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Written Question
Post-18 Education and Funding Review
2 Mar 2020

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

What progress he has made on implementing the recommendations of the Augar review of post-18 education and funding.

Answered by Michelle Donelan

The Augar report recommended 53 changes to address some of the challenges and tensions in our higher education and further education systems. It is imperative that we get any such decisions rights. I can reassure my right hon. Friend that this government will conclude the review alongside the next Spending Review.


Written Question
Apprentices
18 Feb 2020

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to promote apprenticeships in (a) Haltemprice and Howden constituency, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) the UK.

Answered by Nick Gibb

We have introduced a wide range of reforms to apprenticeships to improve their quality and to encourage employers across England to increase the number of apprenticeships they offer.

Since May 2010, there have been 4,392,000 starts in England. Of these, 6,930 apprenticeships starts have been in Haltemprice and Howden and 535,420 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

We are raising the profile of our apprenticeship programme through wider communications and marketing activity. The third phase of the Fire it Up campaign was launched in January, targeting important audience groups that are central to widening participation in apprenticeships.

Our thirteenth annual National Apprenticeship Week took place this month (3 to 9 February). Nearly 900 events were held across the country to celebrate and promote the diversity and value that apprenticeships bring to employers, apprentices and communities across England today.

In addition, in January 2018, we introduced a legal requirement for schools to give colleges or other organisations providing further education or training, the opportunity to make pupils aware about technical qualifications and apprenticeships.

We also offer a free service to schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK) project to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support to enable them to promote apprenticeships to their students. In the last academic year, the ASK Programme reached over 300,000 students.

We are investing £2.5 billion in apprenticeships this year (2019-20) so that employers of all sizes across England can provide apprenticeship opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. We are moving smaller employers onto our award-winning apprenticeship service to give them a greater choice of where their apprentices are trained, and so that they can also benefit from transferred funds from levy payers. Levy transfers can help to support new starts in supply chains and address local skills needs.


Written Question
Post-18 Education and Funding Review
1 Jul 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to implement the Augar recommendations to deliver a fairer higher education system.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

The government will consider the panel’s recommendations carefully and will conclude the review at the Spending Review. The government has not yet taken decisions with regards to the recommendations put forward.


Written Question
Literacy: Children
26 Jun 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the National Literacy Trust report, Children, young people and digital reading, published on 30 April 2019, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report's conclusions on the literacy benefits of children reading both digital and print formats.

Answered by Nick Gibb

The Department welcomes the National Literacy Trust’s research on reading in both print and digital forms. The Department wants children to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information, whatever the format. Research suggests that reading for pleasure is more important for children’s educational development than their parents’ level of education.

There is sound evidence that systematic synthetic phonics is a highly effective method of teaching reading to children. Phonics performance is improving. In 2018, there were 163,000 more 6-year-olds on track to become fluent readers compared to 2012. This represented 82% of pupils meeting the expected standard in the phonics screening check, compared to just 58% when the check was introduced in 2012.

In 2018 the Department launched a £26.3 million English Hubs Programme, building on the success of the Department’s phonics partnerships and phonics roadshows programmes. Hub schools are taking a leading role in improving the teaching of early reading through systematic synthetic phonics, early language development, and reading for pleasure. The Department has appointed 34 primary schools across England as English Hubs.


Written Question
Schools: Artificial Intelligence
4 Jun 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential benefit of Artificial Intelligence in the classroom.

Answered by Nick Gibb

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a complex, emerging area. The Department has seen some outstanding examples of AI and machine learning being used within schools and colleges in England to support teachers to deliver curriculum content as well as to automate burdensome non-teaching tasks such as marking.

However, the impact of these technologies in the classroom still remains largely unevidenced. We have set up a new AI Horizon Scanning group, so that policy, digital and delivery teams within the Department can explore how AI may impact our policies, as well as the benefits it can bring to the education system.

The Department also regularly engages with those at the cutting edge of these technologies. For example, the Department is a member of the new Institute for Ethical AI & Machine Learning.


Written Question
Higher Education: Yorkshire and the Humber
1 May 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the (a) quality and (b) choice of higher education provision in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

The Office for Students (OfS) holds providers to account for delivering well-designed courses that offer successful outcomes for all of their students, and has a statutory duty to promote quality, and greater choice and opportunities for students.

Universities and other higher education (HE) providers are planning a range of changes to the degree classification system to ensure public confidence in the results students receive and the value of a degree. The consultation process for these changes is nearing its response phase.

The new OfS regulatory framework removes unnecessary barriers to entry for high quality new providers with the aim of increasing diversity, competition and innovation in the sector.

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) is a national exercise that recognises excellent teaching and student outcomes. Four HE institutions in Yorkshire and the Humber hold the gold TEF award and seven the silver.

Students’ ability to make informed choices is at the heart of the HE reform agenda with prospective students free to make choices to apply to providers in any part of the country. The TEF is supporting student choice.

We are also improving the online offering for students, working alongside OfS to redesign the HE course comparison website, Unistats, by September 2019.

In addition, we launched the Higher Education Open Data competition last year for technology companies and coders to design an innovative digital tool to make it easier for prospective students to access valuable data on salaries and employability. Two winning technology companies have now developed two digital tools to level the playing field for all students, by giving them access to graduate outcomes data at their fingertips.


Written Question
Schools: Yorkshire and the Humber
1 May 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of good school places in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Answered by Nick Gibb

Delivering good quality school places is a top priority. The Government has committed £7 billion between 2015 and 2021 to deliver new school places, which is on top of investment in the free schools programme. The Government is on track to create 1 million places this decade (2010 to 2020), the largest increase in school capacity in at least two generations.

Yorkshire and the Humber has been allocated £855 million to create new places between 2011 and 2021. There are now 61,527 more school places in Yorkshire and the Humber than in 2010. As at December 2018, there are over 170,000 more pupils in good or outstanding schools in Yorkshire and the Humber than in 2010.

As at 24 April, there are 30 open free schools and six University Technical Colleges (UTCs) in Yorkshire and the Humber and a further 13 free schools and one UTC have been approved. In addition, the Department will run competitions to find strong providers to open and run five additional special schools in Yorkshire and the Humber. This includes five additional special schools in Yorkshire and the Humber.


Written Question
Schools: Technology
10 Apr 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department has allocated to improving technology in school classrooms.

Answered by Nick Gibb

The Government is working on a number of initiatives to improve the use technology in school classrooms. As highlighted in the Education Technology Strategy published on 3 April, the Department has allocated £10 million to support innovation, generate evidence, and improve the use of technology in schools, colleges and universities across England. The full strategy can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791931/DfE-Education_Technology_Strategy.pdf.

As announced at Autumn budget, the Department is working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the National Productivity Investment Fund, to deploy full fibre internet in rural locations, starting with primary schools.


Written Question
Universities: Standards
20 Mar 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that university students receive value for money from student fees.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

We have a world-class higher education system and the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 sets the foundation for further improvements to the system. We have established the Office for Students to operate a new register of providers and ensure minimum standards. We have also enacted the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) to hold universities to account for the teaching and outcomes they deliver for students, and are encouraging further diversity within the system with new providers and shorter degrees delivered at a lower cost to students.

These important achievements are being built on with the post-18 review of education and funding looking further at how we can ensure our post-18 education system is joined up and supported by a funding system that works for students and taxpayers.


Written Question
STEM Subjects
15 Mar 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to increase the take-up of STEM subjects.

Answered by Nick Gibb

The Department is committed to addressing the shortage of science, technology engineering mathematics (STEM) skills so it can grow the workforce needed for a dynamic economy. The Department is doing this by encouraging more young people into STEM education and training at all stages from primary school to higher education, improving teaching, and highlighting the variety of careers that STEM pathways have to offer.

As part of the Industrial Strategy, the Government has committed substantial spending on Maths, digital and technical education and is funding programmes to increase the take-up and better teaching of Maths, Science and computing in schools. This includes a new £84 million programme to improve computing teaching and the Advanced Maths Premium to encourage more schools and colleges to teach pupils maths post-16.

The Department is also improving STEM careers advice in schools. The Government’s careers strategy asks that STEM activities, including employer talks and work visits, are built into school career programmes. The Careers & Enterprise Company funds opportunities for young people to meet a wide range of STEM employers. In areas where STEM qualification uptake is lowest, they are working with Local Enterprise Partnerships to make sure that STEM opportunities are built into careers and enterprise plans.


Written Question
Schools: Standards
13 Mar 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps his Department has taken to raise standards in schools.

Answered by Nick Gibb

Since May 2010 the Government has been determined to drive up academic standards. The proportion of children in good or outstanding schools has risen from 66% in 2010 to 84% in August 2018, which means 1.9 million more children are in good or outstanding schools. The Department has introduced a new, world class national curriculum and reformed statutory assessment in primary schools to help ensure that children have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed at secondary school. Rigorous new qualifications have been introduced so that employers, universities and young people themselves can feel full confidence in them.

Teaching quality is critical to raising standards and the Department has recently published a strategy to ensure the very best teachers are recruited and retained in the profession. National centres and networks of regional hubs in priority subjects have been established to better support teachers to develop excellent practice. Through the national funding formula and pupil premium targeted funding is being allocated where it is most needed to tackle disadvantage and ensure all children and teachers are fully supported.


Written Question
Medicine: Education
13 Mar 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the annual cost was of medical education per student in each of the last five years.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

All undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) students receive upfront government funding to help cover the costs of their tuition fees and living expenses. The current amount of support they can receive for academic year 2018/19 and earlier years can be found on the Student Finance England website at: https://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/policy/.

Publicly funded higher education providers also receive direct funding, in the form of a teaching grant, to help support the provision of those subjects where costs typically exceed the amount received through tuition fees. Subjects are assigned to price bands with higher-cost subjects, including medicine and most science, engineering and technology related subject receiving the highest rates of top-up funding. The funding rates for academic year 2018/19 can be found on the Office for Students website at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/1448/ofs2018_21.pdf.

Information on how funding has been allocated in earlier years by the former Higher Education Funding Council for England can be found at:

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20180319114434/http://www.hefce.ac.uk/funding/annallocns/.


Written Question
Grammar Schools: Social Mobility
13 Mar 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the number of grammar schools on levels of social mobility.

Answered by Nick Gibb

Grammar schools are popular and oversubscribed. 98% of grammar schools are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted; 84% are rated outstanding.

Research shows that disadvantaged children attending grammar schools gain the greatest benefit in terms of their attainment.[1]

The Selective Schools Expansion Fund will fund selective school expansion only if there is a need for places and the schools have deliverable and ambitious plans in place to admit more disadvantaged pupils. Previous administrations permitted selective schools to expand without placing any requirements upon them to admit more disadvantaged children. Sixteen grammar schools have successfully secured funding to expand via the SSEF and a second bidding round has been launched.

In order to promote greater social mobility, the Department has also agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Grammar School Heads Association under the terms of which the Association has agreed to work with its members to increase the number of disadvantaged pupils on roll.

[1] Atkinson and Gregg ‘Who Benefits from Grammar Schools’ 2004 (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/sites/cmpo/migrated/documents/bulletin11.pdf) ‘Poor pupils who make it into grammar schools do exceptionally well, getting nearly eight grade points more – equivalent to eight GCSEs being raised from a C to a B. Those not attending grammar schools do no worse than their peers in non-selective LEAs. It is clear from this that selection does indeed work in favour of bright pupils from poor backgrounds’. Jon Andrews, Jo Hutchinson and Rebecca Johnes (2016), also found that ‘for children entitled to free school meals and attending grammar schools the estimated effect is larger than for non-FSM children – at around half a grade higher in each of eight GCSEs. However, it is important to note that this is based on just 500 grammar school pupils out of almost 90,000 FSM pupils in any single year group’ ‘Grammar schools and social mobility’, (Education Policy Institute) (http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/29308/1/Grammar_schools_and_social_mobility_policy_options_v2-1.pdf).


Written Question
Social Media: Education
13 Mar 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the annual cost was of social media studies education per student in higher education in each of the last five years.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

All undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) students receive upfront government funding to help cover the costs of their tuition fees and living expenses. The current amount of support they can receive for academic year 2018/19 and earlier years can be found on the Student Finance England website at: https://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/policy/.

Publicly funded higher education providers also receive direct funding, in the form of a teaching grant, to help support the provision of those subjects where costs typically exceed the amount received through tuition fees. Subjects are assigned to price bands with higher-cost subjects, including medicine and most science, engineering and technology related subject receiving the highest rates of top-up funding. The funding rates for academic year 2018/19 can be found on the Office for Students website at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/1448/ofs2018_21.pdf.

Information on how funding has been allocated in earlier years by the former Higher Education Funding Council for England can be found at:

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20180319114434/http://www.hefce.ac.uk/funding/annallocns/.


Written Question
Dentistry
13 Mar 2019

Questioner: David Davis (CON - Haltemprice and Howden)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the annual cost was of dental education per student in higher education in each of the last five years.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

All undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) students receive upfront government funding to help cover the costs of their tuition fees and living expenses. The current amount of support they can receive for academic year 2018/19 and earlier years can be found on the Student Finance England website at: https://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/policy/.

Publicly funded higher education providers also receive direct funding, in the form of a teaching grant, to help support the provision of those subjects where costs typically exceed the amount received through tuition fees. Subjects are assigned to price bands with higher-cost subjects, including medicine and most science, engineering and technology related subject receiving the highest rates of top-up funding. The funding rates for academic year 2018/19 can be found on the Office for Students website at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/1448/ofs2018_21.pdf.

Information on how funding has been allocated in earlier years by the former Higher Education Funding Council for England can be found at:

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20180319114434/http://www.hefce.ac.uk/funding/annallocns/.