Lord McNicol of West Kilbride Portrait

Lord McNicol of West Kilbride

Labour - Life peer

4 APPG memberships (as of 6 Oct 2021)
Financial Technology, Geographically Protected Foods, Political Literacy, Portugal
1 Former APPG membership
Kurdistan Region in Iraq
Opposition Whip (Lords)
4th Sep 2018 - 15th Apr 2020


Scheduled Event
Monday 25th October 2021
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Ensuring music and the arts are at the heart of education in England
View calendar
Division Votes
Thursday 21st October 2021
Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 82 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 180 Noes - 130
Speeches
Wednesday 20th October 2021
COVID-19 Pandemic in Latin America

My Lords, that concludes the Question for Short Debate business.

Written Answers
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Schools: Mental Health Services
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide additional resources to schools for addressing mental health issues …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord McNicol of West Kilbride has voted in 141 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord McNicol of West Kilbride Division Votes

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 Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(19 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(18 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(17 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(81 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(29 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord McNicol of West Kilbride's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord McNicol of West Kilbride, 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 McNicol of West Kilbride has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord McNicol of West Kilbride has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord McNicol of West Kilbride has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord McNicol of West Kilbride has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


10 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
8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the results of their call for evidence on loot boxes in video games, which closed on 22 November 2020.

We want to ensure that all players can enjoy games safely. This is a responsibility that the Government shares jointly with the games industry.

We received over 30,000 responses to our loot box call for evidence, and continue to engage with industry to discuss issues identified from the call for evidence. We will publish our response to the call for evidence on loot boxes in the coming months.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of recovering gambling addicts relapsing as a result of loot boxes in video games.

Ensuring that video games are enjoyed safely by players, including children and vulnerable people, is a priority for the Government. That is why the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched a call for evidence in September 2020 to examine concerns relating to loot boxes, including evidence of potential harms.


We continue to evaluate the full scope of the evidence gathered from over 30,000 responses received. Potential solutions and preferred actions, including considerations around regulatory proposals, will be set out in the Government’s response to the call for evidence. The response will be published in the coming months and we stand ready to take action should the findings from the call for evidence support taking further measures. Officials continue to monitor the emergence of new research around loot boxes, including reports published by organisations such as GambleAware as the Government response is developed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to regulate loot boxes under the Gambling Act 2005, as recommended by the Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry.

Ensuring that video games are enjoyed safely by players, including children and vulnerable people, is a priority for the Government. That is why the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched a call for evidence in September 2020 to examine concerns relating to loot boxes, including evidence of potential harms.


We continue to evaluate the full scope of the evidence gathered from over 30,000 responses received. Potential solutions and preferred actions, including considerations around regulatory proposals, will be set out in the Government’s response to the call for evidence. The response will be published in the coming months and we stand ready to take action should the findings from the call for evidence support taking further measures. Officials continue to monitor the emergence of new research around loot boxes, including reports published by organisations such as GambleAware as the Government response is developed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by Dr James Close and Dr Joanne Lloyd Lifting the Lid on Loot-Boxes, published by GambleAware in April; and what steps they are taking to ensure that the use of loot boxes by children does not lead to future gambling addiction.

Ensuring that video games are enjoyed safely by players, including children and vulnerable people, is a priority for the Government. That is why the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched a call for evidence in September 2020 to examine concerns relating to loot boxes, including evidence of potential harms.


We continue to evaluate the full scope of the evidence gathered from over 30,000 responses received. Potential solutions and preferred actions, including considerations around regulatory proposals, will be set out in the Government’s response to the call for evidence. The response will be published in the coming months and we stand ready to take action should the findings from the call for evidence support taking further measures. Officials continue to monitor the emergence of new research around loot boxes, including reports published by organisations such as GambleAware as the Government response is developed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide additional resources to schools for addressing mental health issues experienced by young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental health and wellbeing are a priority for the government. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have prioritised keeping schools open above all else because they are vital for children and young people’s wellbeing, as well as their education.

We are investing £3 billion to boost learning, including £950 million in additional funding for schools which they can use to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

In May, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we announced more than £17 million of mental health funding to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges. This includes £7 million additional funding for local authorities to deliver the Wellbeing for Education Recovery programme. This builds on our £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return programme in 2020/21, which provided free expert training, support and resources for staff dealing with children and young people experiencing additional pressures from the last year. Wellbeing for Education Return has been used by more than 90% of councils since its launch last summer.

Up to 7,800 schools and colleges in England will be offered funding worth £9.5 million to train a senior mental health lead from their staff in the next academic year, which is part of the government’s commitment to offering this training to all state schools and colleges by 2025.

Training will provide senior leads with the knowledge and skills to develop or introduce a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing in their setting. It will encourage staff to develop their own understanding of issues affecting their pupils, giving young people a voice in how their school or college addresses wellbeing and working with parents and monitoring pupils where appropriate.

Additionally, our Mental Health in Education Action Group, has worked to identify and put in place further specific help to education settings to provide support for children and young people’s mental wellbeing at this critical time, and in the longer term.

This support for practice in schools is in addition to the £79 million boost to children and young people’s mental health support we announced in March, which will include increasing the number of Mental Health Support Teams. The support teams - which provide early intervention on mental health and emotional wellbeing issues in schools and colleges - will grow from the 59 set up by last March to around 400 by April 2023, supporting nearly 3 million children.

The department has recently brought together all its sources of advice or schools and colleges into a single site, which includes signposting to external sources of mental health and wellbeing support for teachers, school staff and school leaders: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mental-health-and-wellbeing-support-in-schools-and-colleges#mental-health-and-wellbeing-resources. This also includes guidance to support relationships, sex and health education curriculum planning, covering of the key issues children and young people have been concerned about throughout the COVID-19 outbreak: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-mental-wellbeing.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Social Mobility Commission's report The road not taken: the drivers of course selection, published on 30 March, what steps they intend to take to help disadvantaged young people with travel costs so they are not priced out of travelling to certain courses or apprenticeships which should otherwise be available to them.

The statutory responsibility for transport to education and training for those aged 16 to 19 rests with local authorities. This enables them to make decisions that best match local needs and circumstances. Local authorities must publish a policy statement each year setting out the support available. They are expected to make reasonable decisions based on the needs of their population, the local transport infrastructure and the resources they have available. This does not, however, have to include free or subsidised transport.

The options available to young people to participate, and meet Raising the Participation Age legislation, mean that young people travel to diverse and widespread locations. It would not be financially feasible for local authorities to fund every young person’s post-16 transport, particularly where the young people are receiving pay through, for example, an apprenticeship. Parents and students have a right to appeal if they are unhappy with the arrangements the local authority have put in place.

We do recognise that the cost of transport can be an issue for some young people, and the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is allocated directly to 16-19 providers to support young people who may need additional support with costs such as transport.

Beginning in the 2020/21 academic year, we have recently changed the way we allocate funding for discretionary bursaries to providers of 16-19 education, following a consultation. As a result, institutions whose students will tend to face higher travel costs, who travel further or live in rural areas, will receive more funding to provide support to students who need it. This ensures a better match between bursary allocations and the needs of students.

In August 2019, the 16 and 17-year-old railcard was made available nationally offering half price rail fares for those in further education and apprenticeships.

We also support local authorities and their duty by facilitating the regular sharing of good practice and conducting annual compliance checks on their policy statements.

7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Social Mobility Commission's report The road not taken: the drivers of course selection, published on 30 March, what steps they intend to take to provide targeted support resources to address the challenges faced by disadvantaged pupils.

Enabling every child, irrespective of their background, to realise their potential at school has been at the centre of this government’s education policy since 2010. We do not design education policy that exclusively targets specific groups of pupils, for example based on their ethnicity or gender. Our policies are aimed at improving the education of all disadvantaged children and young people, especially as we know that their education has been impacted most heavily by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In June 2020, as part of the £1 billion Covid catch up package, we announced £350 million to fund the National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged students for the academic years 2020/21 and 2021/22. There is extensive evidence that tutoring is one of the most effective ways to accelerate pupil progress, and we want to extend this opportunity to disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils. The programme provides additional, targeted support for those children and young people who have been hardest hit from disruption to their education as a result of school closures. Teachers and school leaders should exercise professional judgement when identifying which pupils would benefit most from this additional support. This investment was announced in tandem with the £650 million Catch-Up Premium, additional funding for all schools to support education recovery in academic year 2020/21.

On 24 February 2021, we announced a £700 million Education Recovery package, building on the £1 billion from last year. As well as a range of measures to support all pupils to recover lost learning, the package includes significant funding aimed at addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils. This includes a new one-off £302 million Recovery Premium, which includes £22 million to scale up proven approaches, for state funded schools in the 2021/22 academic year. This grant will further support pupils who need it most. Allocations will reflect disadvantage funding eligibility and will have additional weighting applied to specialist settings, recognising the significantly higher per-pupil costs they face.

In addition to this we announced a further recovery package on 2 June 2021, which provides an additional £1.4 billion to support education recovery for children aged 2 to 19 in schools, colleges and early years settings. It focuses on high quality tutoring and great teaching, where the evidence shows that this investment will have the greatest immediate impact on disadvantaged children.

The government has also invested over £400 million to support vulnerable children in England to continue their education at home. To date, over 1.3 million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, trusts, local authorities and further education providers.

The ongoing provision of Pupil Premium funding, which is worth £2.5 billion this financial year, aims to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. School leaders use this extra funding to tailor their support, based on the needs of their disadvantaged pupils, and invest in proven practice to improve outcomes, such as that showcased in resources published by the Education Endowment Foundation.

7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Social Mobility Commission's report The road not taken: the drivers of course selection, published on 30 March, what steps they intend to take (1) to focus on educational inequalities up to age 16, and (2) to target specific disadvantaged groups.

Enabling every child, irrespective of their background, to realise their potential at school has been at the centre of this government’s education policy since 2010. We do not design education policy that exclusively targets specific groups of pupils, for example based on their ethnicity or gender. Our policies are aimed at improving the education of all disadvantaged children and young people, especially as we know that their education has been impacted most heavily by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In June 2020, as part of the £1 billion Covid catch up package, we announced £350 million to fund the National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged students for the academic years 2020/21 and 2021/22. There is extensive evidence that tutoring is one of the most effective ways to accelerate pupil progress, and we want to extend this opportunity to disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils. The programme provides additional, targeted support for those children and young people who have been hardest hit from disruption to their education as a result of school closures. Teachers and school leaders should exercise professional judgement when identifying which pupils would benefit most from this additional support. This investment was announced in tandem with the £650 million Catch-Up Premium, additional funding for all schools to support education recovery in academic year 2020/21.

On 24 February 2021, we announced a £700 million Education Recovery package, building on the £1 billion from last year. As well as a range of measures to support all pupils to recover lost learning, the package includes significant funding aimed at addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils. This includes a new one-off £302 million Recovery Premium, which includes £22 million to scale up proven approaches, for state funded schools in the 2021/22 academic year. This grant will further support pupils who need it most. Allocations will reflect disadvantage funding eligibility and will have additional weighting applied to specialist settings, recognising the significantly higher per-pupil costs they face.

In addition to this we announced a further recovery package on 2 June 2021, which provides an additional £1.4 billion to support education recovery for children aged 2 to 19 in schools, colleges and early years settings. It focuses on high quality tutoring and great teaching, where the evidence shows that this investment will have the greatest immediate impact on disadvantaged children.

The government has also invested over £400 million to support vulnerable children in England to continue their education at home. To date, over 1.3 million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, trusts, local authorities and further education providers.

The ongoing provision of Pupil Premium funding, which is worth £2.5 billion this financial year, aims to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. School leaders use this extra funding to tailor their support, based on the needs of their disadvantaged pupils, and invest in proven practice to improve outcomes, such as that showcased in resources published by the Education Endowment Foundation.

7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Social Mobility Commission's report The road not taken: the drivers of course selection, published on 30 March, what steps they intend to take (1) to promote progression routes, (2) to combine technical and academic courses, and (3) to ensure T Levels are properly recognised and fully transferable qualifications.

The department is reviewing post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below, to ensure that every qualification approved for public funding has a distinct purpose, is high quality and supports progression to positive outcomes.

Our recent consultation on level 3 qualifications and call for evidence on study at level 2 and below set out proposals to ensure students have the best opportunities for progression into further or higher education, or into skilled employment, including support for students not ready to start level 3 at age 16. The consultation set out our proposals for clear academic and technical routes post-16, with A levels and T Levels as the qualifications of choice for each route. We are considering responses to the consultation and call for evidence, and will publish a full response to the level 3 consultation, and proposals for consultation at level 2 and below, later this year.

Alongside this, we need outstanding information, advice and guidance to support students to make the best decisions at age 16, including both academic and technical options. The Skills for Jobs White Paper set out a roadmap for how we will achieve this, including support for students to choose the route that best supports their career and study aims.

The consultation above recognised the need for mixed programmes on the academic route to allow students to combine A levels with a number of high quality alternative qualifications. T Levels are technical programmes but are classroom-based delivered by a further education provider, where students will spend 80% in the classroom and 20% on the job during an industry placement of a minimum of 315 hours.

Higher Technical Qualifications are largely classroom based, taught in further education colleges, universities or independent training providers. Although Higher Technical Qualifications are primarily designed for entry into skilled employment or those looking to retrain or upskill, they can also allow progression to further study and/or training.

T Levels, once fully rolled out, will give access to high-quality technical education for thousands of young people, so they can progress to the next level, whether that is getting a job, going on to further study or an apprenticeship. T Levels are more rigorous and substantial than most existing technical qualifications and earn UCAS points in line with 3 A levels. Therefore, we expect T Levels to provide a route into higher level technical study, including degree courses and higher apprenticeships in relevant subject areas. We are working with a wide range of higher education providers and employers to ensure that they are able to make a judgement about the suitability of T Levels for their courses and recruitment approach.

The content of T Levels has been developed in collaboration with panels of over 250 employers ranging from leading national businesses to small and medium sized enterprises. These panels set out the knowledge and skills needed to perform skilled occupations in their industry, using the approved standards which are common to apprenticeships. They also advised on specific maths, English and digital requirements necessary for occupational competence. The core content of the T Level provides underpinning knowledge and breadth of skills to support adaptability and prepare the student for work in their chosen industry. This breadth of knowledge and understanding, combined with core employability skills relevant to all occupations in the route, like problem solving, teamwork or communication skills, provides a firm foundation for a variety of roles. The occupational specialism, which students will choose, will develop technical competence in the area the student wishes to work in.

All students who take T Levels will undertake a substantial industry placement for a minimum of 45 days, so students can be confident that they will get the opportunity to gain real experience of work and develop many transferable skills that employers look for.