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Written Question
Teachers: Training
18 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the completion of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) market review, to confirm whether ITT providers will continue to be able to equip student teachers to (1) critique, (2) question, and (3) contextualise evidence and research relating to children's education and learning.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The Initial Teacher Training (ITT) market review is still in progress and we do not yet know what the review will recommend. The review’s focus is to ensure that all ITT trainees have access to high quality training and support across their training year. The government will consider the Chair’s recommendations once these are finalised and advise the ITT sector accordingly at that stage.


Written Question
Teachers: Training
18 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will ensure (1) the financial sustainability of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers, and (2) their ability to engage in long-term planning will not be jeopardised by the outcome of the ITT market review.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The review into initial teacher training (ITT) is focusing on how the ITT sector can provide consistently high-quality training, in line with the Core Content Framework, in a more efficient and effective market.

An expert advisory group is working with the department with the aim of making well informed, evidenced-based recommendations on how to make sure that all trainees receive high-quality evidence-based training, the ITT market maintains the capacity to deliver enough trainees and is accessible to candidates and that the ITT system benefits all schools.

We committed to engaging with the sector in late spring 2021 and we are currently considering a range of engagement opportunities. We will make these opportunities available via the usual means and we expect to report on the review in summer 2021. The government will then consider the Chair’s recommendations and advise the sector accordingly at that stage.


Written Question
Institute of Teaching: Degrees
18 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what process will be followed in (1) granting the Institute for Teaching degree awarding powers, and (2) enabling the Institute for Teaching to validate academic awards delivered by other bodies.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The Institute of Teaching will register as a higher education provider with the Office for Students (OfS) at the earliest opportunity, so it can apply for degree awarding powers. The Institute will be required to follow the process for acquiring degree awarding powers, which is managed by the OfS.

Once probationary degree awarding powers have been acquired, the Institute will be able to independently award its own Postgraduate Certificates in Education (PGCEs). In due course, the Institute will also be able to validate the PGCEs of other providers, once it has successfully gained full degree awarding powers.

More information will be provided by the department within the tender documentation for this procurement once it is launched.


Written Question
Teachers: Training
17 Feb 2021

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to have the Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework (1) fully implemented, and (2) tested; and whether that Framework will be independently assessed.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The initial teacher training (ITT) Core Content Framework (CCF) published in November 2019 sets out a mandatory training entitlement, embedded in the best, independently verified evidence about quality teaching, which all ITT must deliver. This includes content on curriculum planning and sequencing, behaviour management and setting high expectations for all pupils. The CCF can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-itt-core-content-framework.

The department expects the CCF to be fully implemented and we will continue to monitor and assess the effect of the CCF in ensuring high quality ITT, including through the reporting of independent inspections of ITT partnerships conducted by Ofsted. ITT inspections will commence under the revised handbook (published by Ofsted in June 2020) when regular inspections resume. As part of inspections, Ofsted will check each partnership's adherence to the ITT criteria, which requires the full implementation of the CCF for primary and secondary phases. The ITT criteria can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-criteria. The Ofsted framework and handbook for the inspection of ITT partnerships can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-education-ite-inspection-framework-and-handbook.


Written Question
Teachers: Training
17 Feb 2021

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to maintain the stability of the teacher supply in the Initial Teacher Training system, and (2) to uphold the quality of teacher education.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The department has been working hard to increase the number of teachers entering the profession. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, teachers have been celebrated for their role in continuing to support children. Measures have been taken to maintain the stability of teacher supply throughout the COVID-19 outbreak by working closely with the sector to support teacher training providers to place trainee teachers in schools as part of their training. The department has relaxed some of the criteria relating to the provision of initial teacher training (ITT) in the 2020/21 academic year, confirmed that trainee teachers are critical workers, and strongly encouraged schools to continue hosting trainees on placement during periods of national or local COVID-19 restrictions.

The department has seen a surge in the number of new trainee teachers this year – over 7,000 more than in 2019 – which shows that teaching continues to be an attractive career option.

The department is aware that certain subjects continue to be a challenge, so has put in place a range of measures, which include bursaries worth up to £24,000 and scholarships worth up to £26,000, to attract talented trainees to some subjects like chemistry, computing, mathematics, and physics.

The department offers subject knowledge enhancement courses to applicants who have the potential to become outstanding teachers but who need to increase their subject knowledge before the Teachers' Standards can be met. The department also continues to run a range of marketing events to attract new trainees; these have all been adapted to run online in response to the outbreak and continue to see high attendance figures.

The department is committed to ensuring trainees and early career teachers receive the best training possible. From September 2020, all ITT will incorporate the ITT Core Content Framework (CCF) into well sequenced curricula. The CCF sets out a minimum entitlement of experiences and opportunities that trainees need, so they can enter the profession in the best position possible to teach and support children. This will be followed by a new two year induction from September 2021, supported by the Early Career Framework.

On 2 January 2021, the department announced that we are resuming a review of the ITT market, with a focus on how the ITT sector can provide consistently high quality training, in line with the CCF, in a more efficient and effective market.

This review will aim to make well informed, evidence based recommendations on how to ensure all trainees are receiving consistent, high quality training, in a way that will maintain capacity to deliver enough trainees, be accessible to candidates, and benefit all schools.


Written Question
Teachers and Universities
17 Feb 2021

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to maintain the link between (1) teachers' professional preparation, (2) the autonomy of universities as independent institutions, and (3) the academic freedom of universities' academic staff.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The department has committed to strengthening academic freedom and ensuring our universities are places where free speech can thrive.

Academic freedom is a fundamental principle in the English higher education sector, as recognised in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 and other legislation, allowing academic staff to question and test received wisdom and put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges. Universities are independent and autonomous institutions, but they are also required by law to uphold freedom of speech and academic freedom.

In November 2019, we published the new initial teacher training (ITT) Core Content Framework (CCF). The CCF sets a mandatory training entitlement that all ITT must deliver, embedded in the best available and independently verified evidence about effective teaching. This includes content on curriculum planning and sequencing, behaviour management and setting high expectations for all pupils. From September 2020, all ITT courses must encompass the full entitlement described in the CCF into their ITT curricula for all subjects and phases.


Written Question
Teachers: Training
16 Feb 2021

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date they plan to publish the recommendations of the Initial Teacher Training Market Review; and what plans they have to implement a centrally prescribed system for (1) content, and (2) modes of delivery.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The department is aware that teaching quality is the most important in-school factor in improving outcomes for all children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The government is committed to giving every child high quality teaching to help them to achieve their full potential.

In November 2019, the department published the initial teacher training (ITT) Core Content Framework (CCF), which sets out a mandatory core minimum entitlement for all trainees of what they should expect from their training courses. The CCF sets a mandatory training entitlement that all ITT must deliver, embedded in the best, independently verified, evidence regarding quality teaching and what works. This includes content on curriculum planning and sequencing, behaviour management and setting high expectations for all pupils. This framework, along with the Early Career Framework, makes up a minimum entitlement of a three year package of development for trainees and newly qualified teachers, and will play a crucial role improving the quality of ITT.

On 2 January 2021, the department announced that we would be resuming our review of the ITT market. The review is focused on ensuring consistently high quality ITT based on the CCF, so that all trainees gain the expertise they need to become effective teachers. Any reforms must maintain sufficient capacity to deliver enough qualified teachers, whilst being accessible to candidates and of benefit to all schools.

The Chair and a small expert group, with the support of the department, are conducting early work to better understand these issues and the direction of the work. The department are confident that the expert group covers a range of expertise and perspectives which will be essential in ensuring the review maintains market capacity and reflects an understanding of high quality ITT. Additionally, they are holding discussions with sector representatives including the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers and the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, with broader engagement planned from late spring. The department expects the review to conclude in the summer. The government will consider the Chair’s recommendations and advise the sector accordingly at that stage.


Written Question
Teachers: Training
16 Feb 2021

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure the adequate representation of higher education institutions providing initial teacher training in the Department for Education's Initial Teacher Training Market Review.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

The department is aware that teaching quality is the most important in-school factor in improving outcomes for all children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The government is committed to giving every child high quality teaching to help them to achieve their full potential.

In November 2019, the department published the initial teacher training (ITT) Core Content Framework (CCF), which sets out a mandatory core minimum entitlement for all trainees of what they should expect from their training courses. The CCF sets a mandatory training entitlement that all ITT must deliver, embedded in the best, independently verified, evidence regarding quality teaching and what works. This includes content on curriculum planning and sequencing, behaviour management and setting high expectations for all pupils. This framework, along with the Early Career Framework, makes up a minimum entitlement of a three year package of development for trainees and newly qualified teachers, and will play a crucial role improving the quality of ITT.

On 2 January 2021, the department announced that we would be resuming our review of the ITT market. The review is focused on ensuring consistently high quality ITT based on the CCF, so that all trainees gain the expertise they need to become effective teachers. Any reforms must maintain sufficient capacity to deliver enough qualified teachers, whilst being accessible to candidates and of benefit to all schools.

The Chair and a small expert group, with the support of the department, are conducting early work to better understand these issues and the direction of the work. The department are confident that the expert group covers a range of expertise and perspectives which will be essential in ensuring the review maintains market capacity and reflects an understanding of high quality ITT. Additionally, they are holding discussions with sector representatives including the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers and the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, with broader engagement planned from late spring. The department expects the review to conclude in the summer. The government will consider the Chair’s recommendations and advise the sector accordingly at that stage.


Written Question
Teachers: Training
9 Dec 2020

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are undertaking a review of initial teacher training; and if so, (1) how that review is being conducted, (2) what progress they have made in that review, and (3) when they estimate that they will publish that review and its conclusions.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

As part of the government’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention strategy, we committed to reviewing the initial teacher training (ITT) market to identify improvements that reduce costs for providers and exploring how we can encourage high quality providers – including high-performing MATs – to extend their reach, deliver at scale and do more to support the wider system. We started work on this earlier this year with a series of workshops with ITT sector representatives to understand the current market better. This work was paused so that government, and the ITT sector, could focus on the challenges caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

We are now resuming the ITT market review, building on the opportunities afforded by our Teacher Development reforms, including the ITT Core Content Framework. We are in the process of scoping the next phase of the review which we expect to conclude next summer.


Written Question
Universal Credit
21 Feb 2020

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when the pilot project for Managed Migration from legacy benefits to Universal Credit, commenced in July 2019, will be completed; whether they intend to report the findings from that pilot to Parliament; and if so, when.

Answered by Baroness Stedman-Scott

The Move to Universal Credit pilot commenced, as scheduled, in the area served by Harrogate Jobcentre in July 2019. The goal of the pilot is to learn as much as possible about how to safely move people from legacy benefits onto Universal Credit. As a result, we will increase numbers as slowly and gradually as necessary.

We are adapting the design of this service and its processes frequently to ensure we provide the best possible support to those claimants who move to Universal Credit from their legacy benefit claims.

The Department has already committed to updating Parliament and stakeholders on progress. We expect to provide our first update in the Spring.


Written Question
Universal Credit
21 Feb 2020

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee's 59th report of Session 2017–19 (HL Paper 419) on the Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1152), published on 6 September 2019; what steps they have taken in response; and whether they intend to report to Parliament on their progress.

Answered by Baroness Stedman-Scott

The Department has noted the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee’s (SLSC) 59th report of Session 2017-19 (HL Paper 419) on the Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1152), published on 6 September 2019.

As the Parliamentary website notes, the SLSC’s scrutiny role is advisory; it does not seek to recommend courses of action on these instruments, and its reports are published principally to provide information for members of the House. Ministers regularly update Parliament regarding progress on Universal Credit and will continue to do so.


Written Question
Universal Credit
10 Jan 2019

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people who begin to apply for Universal Credit do not complete the process; and what assessment they have made of the possible reasons why those people do not complete that process.

Answered by Baroness Buscombe

Based on our internal data for March 2018, in total 28 per cent of claims do not complete the process.

Of this figure around 8 per cent of claims were closed due to non-entitlement, for example because of capital or not passing the Habitual Residence Test. The remainder (around 19 per cent*) were closed due to non-compliance with the process, for example failure to sign a Claimant Commitment and failing to provide evidence to support their claim.

* percentages do not add up to 28 per cent due to rounding


Written Question
Universal Credit: Disability
8 Jan 2019

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what engagement they have undertaken with disabled people, their families and carers as to how the managed migration process for Universal Credit will work.

Answered by Baroness Buscombe

The Department is committed to delivering managed migration in a way which supports all claimants, including the most vulnerable. We are currently working with a large and diverse range of stakeholders, including those who focus on disability, to design our migration processes and in 2019 we will begin the pilot phase of managed migration to ensure that these processes work for everyone.

The revised draft regulations, laid on 5 November 2018, now provide that we must give claimants a minimum of three months in which to make a claim for Universal Credit and sets no maximum period in which a claim must be made. With unlimited flexibility to extend claim periods we will work with representative groups to produce guidance that will ensure adequate support for each individual claimant’s needs.

Some of these circumstances may include the following:

  • where a claimant is having trouble completing the Universal Credit claim;
  • the claimant cannot make a Universal Credit claim by the deadline day because they have to go or have gone into hospital;
  • the work coach or case manager has not got enough information from the claimant so needs to give the claimant more time to get the information to us;
  • the claimant has a mental-health condition; or
  • the claimant is disadvantaged because they are homeless, have a disability, have had a domestic emergency or have caring responsibilities.

This list is not exhaustive and each case will be considered on its individual circumstances and merits.


Written Question
Universal Credit
8 Jan 2019

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will ensure that a claimant deemed to be vulnerable will not have their legacy benefits stopped before a Universal Credit claim is completed under the managed migration process.

Answered by Baroness Buscombe

The Department is committed to delivering managed migration in a way which supports all claimants, including the most vulnerable. We are currently working with a large and diverse range of stakeholders, including those who focus on disability, to design our migration processes and in 2019 we will begin the pilot phase of managed migration to ensure that these processes work for everyone.

The revised draft regulations, laid on 5 November 2018, now provide that we must give claimants a minimum of three months in which to make a claim for Universal Credit and sets no maximum period in which a claim must be made. With unlimited flexibility to extend claim periods we will work with representative groups to produce guidance that will ensure adequate support for each individual claimant’s needs.

Some of these circumstances may include the following:

  • where a claimant is having trouble completing the Universal Credit claim;
  • the claimant cannot make a Universal Credit claim by the deadline day because they have to go or have gone into hospital;
  • the work coach or case manager has not got enough information from the claimant so needs to give the claimant more time to get the information to us;
  • the claimant has a mental-health condition; or
  • the claimant is disadvantaged because they are homeless, have a disability, have had a domestic emergency or have caring responsibilities.

This list is not exhaustive and each case will be considered on its individual circumstances and merits.


Written Question
Nicaragua: Politics and Government
8 Feb 2018

Questioner: Baroness Donaghy (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the steps taken by the government of Nicaragua to hold free and fair elections and to ensure that its judicial system is independent, following approval of the proposed Nicaragua Investment Conditionality Act 2017 by the United States House of Representatives in October 2017.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

​The Nicaraguan Government has taken some positive steps towards improving democracy and the rule of law. They invited the Organisation of American States (OAS) to observe the municipal elections in November 2017; committed to the monitoring of the next Presidential elections; and agreed a programme of visits by the OAS focused on strengthening democracy.

While the OAS noted “important advances” in Nicaragua’s electoral process in its preliminary report on the municipal elections, it also made clear that the country's electoral system would benefit from comprehensive electoral reform and a stronger judicial and administrative framework. Pressure on opposition parties, restrictions on the media and a weak judiciary all remain concerns for the strength of democracy in Nicaragua.