1 APPG membership (as of 25 Aug 2021)
Trailer and Towing Safety
Shadow Spokesperson (Further & Higher Education)
25th Mar 2019 - 17th May 2021
Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities Committee
17th May 2018 - 19th Mar 2019
Committee for Privileges and Conduct (Lords)
2nd Jun 2010 - 1st Feb 2018
Procedure and Privileges Committee
7th Oct 2008 - 1st Feb 2018
Committee of Selection (Lords)
7th Oct 2008 - 1st Feb 2018
Services Committee
1st Sep 2016 - 1st Feb 2018
Shadow Chief Whip (Lords)
12th May 2010 - 24th Jan 2018
Deputy Speaker (Lords)
29th Nov 2010 - 24th Jan 2018
Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lords)
2nd Jun 2010 - 24th Jan 2018
Administration and Works Committee (Lords)
8th Jun 2015 - 31st Aug 2016
Administration and Works Committee (Lords)
16th Dec 2008 - 1st May 2012
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
5th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Lords in Waiting (HM Household)
7th Jun 2001 - 5th Oct 2008


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 125 Labour No votes vs 1 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 409
Speeches
Friday 10th September 2021
Status of Workers Bill [HL]

My Lords, I rise from the Labour Benches to support this excellent Bill from my noble friend Lord Hendy and …

Written Answers
Friday 9th July 2021
Channel Four Television
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how Channel 4’s current (1) ownership model, and (2) …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Bassam of Brighton has voted in 122 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(58 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(19 debate interactions)
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Conservative)
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
(19 debate interactions)
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View all Lord Bassam of Brighton's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Bassam of Brighton, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Lord Bassam of Brighton has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Bassam of Brighton has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Bassam of Brighton has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Bassam of Brighton has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


132 Written Questions in the current parliament

(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
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they amended the guidance on responding to parliamentary questions to take account of the use of external contractors in preparing and drafting responses.

Departments are responsible for their responses to written parliamentary questions. Written parliamentary questions receive final sign off from Ministers.

The Cabinet Office has produced guidance for civil servants on drafting answers to parliamentary questions. This can be found on the gov.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/drafting-answers-to-parliamentary-questions-guidance.

Civil servants and Ministers conduct these duties in line with their respective codes of conduct.

The Department of Health and Social Care has outlined that the department’s contract included a general clause for Deloitte to provide support to civil servants in responding to written questions, freedom of information requests and media queries. They have not been directly responsible for drafting replies.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure there are no conflicts of interest when the preparation of (1) responses to parliamentary written questions, (2) responses to parliamentary urgent questions, and (3) background briefings, are made by external contractors to departments.

Departments are responsible for their responses to written parliamentary questions. Written parliamentary questions receive final sign off from Ministers.

The Cabinet Office has produced guidance for civil servants on drafting answers to parliamentary questions. This can be found on the gov.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/drafting-answers-to-parliamentary-questions-guidance.

Civil servants and Ministers conduct these duties in line with their respective codes of conduct.

The Department of Health and Social Care has outlined that the department’s contract included a general clause for Deloitte to provide support to civil servants in responding to written questions, freedom of information requests and media queries. They have not been directly responsible for drafting replies.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of written answers to questions tabled by members of both Houses of Parliament were drafted by external contractors in the current parliamentary session.

Departments are responsible for their responses to written parliamentary questions. Written parliamentary questions receive final sign off from Ministers.

The Cabinet Office has produced guidance for civil servants on drafting answers to parliamentary questions. This can be found on the gov.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/drafting-answers-to-parliamentary-questions-guidance.

Civil servants and Ministers conduct these duties in line with their respective codes of conduct.

The Department of Health and Social Care has outlined that the department’s contract included a general clause for Deloitte to provide support to civil servants in responding to written questions, freedom of information requests and media queries. They have not been directly responsible for drafting replies.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which departments use external contractors to prepare responses to questions tabled by members of the House of Lords and Members of Parliament; and, in each case, how often such contractors are used.

Departments are responsible for their responses to written parliamentary questions. Written parliamentary questions receive final sign off from Ministers.

The Cabinet Office has produced guidance for civil servants on drafting answers to parliamentary questions. This can be found on the gov.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/drafting-answers-to-parliamentary-questions-guidance.

Civil servants and Ministers conduct these duties in line with their respective codes of conduct.

The Department of Health and Social Care has outlined that the department’s contract included a general clause for Deloitte to provide support to civil servants in responding to written questions, freedom of information requests and media queries. They have not been directly responsible for drafting replies.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date the Prime Minister was first briefed by officials on the potential threats posed by COVID-19 to the UK economy.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet have been regularly briefed on COVID-19 since the outbreak of the virus. These briefings have included assessments of the potential impacts to the UK economy and public health. These issues have also regularly been discussed at meetings of the COBR Committee. Additionally, since 16 March, a series of Cabinet Committees have convened to support the Government’s efforts.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date the Prime Minister was first briefed by officials about COVID-19 and its potential impact on public health.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet have been regularly briefed on COVID-19 since the outbreak of the virus. These briefings have included assessments of the potential impacts to the UK economy and public health. These issues have also regularly been discussed at meetings of the COBR Committee. Additionally, since 16 March, a series of Cabinet Committees have convened to support the Government’s efforts.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a report at the conclusion of their inquiry into allegations of bullying by the Home Secretary.

I refer the noble Lord to my answer on 12th March 2020 to Lord Young of Cookham (Official Record, House Of Lords,Vol. 802. Col. 1158).

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of reduced Official Development Assistance funding for research and development on (1) the public health sector, and (2) the health of UK citizens.

In line with the requirements of the International Development Act (2002), our Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds take as their focus the social and economic development and welfare of countries identified by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC). As per OECD and IDA requirements, we do not use these funds for the development and welfare of citizens or sectors in the UK or other High-Income Countries. Though there will inevitably be some secondary or indirect benefit to the UK derived through our ODA-funded research partnerships, it would not fit the purpose of ODA funding to actively consider this when making ODA spending decisions.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of reduced Official Development Assistance funding for research and development on (1) the UK’s skills base, and (2) levels of employment, in research and development.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22; and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

On 1st April, the Department set out an additional £250m of funding for the R&D sector. As a result, UK scientists will have access to more public funding than ever before. This takes total Government investment in R&D to £14.9 billion in 2021/22 and follows four years of significant growth in R&D funding, including a boost of more than £1.5 billion in 2020/21.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the financial year 2021/22 ODA allocations. Our Delivery Partners have communicated with award holders setting out the next stage of the review of ODA funding next year, and to explore options for individual programmes. Full details have been published on the UKRI website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on supplies of COVID-19 vaccines to the UK in the event of the UK's departure from the EU without a deal.

The UK has put in place a number of measures to facilitate trade with the EU beyond the end of the transition period and to avoid any adverse impact to vaccine supply beyond 1 January 2021.

The Government has worked with COVID-19 vaccine suppliers to support them with robust contingency plans.

If necessary, we will use alternative supply routes and Government procured freight capacity, in line with current Government advice.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in the negotiations regarding future participation by the UK in the Horizon Europe research programme; and what preparations are being made to address any shortfall in UK research capacity should the UK cease to participate in Horizon Europe.

The Government is committed to ensuring the UK becomes a global science superpower and continues to collaborate with Europe on scientific research. The UK is ready to consider a relationship in line with non-EU Member State participation in Horizon Europe, provided that this represents value for money and is in the UK’s interest. Any agreements relating to Union programmes should contain fair terms for UK participation. This should include fair treatment of participants, a fair and appropriate financial contribution, provisions allowing for sound financial management by both parties, and appropriate governance and consultation.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Horizon Europe, are currently being negotiated in the EU Institutions and have not yet been finalised. These EU Programmes must be adopted by the EU before arrangements for potential UK participation could be finalised.

I refer the Noble Lord to a Written Ministerial Statement made by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 19 May (HCWS245), which set out that discussions covered all workstreams including: general terms for UK participation in programmes, including provisions for financial contribution.

We are also considering a range of alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration in tandem with Horizon Europe negotiations. These include options to address immediate needs and work through to any future funding scenario.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what process they will use to decide the lengths of extension given to doctoral students funded by UK Research and Innovation; and how that process will take into account the level of uncertainty about the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic when determining the lengths of extension granted. [T]

The Government is aware of the consequent pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic on doctoral students and their ability to complete work. This is a difficult time for all post graduate students, academic staff and researchers.

UKRI is continuing to engage with the higher education sector and have made sure that all doctoral students funded by UKRI will continue to be paid their stipend. On 9 April it was announced that it will offer a costed extension of up to six months for UKRI PhD students due to complete by 31 March 2021 whose study has been impacted by the pandemic. Those students not in their final year may be granted extensions on a case by case basis.

On 24 April, UKRI issued detailed guidance to universities on how the policy should be implemented. UKRI has outlined that universities must put in place processes that are based upon the principles of ensuring all UKRI doctoral students are supported to complete their projects and that they should be treated fairly, generously and sympathetically given the disruptions caused to research programmes and individual’s personal circumstances.

UKRI will continue to engage with the wider sector about the implementation of the extension and to identify and understand future impact. The extension will be reviewed in four months’ time to ensure that any further impacts to doctoral training are taken into account.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in negotiations to continue the UK’s participation in the Horizon Europe research programme; and what the timetable is for reaching an agreement.

The Government is committed to ensuring the UK becomes a global science superpower and continues to collaborate with Europe on scientific research. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made clear that the UK is ready to consider a relationship in line with non-EU Member State participation in Horizon Europe, provided that this represents value for money and is in the UK’s interest. Any agreements relating to Union programmes should contain fair terms for UK participation. This should include fair treatment of participants, a fair and appropriate financial contribution, provisions allowing for sound financial management by both parties, and appropriate governance and consultation.

I refer the Noble Lord to a Written Ministerial Statement made by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 28 April (HCWS209), which set out that UK and EU discussions took place across all workstreams including on EU Programmes.

As a responsible government, we are also developing alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration. This includes options which can address immediate needs and work through to any future funding scenario.

In the Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that government investment in R&D will increase to £22bn by 2024/25, the biggest ever absolute increase. The increase in investment in R&D will include funding for any continued participation in EU research and innovation Programmes or EU replacement schemes.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to expand UK Research and Innovation until 2025 in the event that no agreement is reached with the EU involving continued participation in Horizon Europe.

The Government is committed to ensuring the UK becomes a global science superpower and continues to collaborate with Europe on scientific research. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made clear that the UK is ready to consider a relationship in line with non-EU Member State participation in Horizon Europe, provided that this represents value for money and is in the UK’s interest. Any agreements relating to Union programmes should contain fair terms for UK participation. This should include fair treatment of participants, a fair and appropriate financial contribution, provisions allowing for sound financial management by both parties, and appropriate governance and consultation.

I refer the Noble Lord to a Written Ministerial Statement made by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 28 April (HCWS209), which set out that UK and EU discussions took place across all workstreams including on EU Programmes.

As a responsible government, we are also developing alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration. This includes options which can address immediate needs and work through to any future funding scenario.

In the Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that government investment in R&D will increase to £22bn by 2024/25, the biggest ever absolute increase. The increase in investment in R&D will include funding for any continued participation in EU research and innovation Programmes or EU replacement schemes.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have extend the provision of funding for postgraduate research students funded by UK Research and Innovation whose studies have been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government is aware of the consequent pressures of COVID-19 on universities and research institutions. This is a difficult time for all - both undergraduate and post graduate students, academic staff and researchers. BEIS is working with Department for Education and others to consider how best to support researchers, universities, the research community and research institutions.

UKRI has confirmed it?will?offer a costed extension of up to six months for those?PhD students?due to complete by 31 March 2021 and whose study has been impacted by the pandemic. ?This will apply to those who have redeployed to work on COVID-19 related research or other action to support the response.

UKRI has also introduced processes for supporting grant awardees to switch their funding to support COVID-19 priorities.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) funding, and (2) stipend extensions, they intend to provide to those doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers funded by UK Research and Innovation on fixed-term contracts who gave up their normal work in order to support efforts in combatting COVID-19 and assisting the NHS with testing and community support work.

The Government is aware of the consequent pressures of COVID-19 on universities and research institutions. This is a difficult time for all - both undergraduate and post graduate students, academic staff and researchers. BEIS is working with Department for Education and others to consider how best to support researchers, universities, the research community and research institutions.

UKRI has confirmed it?will?offer a costed extension of up to six months for those?PhD students?due to complete by 31 March 2021 and whose study has been impacted by the pandemic. ?This will apply to those who have redeployed to work on COVID-19 related research or other action to support the response.

UKRI has also introduced processes for supporting grant awardees to switch their funding to support COVID-19 priorities.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timetable for negotiating the association agreement with the Horizon Europe research programme for the 2021–27 period; and when they expect that final details of the agreement will be published.

We will continue to collaborate with the EU on scientific research and have been clear that, where it is in the UK’s interests, we will seek to participate in some specific EU Programmes. The shape and content of the next EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework Programmes for 2021-2027, including Horizon Europe, are currently being negotiated in the EU Institutions and have not yet been finalised. Horizon Europe must be adopted by the EU before any l formal negotiations on possible association could begin.

The UK has played a constructive role in the development of Horizon Europe to ensure that it aligns with UK priorities and we look forward to continuing our relationship in research and innovation with our European partners.

28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the UK's annual contribution to the Horizon 2020 research programme from 2013 onwards; and what they estimate it will be for each year until 2027.

As a Member State of the EU, the UK did not contribute financially to specific programmes. Member States pay for participation in EU Framework Programmes through the general UK contribution to the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

The Withdrawal Agreement means that the UK continues to participate in EU Programmes financed by the 2014-2020 MFF until their closure. Horizon 2020 is a Programme funded under the current MFF. UK scientists, researchers and businesses can continue to participate in these programmes and receive EU grant funding for the lifetime of individual projects, including projects finishing after the transition period ends in 2020. This will include UK participations in Horizon 2020 projects running until 2027 where the funding has been committed under the 2014 – 2020 MFF.

Information on the UK’s participation in Horizon 2020 can be found on the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 dashboard.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Horizon Europe, are currently being negotiated in the EU Institutions. This includes budget discussions which are decided as part of the EU’s Multi-annual Financial Framework negotiation. The Horizon Europe Regulation budget is as of yet unknown and will only be finalised after the overall EU budget has been agreed.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what budget provision they have made for the Horizon Research Programme beyond 2020.

UK scientists, researchers and businesses can continue to participate in, bid for and lead projects in the Horizon 2020 programme as usual after the 31 January 2020.

The Political Declaration indicates a shared intent between UK and EU leaders to agree a framework that would support future collaboration in science, research and innovation. On Horizon Europe, there are a number of elements of this package yet to be agreed, including the provisions on third country association and the Programme budget; these elements will inform our decision on future participation.

1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they had with the board of Channel 4 about the desirability of privatisation before announcing a review into private ownership of the channel.

Government Ministers meet members of the Channel 4 board and executive team regularly to discuss a range of issues.

The government intends to consult on a potential change in ownership of Channel 4 on the basis that an alternative ownership model (but one where it keeps a public service remit) may be better for the broadcaster and its ability to contribute socially, economically and culturally in the decades to come.

The public consultation was published on 06 July 2021. It will run for 10 weeks, closing on 14 September 2021. The Government is seeking views from a broad range of stakeholders to inform its policy making.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how Channel 4’s current (1) ownership model, and (2) commissioning strategy, is affecting its performance as a public service broadcaster.

Channel 4 has delivered on its remit successfully and helped grow the UK’s independent production sector. It has also done an excellent job in managing the recent uncertainty in the market. However, the government is concerned that its current public ownership model presents challenges to its ability to grasp opportunities and keep pace in the future.

Further detail regarding the government’s assessment is provided in the government’s recent publication, “Consultation on a potential change of ownership of the Channel 4 Television Corporation”, copies of which have been placed in the libraries of both Houses.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the capability of UK regulators (1) to maintain existing statutory protections relating to harmful online content, and (2) to ensure effective enforcement of these protections, between the end of the transition period for the UK’s departure from the EU and the enactment of their proposed online harms legislation.

The Government is firmly committed to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online and the end of the transition period will not affect this. Regulations transposing the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS Directive) came into force on the 1st of November 2020 and require UK-established video sharing platforms (VSPs) to have systems and processes in place to protect the public, including minors, from illegal and harmful material. Ofcom has the power to take enforcement action against UK-established VSPs which do not take adequate appropriate measures, or which do not implement the measures adequately, in order to protect UK users.

VSPs established in the European Economic Area will not be regulated by Ofcom and will be regulated by the Member State that they are established in. As the regulation under this VSP regime is systems regulation and not content regulation, we expect platforms based outside of the UK to set up and invest in systems in order to comply with the AVMS Directive. It is anticipated that these same systems will also be introduced for their UK subsidiaries particularly in anticipation of the incoming online harms regime. Regulation provided by other EU Member States will therefore be effective and robust enough to provide protection to UK users until such time as the online harms regime is in place.

As the AVMS Directive aligns well with the Government’s plans to tackle online harms, the VSP regime will be repealed and superseded by the online harms regulatory framework, once it comes into force. We will publish the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation later this year, which will contain more detailed proposals on online harms regulation.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) any governance and regulatory gaps in online harms protections that will emerge at the end of the transition period for the UK’s departure from the EU, and (2) the risks to young people from any further delay to the publication of proposed online harms legislation.

As the Government has transposed all relevant legislation, there will not be any gaps in online harms protection at the end of the transition period. The government is also working at pace to deliver online harms legislation next year, which will introduce comprehensive protections for young people.

The Government transposed the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive into domestic law on the 30th September and the Regulations came into force on the 1st of November 2020. UK-established video sharing platforms are required to take appropriate measures to protect minors from content which may impair their physical, mental or moral development, and all users from illegal content.

The AVMS Directive aligns well with the Government’s plans to tackle online harms, in particular in its requirements on UK-established video sharing platforms to have systems in place to protect users, especially minors. It should be noted that the video sharing platform regime will be repealed and will be superseded by the online harms regulatory framework, once it comes into force.

The Government is firmly committed to making the UK the safest place to be online and is working at pace to introduce this legislation. We will publish the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation later this year, which will contain more detailed proposals on online harms regulation and will be released alongside interim voluntary codes on tackling online terrorist and child sexual exploitation and abuse content and activity. This will be followed by legislation, which will be ready next year.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken in the last three months to progress their proposed online harms legislation; and whether such legislation will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny.

The government is firmly committed to making the UK the safest place to be online, and DCMS and the Home Office are working at pace to introduce this legislation. We will publish a Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper later this year. This will be followed by legislation in 2021, when parliamentary time allows.

It is vital that we get this legislation right and we will make a final decision on pre-legislative scrutiny nearer the time of introduction. We are mindful of the need to balance speed and scrutiny when introducing these measures, and we will continue to engage with parliamentarians as we prepare legislation.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they intend to provide to (1) the England and Wales Cricket Board, and (2) other governing bodies for cricket.

Sport England, the national sports council for England, has provided £9m to the England and Wales Cricket Board for 2017- 2021 period, plus an additional £1.2m of funding for a specific volunteering project linked to the Cricket World Cup in 2019. As part of Sport England’s flexible support to system partners during Covid-19, they have committed to rolling over funding for a further year (details about this can be found on Sport England’s website (https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus/funding-innovation-and-flexibility).

Other national governing bodies of cricket are outside the remit of Sport England funding.

The Government recognises the impact that Covid-19 is having on the sporting sector. The Chancellor announced an unprecedented package of measures to help businesses during this period, including £330 billion worth of government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme have supported businesses across the UK and in every sector, including sport.

In addition, Sport England, announced £210 million of funding to help sport and physical activity organisations deal with the short and long term effects of the pandemic.

The Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage has been engaging with the England and Wales Cricket Board to ensure they are aware of the assistance available to the sport and how it can be accessed. We know this is a challenging period for all sports and we continue to work closely with the whole sector to understand the issues they face and how we can best support them through this difficult time.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) whether they will publish the scientific evidence that cricket balls are a potential vector for COVID-19; (2) when this information was shared with the England and Wales Cricket Board; and (3) which mitigation measures were discussed with the Board.

Officials are working very closely with the ECB and their medical experts to understand the unique qualities of cricket. We are working at pace to shape guidance that will allow the safe return of competitive cricket and other team sports. Any shared sporting equipment may risk transmission, but these risks can be mitigated with good hygiene practice as being adopted across a wide range of sectors.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to developing a post-COVID-19 recovery strategy for (1) elite, and (2) grass roots, level sports.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is having regular discussions with sector and industry bodies to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sport and how we can provide support. This includes the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage chairing a fortnightly meeting with over 25 sporting organisations. Sport is also represented on the department’s Cultural Renewal Taskforce, which is looking at ways to get sectors across the department back up and running.

Government has already published three stages of guidance for the return of elite sporting competition, and guidance for the return of outdoor grassroots sport and recreation. These are available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation

Further guidance will be published in due course to help sporting organisations understand how they can operate safely as lockdown restrictions are further eased in the future.

This is in addition to financial support that has been made available to the sector. The Chancellor announced a host of measures to help businesses, with £330 billion worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK. In addition, Sport England, has also announced £210 million of funding to help sport and physical activity organisations deal with the short and long term effects of the pandemic.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the (1) Football Association, (2) Premier League, and (3) English Football League, to ensure the provision of a police presence at venues where closed football matches are due to take place to discourage the congregation of fans and to enforce social distancing outside such venues.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is having regular discussions with sector and industry bodies to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sport and how we can provide support. This includes the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage chairing a fortnightly meeting with over 25 sporting organisations. Sport is also represented on the department’s Cultural Renewal Taskforce, which is looking at ways to get sectors across the department back up and running.

Government has already published three stages of guidance for the return of elite sporting competition, and guidance for the return of outdoor grassroots sport and recreation. These are available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation

Further guidance will be published in due course to help sporting organisations understand how they can operate safely as lockdown restrictions are further eased in the future.

This is in addition to financial support that has been made available to the sector. The Chancellor announced a host of measures to help businesses, with £330 billion worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK. In addition, Sport England, has also announced £210 million of funding to help sport and physical activity organisations deal with the short and long term effects of the pandemic.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the financial aid available through the Turing scheme compares to that available through the Erasmus+ scheme.

The Turing Scheme will be backed by £110 million to support international projects and activities during the 2021/22 academic year. This will provide funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges, and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, a similar number as under Erasmus+.

This was set out in a one year Spending Review, but the government has a clear aim to use this scheme as part of our long-term ambitions for a Global Britain. The benefits of the exchanges will be assessed and used to build on the scheme. Funding decisions for subsequent years will be subject to future spending reviews.

Grants available through the Turing Scheme are comparable with Erasmus+ for the most part, but there is also new support available for disadvantaged students and students with special educational needs and disabilities which was not available through Erasmus+. All participating students will receive grants dependent on their destination country to contribute towards their cost of living. The grant support available under the Turing Scheme is currently slightly higher than that under Erasmus+. Under the Turing Scheme, we will provide a grant of £335–£380 per month, plus a disadvantaged supplement of £110 per month. With Erasmus+, under current exchange rates, students received a grant equivalent to £315–£360, with a disadvantaged supplement of £100. Students can continue to apply for student finance.

For schools and colleges, all participants will receive travel funding, whereas Erasmus+ only provided travel support to higher education participants who travelled to Partner Countries, which was around only 3% of UK participants. With the Turing Scheme, we are introducing funding for travel costs for disadvantaged higher education students to all destinations. Additionally, we are providing funding for visas, passports, and related travel insurance for disadvantaged participants in all sectors.

For participants with special educational needs and disabilities, the scheme will fund up to 100% of actual costs for support directly related to their additional needs, as Erasmus+ did, with the new addition of preparatory visits for staff to carry out risk assessments and ensure their students will be able to access and take part in all elements of a placement equally. More information on funding available can be found at: www.turing-scheme.org.uk.

For all students participating in the Turing Scheme, we expect tuition fees to be waived by host institutions, as under Erasmus+. This is a matter for individual institutions to agree, and something that universities do as a matter of course when they form exchange partnerships with international providers.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of students likely to make use of the Turing scheme each year from its launch until 2030.

The Turing Scheme will be backed by £110 million to support international projects and activities during the 2021/22 academic year. This will provide funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges, and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, a similar number as under Erasmus+.

This was set out in a one year Spending Review, but the government has a clear aim to use this scheme as part of our long-term ambitions for a Global Britain. The benefits of the exchanges will be assessed and used to build on the scheme. Funding decisions for subsequent years will be subject to future spending reviews.

Grants available through the Turing Scheme are comparable with Erasmus+ for the most part, but there is also new support available for disadvantaged students and students with special educational needs and disabilities which was not available through Erasmus+. All participating students will receive grants dependent on their destination country to contribute towards their cost of living. The grant support available under the Turing Scheme is currently slightly higher than that under Erasmus+. Under the Turing Scheme, we will provide a grant of £335–£380 per month, plus a disadvantaged supplement of £110 per month. With Erasmus+, under current exchange rates, students received a grant equivalent to £315–£360, with a disadvantaged supplement of £100. Students can continue to apply for student finance.

For schools and colleges, all participants will receive travel funding, whereas Erasmus+ only provided travel support to higher education participants who travelled to Partner Countries, which was around only 3% of UK participants. With the Turing Scheme, we are introducing funding for travel costs for disadvantaged higher education students to all destinations. Additionally, we are providing funding for visas, passports, and related travel insurance for disadvantaged participants in all sectors.

For participants with special educational needs and disabilities, the scheme will fund up to 100% of actual costs for support directly related to their additional needs, as Erasmus+ did, with the new addition of preparatory visits for staff to carry out risk assessments and ensure their students will be able to access and take part in all elements of a placement equally. More information on funding available can be found at: www.turing-scheme.org.uk.

For all students participating in the Turing Scheme, we expect tuition fees to be waived by host institutions, as under Erasmus+. This is a matter for individual institutions to agree, and something that universities do as a matter of course when they form exchange partnerships with international providers.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they have provided to universities and higher education providers about steps to take in relation to students attending from areas where local lockdowns are in place.

The safety and wellbeing of university staff and students is always our priority, and we are confident that universities are well prepared for the return of students, having taken measures to reduce the risk of transmission such as introducing social distancing on campus, limiting travel requirement for classes, and staggering teaching across extended days to reduce numbers on site. To help providers make informed decisions, the government has issued guidance on reopening campuses and buildings, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

We support face-to-face teaching only where possible and if safety guidelines are followed but expect providers to reopen with a blend of online teaching and in-person tuition as they consider appropriate in line with public health advice. Providers are required to carry out risk assessments, modelled on a range of scenarios including where students are mixing across settings, and develop appropriate mitigations in response.

We are about to publish updated guidance on reopening higher education institutions – including face coverings, local lockdowns, and test and trace – based on the most up-to-date advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Everyone should be following basic guidance on COVID-19, including social distancing and maintaining good hand and respiratory hygiene.

We have also released guidance for landlords and tenants on renting and the COVID-19 outbreak. This sets out necessary public health measures to protect the health of students living together and those staff assisting them. We expect universities and other higher education providers to prioritise the health and safety of their staff and students and put in place measures that apply to their individual circumstances. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to assist with additional track and trace facilities at universities (1) located in areas, and (2) with students arriving from, areas under local lockdown.

The safety and wellbeing of university staff and students is always our priority, and we are confident that universities are well prepared for the return of students, having taken measures to reduce the risk of transmission such as introducing social distancing on campus, limiting travel requirement for classes, and staggering teaching across extended days to reduce numbers on site. To help providers make informed decisions, the government has issued guidance on reopening campuses and buildings, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

We support face-to-face teaching only where possible and if safety guidelines are followed but expect providers to reopen with a blend of online teaching and in-person tuition as they consider appropriate in line with public health advice. Providers are required to carry out risk assessments, modelled on a range of scenarios including where students are mixing across settings, and develop appropriate mitigations in response.

We are about to publish updated guidance on reopening higher education institutions – including face coverings, local lockdowns, and test and trace – based on the most up-to-date advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Everyone should be following basic guidance on COVID-19, including social distancing and maintaining good hand and respiratory hygiene.

We have also released guidance for landlords and tenants on renting and the COVID-19 outbreak. This sets out necessary public health measures to protect the health of students living together and those staff assisting them. We expect universities and other higher education providers to prioritise the health and safety of their staff and students and put in place measures that apply to their individual circumstances. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they have provided to universities located in areas under local lockdown areas about (1) teaching plans, and (2) measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

The safety and wellbeing of university staff and students is always our priority, and we are confident that universities are well prepared for the return of students, having taken measures to reduce the risk of transmission such as introducing social distancing on campus, limiting travel requirement for classes, and staggering teaching across extended days to reduce numbers on site. To help providers make informed decisions, the government has issued guidance on reopening campuses and buildings, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

We support face-to-face teaching only where possible and if safety guidelines are followed but expect providers to reopen with a blend of online teaching and in-person tuition as they consider appropriate in line with public health advice. Providers are required to carry out risk assessments, modelled on a range of scenarios including where students are mixing across settings, and develop appropriate mitigations in response.

We are about to publish updated guidance on reopening higher education institutions – including face coverings, local lockdowns, and test and trace – based on the most up-to-date advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Everyone should be following basic guidance on COVID-19, including social distancing and maintaining good hand and respiratory hygiene.

We have also released guidance for landlords and tenants on renting and the COVID-19 outbreak. This sets out necessary public health measures to protect the health of students living together and those staff assisting them. We expect universities and other higher education providers to prioritise the health and safety of their staff and students and put in place measures that apply to their individual circumstances. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
15th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they are planning to ensure that students registered at universities for the 2020–21 academic year who undertake courses through remote learning have (1) sufficient contact hours with tutors, and (2) effective learning support.

English higher education (HE) providers are autonomous institutions – this means they have the freedom to determine the way their courses are taught, supervised, and assessed. However, providers that are registered with the Office for Students (OfS), the regulator of registered HE providers in England, must ensure that all students, from admission through to completion, have the support that they need to succeed in and benefit from HE. The government’s expectation is that quality and academic standards must be maintained, and the OfS has made it clear that all HE providers must continue to comply with registration conditions relating to quality and standards, which set out requirements to ensure that courses are high quality, that students are supported and achieve good outcomes, and that standards are protected.

The OfS has published information and guidance for providers and students, and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education has also published a series of guides to support providers in securing academic standards and supporting student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HE providers have indicated that they will deliver a blend of online teaching and in-person tuition in the autumn term that they consider appropriate and which is in line with public health advice. If students have concerns, there is a process in place for them to pursue them. They should first raise their concerns with their university. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint. Notwithstanding the ongoing uncertainty, we expect providers to ensure that continuing and prospective students receive the clear, accurate, and timely information they need to make informed decisions. This includes making them aware of any potential for changes at the earliest opportunity.

The government is aware of the disproportionate impact that the pandemic will have on some students. We have already worked closely with the OfS to help clarify that providers can draw upon existing funding within the current academic year to provide hardship funds and support disadvantaged students affected by COVID-19, including the purchase of IT equipment and mental health support. We have also allocated £100 million to support remote education, including to provide routers and laptops to vulnerable students, prioritising care leavers, including those at university.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of (1) the overall funding gap, and (2) the shortfall in income from apprenticeships and other vocational courses, for further education colleges in (a) 2020/21, and (b) 2021/22.

Working closely with the FE college sector we will receive a light touch financial return at the end of the 19/20 academic year setting out the year-end financial position for 19/20 and forecast for 20/21. On a voluntary basis, colleges can also provide information on 21/22. The return is designed to minimise the administrative burden on the sector during this time and therefore focuses on the finances at institutional level and does not provide the level of detail to assess the impact at individual funding lines such as apprenticeships. The intention is to continue to monitor the impact and receive further submissions during 20/21. These returns will enable FE colleges with current or forecast financial issues to be identified.

In regard to the funding gap, the 20/21 return will allow us to make an overall assessment of the difference between income and costs for colleges.

29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial losses and impact on the Higher Education sector should the UK fail to agree continued participation in the Erasmus+ programme.

The UK’s participation in the next Erasmus+ programme (2021–2027) is a matter for our ongoing negotiations with the EU. The government remains open to considering participation in elements of the next Erasmus+ programme, provided that the terms are in the UK’s interests. It would not be appropriate to pre-empt the outcome of those negotiations.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what safeguards they have in place to ensure that predicted grades replacing A-level exams this year are awarded fairly; and whether they plan to introduce an appeals system.

This is a matter for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation and I have asked its Chief Regulator, Sally Collier, to write to the noble Lord and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what impact assessment they undertook of the decision to cap student numbers from England studying at universities in Wales; what consultation they had with the Welsh government; and what response was received to any such consultation.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, have regular meetings with Welsh ministers, and ministers from all of the devolved administrations, about higher education issues. These discussions have included the development of student number controls policy. The department’s officials also have regular meetings and discussions with their counterparts.

Student number controls are a direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak. They are designed to minimise the impact of the financial threat to higher education institutions that is posed by the COVID-19 outbreak. They also form a key part of the package of measures to stabilise the higher education admissions system.

These controls are a temporary measure and will be in place for one academic year only. Student number controls for higher education institutions in the devolved administrations only apply to the number of English-domiciled entrants who will be supported with their tuition fees through the Student Loans Company, and these controls are set at a level which will allow every institution to take more first year English students than they took last year. The funding of English-domiciled students is not a devolved matter, and it is right and fair that this policy should apply as consistently as possible wherever they are studying in the UK.

Ministers will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations on strengthening and stabilising the higher education system following the COVID-19 outbreak.

20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to develop a replacement for the Erasmus+ student exchange programme; and whether this has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government remains open to participation in some elements of the next Erasmus+ programme. This will be subject to our ongoing negotiations with the EU.

We are, in parallel with the negotiations, developing a domestic alternative to Erasmus+, to ensure we are prepared for every eventuality as the government remains committed to international exchanges in education, both with the EU and beyond.

We are working closely with the devolved administrations as we develop the alternative scheme, as our intention is that this will be UK-wide, and are consulting with a range of stakeholders.

The development of the scheme has not been affected by COVID-19.

13th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring forward legislation relating to the finance and governance arrangements of further education colleges in England.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education recently set out (to the Education Select Committee) that we are working on a White Paper aimed at delivering ambitious reform in our vital further education (FE) sector.

The FE sector is playing a pivotal role in making sure more people can access the high-quality education and training they need to progress and will support our economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak. Our reforms will build on and strengthen the excellent work already happening across the country and will ensure the FE sector is at the heart of every community.

We have been working very closely with the sector on the development of the reform programme from the start and will continue to do so. We will outline further details in due course.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the impact on the finances of UK universities of students being based at home and not using university accommodation for the (1) current academic year, and (2) 2020/21 academic year. [T]

As my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

According to the latest statistics published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, total sector income from residential operations (excluding catering and conferencing operations) was £1.92 billion in 2018/19. This represents nearly 5% of total income for the UK higher education sector, although this figure varies across providers.

The government has announced a range of measures to protect students and the higher education sector from the impact of coronavirus, bringing together collective action from the government and sector organisations. Details are on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-package-for-universities-and-students.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to act to ensure that no UK university will become (1) insolvent, and (2) unable to operate, as a result of restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic; and if not, why not.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing very significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector and we have been working closely with the sector to monitor the likely impacts.

On 4 May 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced a package of measures to ensure sustainability in HE at a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

We will stabilise the admissions system and reprofile tuition fee payments, expected to be worth £2.6 billion, for providers so that they receive more cash in the first term of the 2020/21 academic year. This will have no impact on students but will allow providers to better manage financial risks over the autumn. This will be available to all providers across the UK. In reprofiling these payments, we are clear in our expectation that providers should use the cashflow benefits appropriately, taking significant steps to improve efficiencies and manage their finances in order to avoid cashflow problems in the future. Reprofiling in this way is a one-off intervention for the autumn term only, to help providers take all necessary steps now to prepare for the future.

In England, we will also be bringing forward £100 million of quality-related research funding for providers to the current academic year to help to address some of the immediate pressures faced by university research activities.

We are reminding providers, as part of existing programmes and using established procedures, that the department will consider purchasing land and buildings where they can be used for new or expanding schools and colleges in England. This financial year (across purchases from all suitable vendors, including but not limited to HE providers), we have budgeted up to £100 million to acquire sites for planned projects in England. Details are available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-package-for-universities-and-students.

We expect that access to the business support schemes, reprofiling of public funding and student number controls should be sufficient to help stabilise most providers’ finances and that this should be the first port of call for providers.

Should that not be sufficient, such that a HE provider finds themselves at risk of closure, we will only intervene further where we believe there is a case to do so and only where we believe intervention is possible and appropriate and as a last resort.

In such instances, we will work with providers to review their circumstances and assess the need for structured transformation solutions and any attached conditions. The department will be working with HM Treasury and other government departments to develop this restructuring regime, as well as with the devolved administrations, to ensure that it aligns with their respective approaches.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the financial impact on UK universities of restrictions on travel from overseas students in the (1) current academic year, and (2) 2020/21 academic year.

In the 2018/19 academic year, tuition fees from international students at UK higher education providers accounted for around £6.9 billion of sector income. The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak will have an unparalleled impact on all elements of the global and UK economy. The higher education sector, including student recruitment, is no exception. We have been working closely with the sector to monitor the likely impacts of COVID-19, on international student numbers, including restrictions on travel. We understand the coronavirus outbreak and a possible reduction in the number of international students poses significant challenges and stand ready to help the sector with various mitigations.

The government is working to ensure existing rules and regulations, including visa regulations, are as flexible as possible for international students under these unprecedented circumstances. Higher education providers will also be flexible in accommodating applicants’ circumstances where possible, including if they are unable to travel to the UK in time for the start of the academic year.

On 4 May, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced the package of measures to stabilise university admissions this autumn and ensure sustainability in higher education at a time of unprecedented uncertainty. My hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, wrote to all Honourable Members on 4 May, with full details of the package, which have also been published on GOV.UK: www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-package-for-universities-and-students.

The new graduate route, due to be launched in summer 2021, provides an opportunity for international students who have been awarded their degree to stay and work in the UK at any skill level for two years. This represents a significant improvement in our offer to international students and will help ensure our world-leading higher education sector remains competitive internationally.

The International Education Strategy,?published in March 2019,?by the Department for Education and the Department for International Trade, set out a commitment to review progress following its publication.??The review? will? ensure the International Education Strategy?responds to this new context and the challenges that are ?posed.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many pupils took up free school meals in England and Wales in each year since 2015.

The Department for Education publishes figures for the number of pupils taking a free school meal on the day of the January census in schools in England. The figures from 2014/15 to 2018/19 are shown in the table below. All infant pupils are eligible for free school meals (FSM) under the Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) policy. Meals delivered under the universal eligibility are presented separately in the table. ‘FSM eligible meals taken’ includes those infant pupils who would already have been eligible for FSM under the income-related criteria.

FSM

UIFSM

Academic year

FSM eligible

FSM taking a meal on census day

UIFSM meals taken

2014/15

1,195,600

1,000,200

1,375,300

2015/16

1,142,000

926,600

1,417,700

2016/17

1,128,400

899,000

1,466,200

2017/18

1,106,600

872,700

1,472,900

2018/19

1,270,900

1,000,900

1,433,700

Free school meals provision in Wales and the associated data is the responsibility of the administration in Wales.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the annual spend on free school meals in each year since 2015.

Schools pay for benefits-related free school meals from their core funding. The department includes a factor value in the national funding formula (£440 per pupil), but both local authorities and schools have the freedom and flexibility to apply their own local formulae. Last year, around 1.3 million children benefitted from this important provision.

For universal infant free school meals (UIFSM), schools receive funding through a separate grant. The department spends around £600 million each year ensuring 1.4 million infants receive a free meal through this programme.

UIFSM allocations since 2015, can be found at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-infant-free-school-meals-uifsm-funding-allocations-2015-to-2016.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-infant-free-school-meals-uifsm-funding-allocations-2016-to-2017.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-infant-free-school-meals-uifsm-funding-allocations-2017-to-2018.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-infant-free-school-meals-uifsm-funding-allocations-2018-to-2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-infant-free-school-meals-uifsm-2019-to-2020.

10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when universities and students across the EU will receive clarity on which fee regime they will be subject to for the 2021/22 academic year.

We announced on 28 May 2019 guarantees on student finance for EU nationals. EU nationals (and their family members) who start a course in England in the 2020/21 academic year or before will continue to be eligible for ‘home fee’ status and student finance support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course, provided they meet the residency requirement.

Applications for courses starting in the academic year 2021/22 do not open until September 2020. We will provide sufficient notice for prospective EU students on fee arrangements ahead of the 2021/22 academic year.

10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to announce whether students from the EU will be subject to international student fees or continue to be eligible for home fee status for the 2021/22 academic year.

We announced on 28 May 2019 guarantees on student finance for EU nationals. EU nationals (and their family members) who start a course in England in the 2020/21 academic year or before will continue to be eligible for ‘home fee’ status and student finance support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course, provided they meet the residency requirement.

Applications for courses starting in the academic year 2021/22 do not open until September 2020. We will provide sufficient notice for prospective EU students on fee arrangements ahead of the 2021/22 academic year.

10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any review of the apprenticeship levy will prioritise the employer-led element of the current system.

The apprenticeship levy underpins our reforms to raise apprenticeship quality and supports employers to make long-term, sustainable investments in the skills they need to grow. Income from the levy is used to fund apprenticeships in all employers, both those who pay the levy and those who do not.

We value the employer-led element of apprenticeships and are receptive to their concerns of businesses about the apprenticeship levy. We are committed to ensuring the apprenticeship programme continues to provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds, whilst meeting the needs of employers of all sizes and delivering for the economy more broadly.

In response to employers we have already introduced the flexibility for levy-payers to transfer up to 25 per cent of their funds, enabling them to support apprenticeship starts in their supply chains or to meet local skills needs. In January, we extended the use of transfers to cover the full cost of training for 16 to 18-year-olds and eligible 19 to 24-year-olds in employers with fewer than 50 employees.

30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent assessment they have made of the potential impact on (1) higher education institutions, and (2) access to higher education, of the proposals of the report Independent panel report: post-18 review of education and funding, published on 30 May 2019, to remove funding for foundation year courses.

?Philip Augar and his independent panel have made thoughtful recommendations on tuition fee levels and loan repayment, the balance of funding between universities, further education, apprenticeships and adult learning, and we will consider all these recommendations carefully.

We are considering the report carefully but have not yet taken decisions with regard to the recommendations put forward.

As my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation announced on 20 January at education oral questions, the government will conclude the review alongside the next Spending Review, providing the sector with clarity about the future of post 18 education and funding.

We want to ensure we have a joined-up education system that is accessible to all and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.

30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the proposals of the report Independent panel report: post-18 review of education and funding, published on 30 May 2019, to remove funding for foundation year courses, what plans they to ensure a range of entry routes to degree-level study remain available.

?Philip Augar and his independent panel have made thoughtful recommendations on tuition fee levels and loan repayment, the balance of funding between universities, further education, apprenticeships and adult learning, and we will consider all these recommendations carefully.

We are considering the report carefully but have not yet taken decisions with regard to the recommendations put forward.

As my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation announced on 20 January at education oral questions, the government will conclude the review alongside the next Spending Review, providing the sector with clarity about the future of post 18 education and funding.

We want to ensure we have a joined-up education system that is accessible to all and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.

30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to meet with relevant stakeholders following the report by the Sutton Trust Mobility Manifesto 2019, published on 7 November 2019, to discuss the issues raised in that report.

The Sutton Trust Mobility Manifesto 2019 makes 10 recommendations across the areas of Higher and Further Education, Early Years, Schools and Internships. The department continues to engage with a range of stakeholders in order to understand what children and young people need, so that they can express their talents and make the most of their lives.

For example, the department is working with the Early Intervention Foundation and Local Government Association to deliver a programme of early years social mobility peer reviews, focused on early language outcomes.

We have signed a joint understanding with the Independent Schools Council; through which we are working to increase the number of disadvantaged pupils who benefit from targeted bursaries and other forms of assistance offered voluntarily by independent schools.

We have endorsed a proposal to use the Office for Students’ (OfS) review of the admissions system to consider the pros and cons of potential models of Post Qualification Application. The OfS has also encouraged the use of contextual admissions and we support such initiatives.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of proposals to establish a scheme of contextualised university offers to assist those from disadvantaged backgrounds; and what plans, if any, they have to support such a scheme.

Universities are independent, autonomous bodies. As such, they are responsible for their own admissions decisions.

We are aware that many universities already adopt contextual admissions practices, to widen access of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Office for Students has encouraged the use of contextual admissions and the Government supports such initiatives.

30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to meet with relevant stakeholders to discuss the implementation of a system of post-qualification admissions to UK universities.

Universities are independent, autonomous bodies. As such, they are responsible for their own admissions decisions.

The Office for Students is conducting a review of the admissions system and have committed to keeping Ministers and officials regularly informed of the emerging views and any recommendations from this work. The review is due to report later this year.

The Government has endorsed the proposal to use the review to consider the pros and cons of potential models of Post Qualification Application.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what budget provision they have made for the Erasmus Plus international student exchange programme beyond 2020.

The Political Declaration states the UK is open to participation in certain EU programmes, such as the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-27), if it is in our interest to do so. The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 Erasmus+ programme are still being discussed in the EU and have yet to be finalised. Our future participation will be subject to negotiations on the UK-EU relationship. Decisions on future budget provisions are a matter for the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The UK Government wants to ensure that UK and European students can continue to benefit from each other’s world-leading education systems. We are considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the case for gathering information on noise complaints in England, and (2) the health impacts of noise in England.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health surveys local authorities to monitor and track changes in the amount of noise complaints received under statutory nuisance legislation. Their most recent survey report is available at https://www.cieh.org/policy/campaigns/noise-survey/, and includes some data on types of noise complaints. Given the existence of these surveys, the Government has not made a recent assessment of the case for gathering data on noise complaints. The data from these surveys feeds into Public Health England’s Public Health Outcomes Framework, published on GOV.UK, which includes three indicators related to the health impacts of noise in England. These are: the rate of complaints about noise; the percentage of the population exposed to high levels of road, rail and air transport noise during the daytime; and the percentage of the population exposed to high levels of road, rail and air transport noise during the night-time. More information and data, including trends, is available at https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/public-health-outcomes-framework.

The Government estimates that the annual social cost of urban road noise in England is in the region of £7 to 10 billion. In 2019 we convened the Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits (Noise Subject Group) to assess the latest evidence for valuing noise impacts in England, including impacts on health. This expert Group has commissioned evidence reviews relating to potential health outcomes from exposure to noise from a range of sources, and the outputs of these reviews will be taken into account in considering whether any updates to relevant Government guidance are required.

Reports published to date can be found at the following sites: http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20395&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=cardiovascular&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description; and http://sciencesearch.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20398&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=specific%20health&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number noise complaints received by local authorities in England in each year since 2015.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health surveys local authorities to monitor and track changes in the amount of noise complaints received under statutory nuisance legislation. Their most recent survey report is available at https://www.cieh.org/policy/campaigns/noise-survey/, and includes some data on types of noise complaints. Given the existence of these surveys, the Government has not made a recent assessment of the case for gathering data on noise complaints. The data from these surveys feeds into Public Health England’s Public Health Outcomes Framework, published on GOV.UK, which includes three indicators related to the health impacts of noise in England. These are: the rate of complaints about noise; the percentage of the population exposed to high levels of road, rail and air transport noise during the daytime; and the percentage of the population exposed to high levels of road, rail and air transport noise during the night-time. More information and data, including trends, is available at https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/public-health-outcomes-framework.

The Government estimates that the annual social cost of urban road noise in England is in the region of £7 to 10 billion. In 2019 we convened the Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits (Noise Subject Group) to assess the latest evidence for valuing noise impacts in England, including impacts on health. This expert Group has commissioned evidence reviews relating to potential health outcomes from exposure to noise from a range of sources, and the outputs of these reviews will be taken into account in considering whether any updates to relevant Government guidance are required.

Reports published to date can be found at the following sites: http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20395&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=cardiovascular&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description; and http://sciencesearch.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20398&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=specific%20health&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to (1) monitor, and (2) track, changes in (a) the amount of, and (b) the types of, noise complaints received by local authorities in England since 2015.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health surveys local authorities to monitor and track changes in the amount of noise complaints received under statutory nuisance legislation. Their most recent survey report is available at https://www.cieh.org/policy/campaigns/noise-survey/, and includes some data on types of noise complaints. Given the existence of these surveys, the Government has not made a recent assessment of the case for gathering data on noise complaints. The data from these surveys feeds into Public Health England’s Public Health Outcomes Framework, published on GOV.UK, which includes three indicators related to the health impacts of noise in England. These are: the rate of complaints about noise; the percentage of the population exposed to high levels of road, rail and air transport noise during the daytime; and the percentage of the population exposed to high levels of road, rail and air transport noise during the night-time. More information and data, including trends, is available at https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/public-health-outcomes-framework.

The Government estimates that the annual social cost of urban road noise in England is in the region of £7 to 10 billion. In 2019 we convened the Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits (Noise Subject Group) to assess the latest evidence for valuing noise impacts in England, including impacts on health. This expert Group has commissioned evidence reviews relating to potential health outcomes from exposure to noise from a range of sources, and the outputs of these reviews will be taken into account in considering whether any updates to relevant Government guidance are required.

Reports published to date can be found at the following sites: http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20395&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=cardiovascular&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description; and http://sciencesearch.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20398&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=specific%20health&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of climate change on the prevalance and severity of recent flooding; and what plans they have taken to review the (1) Bellwin scheme, and (2) aid and support provided to local authorities, to ensure that communities have sufficient resilience to withstand such events.

The second Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) published in 2017 identifies risks to flooding and coastal change as one of the UK’s top six risks from climate change. The second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) published in 2018, sets out a plan of actions across Government to address these risks (amongst others identified in the CCRA) over the following 5 years. In addition updated UK Climate Projections – UKCP18 – are a key tool to help the Government, businesses and the public understand the future climate and enable them to make climate-resilient decisions.

The Government acted swiftly to activate the emergency Bellwin scheme to help local authorities cope with the cost of response in the immediate aftermath of recent flooding. The Bellwin scheme was activated after Storm Ciara on 10 February and Storm Dennis on 17 February 2020. Under the scheme, local authorities dealing with the flooding can apply to have 100% of their eligible costs, above a threshold, reimbursed by the government. The operation of the Bellwin Scheme was last reviewed in 2015. There are currently no plans to review it further.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government provides funding to local government to carry out functions including managing flood and coastal erosion risk, through the local government finance settlement.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications for licences for military exports (1) to Saudi Arabia, (2) to UAE, (3) to Bahrain, (4) to Kuwait, and (5) to Egypt, they have approved since 7 July.

Information on licences granted from 7th July will be published in due course as Official Statistics. For licences granted between July and September 2020, information will be published on 19th January 2021; and for licences granted between October and December 2020, information will be published in April 2021.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when communities will be able to apply for the remainder of the £500 million fund for the reopening of railway lines.

The Secretary of State for Transport is inviting MPs to work with local authorities and community groups to come forward with proposals to explore. He has set out how this should be done and officials are providing further guidance and assistance. He will consider the proposals received and expects to make a further announcement on development funding in the autumn this year.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to make funds available for the construction of reopening railway lines, beyond the £500 million feasibility studies.

The £500m is expected to fund both feasibility studies and delivery of new stations and new services on lines reopened to passengers during this Parliament. The value and progress of these will be monitored and the funding will be kept under review.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to fund a feasibility study into the reopening of the Oswestry to Gobowen railway line.

We have committed £500m to start restoring train lines and stations closed around the time of the Beeching cuts in the 1960s and 1970s. We are inviting MPs to work with local authorities and community groups to come forward with proposals to explore the possibility of reopening train lines and stations. At this stage it is too early to comment on any specific schemes other than those already announced.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to fund a feasibility study for the Uckfield to Lewes railway line.

The Department is inviting MPs to work with local authorities and community groups to come forward with proposals to explore restoring railway lines and stations closed in the cuts in the 1960s and 1970s, using the £500m we have made available. Should the Uckfield – Lewes line be put forward as a proposal with appropriate local support, we will consider the case for funding a study.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) miles of lines, and (2) stations, will be re-opened as part of their programme to reverse the Beeching era cuts to the rail network.

The volume of railway lines and stations that will be re-opened through the £500m investment being made during this Government will depend on the costs and value or money of qualifying schemes. The Secretary of State is inviting MPs to work with local authorities and community groups to come forward with proposals to explore.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government to set out the relevant background of each of the current office-holders of the key decision-making roles within their COVID-19 testing programme.

The following table shows the NHS Test and Trace Executive Committee. The committee is comprised of existing civil servants and the public and private sector.

Dido Harding

Executive Chair

Gareth Williams

Chief Operating Officer

Mark Hewlett

Testing Chief Operating Officer

Steve McManus

Trace Divisional Director

Carolyn Wilkins

Contain Divisional Director

Clare Gardiner

Joint Biosecurity Council Director General

Simon Bolton

Chief Information Officer

Faran Johnson

Chief People Officer

Donald Shepherd

Chief Financial Officer

Ben Dyson

Director of Policy

Susan Hopkins

Chief Medical Adviser

Jacqui Rock

Chief Commercial Officer

Ben Stimson

Chief Customer Officer

Raghuv Bhasin

Chief of Staff

Michael Brodie

Chief Executive, Public Health England

Jonathan Marron

Director General Public Health, Department of Health and Social Care and NHS Test and Trace Senior Sponsor

3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of (1) syringes, (2) vials, and (3) other medical equipment required for a national COVID-19 vaccination programme they have (a) purchased, and (b) ordered.

Purchase orders have been raised for all required medical equipment to support a vaccination programme and further orders have been made to support the ongoing deployment. NHS England have published the Supply Service Inventory List online.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what contingency plans they have made to alter a COVID-19 vaccination schedule if a booster dose is required.

A COVID-19 vaccine will only be deployed once it has met robust standards on safety, efficacy and quality through clinical trials and approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The Government has asked the National Health Service to be ready to deploy any safe and effective vaccines when available. All plans for deployment remain flexible as there are no certainties in the development, production, formulation and timing of any new vaccines. Information on vaccine characteristics, including potential requirements for a booster dose, is being factored into programme deployment planning.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what infrastructure they have place to ensure RNA-based COVID-19 vaccines could remain frozen throughout the supply chain.

National preparations for storage of COVID-19 vaccines at the required temperatures are being made by Public Health England to support a national COVID-19 vaccination programme. This includes both the central storage of vaccines and distribution capability across the United Kingdom to the National Health Service. The Vaccine Task Force has also conducted supply chain risk assessments and it is working with potential vaccine suppliers to understand the optimal logistics and timings. Plans are tailored by vaccine as the storage requirements are based on different requirements of the individual vaccine and will cover a wide range of timescales.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many staff from (1) Deloitte, (2) the Boston Consulting Group, and (3) McKinsey, are currently employed within their COVID-19 testing system; and what experience in laboratory-based testing is required in order to be eligible for those roles.

The information requested is as follows:

Deloitte - 1,127

Boston Consulting Group - 27

McKinsey - 24

Consultants are not working in roles which require medical expertise such as laboratories or hospitals.

28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell (HL5829) on 21 October, what was the cost of using laboratory facilities in the USA for processing the 66,648 tests; which company or companies were used in sending those tests to the USA; what percentage of tests processed in the USA yielded usable data; and what impact the additional time in sending tests to the USA had on NHS test and trace services.

The information is not held in the format requested.

28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell (HL5829) on 21 October, what is the cost of sending 150,000 tests under the Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) to German laboratories; what impact did the additional time taken to process these tests in Germany have on NHS test and trace services; which company or companies process the tests in Germany; whether the contract procurement process for the company or companies in Germany was completed in accordance with Cabinet Office rules and guidance; and what assessment they have made of the impact of any future trade deal with the EU on their ability to procure laboratory services in Germany.

The cost of sending tests to German laboratories as part of the REACT-1 study is variable subject to the volume of tests being completed per round. The testing process for this study has been expedient with it playing a vital role in supporting NHS Test and Trace with important surveillance information.

The tests for REACT-1 are processed in Germany by Eurofins Biomnis whose services have been procured in accordance with relevant legislation and guidance. The impact of using laboratory services within the European Union has been and continues to be considered. No undue impact has been identified of any future trade deal on the future of the REACT-1 study.

7th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional buildings and facilities on the Royal Sussex County hospital site will be covered by the Prime Minister's announcement on 11 August of £300 million being made available to NHS trusts to upgrade accident and emergency facilities.

As part of the £300 million announced for accident and emergency (A&E) department upgrades on 11 August, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has been awarded £3.7 million, of which Royal Sussex County Hospital will be receiving an £1.85 million for its A&E and same day emergency care capacity project.

21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 20 July (HL5350), how many COVID-19 tests have been sent by post and subsequently returned to laboratories, for each day since the scheme began; and how many of the tests sent by post have been discounted because swabbed material was not collected correctly.

The information is not collected in the format requested.

21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 20 July (HL6147), whether they will publish the data on how many people (1) received test results within 24 hours, (2) who tested positive were reached within 24 hours for non-complex cases, and (3) who were identified as contacts were reached within 24 hours for non-complex cases only.

The Government publishes testing data in an online-only format at GOV.UK. These statistics cover tests?, cases and deaths to lower tier local authority level, as well as weekly NHS Test and Trace statistics on those reached by the system, how many have been contact traced and testing/tracing turnaround time.

This includes data on how many people received test results within 24 hours and those who were identified as contacts who were reached within 24 hours for non-complex cases. However, data on the number of people who tested positive who were reached within 24 hours for non-complex cases is not specifically collected in the format requested.

20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what comparative analysis they have undertaken of the success rates of COVID-19 contract tracing applications in other countries against that of the NHS Test and Trace scheme; and what plans they have to publish any such analysis.

A large number of other countries have launched apps and we have been in close contact with a number of these countries to share what we are learning. We have been working in collaboration with other app development teams across the world - including Ireland, Germany, Italy, Denmark, and New Zealand to exchange ideas. This includes sharing information on download rates and other information on how apps are being used as tools in the response to COVID-19.

Like the United Kingdom, many countries are working on solutions that best support local systems while taking into account cultural and societal differences, and ultimately each country will have to adapt its approach to digital contact tracing to its own local context, including integration with its own test and trace programme.

The success of a contact tracing app will depend on a multitude of factors, including public trust, the reproduction number (R) of the country, and societal context.

20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) social, (2) economic, and (3) demographic, trends they have identified among those who have not been successfully traced via the NHS Test and Trace system; and what plans they have to implement measures to (a) target specific groups, and (b) use different methods of communication, to ensure that underrepresented groups are contact-traced.

The Contact Tracing Advisory Service is undertaking work to evaluate valid postcodes gathered through the service and are broken down across a range of trends to cover social, economic, and demographic factors, including includes analysis of valid and non-valid postcodes.

The service conducts research across different communities, including those hard to reach and areas of multiple deprivation; in order to understand the customer experience and difficulties encountered when engaging with it to continually improve the service.

15th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a comprehensive strategy to clear the backlog of hospitalisations that are unrelated to COVID-19; and what plans they have for consultation with stakeholders to achieve this outcome.

Guidance has already been issued to the National Health Service on the process of starting to restore urgent non-COVID-19 services. NHS England and NHS Improvement also continue to work with the Royal Colleges and other key stakeholders to ensure that this is done as quickly and as safely as possible within the available capacity.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why there have been no new full extract cannabis oil prescriptions by the NHS since the medicinal use of the drug was legalised 18 months ago; and whether they will review current prescribing guidelines to enable its wider use for children with rare forms of treatment resistant epilepsy.

The Government changed the law. Specialist doctors can prescribe medicinal cannabis where clinically appropriate and in the best interests of patients.

The clinical guidelines, developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, demonstrate a clear need for more evidence to support routine prescribing and funding decisions of unlicensed cannabis-based medicines for rare forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have been clear that guidance is just that and decisions on the treatment of individual patients are for the treating clinicians. The Chief Medical Officer and NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to clinicians to clarify the procedure for prescribing and supplying these products and signposted further support material.

25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that those contacted by the NHS COVID-19 test, track and trace scheme fully cooperate with it, following the pilot tracing scheme in Sheffield where two-thirds of COVID-19 contacts failed to comply.

The Government launched the NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020.

Since its introduction, NHS Test and Trace have traced the contacts of thousands of positive cases, using both online services and over the phone, and we are encouraged by the progress so far and user feedback.

We are asking anyone who has been told to self-isolate to follow the advice given and we are confident that the vast majority will do so in order to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus to keep themselves, their families and communities safe and to protect the National Health Service. However, if we find that people are not complying with isolation instructions, we will not hesitate to introduce tougher measures.

25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports that over 20 per cent of those traced by the NHS COVID-19 test, track and trace system could not be reached, what plans they have to adjust the system to take into account the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies' advice that the threshold for effectiveness per index case is 80 per cent.

The Government launched its NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020 to control the rate of reproduction (R), reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

The contact tracing process starts as soon as NHS Test and Trace receive notification that someone has tested positive for COVID-19. The NHS Test and Trace service contacts people by text message, email or phone, including sending reminder messages and calls. We are reaching the close contacts of thousands of positive cases, where their contact details are known by the positive index case, and we are encouraged by the progress so far and user feedback.

Data published on 9 July shows that since 28 May, 75.7% (23,796) of people who tested positive (and had their case transferred to NHS Test and Trace) were reached and asked to provide contact details of recent, close contacts. Of the contacts identified through NHS Test and Trace, 85.1% (144,501) were reached and advised to self-isolate. Work is ongoing to understand, evaluate and continuously improve the test and trace programme and its effectiveness.

25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the advice by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that delays over 72 hours in contacting individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will have a detrimental effect on the 'R' value for COVID-19, what steps they are taking to ensure that all such individuals are traced within 72 hours.

The Government launched its NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020 to control the rate of reproduction (R), reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

The contact tracing process starts as soon as NHS Test and Trace receive notification that someone has tested positive for COVID-19. We are reaching the close contacts of thousands of positive cases and we are encouraged by the progress so far and user feedback.

NHS Test and Trace statistics published on 9 July show that since 28 May 90.3% (17,322) of people who tested positive for COVID-19 were successfully reached and asked to provide details about close contacts within 48 hours (for non-complex cases only). Additionally, 83.4% (22,574) of people identified as recent close contacts were reached and advised to self-isolate within 24 hours of being identified (for non-complex cases only).

Currently we only have timings for each part of the process rather than the end to end journey, so we can say how many people received test results within 24 hours, how many people who tested positive were reached within 24 hours (for non-complex cases only) and how many people who were identified as contacts were reached within 24 hours (for non-complex cases only).

25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what information on local support systems is provided to individuals traced through the NHS COVID-19 test, track and trace system to help them to isolate.

There is a range of support available for individuals who are told to self-isolate by National Health Service Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. This includes Statutory Sick Pay, subject to meeting eligibility requirements, and since 28 September a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, introduced to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and will lose income as a result.

Individuals are informed about local support networks if they need practical, social or emotional support. As part of the information available during the application process for the Test and Trace Support Payment, either on the online form or telephone application, local authorities are also encouraged to reference any other local support that is available for people who are self-isolating, such as food packages.

25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies' advice that there is a lack of information on the modes of COVID-19 transmission in the UK, what steps they are taking to close that knowledge gap.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and is the largest public funder of health research in the United Kingdom.

As part of the NIHR-UK Research and Innovation rolling call for rapid research proposals, two highlight notices were issued in May inviting COVID-19 research proposals on transmission, and priority groups – transmission, risk factors and seroprevalence.

These highlight notices have been issued following advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and to help address gaps in knowledge about transmission of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Applications are being considered for funding, including on the quality of the science proposed and its relevance to the highlight notices. Successful proposals will be announced as soon as possible.

17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 15 June (HL3889), (1) how many, and (2) what percentage, of postal COVID-19 tests up to 8 May were returned with a valid sample.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average length of time it takes (1) for COVID-19 test samples to be processed, (2) for the results to be sent to the person sampled, and (3) for the results to be forwarded to NHS Test and Trace personnel.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 tests that have been sent through the post were (1) analysed in UK laboratories, and (2) sent overseas for analysis, in May.

In May 2020, 66,648 tests were sent to the United States after an operational issue temporarily held back our laboratory network, which impacted the total number of samples that could be processed. We worked hard to resolve these issues and capacity was restored.

The Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) national surveillance study currently sends 150,000 tests per month to Germany for processing as part their agreement with the testing provider.

17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what their current target is for testing people in the UK for COVID-19; and how long they intend to maintain this capacity to address possible resurgences of the pandemic.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government on average what percentage of COVID-19 postal tests are retuned within (1) seven days, (2) five days, and (3) 48 hours.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a table setting out, since rollout of COVID-19 tests, (1) how many COVID-19 postal tests have been dispatched each day, (2) how many COVID-19 tests have been returned each day, and (3) how many COVID-19 tests have been returned with a testable sample each day.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to promote nutritional and healthy living advice during and after the COVID-19 pandemic; and how will they ensure that any advice is (1) positive, and (2) accessible.

Public Health England has updated channels such as Change4Life, Start4Life and One You, to make them consistent with the wider COVID-19 advice and advice on healthier eating.

Change4Life is supporting families with children with a range of simple healthy recipes, 10 Minute Shake Up indoor games and healthy snacking tips and ideas. This material and more is available online at Change4Life, newsletters and social media.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many COVID-19 tests have been dispatched for each day since postal distribution began.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many postal COVID-19 tests have been returned to laboratories for each day since the scheme began; and (1) how many, and (2) what percentage of, the tests administered by post have been discounted because swabbed material was not effectively collected.

As of 16 June, 3% of home test kits have been returned void. We continue to work with our partners to ensure home testing kits are of the highest standard, user friendly and easy to return back for processing.

4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have been (1) tracked, and (2) traced, for each day since the launch of the current scheme; and how many people have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days as a result. [T]

Data on the number of people tracked and traced as part of the NHS Test and Trace programme are not available in the format requested.

The Department publishes weekly experimental statistics from the NHS Test and Trace service in England. Figures include contact tracing undertaken online, by local health protection teams and by contact tracing staff.

The data shows that between 28 May and 10 June 2020 14,045 people who tested positive for COVID-19 had their case transferred to the contact tracing system, of whom 10,192 were asked to provide details of recent contacts. 96,746 contacts were identified and of these 87,639 were reached and advised to self-isolate.

A copy of Experimental Statistics Weekly NHS Test and Trace bulletin, England: 28 May – 10 June 2020 is attached.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the minimum turnaround time for the NHS test and trace results to be processed; and what assessment they have made of whether that time is fast enough to isolate outbreaks before further people become infected.

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 is eligible for a free test and should book one as soon as their symptoms start. The contact tracing process starts as soon as NHS Test and Trace receive notification that someone has tested positive for COVID-19. People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test will be contacted and told to stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to minimise the risk that they unknowingly spread the virus.

The majority of tests at Regional Testing Centres and Mobile Testing Units are returned within 24 hours, with 90% returned within 48 hours. Other than postal tests and other insuperable problems, all tests will be turned around within 24 hours by the end of June.

We are tracing the contacts of thousands of positive cases, using both online services and over the phone, and we are encouraged by the progress so far. In total, since 28 May to 10 June 2020, 72.6% (10,192) of the people who tested positive for COVID-19 were reached by our contact tracers and asked to share details of their close contacts. 90.6% (87,639) of close contacts were reached and advised to self-isolate.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking in response to the risk that a COVID-19 vaccine may not be found in the coming months.

There is extraordinary effort taking place in the United Kingdom and internationally to accelerate the research and development of a vaccine as soon as possible, with the Government making over £130 million available to fund the front-runners University of Oxford and Imperial College London teams, on top of the £250 million we have pledged to the international effort to find a vaccine – the largest international contribution of any country.

Given that a COVID-19 vaccine may not be found, we are also working on identifying safe and effective treatments for COVID-19. There are multiple clinical trials underway, including the ACCORD phase II trial platform that identifies and tests newer therapeutics, and phase III trials including PRINCIPLE, RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP, that are trialling repurposed drugs in primary, acute and intensive care settings respectively.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether COVID-19 will be (1) endemic, or (2) eliminated.

Total eradication of COVID-19 globally is unlikely (unless there is some unexpected biological change in the virus). Elimination nationally (i.e. bringing the number of locally acquired cases to zero) may be possible transiently but is highly unlikely to be possible permanently. Though other countries appear to have eliminated the virus locally, it is still early in the epidemic and the virus is very likely to reappear in these countries. Instead of eradication/elimination, a realistic public health goal would be to have very good control of transmission so that the number of new cases, and therefore the disease burden, is very low.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risks of secondary outbreaks of COVID-19; and what guidance they have (1) prepared, and (2) provided to local authorities, about the steps to be taken should such secondary outbreaks occur.

The incubation period for COVID-19 is one–14 days (the median incubation period is five days). As set out by the First Secretary of State (Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP) on 16 April, there are five tests which underpin Government decisions on adjusting measures to control the virus. These include confidence that changes will not lead to a second peak of infections. As the Government adjusts the lockdown measures, it will closely monitor key indicators, including the rate of infection and local outbreaks, and will react accordingly.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in view of the delay between the transmission of COVID-19 and the appearance of symptoms, what estimate they have made of the minimum response time between the occurrence and detection of any secondary outbreak of COVID-19.

The incubation period for COVID-19 is one–14 days (the median incubation period is five days). As set out by the First Secretary of State (Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP) on 16 April, there are five tests which underpin Government decisions on adjusting measures to control the virus. These include confidence that changes will not lead to a second peak of infections. As the Government adjusts the lockdown measures, it will closely monitor key indicators, including the rate of infection and local outbreaks, and will react accordingly.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce (1) regional, and (2) local, differences in the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic; and if they have any such plans, what will be the maximum level of difference permitted.

We are currently considering multiple options for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in the mid- to long-term, including the implementation of tailoring Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions to the regional and local level. Any decisions on how to approach the mid- to long-term strategy to address the pandemic will be led by the science and build on the Government’s track and trace strategy.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of posted COVID-19 tests for each day of distribution have been successfully returned to an authorised laboratory for evaluation.

Home testing has been expanded over several weeks from the initial piloting phase, through to the large-scale ramp up where thousands of home tests are available on a daily basis. As at 8 May over 134,000 home tests have been dispatched and more than 105,000 completed samples have been collected and this number increases daily.

23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what dates in 2020 the initial audits were first conducted of the need for protective personal equipment in (1) the NHS, and (2) care services.

The Government stockpiled medicines and consumables including personal protective equipment (PPE) for the National Health Service and social care for a reasonable worst-case influenza pandemic as outlined in the UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011. COVID-19 is a different disease with a higher hospitalisation rate.

Forecasts for the need for PPE to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak have been continuously updated in line with modelling based on the prevalence and impact of the virus and the guidance on how PPE should be used. This guidance has itself been updated to reflect emerging scientific evidence about transmission routes and appropriate methods to prevent transmission and the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.

23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what contractual arrangements are in place for personal protective equipment procurement for (1) the NHS, and (2) care services, in the event of national emergencies.

The Department is leading the sourcing of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the National Health Service, social care and the wider public sector from both existing and new suppliers. We have set up a cross-Government PPE sourcing unit to secure new supply lines from across the world and published rigorous standards against which we will buy.

23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there are preferred provider arrangements in place for the procurement of personal protective equipment for (1) the NHS, and (2) care services.

The Department is leading the sourcing of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the National Health Service, social care and the wider public sector from both existing and new suppliers. We have set up a cross-Government PPE sourcing unit to secure new supply lines from across the world and published rigorous standards against which we will buy.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to use international procurement arrangements for the provision of personal protective equipment at the end of the EU withdrawal transition period.

We have set up a cross-Government personal protective equipment (PPE) sourcing unit to secure new supply lines from across the world and published rigorous standards against which we will buy.

Expert procurement professionals from the NHS Supply Chain have been seconded into this dedicated new unit to work with a cross-Government team of over 400 staff from the Government Commercial Function. This unit is identifying PPE suppliers from across the globe to meet the increasing demand for a growing list of PPE products.

29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to re-open the Academic Technology Approval Scheme certification scheme.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requires all non EEA students subject to existing UK immigration permissions to obtain an ATAS certificate before they can apply for a visa to study a postgraduate qualification in subjects which could be used to assist programmes related to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. The decision by the Home Office to suspend all Visa Applications and close its Visa processing network, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, means that if an ATAS certificate were to be granted it could not be used. On 6 April, in consultation with other departments, we suspended ATAS. This suspension will remain in place until such time as we are able to properly assess applications. ATAS assessments require access to sensitive information and we placed the duty of care to assessment staff above maintaining a system which was not required while no visas are being issued. We have created processes for students already in the UK who need to extend their stay in the UK. These can be accessed through the Home Office Covid helpline or directly to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the university.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a cost-benefit financial assessment of the impact of reduced Official Development Assistance funding for research and development over the next five years.

In the context of unprecedented economic and fiscal circumstances, the Government decided at the 2020 Spending Review that sticking rigidly to spending 0.7% of gross national income as Official Development Assistance (ODA) was not an appropriate prioritisation of resources.

The 2020 Spending Review and subsequent review of departmental ODA allocations conducted by the Foreign Secretary confirmed departmental ODA allocations for the financial year 2020-21. This has ensured that UK ODA is focused on our strategic priorities, spent where it will have the maximum impact, has greater coherence and delivers most value for money.

As a consequence of this prioritisation, ODA funding for research and development (R&D) over 2021-22 has been reduced from previous years. However, the Government invested nearly £15 billion in overall R&D in 2021-22 at the 2020 Spending Review. This follows four years of significant growth in government R&D funding and boost of more than £1.5bn in 2020-21 alone.

Decisions have not yet been made on the ODA budget over the following years. The Government remains committed to international development and intends to return to the 0.7% target when the fiscal situation allows.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with insurers and the Association of British Insurers about (1) the current, and (2) the future, levels of insurance required to prevent small and medium sized enterprises from becoming bankrupt as a result of COVID-19.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation.

In addition, the Chancellor has made clear that, for those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers pandemics, the Government’s medical advice of 16th March is sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19. The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor in the Budget and on 17 March, which includes measures such as business rates holidays and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Chancellor has announced two packages to support the people and businesses of the UK: a three-point plan providing £12 billion of support for public services, individuals and businesses whose finances are affected by the outbreak; and a package to provide further support for businesses and individuals totalling £350bn.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to prevent essential small and medium sized enterprises failing; and what level of priority they have given to preventing unnecessary business failures due to cash flow issues.

The government has set out an unprecedented package of support for all businesses affected by this crisis. All businesses, including SMEs, will benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Statutory Sick Pay refunds and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme alongside tax cuts and direct grants. Further detail of the business support package can be found at: www.businesssupport.gov.uk and more information on claiming for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their wish to avoid a role for the Court of Justice of the EU in resolving future disputes between the UK and the EU, what form of dispute resolution they would accept if the UK is to continue participating in the Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ programmes.

The Public Mandate states that the UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes where it is in the UK's and the EU’s interest that the UK does so. The UK will consider a relationship in line with non-EU Member State participation for the following programmes: Horizon Europe, Euratom Research and Training, and Copernicus. The UK will consider service access agreements for the following programmes: EU Space Surveillance and Tracking, and the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service.

Existing agreements on programmes between the EU and third countries establish dispute resolution mechanisms that do not include recourse to the ECJ.

The UK’s priority in negotiations is to ensure that the UK restores its economic and political independence on 1 January 2021. That is the Government’s primary objective. Any agreement must be consistent with this. The UK must have full control over its own laws and the Government will not accept demands for the UK to follow EU law or accept the judgements of the ECJ.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether postgraduate research students who (1) are EU citizens, and (2) were due to start courses at UK universities in the autumn and have deferred by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be exempt from Tier 4 student visa rules. [T]

Free movement will cease at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

EEA nationals intending to study within the UK from January 2021 will need to apply for and meet the requirements of the Student route under the UK’s Points Based Immigration system.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the net financial benefit to the NHS from the immigration health surcharge in each year since the surcharge was introduced; and what proportion of total annual income from the immigration health surcharge comes from foreign nationals working in the health and care sector.

The Home Office does not collate or publish the breakdown of Immigration Health Surcharge income collected from foreign nationals working in the health and social care sector.

Income data for the Immigration Health Surcharge is published annually in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts.

Please see page137 of the Home Office 2018-19 Annual Report and Accounts for the most recent disclosure of Immigration Health Surcharge income:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/807126/6.5571_HO_Annual_Report_201920_WEB.PDF

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to publish a detailed plan about the quarantine of international travellers arriving in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic; and whether that scheme will cover ports as well as airports.

The Government will soon require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. The General Aircraft Declaration (GAD) process will now be required for all flights coming to the UK, requiring crew to identify symptomatic passengers before arrival, with a similar process being implemented for maritime and international rail. This will contribute to keeping the overall number of Covid-19 transmissions in the UK as low as possible.

Further details, and guidance, will be set out shortly, and the measures and list of exemptions kept under regular review.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 30 October 2019 (HL181), how many of the police reported football-related racist incidents have led to people being charged; and what range of penalties was applied.

The Home Office does not hold this information, although individual police forces may have this information for their force area.

As mentioned in my previous response, racist chanting or abuse may be an offence under section 3 of the Football (Offences) Act 1991 or sections 4, 4A or 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. Offences under sections 4 and 4A of the 1986 Act carry a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment and are capable of being charged as a racially or religiously aggravated offence.

In addition, the court must impose a preventative Football Banning Order following conviction for a relevant offence it reasonably believes that making an order would help to prevent violence or disorder at, or in, connection with any regulated football matches. Football Banning Orders prohibit the subject from attending regulated football matches for a period of two to ten years, depending on the nature of the offence.

The Law Commission is carrying out a full review of the coverage and approach of current hate crime legislative provisions, including in the context of football.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to hold a formal consultation on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund; and whether any such consultation will include a framework for the Fund to ensure that it is accountable and transparent in its distribution principles.

The 2019 Conservative manifesto commits to creating the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, a programme of investment to bind together the whole of the United Kingdom, tackling inequality and deprivation in each of our four nations.

The Government has been engaging with key stakeholders on the design and priorities of the fund since 2016, including holding a series of engagement events. Our engagement events have taken place across the UK including in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Over 500 stakeholders attended these events across a variety of sectors including; businesses, public bodies (such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, Mayoral Combined Authorities, local governments), higher education institutions, voluntary and charity sector and rural partnership groups.

Final decisions on the allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be taken after a cross-government Spending Review.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timetable for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Government understands the importance of local growth funding to places and people and is committed to creating the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to succeed European structural funds, providing vital investment in local economies, cutting out bureaucracy and levelling up those parts of the UK whose economies are furthest behind.

The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to targeting the UK Shared Prosperity Fund at the UK’s specific needs, at a minimum matching the size of European structural funds in each nation. This builds upon previous commitments to create a fund which tackles inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of the UK whose economies are furthest behind.

Final decisions on the design and operation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will need to be made following a cross-Government Spending Review.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards establishing the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Government understands the importance of local growth funding to places and people and is committed to creating the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to succeed European structural funds, providing vital investment in local economies, cutting out bureaucracy and levelling up those parts of the UK whose economies are furthest behind.

The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to targeting the UK Shared Prosperity Fund at the UK’s specific needs, at a minimum matching the size of European structural funds in each nation. This builds upon previous commitments to create a fund which tackles inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of the UK whose economies are furthest behind.

Final decisions on the design and operation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will need to be made following a cross-Government Spending Review.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they intend to provide to local councils to deal with any future COVID-19 outbreaks.

We have already provided local authorities with an unprecedented package of support.

Local authorities have been allocated £4.3bn of support which can be used for expenditure pressures, including £3.7bn of unringfenced grants and the £600m Infection Control Fund.

We have also introduced a co-payment scheme for relevant, irrecoverable income losses in 2020-21, where councils will bear the first 5% of income losses but the Government will cover 75p in every pound beyond this.

On tax we have announced that the repayment of collection fund deficits arising this year will be spread over the next three years rather than the usual one. This support will give councils considerable breathing room when setting budgets for next year before we make a fuller announcement at the Spending Review.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) financial, and (2) other, support they have (a) provided, and (b) intend to provide to, local authorities in response to recent flood-related emergencies.

In response to the recent storms, Government activated the Bellwin Scheme of emergency financial assistance on 10 February and extended this to more areas on 17 February. Ministers also activated the Flood Recovery Framework on 18 February, with support being provided to eligible local authorities to help local residents and businesses affected by the storms. Government has also announced the Property Flood Resilience Scheme to help homes and businesses become more resilient to flooding. Government is working with local authorities to assess the full extent of the flooding impacts and will release the funding to eligible local authorities in due course.

Government has made Government Liaison Officers available to support affected areas during response and to support ongoing recovery.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of how much property values for individual properties in high rise blocks have been affected following initial risk assessments in the light of action taken as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire; and what steps they planning to take to protect home owners.

The Government is aware that concerns about building safety are leading to delays in valuing some properties for mortgage finance. The Government is engaged with the mortgage industry and is supporting their work in addressing the delays.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Keen of Elie on 10 March (HL1844), whether private cemeteries should apply the same standards and principles contained in the “framework of regulation and guidance" applying to local authority burial grounds.

As indicated in my response to the Noble Lord’s previous questions on the issue of mounding (HL1843, 1844 and 1845), the Government anticipates that those operating private burial grounds will adhere to the standards and principles underpinning the framework of regulation and guidance which applies to local authority burial grounds.

However, I will ensure that the issues raised by the Noble Lord are referred to the Law Commission in the context of its forthcoming consideration of the law governing the disposal of human remains, to which I also referred in my previous response.

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received any reports of disputes at Tottenham Park Cemetery and Camberwell Old Cemetery on mounding; and what assessment they have made of reports that there are examples of private cemeteries potentially acting in breach of national guidance.

As indicated in my response to the Noble Lord’s previous questions on the issue of mounding (HL1843, 1844 and 1845), the Government anticipates that those operating private burial grounds will adhere to the standards and principles underpinning the framework of regulation and guidance which applies to local authority burial grounds.

However, I will ensure that the issues raised by the Noble Lord are referred to the Law Commission in the context of its forthcoming consideration of the law governing the disposal of human remains, to which I also referred in my previous response.

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they can take to enforce the recording of early burials that are 'mounded' over.

As indicated in my response to the Noble Lord’s previous questions on the issue of mounding (HL1843, 1844 and 1845), the Government anticipates that those operating private burial grounds will adhere to the standards and principles underpinning the framework of regulation and guidance which applies to local authority burial grounds.

However, I will ensure that the issues raised by the Noble Lord are referred to the Law Commission in the context of its forthcoming consideration of the law governing the disposal of human remains, to which I also referred in my previous response.

25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what regulations exist for the control of cemeteries mounding areas to create new burial spaces.

The management and maintenance of local authority burial grounds is subject to a comprehensive framework of regulation and guidance, and we anticipate that those operating private burial grounds (many of which are, in any event, regulated by bespoke legislation) will apply the same standards and principles.

Graves and monuments of historical significance can be listed in the National Heritage List for England or scheduled in accordance with the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Any changes to listed or scheduled monuments or graves require consent from the Historic England.

The Law Commission’s forthcoming Programme of Law Reform includes a project to consider modernising and streamlining the law governing the disposal of human remains, with a view to putting forward a legal framework for the future.

25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what controls exist to protect graves of historical significance from mounding in (1) private, and (2) public, burial grounds.

The management and maintenance of local authority burial grounds is subject to a comprehensive framework of regulation and guidance, and we anticipate that those operating private burial grounds (many of which are, in any event, regulated by bespoke legislation) will apply the same standards and principles.

Graves and monuments of historical significance can be listed in the National Heritage List for England or scheduled in accordance with the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Any changes to listed or scheduled monuments or graves require consent from the Historic England.

The Law Commission’s forthcoming Programme of Law Reform includes a project to consider modernising and streamlining the law governing the disposal of human remains, with a view to putting forward a legal framework for the future.