as possible. This guidance can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

The government’s intention is that out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers will be able to open to all children, without restrictions on access, in time for the summer term, and no earlier than 12 April. However, the government continues to advise against all educational visits. The department is working on advice for schools on the planning and booking of residential visits when it is safe to do so and in line with the government’s roadmap to recovery, as set out in: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021. The advice will be published shortly.

While the department has not thus far engaged with The Summer Camps Trust specifically, since June 2020, we have been in close communication with various stakeholders, to understand the specific challenges that they face. These discussions have been incredibly beneficial for the department, and the collaboration on this policy area has led to a supportive relationship, which is still ongoing.


Written Question
Historic Buildings and Museums and Galleries: Coronavirus
15 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Benjamin

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) educational, (2) well-being, and (3) cultural, impact of allowing museums, galleries and heritage buildings to re-open.

Answer (Baroness Barran)

There is clear evidence of an association between arts and culture participation and self-reported subjective wellbeing, even when social, economic and lifestyle factors are taken into account. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Arts, Health and Wellbeing found evidence that cultural engagement reduces stress and helps people to live longer and happier lives. During the first national lockdown, a DCMS study showed well-being increased with access to outdoor space, often accessed at heritage sites.

Learning is at the heart of museums, galleries and heritage sites. Many identify as delivering education as their primary function. In the public consultation for the Mendoza Review, 85% of over 1,200 respondents felt that museums and galleries are primarily places for education.

Museums, galleries and heritage sites contribute to positive social outcomes at a local level, making places more attractive to businesses and residents.

Our roadmap is driven by the latest evidence on the risk of transmission. We are therefore reopening outdoor settings before indoor settings, and reopening relatively low risk indoor settings where household mixing is less likely to take place at an earlier step, including retail, personal care and exercise facilities.


Written Question
National School Breakfast Programme: Coronavirus
12 Mar 2021

Questioner: Robert Halfon

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the role the National School Breakfast programme could play in helping children recover lost learning as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

This Government wants pupils to be healthy and well nourished. We encourage pupils to adopt a healthy balanced diet and healthy life choices through school funding, legislation and guidance.

The Department is investing up to £38 million in the National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP). This funding is enabling up to 2,450 schools to set up or improve breakfast clubs in disadvantaged areas of the country. The programme is designed to support schools in making their breakfast clubs sustainable for the longer term.

The Department knows that breakfast clubs can bring a wide range of benefits for children. An evaluation by the Education Endowment Foundation found that supporting schools to run a free of charge, universal breakfast club before school delivered an average of 2 months’ additional progress for pupils in Key Stage 1. Schools with breakfast clubs also saw an improvement in pupil behaviour and attendance.

The Department’s protective measures guidance for providers of before or after school clubs, and other out-of-school settings during the COVID-19 outbreak has been updated to make clear that providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, breakfast or after-school clubs, tuition, and other out-of-school provision for children, are able to continue to open for both outdoor and indoor provision, provided they follow the protective measures set out by the Government in this guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Parents and carers are only able to access settings for certain essential purposes. Providers should only offer indoor and outdoor face-to-face provision to:

  1. vulnerable children and young people
  2. other children, where the provision is:
  • reasonably necessary to enable their parents and carers to work, search for work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment or address a medical need, or attend a support group,
  • being used by electively home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education,
  • being used as part of their efforts to obtain a regulated qualification, meet the entry requirements for an education institution, or to undertake exams and assessments.

The Government is committed to helping children and young people make up education lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department has invested £1.7 billion to give early years, schools and colleges support to help pupils get back on track, including additional funding for tutoring, early language support, and summer schools.

The Department has also appointed Sir Kevan Collins as Education Recovery Commissioner who will advise ministers on the approach for education recovery, with a particular focus on helping students catch up on education lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.


Written Question
Outdoor Education: Coronavirus
12 Mar 2021

Questioner: Afzal Khan

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department plans to provide to outdoor learning providers as part of the covid-19 catch-up provision.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

We recognise that extended school and college restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education and are committed to helping pupils make up lost education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, committed to working with parents, teachers, and education providers to develop a long-term plan to help schools support pupils make up their education over the course of this Parliament.

In February 2021, the Department also appointed Sir Kevan Collins, as Education Recovery Commissioner, to advise on the approach for education recovery and the development of a long-term plan to help pupils make up their education over the course of this Parliament. The Education Recovery Commissioner has been clear that sport and broader enrichment activities are a key part of recovery, and will engage with parents, pupils, and teachers in the development of this broader approach which will examine a range of options to help schools to use evidence-based interventions to support their pupils to make up lost education.

£200 million will be made available to secondary schools to run summer schools with an initial focus on incoming Year 7 pupils. The summer schools will offer a mix of academic and enrichment activity. Guidance will be provided to schools, including a reminder that they can work with their usual wraparound or holiday provider to ensure they can collaboratively create a broad and interesting programme for the pupils involved.

The Department recognises the significant benefits that education outside the classroom can have on children’s development as well as their mental health and wellbeing and is taking steps to unlock outdoor education and educational visits in line with the COVID-19 road map.


Written Question
Culture Recovery Fund: Outdoor Education
11 Feb 2021

Questioner: Richard Holden

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the Culture Recovery Fund to the outdoor learning sector.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund is an unprecedented support package for culture and heritage. Where outdoor educational centres have extensive public outreach; run professional arts programmes; or own, work with or manage heritage, they may be eligible for support and could apply to the Culture Recovery Fund.

However, please note that the application portals for the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund have now closed.


Written Question
Care Homes: Coronavirus
5 Feb 2021

Questioner: Laura Farris

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of (a) allowing self-isolating individuals to visit family members in care homes who are suffering from isolation and (b) facilitating care home residents to visit covid-secure family homes.

Answer (Helen Whately)

We recognise how important it is to allow care home residents to meet their loved ones safely, and appreciate the particular challenges visiting restrictions pose for people with dementia, learning disabilities and autistic adults, amongst others and their loved ones.

In the face of a new variant of the virus we have acted to protect those most at risk in care homes and ensure visits can go ahead safely in some form. As set out in national lockdown guidance, visits to care homes can continue to take place with arrangements such as outdoor visiting, substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not currently allowed. Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

We have also published guidance on visits out of care homes such as to the family home during this period of this national lockdown. People, including care home residents, must stay at home and must not gather indoors unless one of the specified exemptions apply. This means that a resident will not in general be able to meet another household indoors, for example, visiting their family in the family’s home.

We are keeping all our guidance under regular review, and will seek to provide further opportunities for families to visit and spend time together as it becomes safer to do so.


Written Question
Schools: Social Distancing
3 Jul 2020

Questioner: Geraint Davies

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the recommendations made by the School Streets Initiative in relation to (a) healthier learning environments for school children and (b) increased space to ensure social distancing at schools.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Outdoor air quality and road traffic restrictions are the responsibility of local authorities. Where there are concerns about air quality the local authority must prepare an air quality action plan.

We are not aware of any recommendations to the Department on the impact of the School Streets Initiative on healthier educational environments. The Department published guidance (Building Bulletin 101) on achieving good indoor air quality in new and refurbished schools in 2019.

As my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, made clear when he spoke at the daily press briefing on 19 June, the Department is working towards bringing all children and young people back to school in September. We have published further information and guidance to help schools prepare for September. The guidance is available here:

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


Written Question
Schools: Coronavirus
29 May 2020

Questioner: Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential health benefits of using outdoor spaces to teach; and what plans they have to (1) support, and (2) encourage, schools to make increased use of outdoor spaces as learning environments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answer (Baroness Berridge)

We recognise that outdoor education can be beneficial for the health and wellbeing of children and young people, and that outdoor space offers additional benefits to allow for distance between people during the coronavirus outbreak. Our guidance to help schools and other education settings prepare for wider opening to more pupils from 1 June, explicitly encourages the use of outdoor space and outdoor education where possible. In particular, we are asking schools to consider which lessons or activities could take place outdoors as part of a range of approaches they can take to help reduce transmission. We are also asking schools to use their outside space for exercise and breaks.


Written Question
Outdoor Education
7 May 2019

Questioner: Paul Farrelly

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of ensuring that the national curriculum includes outdoor learning on the natural environment.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Outdoor education can play an important role for many subjects in the school curriculum. It can include cultural trips, environmental and countryside education, science and geography fieldwork, and visits to museums and heritage sites. For some subjects such as biology and geography, fieldwork is a part of the national curriculum and a requirement of GCSE subject content.

In recognition of these benefits, the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, published in January 2018, included £10 million funding from the Department to help more children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have contact with nature.

The Government does not prescribe how schools should teach or what outdoor activities they should offer. They have the freedom to plan and deliver curricula that meet the educational needs and interests of their pupils, provided they meet any statutory requirements.


Written Question
Outdoor Education
15 Dec 2016

Questioner: Lord Bird

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Youth Hostels Association England and Wales report <i>A year of positive change: Our Impact Review 2015/16</i>, what plans they have to ensure that every child experiences outdoor and residential learning opportunities as part of a primary school education.

Answer (Lord Nash)

Outdoor and residential education can play an important role in children’s development. When activities are structured and organised effectively, they can provide young people with stimulating experiences which build on the knowledge and understanding they gain through classroom lessons.

Schools have the freedom to plan and deliver curriculums that meet the educational needs and interests of their pupils, provided that they meet any statutory requirements. School leaders and teachers are in the best position to use their professional judgement to decide whether outdoor education meets the needs of their pupils, and to plan lessons and use their budgets accordingly.


Written Question
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education
16 Nov 2016

Questioner: Lord Blunkett

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what character education grants were awarded to organisations and schools from 2014 to 2016; what was the value of each grant awarded; who were the recipients of each grant awarded; and what was the purpose and impact of those grants.

Answer (Lord Nash)

Character Education Grants were awarded to 14 organisations to run programmes in 2015/16. This grant programme was part of the Government’s commitment to help schools ensure that more children develop a set of character traits, attributes and behaviours that underpin success in education and in work. Grants were awarded to organisations either to encourage the expansion of existing projects that demonstrated character education or to support new and innovative projects to develop promising approaches in this area.

Grant recipients were responsible for commissioning evaluations of their activity, a number of which have been published by the grant recipients. We have not conducted centrally an assessment of the overall impact of the grants.

The table below provides details of each recipient, the value of each grant, and a description of the activity undertaken by each organisation.

Organisation

Value of Grant (£)

Activity

Premier Rugby Limited

£556,494

Inspired by the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Premier Rugby Limited, together with 14 professional rugby clubs, designed and delivered new character-based programmes in primary and secondary schools. These programmes provided classroom-based and physical activities based on the core rugby values of respect, teamwork, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship. A complementary 33-week intensive programme targeted 16 to 18 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET), including character building activities, qualifications, work experience and employability skills.

St John Ambulance

£254,911

St John Ambulance delivered a programme of first aid training aimed at building a nation of resilient, confident and motivated young first aiders. The programme also aimed to develop community spirit and conscientiousness, and to raise aspirations.

The Scout Association

£302,299

The Scout Association ran a pilot project called “Scouting by Doing” in partnership with Demos. The pilot, run in six schools in the South East and the Midlands, sought to tackle the barriers to character education in deprived areas by equipping schools to deliver school-based Scouting activities to children aged 8 to 10. The programme aimed to develop robust evidence on the effectiveness of different approaches and to produce a scalable framework and online toolkit to be made freely available to all schools.

The University of Birmingham

£201,895

With support from the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, the purpose of this programme was to develop and pilot an innovative suite of teaching materials and methods building on existing research about how character education could be taught through established curriculum subjects.

The Challenge Network

£315,734

The Challenge Network aimed to up-scale its HeadStart programme to a further 1,900 16 to 18 year olds across London and Birmingham. The purpose of this programme was to develop a range of positive character traits and work readiness by challenging young people to commit at least 16 volunteering hours in return for a guaranteed interview for a part-time job with a major business.

Youth Sport Trust

£95,527

Through this programme the Youth Sport Trust implemented a new programme aimed at developing PE lessons and resources to build in young people the essential character traits that help them to succeed.

Floreat Education

£124,002

Floreat Education developed and piloted a character virtue development programme for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils in its two free schools. The project included teacher training and the development of story-based teaching resources, supported by activities to build pupils’ character.

PSHE Association

£137,000

The PSHE Association developed and piloted a PSHE character curriculum from key stages 1 to 4 in 10 schools.

CSN Community Interest Company

£79,945

CSN Community Interest Company worked with mental health charities to expand its “summit programme” aimed at building core character traits and resilience in disadvantaged young people. The programme involved a targeted intervention programme, school workshops, and intensive residential courses.

The Prince’s Trust

£584,366

The Prince’s Trust expanded its XI programme, which aimed to increase motivation, confidence and resilience to support future success. It introduced timetabled activity in schools linked to wider curricula covering volunteering, life skills, and other character-building projects such as extra-curricular sports and outdoor activities.

City Year UK

£334,206

Through this project, City Year UK provided four schools where more than half of pupils were eligible for the pupil premium with a team of full-time volunteer corps members aged 18 to 25 plus a full-time member of City Year staff. The overall aim of the intervention was to improve attendance, behaviour, engagement and attainment. Activities delivered through the programme included running breakfast clubs, supporting pupils in class, being a role model and a presence for inclusion and good behaviour at break times, eating meals with students, and offering a range of after-school activities such as homework clubs, debate clubs and social action projects.

The King’s School

£193,784

The King’s School worked in a consortium with four secondary schools in Devon to pilot a character-building programme, with a particular focus on disadvantaged children. The programme aimed to focus on four key character traits of resilience, leadership, community and curiosity through a range of approaches including mentoring, volunteering, and outdoor enrichment and enterprise activities. The programme also aimed to train staff in effective approaches to building character and developing resilience, and included a strong focus on raising aspirations, particularly in STEM careers.

The Church of England Education Office

£124,820

The Church of England Education Office piloted “what-if learning”, a cross-curricular model developed by an international partnership of educators. This aimed to equip teachers with a practical approach to promoting the development in the classroom of those positive virtues and character traits which lead to success in learning and increased engagement in community and voluntary activities.

Young Enterprise

£162,495

Through this programme, Young Enterprise aimed to support 200 15 to 18 year olds with special educational needs or disabilities within 20 schools or centres with an intensive programme to develop the essential character traits needed for success in employment and life through practical experiences of work. Through the programme, young people worked together to plan, set up and run a company or social enterprise. They took part in a number of enterprising activities supported by inspirational local volunteers from the world of work.


Written Question
Wildlife
7 Jul 2016

Questioner: Mark Menzies

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to help more children access and understand nature.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

The Government’s ambition is to connect more children with nature. We have supported a number of initiatives for children to access and better understand the environment. Our aim is to not only give all children the chance to experience the natural world, but also to understand it, and respond to it. For example:

Our Eight Point Plan for National Parks will:

  • Double the number of apprenticeships in National Park Authorities by 2020;
  • Provide a new package of teaching materials for schools based on National Parks;
  • Engage directly with more than 60,000 young people a year through schools visits by 2017/18.

Defra has also worked closely with its delivery bodies and partners on a Natural Connections Pilot Project that supported schools, not only to connect children with nature through outdoor learning, but also to make sure schools are able to connect outdoor learning to their curriculum.

We are also helping schools plant a million trees in their communities, so children can see first-hand the power of nature.


Written Question
Wildlife
7 Jul 2016

Questioner: Nigel Huddleston

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to help more children access and understand nature.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

The Government’s ambition is to connect more children with nature. We have supported a number of initiatives for children to access and better understand the environment. Our aim is to not only give all children the chance to experience the natural world, but also to understand it, and respond to it. For example:

Our Eight Point Plan for National Parks will:

  • Double the number of apprenticeships in National Park Authorities by 2020;
  • Provide a new package of teaching materials for schools based on National Parks;
  • Engage directly with more than 60,000 young people a year through schools visits by 2017/18.

Defra has also worked closely with its delivery bodies and partners on a Natural Connections Pilot Project that supported schools, not only to connect children with nature through outdoor learning, but also to make sure schools are able to connect outdoor learning to their curriculum.

We are also helping schools plant a million trees in their communities, so children can see first-hand the power of nature.