Department for Education

The Department for Education is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Scottish National Party
Carol Monaghan (SNP - Glasgow North West)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Education)

Labour
Lord Watson of Invergowrie (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

Liberal Democrat
Daisy Cooper (LDEM - St Albans)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

Democratic Unionist Party
Paul Girvan (DUP - South Antrim)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education)

Labour
Kate Green (LAB - Stretford and Urmston)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
Baroness Sherlock (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

Plaid Cymru
Ben Lake (PC - Ceredigion)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Education)

Liberal Democrat
Lord Storey (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Toby Perkins (LAB - Chesterfield)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Tulip Siddiq (LAB - Hampstead and Kilburn)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)
Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)
Matt Western (LAB - Warwick and Leamington)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Ministers of State
Michelle Donelan (CON - Chippenham)
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
Robin Walker (CON - Worcester)
Minister of State (Education)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Alex Burghart (CON - Brentwood and Ongar)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Will Quince (CON - Colchester)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Baroness Barran (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Scheduled Event
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Department for Education
Legislation - Main Chamber
Telecommunications (Security) Bill – third reading
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 27th October 2021
09:15
Education Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
27 Oct 2021, 9:15 a.m.
Universities and the pandemic
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Scheduled Event
Monday 1st November 2021
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
1 Nov 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Scheduled Event
Monday 6th December 2021
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Dec 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Friday 22nd October 2021
Select Committee Docs
Friday 22nd October 2021
00:00
19 October 2021
Oral Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Monday 15th March 2021
Children's Homes

The inquiry will focus on children’s homes.

It will examine a number of areas including educational outcomes and destinations, the …

Written Answers
Friday 22nd October 2021
Mathematics: Students
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to increase the number of mathematics (a) undergraduates …
Secondary Legislation
Friday 8th October 2021
Non-maintained Special Schools (England) and Independent School Standards (Amendment) Regulations 2021
These Regulations make amendments to the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015 (“the 2015 Regulations”) and to the Independent School …
Bills
Thursday 27th October 2016
Technical and Further Education Act 2017
A Bill to make provision about technical and further education.
Dept. Publications
Friday 22nd October 2021
17:26

Department for Education Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.


Bills currently before Parliament

Department for Education does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Department for Education has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Department for Education - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations make amendments to the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015 (“the 2015 Regulations”) and to the Independent School Standards, as set out in the Schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (“the 2014 Regulations”).
This Order makes provision for the determination of the remuneration of school teachers (within the meaning of section 122 of the Education Act 2002) in England and other conditions of employment of school teachers which relate to their professional duties and working time.
View All Department for Education Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
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Petitions with most signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme

All students should be reimbursed of this years tuition fees as universities are now online only due to COVID-19, with only powerpoints online for learning materials which is not worthy of up to £9,250. Furthermore, all assessments are being reconsidered to ‘make do’ and build up credits.

The quality of online lectures is not equal to face-to-face lectures. Students should not have to pay full tuition fees for online lectures, without experiencing university life. The Government should require UK universities to partially refund tuition fees while online teaching is implemented.

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Departmental Select Committee

Education Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Education Committee
Robert Halfon Portrait
Robert Halfon (Conservative - Harlow)
Education Committee Chair since 27th January 2020
Christian Wakeford Portrait
Christian Wakeford (Conservative - Bury South)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ian Mearns Portrait
Ian Mearns (Labour - Gateshead)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Caroline Johnson Portrait
Caroline Johnson (Conservative - Sleaford and North Hykeham)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Tom Hunt Portrait
Tom Hunt (Conservative - Ipswich)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Apsana Begum Portrait
Apsana Begum (Labour - Poplar and Limehouse)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Kim Johnson Portrait
Kim Johnson (Labour - Liverpool, Riverside)
Education Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Kate Osborne Portrait
Kate Osborne (Labour - Jarrow)
Education Committee Member since 13th July 2021
Nicola Richards Portrait
Nicola Richards (Conservative - West Bromwich East)
Education Committee Member since 7th September 2021
Brendan Clarke-Smith Portrait
Brendan Clarke-Smith (Conservative - Bassetlaw)
Education Committee Member since 19th October 2021
Miriam Cates Portrait
Miriam Cates (Conservative - Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Education Committee Member since 19th October 2021
Education Committee: Upcoming Events
Education Committee - Oral evidence
Universities and the pandemic
27 Oct 2021, 9:15 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Jo Grady - General Secretary at University and College Union
Professor Tansy Jessop - Pro Vice-Chancellor at University of Bristol
Professor Liz Barnes - Vice Chancellor at Staffordshire University
At 10.30am: Oral evidence
Michelle Donelan MP - Minister of State for Higher and Further Education at Department for Education

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50 most recent 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

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to allow people whose higher education has been disrupted as a result of international conflict to apply for funding with student finance.

The government has a longstanding and proud tradition of providing a safe haven to those who have no choice but to leave their home country because of endangerment to their lives or to those of their families. Student support for higher education courses is available to persons granted international protection by the Home Office, including those recognised as refugees or who have been granted humanitarian protection, stateless leave, Calais leave or section 67 leave. Such persons are exempt from the three-year ordinary residence requirement.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many funds are allocated to local authorities by his Department through a process of competitive bidding; and if he will publish the names of those funds.

The department is currently collating 2020-21 grant award data which we expect to be available in the new year following accuracy and completeness checks. The data is due to be published by Cabinet Office in March 2022 but may not contain the recipient category.

The 2019-20 scheme and award grant data is available on the link below in the DfE sheet. The 2019-20 scheme data does not contain the recipient category, but the recipient names are available in the awards data as is the allocation methodology and the grant scheme.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1013784/Government_grants_register_2019_to_2020_-_scheme_and_award_data.ods

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of inequality in the North West region of the withdrawal of funding for certain BTEC qualifications.

We set out the qualifications we intend to fund alongside A levels and T Levels at level 3 in July 2021. We will continue to fund some BTECs and other Applied General qualifications (AGQs) in future, and these qualifications will continue to play an important role for 16 to 19 year olds and adults as they do now.

Whilst we want clearer, simpler choices for students, we are not moving towards a binary system of just A levels and T Levels. Students will continue to be able to study BTECs and other AGQs as part of mixed programmes alongside A levels, where they meet new quality standards and support progression to higher education, for example in areas such as engineering, applied science and IT. Students will also be able to study qualifications like BTECs as their full programme of study where there is no A level or T Level, in areas such as performing and creative arts and sports science.

T Levels are challenging qualifications developed with 250 leading employers, have significantly longer teaching hours and include a meaningful nine-week industry placement that sets them apart from many current vocational qualifications. We believe that it is the right thing to do to remove funding for technical qualifications that overlap with T Levels when they become nationally available. However, whilst we want clearer, simpler choices for students, we are not creating a binary system of just A levels and T Levels and will continue to fund qualifications such as BTECs and other AGQs in a number of areas. These include performing and creative arts, sport, health, and STEM subjects such as engineering, applied science, and IT.

The impact assessment published alongside our final plans in July recognised that at a national level some students may find it more difficult to achieve level 3 in future, but we expect these changes to have a generally positive impact. We are clear that students taking qualifications that are no longer funded in future will have the most to gain from these changes because they are more likely to be taking qualifications that do not deliver the skills employers need. These students will have access to higher quality qualifications in the future, including new T Levels, putting them in a stronger position to progress onto further study or skilled employment.

Alongside our reforms to level 3 qualifications, we want to improve study at level 2 and below, which has been neglected for too long. Getting level 2 and below right is key to making sure that every student has a clear progression route, whether that is to high quality level 3 qualifications, apprenticeships, traineeships, or directly into skilled employment at level 2. We are considering feedback to the call for evidence which ran from 10 November 2020 to 14 February 2021 and will consult on proposals for reform later this year.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people aged (a) 16 to 18 years old and (b) over 19 years old studied for a level 3 BTEC in (a) St Helens Metropolitan Borough and (b) Liverpool City Region in each year since 2010.

The data in the attached table covers level 3 learning aim enrolments that have BTEC in the title.

The data is broken down by St Helens and Liverpool City Region (Halton, Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Wirral) and by age groups of under 19 years and those over 19 years old.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to (a) increase flexibility in the apprenticeship system and (b) extend access to workers on temporary contracts.

We are making apprenticeships more flexible so that they better meet the needs of employers in all sectors. We are encouraging greater use of innovative apprenticeship training models, such as the front-loading of off-the-job training, so apprentices can be productive from day one in the workplace. We are also developing accelerated apprenticeships so that apprentices with substantial prior learning from other skills programmes, such as traineeships and T Levels, can complete an apprenticeship more quickly. Additionally, we are making it easier for large employers to transfer levy funds to support new starts in small businesses, or in a certain sector or region. On 13 September 2021, we launched a new online service to allow levy paying employers to advertise funding pledges, enabling a much wider range of businesses to browse and apply for available funds.

We recognise that some sectors with flexible employment patterns and short-term roles, including creative, digital, adult social care, transport, and manufacturing have found it challenging to benefit from the high-quality apprenticeships available. In August, to help these sectors, we launched our new flexi-job apprenticeship offer. We have invited sector bodies, groups of employers, and other interested organisations to register as flexi-job apprenticeship agencies, giving them access to a £7 million fund to support new agencies with their start-up costs. These agencies will enable apprentices to work across multiple short-term projects with different employers and allow them to benefit from the high-quality long-term training that an apprenticeship provides.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to increase the number of mathematics (a) undergraduates and (b) postgraduates.

The department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme, which aims to increase participation and attainment in level 3 mathematics through targeted support, ensuring students in all 16-19 state funded schools and colleges can access AS and A level maths and AS and A level further mathematics, and helping them to study these subjects to a higher level.

We are working with universities and academy trusts to establish a specialist maths school in each region, and a total of 11 nationally. This aims to prepare more of our most mathematically able students to succeed in maths disciplines at top universities. They also deliver outreach work with teachers and students in schools in their surrounding areas to increase maths A level participation and attainment.

We strongly believe effective careers guidance and advice is key to supporting young people in their education and career choices, to undertake learning and develop skills in the areas employers are looking for. The government’s Careers Strategy sets out a long-term plan to build a world class careers system to achieve this ambition. We are increasing the information available to students to ensure they can make informed choices about what and where to study. The delivery of the Careers Strategy also ensures that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) encounters, such as with employers and apprenticeships, are built into school career programmes.

The government also supports around 25% of the total PhD population in the UK through grants awarded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Since January 2020, UKRI has awarded £104 million of additional funding into Mathematical Sciences, over and above the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) core Mathematical Sciences Theme budget. The additional funding has funded institutes, small and large research grants, fellowships, doctoral studentships and postdoctoral awards.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the Government last conducted an evaluation of international higher education students’ contribution to the UK economy.

The department publishes annual experimental statistics on UK revenue from education related exports and transnational education activity.

The latest release, published in December 2020, estimated total UK revenue from education related exports and transnational activity in 2018 to be £23.3 billion, of which £16 billion (69%) of the total value came from higher education activity.

The statistical release, along with the technical note detailing the methodology and data sources used can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-revenue-from-education-related-exports-and-transnational-education-activity-2018.

Through the government’s International Education Strategy, and the 2021 update to the Strategy, we have committed to providing a clearer picture of Education Exports data. The department continues to work closely with the Department for International Trade on this matter and as set out in the 2021 Update, a roadmap is being developed focusing on short/medium/long-term steps to improve data. The update can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-education-strategy-2021-update/international-education-strategy-2021-update-supporting-recovery-driving-growth.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what methodology his Department uses to evaluate the contribution of higher education-related exports to the UK economy.

The department publishes annual experimental statistics on UK revenue from education related exports and transnational education activity.

The latest release, published in December 2020, estimated total UK revenue from education related exports and transnational activity in 2018 to be £23.3 billion, of which £16 billion (69%) of the total value came from higher education activity.

The statistical release, along with the technical note detailing the methodology and data sources used can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-revenue-from-education-related-exports-and-transnational-education-activity-2018.

Through the government’s International Education Strategy, and the 2021 update to the Strategy, we have committed to providing a clearer picture of Education Exports data. The department continues to work closely with the Department for International Trade on this matter and as set out in the 2021 Update, a roadmap is being developed focusing on short/medium/long-term steps to improve data. The update can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-education-strategy-2021-update/international-education-strategy-2021-update-supporting-recovery-driving-growth.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will list (a) any powers he has to prevent investment in UK universities by hostile states and (b) the legal basis for each of those powers.

We are recognised across the world for our higher education system and we encourage the sector to collaborate with international partners. However, to be open, we must also be secure, and we will not accept collaborations which compromise our national security.

On the 29 April 2021, the National Security and Investment (NSI) Act was passed. The NSI Act enables the UK Government to protect all sectors, including research and Higher Education Institutions from hostile foreign interference through mandating notification and requiring approval of investments and other acquisitions in key areas. It also extends the UK Government’s screening powers to include acquisitions of control over assets such as intellectual and tangible property. Universities and other research organisations should have regard to the NSI Act when collaborating with other parties to acquire, sell or develop entities and assets.

In addition, I commissioned Universities UK to produce comprehensive security guidelines to advise universities on engaging in secure international collaborations published in October 2020, ‘Managing risks in internationalisation: security-related issues’. Among the recommendations in the guidelines were that due diligence be conducted on all international partnerships.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to review the effectiveness of the Apprenticeship Levy.

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of our reforms supporting employers of all sizes to invest in high-quality apprenticeship training.

We are making apprenticeships more flexible so that they better meet the needs of employers in all sectors. We are encouraging greater use of innovative apprenticeship training models, such as the front-loading of off-the-job training so apprentices can be productive from day one in the workplace. We are also developing accelerated apprenticeships so that apprentices with substantial prior learning from other skills programmes, such as traineeships and T Levels, can achieve occupational competence more quickly.

In August, we launched a new £7 million flexi-job apprenticeship fund to support greater use of apprenticeships in sectors such as creative and construction, where flexible working practices are commonplace. Flexi-job apprenticeships will enable apprentices to move between different host employers in a sector or region as they complete the training requirements for their apprenticeship.

We are also making it easier for large employers to make full use of their levy funds by transferring them to support new starts in small businesses, or in a certain sector or region. In September, we launched a new online service to allow levy-paying employers to pledge funds for transfer, making it easier for large and small employers alike to make better use of transfers.

We currently have no plans to review the apprenticeship levy, including how employers’ levy funds are used. The levy was created to support the uptake and delivery of high-quality apprenticeships and has been set at a level to fund this employer demand. It funds apprenticeships for employers of all sizes, including for smaller employers who do not have their own levy funds to use.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the flexibility in how employers can spend Apprenticeship Levy funds; and whether he has plans to reform existing restrictions.

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of our reforms supporting employers of all sizes to invest in high-quality apprenticeship training.

We are making apprenticeships more flexible so that they better meet the needs of employers in all sectors. We are encouraging greater use of innovative apprenticeship training models, such as the front-loading of off-the-job training so apprentices can be productive from day one in the workplace. We are also developing accelerated apprenticeships so that apprentices with substantial prior learning from other skills programmes, such as traineeships and T Levels, can achieve occupational competence more quickly.

In August, we launched a new £7 million flexi-job apprenticeship fund to support greater use of apprenticeships in sectors such as creative and construction, where flexible working practices are commonplace. Flexi-job apprenticeships will enable apprentices to move between different host employers in a sector or region as they complete the training requirements for their apprenticeship.

We are also making it easier for large employers to make full use of their levy funds by transferring them to support new starts in small businesses, or in a certain sector or region. In September, we launched a new online service to allow levy-paying employers to pledge funds for transfer, making it easier for large and small employers alike to make better use of transfers.

We currently have no plans to review the apprenticeship levy, including how employers’ levy funds are used. The levy was created to support the uptake and delivery of high-quality apprenticeships and has been set at a level to fund this employer demand. It funds apprenticeships for employers of all sizes, including for smaller employers who do not have their own levy funds to use.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of private companies sharing their apprenticeship levy funds with public bodies.

We are committed to supporting more employers to use apprenticeships to develop the skilled workforces they need, and to support more people, from all backgrounds, to benefit from the high quality training that apprenticeships offer.

To help large employers make full use of their levy funds, we are making it easier for them to transfer their unused funds and support new starters in other businesses, sectors or regions. In September, we launched a new online service to allow levy paying employers to advertise funding pledges, and to enable other businesses to browse and apply for these funds. Private sector companies are able to transfer levy funds to employers in the public sector.

It is encouraging to see that companies, including DPD, Mace Group, and Amazon UK, have already begun to take advantage of this opportunity and pledge funds for transfer.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the financial sustainability of the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is a private pension scheme. Higher education providers that offer the USS are responsible for the pension provision offered to their staff. Like other defined benefit schemes, the USS is regulated by The Pensions Regulator.

The Pensions Regulator is currently working with the USS, Universities UK and a range of other stakeholders as they work to find a long-term solution to the funding challenges faced by the USS.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to lower the student loan repayment threshold from £27,000 to £23,000.

We are committed to a sustainable funding model for our higher education system that supports high value provision, meets the skills needs of the country and maintains the world-class reputation of UK higher education.

The government is considering its response to the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding carefully, including a range of options to ensure that student finance continues to deliver value for money for both students and the taxpayer, and will set out a full conclusion in due course.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Board of Warwickshire College Group on their policy on site closures.

The Board of Warwickshire College Group (trading as WCG) has a legal duty as charitable trustees to act in the best interest of the corporation and maximise the value of surplus assets. Decisions made by the board are expected to be in line with their Estates Strategy and Space Management Policy. The Education and Skills Funding Agency nor the Department for Education have the powers to influence the board’s decision on individual site closures.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on introducing alternative student finance options for Muslim students.

I refer the hon. Members for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, and Ealing Central and Acton to the answer I gave on 18 October 2021 to Question 53884.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to introduce an alternative student finance model for higher education students.

I refer the hon. Members for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, and Ealing Central and Acton to the answer I gave on 18 October 2021 to Question 53884.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much Government funding has been allocated to adult education in each region in each year since 2019.

The government supports adult education, outside of apprenticeships, through the Adult Education Budget (AEB), National Skills Fund, European Social Fund (ESF) and Advanced Learner Loans.

A complete regional breakdown of funding allocations across these funding streams is not available. However, the government does publish the following online at GOV.UK:

The amount of AEB allocated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to providers is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/19-funding-allocations#supporting-documents and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/funding-allocations-to-training-providers-2021-to-2022.

The figures from 2019/20 onwards, following AEB devolution, are in respect of funding allocated to providers for learners resident in non-devolved areas.

Starting this year, the government is investing £2.5 billion in the National Skills Fund. This is a new investment, which includes £375 million in the financial year 2021-22, exclusive of Barnett. This is broken down as follows:

  • £138 million to deliver on my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s skills speech (£95 million for Free Courses for Jobs offer and £43 million for Skills Bootcamps)
  • £127 million for measures announced in the Plan for Jobs (including apprenticeships, traineeships, and Sector-based Work Academy Programmes)
  • £110 million (including £50 million capital) for piloting skills reforms

ESF contract values from 2014 to 2020, covering rounds one and two, for contracts starting in 2016 and 2019 respectively, are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esf-2014-to-2020-programme-list-of-contracts.

The Department forecasts demand for Advanced Learner Loans with HM Treasury annually. These tuition fee loans are for provision across England in all areas. The total value of loans approved by the Student Loans Company in the 20219/20 academic year was £182.4 million.

The Department also publishes adult learner data, which includes a breakdown of how many learners are supported by region: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/further-education-and-skills.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to raise the rate of funding for sixth form education to at least £4,760 per student in the upcoming Spending Review; and if he will make a statement.

We have invested an extra £291 million in 16-19 education in the 2021-22 financial year. This is in addition to the £400 million awarded in the 2019 Spending Review, which was the biggest injection of new money into 16-19 education in a single year since 2010. This has allowed us to raise the base rate of funding for all providers of 16-19 education, including school sixth forms and sixth-form colleges, from £4,000 in the 2019/20 academic year to £4,188 in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 academic years, as well as to make further funding increases targeted on high value and high cost programmes.

As a result, the average total programme funding per 16-19 student has increased by nearly 10% from £4,516 in 2019/20 published allocations, to £4,958 in 2020/21 published allocations[1]. We will need to consider the outcome of the 2021 spending review and what this will mean for funding rates beyond the 2021/22 academic year.

[1] This calculation only includes institutions that have students receiving total programme funding. Some institutions receive only high needs funding, their students are not included in this calculation. In addition, the Condition of Funding adjustment for English and maths and the Advanced Maths Premium have been incorporated in total programme funding in 2019/20 to make this consistent with the definition in 2020/21.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much of the funding allocated to the Holiday Activities and Food Programme has been spent on activities for children during the (a) Easter and (b) summer 2021 holidays.

Local authorities were asked to send reports to the department by 15 October 2021, including detailed information on their delivery of the programme to date. 131 delivery reports were received by 15 October 2021, and we have been in contact with local authorities directly to ensure the outstanding 20 are received promptly. The department is now examining these detailed individual reports and may need to clarify information with local authorities in some cases. The department will then consider the best way to share information on the programme.

In addition, as part of the financial assurance process, local authorities will complete a certificate of expenditure which will cover the 2021-22 financial year. As indicated in the grant determination letter, this will be commissioned after the upcoming Christmas school holidays and therefore this information is not currently available.

The department commissioned Ecorys UK to conduct an external evaluation of the programme. Fieldwork has taken place during and shortly after this year’s summer holidays, and we expect to publish findings in the New Year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Holiday Activities and Food Programme, how many local authorities submitted a report detailing their summer activities and a delivery plan for the Christmas holidays by 15 October 2021.

Local authorities were asked to send reports to the department by 15 October 2021, including detailed information on their delivery of the programme to date. 131 delivery reports were received by 15 October 2021, and we have been in contact with local authorities directly to ensure the outstanding 20 are received promptly. The department is now examining these detailed individual reports and may need to clarify information with local authorities in some cases. The department will then consider the best way to share information on the programme.

In addition, as part of the financial assurance process, local authorities will complete a certificate of expenditure which will cover the 2021-22 financial year. As indicated in the grant determination letter, this will be commissioned after the upcoming Christmas school holidays and therefore this information is not currently available.

The department commissioned Ecorys UK to conduct an external evaluation of the programme. Fieldwork has taken place during and shortly after this year’s summer holidays, and we expect to publish findings in the New Year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which organisation has been appointed to carry out the evaluation of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme; and when the evaluation report will be published.

Local authorities were asked to send reports to the department by 15 October 2021, including detailed information on their delivery of the programme to date. 131 delivery reports were received by 15 October 2021, and we have been in contact with local authorities directly to ensure the outstanding 20 are received promptly. The department is now examining these detailed individual reports and may need to clarify information with local authorities in some cases. The department will then consider the best way to share information on the programme.

In addition, as part of the financial assurance process, local authorities will complete a certificate of expenditure which will cover the 2021-22 financial year. As indicated in the grant determination letter, this will be commissioned after the upcoming Christmas school holidays and therefore this information is not currently available.

The department commissioned Ecorys UK to conduct an external evaluation of the programme. Fieldwork has taken place during and shortly after this year’s summer holidays, and we expect to publish findings in the New Year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children in receipt of free school meals accessed provision through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme during the (a) Easter holiday and (b) summer holiday in 2021, by local authority.

Local authorities were asked to send reports to the department by 15 October 2021, including detailed information on their delivery of the programme to date. 131 delivery reports were received by 15 October 2021, and we have been in contact with local authorities directly to ensure the outstanding 20 are received promptly. The department is now examining these detailed individual reports and may need to clarify information with local authorities in some cases. The department will then consider the best way to share information on the programme.

In addition, as part of the financial assurance process, local authorities will complete a certificate of expenditure which will cover the 2021-22 financial year. As indicated in the grant determination letter, this will be commissioned after the upcoming Christmas school holidays and therefore this information is not currently available.

The department commissioned Ecorys UK to conduct an external evaluation of the programme. Fieldwork has taken place during and shortly after this year’s summer holidays, and we expect to publish findings in the New Year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has had discussions with relevant stakeholders on the impact of food shortages and supply chain issues on suppliers of school meals.

There is no evidence to suggest there are widespread supply issues for schools. Schools are responsible for the provision of school meals and have flexibility under the school food standards to substitute food products if particular ingredients or meals are not readily available. School food contracts are set and held at school, academy trust, or council level. Schools can, therefore, enter into individual contracts with suppliers and caterers to meet this duty.

The flexibility in the school food standards exists to ensure that menus can be modified for variety, and dietary choices or restrictions can be catered for more easily. Where items or menus are unavailable, we expect caterers to communicate this with schools. It does not mean that pupils are going without meals.

The department routinely considers contingency arrangements and expects schools and catering companies supplying them to do the same.

The Department for Education holds regular meetings with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs as well as food industry representatives covering a variety of issues. In the event of any disruption to supply, we will work with councils and the sector to ensure warm, nutritious meals can continue to be provided.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that school meals are not affected by food shortages and supply chain issues.

There is no evidence to suggest there are widespread supply issues for schools. Schools are responsible for the provision of school meals and have flexibility under the school food standards to substitute food products if particular ingredients or meals are not readily available. School food contracts are set and held at school, academy trust, or council level. Schools can, therefore, enter into individual contracts with suppliers and caterers to meet this duty.

The flexibility in the school food standards exists to ensure that menus can be modified for variety, and dietary choices or restrictions can be catered for more easily. Where items or menus are unavailable, we expect caterers to communicate this with schools. It does not mean that pupils are going without meals.

The department routinely considers contingency arrangements and expects schools and catering companies supplying them to do the same.

The Department for Education holds regular meetings with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs as well as food industry representatives covering a variety of issues. In the event of any disruption to supply, we will work with councils and the sector to ensure warm, nutritious meals can continue to be provided.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to publish the responses to the consultation on proposed reforms to modern language GCSEs.

The government intends to publish its response to the consultation before the end of this year.

The response of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Language (APPGML) to the government’s consultation on the revised GCSE modern foreign language subject content review will be recorded as one response. Individuals and organisations are always advised to respond directly to government consultations, rather than to be signatories of independent campaigns.

In addition, we know that a number of organisations and individuals who endorsed the APPGML statement also responded to the government consultation separately. By doing so, the government is able to consider responses systematically, including the responses of individuals and organisations to the specific questions in the consultation.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the submission to the consultation on reforms to modern language GCSEs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages will be recorded as one response, or reflect its endorsement by almost 100 organisations and 1,000 individuals.

The government intends to publish its response to the consultation before the end of this year.

The response of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Language (APPGML) to the government’s consultation on the revised GCSE modern foreign language subject content review will be recorded as one response. Individuals and organisations are always advised to respond directly to government consultations, rather than to be signatories of independent campaigns.

In addition, we know that a number of organisations and individuals who endorsed the APPGML statement also responded to the government consultation separately. By doing so, the government is able to consider responses systematically, including the responses of individuals and organisations to the specific questions in the consultation.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many schools have met the threshold specified in the Department for Education document Contingency framework: education and childcare settings for further steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within schools since the beginning of the academic year; and whether they will publish regular updates on this.

The department does not collect the data in question and does not currently have any plans to publish regular updates on this. However, we closely review data, analysis and advice from a number of different sources – including the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, and the Office for National Statistics. We also continue to work closely with local authorities and their Directors of Public Health to inform our planning and response.

The contingency framework describes the principles of managing local outbreaks of COVID-19 in education and childcare settings and sets out the measures that settings should be prepared for if they were advised to take extra measures to help break chains of transmission. It also sets out thresholds for managing COVID-19 cases and when settings should consider seeking public health advice.

As the guidance outlines, local authorities, Directors of Public Health (DsPH) and health protection teams (HPTs) can recommend measures described in the framework in individual education and childcare settings as part of their outbreak management responsibilities.

We have worked with the UKSHA to develop the thresholds outlined in the contingency framework. These are designed to help settings identify when it might be sensible to seek public health advice when it appears that COVID-19 might be spreading between people who closely mix in the setting. Identifying a group that is likely to have mixed closely will be different for each setting.

DsPH or HPTs will give settings advice reflecting the local situation. In areas where rates are high, this may include advice that local circumstances mean that the thresholds for extra action can be higher than set out in the contingency framework. This will take into account a range of factors reflecting the setting’s particular situation and local circumstances. If they judge that additional action should be taken, they might advise the setting to take some or all of the other measures described in the contingency framework.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the value to language learning in secondary schools of foreign language classroom assistants.

We continue to welcome talented individuals from overseas to teach or train to teach in the UK, including through the Language Assistants Programme (LAP). The programme is owned by the Department for Education and delivered by the British Council.

Over 150 UK institutions hosted language assistants last year. Annual evaluation reported that language assistants made a significant impact on attainment and learning outcomes for pupils, including improved exam grades, improved cultural awareness, improved standards in listening and speaking, and improved confidence in using the language.

In addition, as part of the LAP, around 2,500 UK students are able travel to 15 destinations to support the teaching of English, through paid teaching placements around the world. UK students rated their experience positively, with improved teaching and language skills.

The Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) scheme also provides individuals with opportunities to come to the UK for a short time for work experience, training, to complete an Overseas Government Language Programme, and for research or a fellowship. Students are also permitted to undertake a work placement as part of a course on the student route, provided the work placement is an integrated and assessed part of the course of study. The Appendix GAE lists all the schemes available and more information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-government-authorised-exchange-schemes.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on (1) language learning in UK schools, and (2) the teaching of English in schools overseas, of the removal from the tiered visa regime for unpaid student internships.

We continue to welcome talented individuals from overseas to teach or train to teach in the UK, including through the Language Assistants Programme (LAP). The programme is owned by the Department for Education and delivered by the British Council.

Over 150 UK institutions hosted language assistants last year. Annual evaluation reported that language assistants made a significant impact on attainment and learning outcomes for pupils, including improved exam grades, improved cultural awareness, improved standards in listening and speaking, and improved confidence in using the language.

In addition, as part of the LAP, around 2,500 UK students are able travel to 15 destinations to support the teaching of English, through paid teaching placements around the world. UK students rated their experience positively, with improved teaching and language skills.

The Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) scheme also provides individuals with opportunities to come to the UK for a short time for work experience, training, to complete an Overseas Government Language Programme, and for research or a fellowship. Students are also permitted to undertake a work placement as part of a course on the student route, provided the work placement is an integrated and assessed part of the course of study. The Appendix GAE lists all the schemes available and more information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-government-authorised-exchange-schemes.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many tutoring opportunities for children in England are currently available at (1) primary schools, (2) secondary schools, and (3) schools catering for special educational needs.

For this academic year the National Tutoring Programme will offer access to high quality tuition for up to 2 million pupils.

The latest figures for the current academic year, to the end of September 2021 are:

  • 40 Tuition Partners have been accredited
  • 2,800 schools have placed orders with Tuition Partners
  • 6,400 pupils started a tuition program with Tuition Partners
  • 353 Academic Mentors have been placed in schools

All state-funded primary and secondary schools in England, including academies and free schools, have also received funding to deliver school-led tutoring giving them the flexibility to choose their own tutors. Funding has been calculated based on the number of pupil premium students in individual schools.

There is currently no comprehensive break down between primary schools and secondary schools. The department will have this information by the end of the autumn term.

Specialist settings including special schools and academies, alternative provision, pupil referral units and hospital schools, will receive an uplift to their school led tuition funding to cater for the additional per pupil costs they face.

I can confirm we have Tuition Partners who between them have capacity to support a total of 80,000 pupils in special educational needs settings.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help ensure equal accessibility in education for children from all backgrounds.

Our ambition is for every child, no matter what challenges they face, to have access to a world-class education that sets them up for life.

The government places mandatory requirements on school admission authorities through the School Admissions Code. Its purpose is to ensure that all school places for maintained schools and academies are allocated and offered in an open and fair way. The School Admissions Code requires that admission arrangements do not unfairly disadvantage children from a particular social group. On 1 September 2021, the department introduced a new School Admissions Code which aims to improve the in-year admission of vulnerable children and help reduce to a minimum any time spent out of school.

Looked after and previously looked after children are among the most vulnerable in our society and so all schools are required to give highest priority in their admissions criteria to them. The School Admissions Code also gives admission authorities the freedom to choose to prioritise children eligible for the pupil premium or who have a social or medical need, according to their local circumstances.

Where a pupil is identified as having special educational needs, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. Schools also have a legal duty to produce an accessibility plan that sets out how, over time, they are going to increase access to the curriculum for disabled pupils, improve the physical environment of the school to increase access for disabled pupils, and make written information more accessible to disabled pupils by providing information in a range of different ways.

The department is investing £300 million in the 2021-22 financial year to support local authorities to deliver new places and improve existing provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities or who require alternative provision. It is for local authorities to determine how to best use this funding to address their local priorities, such as investment in accessibility to improve or broaden access to existing provision.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of commissioning an independent review of childcare funding and affordability in the UK.

The department’s officials are in regular discussions with Her Majesty's Treasury, and as we prepare for the forthcoming Spending Review settlement for the 2022-23 financial year and beyond, we will continue to press the importance of the early years sector across government. We will not be launching an independent review of childcare at this time.

This issue was debated in Westminster Hall on 13 September pursuant to e-petition 586700, and I refer the hon. Member for Coventry South to the transcript of this debate available here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-09-13/debates/55E6BB12-54B7-4C08-8D68-00140DFFB5B1/Childcare.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that local authorities have the capacity and resources to meet their targets for providing Education, Health and Care plan assessments.

This year, local authorities have access to £51.3 billion to deliver their core services, including special educational needs and disability (SEND) services. Local authorities have the flexibility to spend according to local needs and priorities, including to undertake education, health and care needs assessments.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is responsible for local government funding including funding necessary to meet their statutory duties.

The Department for Education has been supporting local authorities to meet their statutory duties for SEND, including by providing challenge and support to those local authorities where there are long-standing delays. Each year, the department also delivers a training programme to local authorities, health, and social care staff on their statutory duties, as well as funding projects to support children with SEND.

Furthermore, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) continue with their full inspection programme and our team of SEND advisers and colleagues in NHS England are continuing to provide support and challenge to help improve performance. Depending on the underlying issues that each authority faces in this regard, the department commissions specialist support from our delivery partners or facilitate/fund peer to peer support. The department also funds and provides regional support to address issues common in specific regions. We have commissioned the CQC and Ofsted, with the support of the Department of Health and Social Care, to develop a new area SEND inspection framework to launch after the existing cycle has finished.

The government’s review of the SEND system is making good progress in identifying improvements needed to secure lasting and tangible change to the special educational needs system, drawing on significant input from a wide range of organisations, children, young people and parents. Proposals for consultation will be published as soon as possible.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to Scope and the Disabled Children’s Partnership’s report, The gap widens, published in October 2021, which found that by funding additional investment in disabled children’s social care more disabled young people and parent carers would be able to access employment and education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential economic and social benefits from additional investment in disabled children’s social care.

I refer the hon. Member for Bath to the answer given to Question 44424, on 14 September 2021.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 September 2021 to Question 51628 on Children in Care, for what reasons the Department does not account for the outcomes of children placed in care across borders; and if the Department will reconsider conducting research into the long-term outcomes of children placed across borders.

Statistically, the department collects data on placement type, reason for placement change and three separate pieces of information in relation to the locality of placements. The location data includes:

  • Information about the distance the child is placed away from their home postcode
  • Whether the placement is located inside or outside their responsible local authority
  • The country of the placement (England, UK or otherwise)

Figures on placements, distance from the home placement and the location of the placement, inside or outside the council boundary, were published in the underlying data, ‘National - children looked after at 31 March by placement type, distance of placement and locality of placement’ of the statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2019 to 2020’ at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions/2020.

It is the duty of the local authority to ensure placements are suitable for the young people in their care. Alongside this, Virtual School Heads have a statutory duty to promote the educational attainment of the children in their local authority's care, wherever they live or are educated. This includes children who are placed out of area. Virtual School Heads manage additional funding of £2,345 per looked-after child, that we have provided through the pupil premium plus.

This government is committed to making a real difference to the needs, experience and outcomes of those supported by children’s social care. To do this, we need to make fundamental changes to the current system. That is why we launched the bold, broad and independently led Care Review, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform systems and services. The government will respond to the recommendations made by the review once it concludes.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of increasing education around the Sikh faith in Key Stage 1 of the national curriculum.

There are no plans to introduce teaching about specific faiths in any of the subjects of the national curriculum at any of the key stages.

The teaching about the Sikh faith by any school would be expected to be part of the religious education (RE) curriculum. The RE curriculum must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in the UK are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in the UK, including Sikhism.

The RE curriculum is part of the basic curriculum, rather than one of the subjects within the national curriculum. In addition, the RE curriculum is compulsory in all state-funded schools from age 5 to 18, which includes Key Stage 1.

Schools have the freedom to include content about specific faiths as part of their teaching of the subjects in the national curriculum, such as history or citizenship, but this would need to be in line with the purpose and aims of the subjects themselves.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to include disabled children in the levelling up agenda and help them recover from the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to helping all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), to make up learning lost as a result of COVID-19. Since June 2020, the department has announced more than £3 billion to support education recovery in schools, which includes support for children with SEND, 16-19 providers and early years to help pupils make up education lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The department’s recovery programmes have the flexibility to support those pupils most in need, including children with SEND, with additional funding provided for those interventions that the evidence tells us will have a significant impact on high quality tutoring and teaching.

We have consistently prioritised children who attend specialist settings by providing additional uplifts, both in the 2020 catch-up premium and in the 2021 recovery premium and providing the flexibility to deliver provision based on pupils’ need.

Additionally, specialist settings have also received an uplift to deliver the summer schools programme.

The department has also ensured that schools, colleges, and universities have the flexibility to target this to meet the needs of their pupils and students. In addition, we continue to work hard to ensure children and young people are given access to therapies and equipment so that the right support is in place for all children and families, including addressing the backlog in assessments.

The department is providing over £42 million in the 2021-22 financial year to continue funding projects to support children with SEND. This investment will ensure that specialist organisations around the country can continue to help strengthen local area performance, support families, and provide practical support to schools and colleges. This includes £27.3 million to the Family Fund in the 2021-22 financial year to support over 60,000 families on low incomes raising children and young people with disabilities or serious illnesses.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of universities that are continuing to run classes remotely, rather than returning to in-person learning.

We expect all universities to continue to deliver excellent learning, in line with guidance from the Office for Students (OfS), to provide students with a full experience. The OfS, as regulator of Higher Education in England, will be monitoring to ensure this is the case, and universities should be open about what students can expect.

As autonomous institutions, it is for HE providers to determine their own provision, taking account of government guidance. However, as we have now lifted restrictions on HE, providers should not be limiting access to face-to-face teaching based on COVID-19 controls.

Online learning should only be offered to enhance the student experience, not detract from it, by making learning more accessible for students, including those who cannot yet attend face-to-face lectures. It should not be used as a cost cutting measure.

Any policies and terms, or changes to existing policies and terms, must be clearly communicated to students. If students have concerns, they should first raise them with their HE provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at HE providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure effective support for refugees arriving from Afghanistan, including the enrolment of school aged children.

Work is underway across government departments, and with charities and local authorities, to ensure refugees arriving from Afghanistan are properly supported so they can rebuild their lives. Local authorities will receive a funding package to support the resettlement of these families.

We are prioritising making sure that children of all ages have access to education, including by working with local authorities and other networks to make sure this can happen as soon as possible.

We are providing at least £12 million in extra education funding, which prioritises additional school places for children and young people, but also covers school transport, extra English lessons, specialist teachers and more.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to (a) support the sustainability of the childcare sector and (b) facilitate access to affordable and high-quality early years providers.

Early years are a vital part of a child’s education, enabling them to develop the cognitive, social, and emotional skills that set them up for life.

To facilitate access to affordable and high-quality early years provision, we have spent over £3.5 billion in each of the past 3 years on the government’s early years entitlements. This financial year the department is investing £44 million for local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers.

The department is also investing £180 million on education recovery in the early years, to support the youngest children’s learning and development.

With regard to sustainability, despite the reduction in the number of children in the age range for early years provision, the number of childcare places on Ofsted’s early years register has remained broadly stable since August 2015, at around 1.3 million places.

Ofsted also has regard to the early years foundation stage framework in carrying out its inspections and reporting on the quality and standards of early years provision and, overall, quality in this sector is very high with 96% of all childcare providers on Ofsted’s early years register judged either Good or Outstanding at their most recent inspection, the highest level ever.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will commit to a date by when students will be able to access Takaful-based loans.

I refer the hon. Members for Luton North and Slough to the answer I gave on 21 September 2021 to Question 49129.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has been made on implementing the Takaful fund for student finance.

I refer the hon. Members for Luton North and Slough to the answer I gave on 21 September 2021 to Question 49129.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which schools have received capital funding in each financial year since 2015-16, broken down by region.

The department provides annual capital funding to support sufficient school places and to maintain and improve the condition of the school estate. In addition, the department also delivers capital building programmes, including the free schools programme, the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) and the new School Rebuilding Programme (SRP). Schools included in the PSBP can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/priority-school-building-programme-psbp. The first 100 schools in the new SRP can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme/school-rebuilding-programme.

For a breakdown of the Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit (CDEL) in each financial year since 2015-16 please see the table below:

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

CDEL £m

5,068

5,732

4,907

5,402

4,864

Note: 2015-2019 figures are taken from the DfE accounts which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dfe-annual-reports.

The figures for 2020-21 will be published in due course. This year, the department is providing £5.6 billion of capital funding to support the education sector. Capital funding for years beyond 2021-22 will be determined at the Spending Review.

A large proportion of schools’ capital funding is delivered through annual allocations to local authorities, larger multi-academy trusts, and large voluntary-aided school bodies. This means that the majority of annual capital funding is not allocated at school level and investment decisions are taken at a local level. Some allocations, such as those to large multi-academy trusts, will also cut across regional boundaries.

The department allocates Basic Need capital funding annually to local authorities, to support them to meet their statutory duty to provide sufficient school places in their area: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/basic-need-allocations. In February 2021, we announced nearly £500 million to provide places for September 2023.

The department also allocated £365 million across 2018 to 2021 through the Special Provision Capital Fund, specifically aimed at helping local authorities develop provision for children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-provision-capital-funding-for-pupils-with-ehc-plans.

A further £300 million in High Needs Provision Capital Allocations was allocated in the financial year 2021-22 to support the delivery of new places for children with special educational needs and disabilities or who require alternative provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-needs-provision-capital-allocations.

The government’s free schools programme has delivered hundreds of new schools and provided thousands of good new school places across the country. Information on the current and pipeline schools in that programme is provided in the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/free-schools-successful-applications.

Since 2015, the department has allocated £11.3 billion in annual capital funding to improve the condition of the school estate, including £1.8 billion committed in the 2021-22 financial year. Condition funding allocations for this year, and links to allocations from previous years, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-capital-funding#funding-allocations-for-the-2021-to-2022-financial-year. Local authorities, larger multi-academy trusts, and large voluntary-aided school bodies (such as dioceses) receive an annual School Condition Allocation to invest in maintaining and improving the condition of the buildings for which they are responsible. Smaller and stand-alone academy trusts, voluntary-aided schools not part of larger bodies, and sixth form colleges, instead bid into the Condition Improvement Fund each year. All schools also receive funding to spend on their capital priorities through an annual Devolved Formula Capital allocation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools currently use or provide breakfast clubs in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Scotland.

Decisions around school funding and the provision of school food including breakfast clubs are a matter for the devolved administrations.


Data is not held on the number of schools operating breakfast clubs. However, schools have the freedom to run before school childcare and breakfast clubs.

The government is committed to continuing support for breakfast clubs in England in schools in disadvantaged areas. A further £24 million has been invested to continue our national programme for the next two years. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas in England, including Opportunity Areas. This will mean that thousands of children from low income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to learn.

The department is investing up to £220 million in the Holiday Activities and Food programme in 2021. Taking place in schools and community venues across England, delivery began at Easter, ran across the summer and will run in the Christmas holidays. The programme supports disadvantaged children, and their families, by providing them with healthy food and enriching activities during the school holidays.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to ensure children have access to breakfast clubs in the school holidays during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Decisions around school funding and the provision of school food including breakfast clubs are a matter for the devolved administrations.


Data is not held on the number of schools operating breakfast clubs. However, schools have the freedom to run before school childcare and breakfast clubs.

The government is committed to continuing support for breakfast clubs in England in schools in disadvantaged areas. A further £24 million has been invested to continue our national programme for the next two years. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas in England, including Opportunity Areas. This will mean that thousands of children from low income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to learn.

The department is investing up to £220 million in the Holiday Activities and Food programme in 2021. Taking place in schools and community venues across England, delivery began at Easter, ran across the summer and will run in the Christmas holidays. The programme supports disadvantaged children, and their families, by providing them with healthy food and enriching activities during the school holidays.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that local authorities have adequate resources to ensure every family with a disabled child can receive the respite care they need.

The department believes it is right for local authorities, who know their areas’ needs best, to determine what services are required locally, including early help.

In line with this, respite care services for disabled children are provided on the basis of an individual assessment of each child and family’s needs.

This year councils have access to £51.3 billion to deliver their core services, including a £1.7 billion grant for social care. The government has also given over £6 billion in unringfenced funding directly to councils to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including children’s services.

The department will continue to work with other government departments, including the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to ensure the upcoming Spending Review reflects the needs of children’s services.

In addition to statutory services, the department is providing £27.3 million to the Family Fund in the financial year 2021-22 to support over 60,000 families on low incomes raising children and young people with disabilities or serious illnesses. Grants can be used for a range of purposes, including family breaks.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding has been allocated through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme to each local authority.

Funding allocations for each local authority are listed in Annex A of the grant determination letter for this programme, which is available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1001998/Updated_HAF_grant_determination_-_9_July_2021.pdf.

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

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

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

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

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)