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Written Question
Bereavement Leave: Costs
29 Mar 2021

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost to employers of Parental Bereavement Leave since April 2020.

Answered by Lord Callanan

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay was introduced in April 2020. The Impact Assessment carried out by the Department (copy attached) estimated that annual costs to employers of the policy would be £2.6m, with an additional £4.8m in one-off costs for employers to familiarise themselves with the policy when it was introduced.


Written Question
Schools: Carbon Emissions
15 Feb 2021

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what incentives are in place for schools in England (1) to measure, and (2) to reduce, carbon emissions.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

Reduction in energy use in new and existing buildings to meet the net zero carbon emissions by 2050 target is a priority for the UK government.

The department published the Good Estate Management for Schools guidance in April 2018. The guidance includes a section on ‘Energy and water management’, and tips on reducing energy and water use in schools, including measuring energy and water consumption. It also signposts schools to other organisations that provide training, information, and support in relation to sustainability and energy efficiency in schools.

In 2020, the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy setup the £1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme which provided grants for public sector bodies including schools to fund energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures. This scheme has now ended, however, schools can apply for funding through Salix for projects to reduce carbon emissions as well as accessing funding through the department’s own Condition Improvement Fund for improvements to buildings and services within schools which contribute to reducing emissions.


Written Question
Climate Change and Nature Conservation: Education
15 Feb 2021

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) the causes of climate change, and (2) actions that can benefit and decrease any negative impact on the natural environment, are taught in schools in England.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

It is vital that young people are taught about climate change. For this reason, related topics are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and GCSEs. In primary science and geography, pupils are given a firm foundation for the further study of the environment in secondary school. For example, in primary science, pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. They will learn about animals’ habitats, including that changes to the environment may pose dangers to living things. In primary geography, pupils will be taught about seasonal and daily weather patterns, climate zones and human geography, including land use, economic activity and the distribution of natural resources.

In secondary science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils will consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. In secondary geography, pupils will look at how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate. As part of GCSE geography, pupils will look at the causes, consequences of, and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. In 2017, the department also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable pupils to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled.

School and teachers can go beyond the topics set out in the national curriculum, or do more in-depth teaching of these topic areas, if they so wish.


Written Question
Financial Services: Primary Education
10 Nov 2020

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to integrate financial education and money management skills more widely into the national primary curriculum.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the national curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and mathematical skills to make important financial decisions. The government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on essential arithmetic. This is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

We trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year will support schools to put the right catch-up support in place. Details of the catch up package can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. This is available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and Her Majesty's Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.


Written Question
Financial Services: Primary Education
10 Nov 2020

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ideal age range to begin financial education in schools; and what plans they have to support the delivery of financial education to primary children.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the national curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and mathematical skills to make important financial decisions. The government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on essential arithmetic. This is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

We trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year will support schools to put the right catch-up support in place. Details of the catch up package can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. This is available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and Her Majesty's Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.


Written Question
Financial Services: Primary Education
10 Nov 2020

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, what assessment they have made of the importance of financial education at primary level in the light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on household finances; and what plans they have to provide additional support to schools to offer high-quality financial education.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the national curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and mathematical skills to make important financial decisions. The government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on essential arithmetic. This is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

We trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year will support schools to put the right catch-up support in place. Details of the catch up package can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. This is available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and Her Majesty's Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.


Written Question
None
12 Jul 2017

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recommendations in the WebRoots Democracy report, Inclusive Voting: Improving access to elections with digital democracy, published on 5 June; and, in particular, what assessment they have made of (1) the call for pilots of an online voting option in elections, and (2) the conclusion that it is highly questionable whether voters with vision impairments and other disabilities have access to the right to cast a secret and independent vote.

Answered by Lord Young of Cookham

The Government notes the recommendations in WebRoots Democracy report. The Government is committed to building a modern democracy that works for everyone.

All voters have the right to vote independently and in secret. To assist blind and visually impaired voters, Returning Officers must ensure each polling station is equipped with a tactile voting device which fixes over the ballot paper and allows the voter to mark the ballot paper independently, and in secret, after a member of polling station staff has read out the list of candidates on the ballot paper to them. An enlarged version of the ballot paper is also displayed in each polling station and a large handheld copy provided on request to assist visually impaired voters. Disabled electors may also take a companion into the polling station with them for assistance, or make use of postal voting or appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf, in the same manner as other electors.

The introduction of electronic voting (‘e-Voting’) would raise a number of issues which would need to be considered carefully. The selection of elected representatives for Parliament is regarded as requiring the highest possible level of integrity and, at present, there are concerns that e-Voting, by any means, is not seen by many to be suitably rigorous and secure, and could be vulnerable to attack or fraud. To provide a system over which there are doubts held by part of the electorate would not be appropriate.


Written Question
Corporate Manslaughter: Prosecutions
3 Apr 2017

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Keen of Elie on 9 March (HL5640), whether the legal guidance for prosecutors concerning the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, as set out on the Crown Prosecution Service’s website at 14 March, is current; and whether the Special Crime Unit in the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, CPS Headquarters, continues to maintain an overview of corporate manslaughter cases, as set out in the penultimate paragraph of that advice.

Answered by Lord Keen of Elie

The Crown Prosecution Service’s publicly available legal guidance concerning corporate manslaughter accurately reflects the CPS’s policy on prosecuting for this offence. The guidance includes a requirement for cases to which the guidance may ultimately apply to be referred to the Special Crime Unit of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division.


Written Question
Pentonville Prison
16 Mar 2017

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the fulfilment of the duty of care to ensure the safety of prisoners and staff at HMP Pentonville, since 1 January 2013.

Answered by Lord Keen of Elie

Safety is an ongoing key priority for this Government. Extra funding for Violence Reduction has been provided to address issues of violence and to allow for improvements to be made in the prison environment. Our recently published White Paper on prison reform announced a major shake-up of the prison system to help make prisons places of safety and reform.

Since January 2013 the fulfilment of the duty of care to ensure the safety of prisoners and staff at HMP Pentonville has been assessed by a number of means. The London and Thames Valley Deputy Director has frequently visited the prison to assess and report progress; National audits of Safer Custody and Security have occurred annually; Independent Monitoring Board reports have been produced annually; and HM Inspectorate of Prisons has visited in January 2015 and January 2017.

The prison has delivered improvements in security, with metal detection devices being used for all movement off the wings and improved mobile phone detectors utilised across the prison. Patrol dog cover has also been introduced into the establishment which is continuing until further notice.

The window replacement programme began on the 5 December 2016. This has focused on the areas of greatest vulnerability to items being thrown through these windows, additionally the priority areas of netting have been fixed in all areas around the prison.

There is extensive CCTV coverage and HMP Pentonville have recently improved the way these cameras are monitored by increasing the number of staff monitoring them.


Written Question
Prisons: Smuggling
16 Mar 2017

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many convictions (1) the Metropolitan Police Service, and (2) the Crown Prosecution Service, have secured for conveying prohibited items into prisons, since 1 January 2013.

Answered by Lord Keen of Elie

These types of offences investigated by the Metropolitan Police will be prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Offences of conveying items into prison can be prosecuted under various pieces of legislation. Many are offences which are not specific to prisons and those which are can apply to circumstances where items are conveyed either into or out of prison. Specific offences of conveying prohibiting items into prison cannot therefore be identified from the CPS case management system without incurring disproportionate cost.

The official statistics relating to criminal court proceedings, including convictions, are maintained by the Ministry of Justice.


Written Question
Pentonville Prison
16 Mar 2017

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the escape of two prisoners from HMP Pentonville in November and other recent security breaches, when they first became aware of deficiencies in the perimeter security at that prison, with particular regard to the nets and windows; and when work to make good those deficiencies will be completed.

Answered by Lord Keen of Elie

A project to renew those windows identified as in need of replacement was approved and released to tender in the summer of 2016 as part of a standard maintenance programme, with work beginning in November 2016 and due to finish in March 2017.

Following a recent review of security at Pentonville a secondary project to carry out further work including the fitting of netting and additional window replacement is due to begin in April with a forecast completion date of June.

Additionally a project to repair the Perimeter Intrusion Detection System and CCTV is due to start during April with a forecast completion date of June 2017.

There is extensive CCTV coverage and HMP Pentonville have recently improved the way these cameras are monitored by increasing the number of staff monitoring them.


Written Question
Prisoners: Death
14 Mar 2017

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the respective responsibilities of (1) the Coroner, (2) the police, (3) the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, and (4) the Crown Prosecution Service, in respect of a death in prison.

Answered by Lord Keen of Elie

In the event of a death in prison in England and Wales the police and Crown Prosecution Service will proceed in accordance with the Appropriate Handling of Crimes in Prisons protocol which was agreed in 2015 between the National Offender Management Service, the CPS and the National Police Chiefs’ Council. A copy of the protocol can be found on the CPS website. Prisons have guidance, the Prison Service Safe Custody Guidance, which can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.

All prison deaths are initially treated as potential homicides and the Senior Coroner for the area in question has a duty to undertake an inquest into the death. The coroner may issue a Report to Prevent Future Deaths. In addition, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will undertake an independent investigation to identify any learning points and contribute to safer custody and offender supervision.

Prisons and the police are devolved matters in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Written Question
Prisoners: Death
13 Mar 2017

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many cases the Crown Prosecution Service currently has under active consideration under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 in respect of a death or deaths in custody.

Answered by Lord Keen of Elie

The Crown Prosecution Service is currently considering fewer than five cases in which a charge of corporate manslaughter is being considered in connection to a death or deaths in custody.


Written Question
Prisons: Drugs
13 Mar 2017

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many prosecutions the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service have brought in respect of drug (1) possession, (2) dealing, and (3) smuggling, in London’s prisons since 1 January 2013.

Answered by Lord Keen of Elie

Prosecutions for drug possession, dealing and smuggling in a prison setting may be brought under a number of differing legislative provisions. Prosecutions for these sorts of offences investigated by the Metropolitan Police are conducted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Whilst the CPS holds data relating to prosecutions brought under the Prisons Act 1952, it is not possible to disaggregate, from those relating to other proscribed articles, the number of offences relating to drug possession, dealing or smuggling.

The CPS also holds data relating to offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 but it is not possible to disaggregate those which have taken place in custodial institutions.

Section 9 of the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA) 2016 provides the offence of possession of a psychoactive substance in a custodial institution. Since the Act came into force no prosecutions brought under this section have been completed in the London Area.

A national joint protocol between the CPS, Police and the National Offender Management Service is in force for crimes in prisons. The CPS works very closely with police and prison colleagues to ensure that acts of criminality within prisons are properly addressed.


Written Question
Prisoners: Death
9 Mar 2017

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many prosecutions the Crown Prosecution Service has brought under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 in respect of a death or deaths in custody.

Answered by Lord Keen of Elie

There have been no cases to date in which the CPS has brought charges under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 in respect of a death or deaths in custody.