Emma Lewell-Buck Portrait

Emma Lewell-Buck

Labour - South Shields

First elected: 2nd May 2013


Committees on Arms Export Controls
6th Jul 2020 - 16th Jan 2024
Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill
15th Jun 2022 - 20th Oct 2022
National Insurance Contributions Bill
16th Jun 2021 - 22nd Jun 2021
Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families)
9th Oct 2016 - 14th Mar 2019
Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)
6th Jan 2016 - 29th Jun 2016
Work and Pensions Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 1st Feb 2016
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
10th Jun 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Draft Protection of Charities Bill (Joint Committee)
6th Nov 2014 - 3rd Feb 2015


Scheduled Event
Friday 15th March 2024
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Licensing Hours Extensions Bill: Remaining Stages
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 19th March 2024
14:00
Defence Sub-Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Developing AI capacity and expertise in UK Defence
19 Mar 2024, 2 p.m. View calendar
Department Event
Monday 25th March 2024
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Reform)
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 77 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 81
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Post Office Horizon Scandal
I know that the Minister means well and that he also understands that my affected constituents have had enough of …
Written Answers
Monday 5th February 2024
Cancer: Children and Young People
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the implications for …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 30th January 2024
Childhood cancer
That this House notes that over 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year; …
Bills
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Licensing Hours Extensions Bill 2023-24
A Bill to amend the Licensing Act 2003 so that licensing hours Orders can be made by negative resolution statutory …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 16th October 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Ltd
Address of donor: The Tattoo Office, 1-3 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh EH1 1QB …
EDM signed
Monday 19th February 2024
Reductions in railway funding
That this House notes the Government funding settlement for the next five-year Railway Control Period 7 from 2024 to 2029 …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 30th November 2022
Roadworks (Regulation) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision about the regulation of roadworks; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Emma Lewell-Buck has voted in 670 divisions, and 5 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Emma Lewell-Buck voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 176 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
20 Dec 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - View Vote Context
Emma Lewell-Buck voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Labour Aye votes vs 162 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 358 Noes - 234
20 Dec 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - View Vote Context
Emma Lewell-Buck voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Labour Aye votes vs 173 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 353 Noes - 243
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Emma Lewell-Buck voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 8 Labour No votes vs 142 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Emma Lewell-Buck voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Labour No votes vs 124 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
View All Emma Lewell-Buck 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
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(26 debate interactions)
Johnny Mercer (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
(24 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(24 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(76 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(37 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(35 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Emma Lewell-Buck's debates

South Shields Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest South Shields signature proportion
Emma Lewell-Buck has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Emma Lewell-Buck

4th December 2023
Emma Lewell-Buck signed this EDM on Monday 19th February 2024

Reductions in railway funding

Tabled by: Ian Mearns (Labour - Gateshead)
That this House notes the Government funding settlement for the next five-year Railway Control Period 7 from 2024 to 2029 will result in a £1.2bn cut in Network Rail's budget for vital safety-critical railway infrastructure work compared to the previous five year period; further notes these cuts will fall on …
35 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 24
Independent: 5
Scottish National Party: 3
Green Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
30th January 2024
Emma Lewell-Buck signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Tuesday 30th January 2024

Childhood cancer

Tabled by: Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour - South Shields)
That this House notes that over 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year; further notes that cancer is still the biggest killer by disease of children and young people in the UK; recognises the unique medical and psychosocial impacts of cancer on children …
29 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 16
Independent: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Scottish National Party: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Green Party: 1
View All Emma Lewell-Buck's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Emma Lewell-Buck, 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.


Emma Lewell-Buck has not been granted any Urgent Questions

4 Adjournment Debates led by Emma Lewell-Buck

Tuesday 17th October 2023
Wednesday 27th October 2021

5 Bills introduced by Emma Lewell-Buck


Parallel Parliament Note:

The proposals laid down in this bill were subsequently incorporated into the Family Resources Survey. See here for more information.

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Government to monitor and report on food insecurity; to make provision for official statistics on food insecurity; and for connected purposes

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 29th November 2017
(Read Debate)

A Bill to amend the Licensing Act 2003 so that licensing hours Orders can be made by negative resolution statutory instrument.

Commons - 60%

Last Event - Committee Stage
Wednesday 21st February 2024
(Read Debate)
Next Event - Report Stage
Friday 15th March 2024
Order Paper number: 18
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to ensure that families eligible for the Healthy Start scheme are registered to receive it; to confer certain powers on government departments and agencies and public bodies for that purpose; to provide for an opt-out where the family wishes; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 14th June 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require schools to provide breakfast club facilities; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 13th October 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to undertake a review of funeral affordability and costs; to require the providers of funeral services to offer a Simple Funeral Service; to require the Secretary of State to make certain arrangements relating to Funeral Payments; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 9th December 2014

508 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
3 Other Department Questions
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she has had recent discussions with Cabinet colleagues on support for disabled people with rising energy, food and fuel costs.

At the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced further Cost of Living payments in 2023/24 – as part of a package worth twenty-six billion pounds – this included additional support for disabled people.

I am delighted to be the Minister bringing forward this vital legislation to support people most in need.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on facilitating the UK’s climate objectives and COP26 commitments through trade deals.

Last month my Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for International Trade set out the UK’s priorities for green trade and how free and fair trade can play a critical role in driving the global green transition.


Our free trade agreements are one lever to removing barriers to green trade, strengthening bilateral cooperation on climate change and the environment and supporting the delivery of the environmental commitments secured through the UK’s COP26 Presidency.


For example, both the Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreements have included affirmations of each party’s commitments to address climate change, including the Paris Agreement, and recognise the importance of achieving our respective goals.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether developing countries affected by loss and damage incurred by extreme weather and climate-linked disasters will receive additional finance, separate from the £100 billion climate finance goal commitment.

The UK Presidency is clear about the importance of developed countries meeting and surpassing the commitment to jointly mobilise $100bn of climate finance a year through to 2025, from a range of public and private sources.

At COP25, countries highlighted that existing sources of funds from a wide variety of sources, including disaster reduction and response funds respond to loss and damage. It also urged donors and these other funds to scale up support relevant to averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage in the most vulnerable countries. At COP26 and in the run up we will push for progress on these actions and to renew calls for coherent action using climate, development and disaster preparedness and response finance.

Through the COP26 Presidency we are also calling for greater quantity, quality and access to finance and for responses to be joined up. The Taskforce on Access to Finance aims to align support behind the national climate action plans of developing countries to improve access to climate finance. The outcomes will be to agree a new approach to access, marshalling coherent, programmatic support for countries’ own, nationally-determined climate priorities, alongside specific, implementable recommendations to address the system of climate finance as a whole which includes enabling them to better prepare, build resilience and respond to disasters – averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions for causing or inciting sexual exploitation of a child there have been under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in each year since its enactment.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides offences relating to the sexual exploitation of children, under Sections 10, 14 and 47 – 50.

  • Section 10 makes it an offence for a person aged 18 or over intentionally to cause or incite a child aged under 16 to engage in sexual activity.
  • Section 14 makes it an offence for a person intentionally to arrange or facilitate any action which will involve an offence under any of sections 9 - 13 being committed against a child.
  • Section 47 – 50 provides a number of child exploitation offences including paying for the sexual services of a child and controlling a child in relation to sexual exploitation.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced, including the offences charged by way of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Since the Act came into force, and up to the end of March 2020, the number of child exploitation offences charged by way of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 is as follows:

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 10 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 14 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 47 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 48 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 49 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 50 }

2004-2005

62

6

0

1

0

0

2005-2006

327

29

15

26

1

2

2006-2007

528

57

18

21

8

0

2007-2008

507

48

19

22

3

1

2008-2009

589

41

37

32

2

2

2009-2010

732

59

15

33

7

7

2010-2011

1001

92

12

51

4

8

2011-2012

949

83

18

57

3

17

2012-2013

943

78

26

90

8

10

2013-2014

995

81

36

89

9

39

2014-2015

1310

132

49

198

3

31

2015-2016

1556

163

79

277

11

11

2016-2017

2020

190

38

263

15

67

2017-2018

1978

184

57

191

7

28

2018-2019

1240

100

48

160

7

7

2019-2020

977

277

33

72

0

4

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

It is not possible to separately report the nature of, or type of sexual exploitation carried out on victims of child sexual offences other than by manually examining case files at disproportionate cost.

8th Dec 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions for controlling a child in relation to sexual exploitation there have been under Section 49 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in each year since its enactment.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides offences relating to the sexual exploitation of children, under Sections 10, 14 and 47 – 50.

  • Section 10 makes it an offence for a person aged 18 or over intentionally to cause or incite a child aged under 16 to engage in sexual activity.
  • Section 14 makes it an offence for a person intentionally to arrange or facilitate any action which will involve an offence under any of sections 9 - 13 being committed against a child.
  • Section 47 – 50 provides a number of child exploitation offences including paying for the sexual services of a child and controlling a child in relation to sexual exploitation.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced, including the offences charged by way of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Since the Act came into force, and up to the end of March 2020, the number of child exploitation offences charged by way of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 is as follows:

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 10 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 14 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 47 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 48 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 49 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 50 }

2004-2005

62

6

0

1

0

0

2005-2006

327

29

15

26

1

2

2006-2007

528

57

18

21

8

0

2007-2008

507

48

19

22

3

1

2008-2009

589

41

37

32

2

2

2009-2010

732

59

15

33

7

7

2010-2011

1001

92

12

51

4

8

2011-2012

949

83

18

57

3

17

2012-2013

943

78

26

90

8

10

2013-2014

995

81

36

89

9

39

2014-2015

1310

132

49

198

3

31

2015-2016

1556

163

79

277

11

11

2016-2017

2020

190

38

263

15

67

2017-2018

1978

184

57

191

7

28

2018-2019

1240

100

48

160

7

7

2019-2020

977

277

33

72

0

4

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

It is not possible to separately report the nature of, or type of sexual exploitation carried out on victims of child sexual offences other than by manually examining case files at disproportionate cost.

8th Dec 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions for arranging or facilitating exploitation of a child there have been under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in each year since its enactment.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides offences relating to the sexual exploitation of children, under Sections 10, 14 and 47 – 50.

  • Section 10 makes it an offence for a person aged 18 or over intentionally to cause or incite a child aged under 16 to engage in sexual activity.
  • Section 14 makes it an offence for a person intentionally to arrange or facilitate any action which will involve an offence under any of sections 9 - 13 being committed against a child.
  • Section 47 – 50 provides a number of child exploitation offences including paying for the sexual services of a child and controlling a child in relation to sexual exploitation.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced, including the offences charged by way of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Since the Act came into force, and up to the end of March 2020, the number of child exploitation offences charged by way of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 is as follows:

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 10 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 14 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 47 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 48 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 49 }

Sexual Offences Act 2003 { 50 }

2004-2005

62

6

0

1

0

0

2005-2006

327

29

15

26

1

2

2006-2007

528

57

18

21

8

0

2007-2008

507

48

19

22

3

1

2008-2009

589

41

37

32

2

2

2009-2010

732

59

15

33

7

7

2010-2011

1001

92

12

51

4

8

2011-2012

949

83

18

57

3

17

2012-2013

943

78

26

90

8

10

2013-2014

995

81

36

89

9

39

2014-2015

1310

132

49

198

3

31

2015-2016

1556

163

79

277

11

11

2016-2017

2020

190

38

263

15

67

2017-2018

1978

184

57

191

7

28

2018-2019

1240

100

48

160

7

7

2019-2020

977

277

33

72

0

4

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

It is not possible to separately report the nature of, or type of sexual exploitation carried out on victims of child sexual offences other than by manually examining case files at disproportionate cost.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions for offences against children there have been for human trafficking under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in each year since its enactment.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced, including offences charged by way of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This data may be further disaggregated by the child abuse case monitoring flag. The CPS definition of child abuse covers any case where the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the offence and includes allegations or crimes perpetrated by both adults and under 18s.

Since the Act came into force and up to the end of March 2020, the number of Modern Slavery Act offences flagged as child abuse is as follows:

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 1 }

0

0

0

3

0

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 2 }

1

21

26

5

30

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

It is not possible to separately report the nature of, or type of exploitation carried out on victims of modern slavery or trafficking offences other than by manually examining case files at disproportionate cost.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions for offences against children there have been for the offence of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in each year since its enactment.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced, including offences charged by way of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This data may be further disaggregated by the child abuse case monitoring flag. The CPS definition of child abuse covers any case where the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the offence and includes allegations or crimes perpetrated by both adults and under 18s.

Since the Act came into force and up to the end of March 2020, the number of Modern Slavery Act offences flagged as child abuse is as follows:

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 1 }

0

0

0

3

0

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 2 }

1

21

26

5

30

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

It is not possible to separately report the nature of, or type of exploitation carried out on victims of modern slavery or trafficking offences other than by manually examining case files at disproportionate cost.

23rd May 2023
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to his oral contribution of 26 October 2022, Official Report, column 297, what the evidential basis was for his statement that a record number of new homes had been built in the previous year.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 11 November 2022, Official Report, PQ77552. The latest figures show that 2.3 million more homes have been delivered across England since 2010.

Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
23rd May 2023
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to his oral contribution of 2 November 2022, Official Report ,column 861, what the evidential basis was for his statement that Labour was committed to abolishing the armed forces, scrapping the nuclear deterrent, withdrawing from NATO. and befriending Hamas and Hezbollah.

I have been asked to reply.

To assist the hon. Member, I have placed in the Library of the House documentation kindly provided by the Conservative Research Department, which outlines the evidential basis for this statement about the right hon. Member for Islington North’s (Jeremy Corbyn MP) security agenda.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many times the National Space Council has met; and which Secretaries of State have attended each meeting.

It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, and how often they have met, is not normally shared publicly.

GOV.UK is updated regularly with the terms of reference and membership of Cabinet Committees, including the National Space Council.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many staff across Whitehall (a) were working on and (b) are working on the relocation of Afghan nationals (i) prior to and (b) after the fall of Kabul.

A significant cross Government effort is underway to ensure the thousands of Afghans who were evacuated to the UK receive the support they need to rebuild their lives, find work, pursue education, and integrate into local communities. Hundreds of staff across Government have been working tirelessly to bring as many British nationals and eligible Afghans as possible back to the UK.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, in pursuant to the Answer of 17 December to Written Question 128992, what number of meetings occurred; and which Cabinet members attended at each such meeting.

As stated in the answer to PQ 105615, in line with the practice of successive administrations, details of the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, how often they have met, and who attended is not normally disclosed.

Membership of the National Security Council is publicly available on GOV.UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, on how many death certificates has covid-19 been recorded as (a) the primary cause and (b) a contributory factor since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 29 May 2020 to Question 45531 on Mortuaries: Coronavirus, how many of the of the procured temporary mortuary spaces have (a) been built and (b) are in use.

Further to the answer given to PQ 45531 on 29 May 2020, additional mortuary capacity has been procured by a range of organisations in the private and public sectors, including central government, to ensure that the deceased are treated with dignity and respect. Cabinet Office does not hold complete data on specific utilisation of additional storage units.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
11th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many temporary mortuaries (a) have been built and (b) are in use as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what the capacity is of each of those facilities.

Additional mortuary capacity has been procured by a range of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including central government departments, NHS trusts, local authorities and funeral directors, to ensure that the deceased are treated with dignity and respect. We do not hold detailed information on the capacity or utilisation rate of unlicensed private sector sites maintained by the estimated 5,000 or so funeral directors in England.

The Cabinet Office has procured units to provide up to 30,000 additional temporary mortuary spaces across the UK, as part of the government’s responsible contingency planning for a reasonable worst case scenario.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is working closely with local partners to support them in their preparations. The Ministry of Justice are working to support the sector, and are working with DWP to ensure the bereaved are supported, including speeding up the processing time for Funeral Expense Payments.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, how much money South Tyneside Council returned to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from grants in December 2022.

This information is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, if she will make a comparative assessment of the affordability of mobile phone contracts based on the (a) Retail Price Index and (b) Consumer Price Index.

We recognise that this is a difficult time for families across the country who are struggling with their bills due to the rise in the cost of living.

A number of operators choose to link their annual price rises to either the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Price Index (RPI). Due to the differences in the way they are calculated, RPI is traditionally higher than CPI. Whether CPI or RPI-linked, it is important that clauses within mobile contracts - such as price rises - are clear and transparent so consumers know what they are signing up to.

Ofcom, as the independent regulator, has a statutory duty to monitor ongoing household affordability in the sector, and Part C of their General Conditions require telecoms companies to provide clear information about their services.

On 9 February 2023, Ofcom announced a review into the transparency of in-contract price rises including those linked to CPI and RPI. Ofcom expects their review to conclude by the end of the year. We look forward to reading their findings.

9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, how much grant money was returned to her Department by South Tyneside Council in the last two years.

In regards to the Broadband Programmes (Building Digital UK), no grant money was returned to DCMS by South Tyneside Council in the last two years.

30th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 24 January 2023 to Question 127774, on Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: South Tyneside, where his Department records information on grant money returned from Councils.

BEIS policy relates to each grant scheme being run by its own Senior Responsible Owner who will manage reconciliations and money returned by local authorities to BEIS.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much money have South Tyneside Council returned to his Department from grants allocated over the last two years as of 19 January 2023.

This information is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
9th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the money allocated for Covid Business Grants have South Tyneside Council returned to his Department; and for what reasons this money was returned.

Across the COVID-19 business grant schemes South Tyneside Council was allocated £59.8 million. Of this £51.5 million was reported as disbursed to eligible businesses with £8.3 million due to be returned to BEIS at the end of scheme reconciliation.

Initial funding allocations were based on estimates of the eligible local business population, with local authorities required to return unallocated funding to BEIS. Further allocation and spend data for each scheme, including guidance on the methodologies of the initial allocations, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to prevent businesses using fire and rehire tactics.

Using threats to ‘fire and rehire’ as a tactic to pressure workers during negotiations is unacceptable. Employers should refer to Acas’ guidance, which sets out that dismissal and re-engagement should only be considered an option of last resort.

16th Nov 2021
What plans he has to extend employment rights to (a) workers in the gig economy and (b) all workers.

The United Kingdom has one of the best records on workers’ rights in the world - going further than the EU in many areas – and we believe the UK’s current three-tiered employment status framework strikes the right balance between the flexibility our economy needs and protections for workers.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress he has made on the publication of a timetable for the delivery of the national space strategy.

This Government is committed to making the UK a global science and technology superpower and a meaningful actor in space. This will be achieved through the UK’s first comprehensive national space strategy that unleashes growth and innovation in the UK space sector. The strategy is progressing and will be published in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has plans to import the plant-based covid-19 vaccine produced by Medicago in Canada; and whether his Department has plans to make a vegan-friendly covid-19 vaccine available in the UK.

The Government continues to take a portfolio-based approach to Covid-19 vaccine procurement, which monitors the landscape of vaccines in development in the UK and internationally. Although we continue to investigate further potential vaccine candidates worldwide, we are currently not able to give any further information on these candidates owing to commercial sensitivity. If we enter into further agreements, we will publish details of those in the usual manner.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much has been allocated to local authorities through the Additional Restrictions Grant; how much of that funding has (a) been spent and (b) remains unspent to date; and what the timeframe is for local authorities to be allocated that grant funding.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is a discretionary scheme aimed at supporting businesses, including those that have not been mandated to close but have had their trade adversely affected by the nationalised restrictions. Local Authorities have been allocated a further £500m in discretionary funding via the ARG, in addition to £1.1bn already allocated in November 2020. Local Authorities can use the ARG to support businesses in their local area, as they see fit. We expect Local Authorities to use this additional resource quickly to support businesses in their area. Local Authorities are able to use the Additional Restrictions Grant until the end of the financial year 2021/2022.

This data relates to allocations and grant payments made by Local Authorities to businesses up to 17 January 2021:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support deployment of infrastructure at ports to facilitate an increase in offshore wind capacity.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister recently announced on £160 million of new funding towards investment to upgrade ports and infrastructure, to ensure UK ports have the necessary facilities and capabilities to meet the future needs of offshore wind developers.

The expected rapid deployment of offshore wind across the UK, Europe and globally over the next decade, together with the increasing size of turbines, means that there is a need for a major expansion in manufacturing capacity in the coming years.

The ‘Offshore wind manufacturing investment support scheme’ aims to accelerate the development of large-scale manufacturing portside hubs, which could see financial support to strengthen the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing capability, creating employment and investment in both coastal communities and the wider supply chain.

Following the Request for Information in October 2020, the Department has now launched a formal competitive process on a single large coastal manufacturing site for the offshore wind industry. This would generate manufacturing clusters where several large-scale producers can co-locate.

27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the planned timescale is for seafarers to receive the National Minimum Wage, announced on 1 October 2020.

The National Minimum Wage (Offshore Employment) (Amendment) Order 2020 came into force on 1 October 2020. It extended the National Minimum Wage (NMW) to all seafarers working domestically in the UK territorial waters. Changes apply regardless of where the vessel is registered or the nationality of the seafarers, provided they are working domestically in the UK territorial waters.

If seafarers believe they are not being paid the NMW, they should contact HMRC who will consider every complaint they receive, call the ACAS helpline (0300 123 1100), or use the online helpline tool for free, confidential advice about their rights and entitlements.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timescale is for the introduction of the Government's proposed social housing decarbonisation programme.

On 8 July 2020, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Summer Economic Update announced the £50m UK-wide Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator (SHDF Demonstrator) to start the decarbonisation of social housing over 2020/21, and to support green jobs as part of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan. The £50m project is a down payment towards the £3.8 billion Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund in our Manifesto, allocations for which will be determined in due course. This is a 10-year scheme, running to 2030, beginning with the Demonstrator phase in 2020. This will mean warmer and more energy efficient homes and could reduce annual energy bills by hundreds of pounds for some of the poorest households in society, as well as lowering carbon emissions.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing a fuel poverty debt relief programme for winter 2020-21.

The Department is working with Ofgem to assess the level and impact of domestic consumer energy debt this winter and we will continue to review options to support energy customers in debt, including those in or at risk of fuel poverty.

Ofgem rules require energy suppliers to offer customers at risk of, or in debt, the facility to repay their debt in instalments. Suppliers are also required to take all reasonable steps to take into account a customers ability to pay when calculating this. Ofgem issued an open letter in June, stating they would “not tolerate sharp practice or aggressive debt collection and suppliers could face enforcement action where this is the case”.

The Department secured an agreement with energy companies on 19th March 2020 to support their customers impacted by Covid-19, that, based on the circumstances could include reassessing, reducing or pausing debt repayments for households in financial distress. Companies have also agreed to refer customers who are struggling to pay their bills to third party debt advisors.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timescale is for the introduction of the Government's proposed Home Upgrade Grants.

Under the £2 billion Green Homes Grant funding announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on 8th July to save households money, cut carbon and create green jobs, £500 million has been earmarked for Local Authority delivery in England to improve the energy efficiency of low-income households.

The first phase of this funding, launched on 4th August, will see up to £200 million available to Local Authorities directly through a bidding process. The remaining £300 million will be allocated to the five regional Local Energy Hubs later this year to procure services that support upgrading eligible homes.

This funding represents a significant and accelerated down payment on decarbonising buildings to help stimulate the economic recovery and create green jobs.

24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what employment protections are in place for kidney organ donors.

The Government is fully supportive of all types of donation whether by living donors or not.

Most employees are entitled to employment protection such as statutory sick leave, protection from unfair dismissal and protection from unlawful discrimination. We would generally expect employers to be sympathetic when, for example considering requests for extra leave, which may be needed in these circumstances.

NHS England will also reimburse living donor patients in order to ensure that the financial impact on the donor is cost neutral. Through this scheme, living donors can receive a refund for loss of earnings and some other costs such as travel.

The policy on reimbursement was revised in 2018 in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant and is published on the NHS England website - https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/comm-pol-reimbursement-expenses-living-donors-v2.pdf

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to regulate pricing of stock in small newsagents to prevent fluctuations on essential items during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government condemns exploitative pricing practices in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak. The Competition and Markets Authority has created a Covid-19 taskforce to address concerns that some businesses are exploiting consumers through their pricing practices. The taskforce has already been in contact with traders about excessive hand sanitiser prices. Enforcement authorities will take action against companies that have broken competition or consumer protection law, and the Government continues to monitor these practices closely.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of giving workers on zero-hours contracts the right to a contract with guaranteed minimum hours.

We are committed to making the UK the best place in the world to work and grow a business. As announced in the Queen’s Speech we will be bringing forward an Employment Rights Bill to deliver the greatest reform of workers’ rights in over 20 years.

These reforms include taking firm action to tackle what Matthew Taylor termed one-sided flexibility, where some businesses have transferred too much business risk to the individual, sometimes at the detriment of their financial security and personal well-being.

We will also give all workers the right to request a more stable contract, which aims to encourage conversations between employers and businesses.

19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many people over 75 years of age (a) have been (i) fined, (ii) arrested, (iii) imprisoned and (b) are subject to legal action for non payment of their television licence.

Responsibility for collecting and enforcing the Licence Fee is the responsibility of the BBC. The BBC has confirmed that no enforcement action has been taken against over-75s for TV licence evasion at this stage.

The Secretary of State has been clear that the BBC must ensure that it supports those affected by its decision on the over-75s concession and we expect them to do so with the utmost sensitivity.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2021 to Question 155057, on Gaming: Coronavirus, for what reason licensed betting offices with gaming machines are a greater social and economic priority than adult gaming centres with those machines.

The Government has designed the roadmap for reopening premises following careful consideration of the evidence and scientific advice. The roadmap strikes a balance between mitigating the social, health and economic impacts of closures and the need to avoid a resurgence of COVID-19 infections. It also takes account of the cumulative impact of easing restrictions and the need to assess the impact at each step. Under the current roadmap, all non-essential retail will open at Step 2, not before 12 April. Indoor entertainment and indoor leisure will open at Step 3, not before 17 May.

As the business of Adult Gaming Centres consists entirely of customers playing machines within the premises, they are considered to be entertainment and will open at Step 3. The customers of Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs) may enter the premises, place a bet and leave with a betting slip, a transaction more similar to purchasing goods in a shop. While LBOs will be permitted to open at Step 2, they will be subject to a number of additional restrictions as set out in the previous Tier 3 guidance. These include showing no live sport or racing and having no chairs, as well as early closure. Under normal circumstances LBOs are limited to offering a maximum of four gaming machines and only two may be made available under these restrictions.

In recognition of the impact of requiring some businesses to remain closed for a longer period, the Chancellor announced an enhanced package of support at the Budget, including Restart Grants of up to £18,000 per premises, specifically for those which must remain closed beyond Step 2.



25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the Government's policy is that adult gaming centres are unable to open on 12 April 2021; and what the evidential basis is for that policy.

The Government has designed the roadmap for reopening premises following careful consideration of the evidence and scientific advice. The roadmap strikes a balance between mitigating the social, health and economic impacts of closures and the need to avoid a resurgence of COVID-19 infections. It also takes account of the cumulative impact of easing restrictions and the need to assess the impact at each step. Under the current roadmap, all non-essential retail will open at Step 2, not before 12 April. Indoor entertainment and indoor leisure will open at Step 3, not before 17 May.

As the business of Adult Gaming Centres consists entirely of customers playing machines within the premises, they are considered to be entertainment and will open at Step 3. The customers of Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs) may enter the premises, place a bet and leave with a betting slip, a transaction more similar to purchasing goods in a shop. While LBOs will be permitted to open at Step 2, they will be subject to a number of additional restrictions as set out in the previous Tier 3 guidance. These include showing no live sport or racing and having no chairs, as well as early closure. Under normal circumstances LBOs are limited to offering a maximum of four gaming machines and only two may be made available under these restrictions.

In recognition of the impact of requiring some businesses to remain closed for a longer period, the Chancellor announced an enhanced package of support at the Budget, including Restart Grants of up to £18,000 per premises, specifically for those which must remain closed beyond Step 2.



24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the covid-19 roadmap guidance will be updated to cover fairgrounds and travelling fairgrounds; and whether that guidance will include discretionary guidance for local authorities.

We will re-enable outdoor events such as funfairs and fairgrounds in Step 2 of the roadmap, as referenced here, subject to local authority approval where required. Step 2 will take place at least 5 weeks after Step 1 and no earlier than 12 April, subject to an assessment of the data.

Whilst outdoor events are not currently able to proceed due to the national restrictions, my Department looks forward to working across Government and with Local Authorities, Public Health England and the sector itself to get funfairs running safely and successfully once they are permitted.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether adult gaming centres will reopen at the same time as other retail venues listed in the Government’s shops and branches guidance when covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday 22 February that indoor entertainment venues, which will include Adult Gaming Centres, will open at Step 3 of the roadmap, not before 17 May. The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, while preserving the health and safety of the country.

At next week’s Budget the Chancellor will set out the next phase in our economic support package to reflect the steps set out in the Prime Minister’s roadmap to easing restrictions, tailoring support for individuals and businesses to reflect the changing public health restrictions.

Further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Education during the debate on Children in the Care System: Sibling Contact of 4 March 2020, Official Report, column 957, when her Department plans to update the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 to include explicit reference to contact with siblings who are not looked after.

Schedule 2 of the Children Act 1989 mandates that local authorities should promote contact between the child and his or her relatives, where this is consistent with the child’s welfare and is reasonably practical. This includes sibling contact.

However, the department agrees that there is an anomaly in the 2010 Care Planning Regulations and recognises that the honourable Member for South Shields has raised this issue in the past.

In Stable Homes, Built on Love’, the department committed to a review of all legislation, regulations and standards of care to ensure all children in care receive what they need. Alongside this, the department will review the 2010 care planning regulations.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2023 to Question 190584 on Apprentices: Taxation, how many students were studying at Level (a) 3 and (b) 4 and above in each of the last five years.

The data showing apprenticeship participation for the last five academic years is shown in the table below.

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Advanced apprenticeship (level 3)

372,430

356,150

338,680

326,380

330,410

Higher apprenticeship (level 4 and above)

84,240

123,950

165,510

207,860

238,820

Notes:

(1) 2017/18 to 2021/22 figures cover full academic years volumes.

(2) Volumes are rounded to the nearest 10.

(3) Participation is the count of learners that participated at any point during the year. Learners undertaking more than one course will appear only once in the grand total.

(4) Participation at intermediate, advanced, and higher levels is a count of learners that participated at those levels at any point during the year. Learners undertaking more than one course will only appear once at each level but can appear in the count at more than one level.


Further apprenticeship statistics can be found in the ‘Apprenticeships and traineeships statistics’ publication, available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships-and-traineeships.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the proportion of the Apprenticeship Levy that has been spent on people studying at (a) Level 3 and (b) level 4 and above in each of the last 5 years.

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of the government’s reforms to create a high-quality, employer-led apprenticeships system, and it supports employers of all sizes to invest in high-quality apprenticeship training. Employers have developed over 670 apprenticeship standards, including 220 at level 3 and 315 at levels 4 and above, to build the skilled workforces they need.

There have been over 5.4 million apprenticeship starts in England since 2010.

The apprenticeships budget in England is used to fund training and assessment for new apprenticeship starts in levy and non-levy paying employers, and to cover the ongoing costs of apprentices already in training and any additional payments made to employers and providers. The department is increasing investment in apprenticeships to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year, and it is encouraging to see that in the 2021/22 financial year, 99.6% of the budget was spent.

The table below shows the total apprenticeships participation spend in England at level 3 and above from the 2017/18 academic year. This is the total spend for apprenticeships by both levy-paying and non-levy paying employers and includes apprenticeships started in previous years.

Apprenticeships participation spend (£ million)

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

Level 7

2017/18

622

746

68

55

33

11

2018/19

557

838

120

100

78

57

2019/20

473

885

163

132

133

118

2020/21

378

848

192

156

203

186

2021/22

421

953

222

160

290

216

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the real-terms change to funding for Further Education Colleges has been in each year since 2010.

The department does not hold this information, as it does not record or calculate the real terms changes to funding as requested.

There will be an extra £1.6 billion in 16-19 education by the 2024/25 financial year compared with 2021/22.

We are making a capital investment in skills over this Spending Review period of over £2.8 billion, to improve the condition of post-16 estate, provide new places in post-16 education, provide specialist equipment and facilities for T Levels, and deliver the commitment to 21 Institutes of Technology across England. This investment will ensure that colleges are able to deliver the skills that local areas need, including in key sectors like biosciences and green energy.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she plans to take steps to remove the 12-month minimum course requirement for the use of apprenticeship levy money.

The department is committed to supporting more employers in all sectors to use apprenticeships to develop the skilled workforces they need. The department is committed to supporting more people to benefit from the sustained, high-quality training that apprenticeships offer.

Levy-payers can spend their levy funds on over 660 apprenticeship standards and the department is encouraging more flexible training models so employers can train their apprentices in the ways that work best for them.

The department considers that a period of 24 months before levy funds expire gives employers ample time to plan their apprenticeship programmes and create new apprenticeship opportunities.

The department’s reforms have raised the quality of apprenticeships, giving apprentices confidence that they will receive stretching and sustained training. We continue to support and safeguard apprenticeship quality through several measures, including minimum duration requirements for off-the-job training, provider accountability monitoring, the 12-month minimum period of training, and Ofsted inspection and monitoring visits.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to expand Free School Meals to all children with families in receipt of Universal Credit.

Since 2010, the number of pupils receiving a free school meal (FSM) has increased by more than two million. This increase in provision is due to the introduction of Universal Infant Free School Meals and protections put in place as benefit recipients move across to Universal Credit. Over a third of pupils in England now receive FSM, compared with one in six in 2010.

The Department believes that the current eligibility threshold level, which enables children in low income households to benefit from FSM, while remaining affordable and deliverable for schools, is the right one. The Department does not have plans to change the current eligibility conditions for FSM, but will continue to keep eligibility under review to ensure that these meals are supporting those who most need them. The Department continues to monitor the consequences of the rising cost of living and is working with other Government Departments to provide support to disadvantaged families.

19th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much money South Tyneside Council has returned to her Department from grants allocated in the last two years as of 19 January 2023.

The total amount of money received through payments made to the Department for Education by South Tyneside Council between 19 January 2021 and 19 January 2023 is £930,310.63.

16th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to reform children’s social care.

The department will shortly publish a detailed implementation strategy in response to the Independent Review for Children’s Social Care, the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s reviews into the murders of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson, and the Competition Markets Authority report into children’s social care placements.

To support delivery, we have set up a National Implementation Board, made up of sector experts and those with experience of leading transformational change, and people with lived experience of the care system.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 20 December 2022 to Question 111600 on Holiday Activities and Food Programme, how much and what proportion of the funding allocated to each local authority was spent on (a) administration, (b) publicity and marketing, (c) activities, (d) transport, (e) staffing, (f) food (g) club provisions and (h) other expenses in the financial year2021-22.

The department does not hold data for the breakdowns requested. The closest available information is published in the 2021 evaluation of the programme, published in March 2022, which provides analysis of local authority expenditure on the programme for the Easter and Summer holidays. The evaluation report indicates that 92% of the funding was spent on direct delivery of the programme including face-to-face holiday club provision, food costs, activity costs, staffing costs, and transport costs. The remaining 8% was spent on the administration of the programme by local authorities. This report can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1065868/Evaluation_of_the_2021_holiday_activities_and_food_programme.pdf.

Our Holiday Activities and Food programme grant letter sets requirements for local authorities in relation to programme expenditure. It specifies that up to 10% of an authority’s funding allocation may be spent on programme administration, with the remaining 90% being spent on the direct delivery of free places for eligible children. Local authorities must confirm through an annual Certificate of Expenditure that the funding has been properly expended. The department does not specify how much local authorities should spend on food, activities, staff and transport as local circumstances will vary.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to her Department's guidance entitled Holiday activities and food programme 2022, published on 28 January 2022, how much and what proportion of the funding allocated to each local authority for the 2021-2022 financial year was spent on (a) administration, (b) publicity and marketing, (c) activities, (d) transport, (e) staffing, (f) food and (g) any other expense.

The department's Holiday Activities and Food programme grant letter sets requirements for local authorities programme expenditure. It specifies that up to 10% of an authority’s funding allocation may be spent on programme administration, with the remaining 90% being spent on the direct delivery of free places for eligible children. Local authorities must confirm through an annual Certificate of Expenditure that the funding has been properly expended.

An evaluation of the programme, published in March 2022, provides analysis of local authority expenditure on the programme for the Easter and summer holidays in 2021. The evaluation report indicates that 92% of the funding was spent on direct delivery of the programme including face-to-face holiday club provision, food costs, activity costs, staffing costs, and transport costs. The remaining 8% was spent on the administration of the programme by local authorities. The evaluation report is available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1065868/Evaluation_of_the_2021_holiday_activities_and_food_programme.pdf.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 7 November 2022 to Question 75936 on Children in Care: Siblings, how many siblings and half siblings were split up under local authority care in each of the last three years.

The department does not hold this information centrally. Local authorities provide information on looked after children through the SSDA903 annual return. However, this does not include information on the family background of looked after children, including whether they have siblings and/or half-siblings.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
1st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will publish all data and statistics on sibling and half sibling contact for children under local authority care.

The department does not hold this information centrally. Local authorities provide information on looked after children through the SSDA903 annual return. However, this does not include information on sibling and half-sibling contact.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much and what proportion of the funding allocated to each local authority for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2022 has been spent on (a) administration, (b) publicity and marketing, (c) organisations asked to deliver activities and (d) food.

The department is investing over £200 million a year in the holiday activities and food programme. This provides free holiday club places with enriching activities and healthy meals to children from low-income families. It is delivered through grants to local authorities, and the clubs are available in the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays.

Local authorities are required to follow the specification in the programme’s grant determination letter, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1042274/Grant_determination_letter_-_HAF_2022_Final.pdf.

This states that authorities can spend up to a maximum of 10% of their funding allocation on administration costs.

The department’s delivery for the 2022/23 financial year is not yet complete, as provision will continue during the Christmas holidays. After the end of the 2022/23 financial year, local authorities must confirm through an annual Certificate of Expenditure that the funding has been properly expended. Authorities must also provide an annual report after the financial year ends, including final information on expenditure.

As delivery in 2022 is still ongoing, the department is not in a position to collate or share breakdowns showing local authority expenditure for this full period on (a) administration, (b) publicity and marketing, (c) organisations asked to deliver activities and (d) food. However, there is relevant analysis of local expenditure in the external evaluation of the programme in summer 2021. The evaluation report can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1065868/Evaluation_of_the_2021_holiday_activities_and_food_programme.pdf.

This indicated that 92% of the funding was spent on direct delivery of the programme including face-to-face holiday club provision, food costs, activity costs, staffing costs, and transports costs. The remaining 8% was spent on the administration of the programme by local authorities.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing local authorities to (a) submit more than one need as a reason for why a child is being looked after in their SSDA03 data returns and (b) include housing and homelessness as one of those reasons.

Data on reasons for the primary need of a child starting to be looked after is currently collected using an established code set for ‘primary need’ which is set out in the collection guide. Children looked after who were previously living with their family, but were homeless, are counted within the category ‘Family in acute stress’. The latest children looked after data collection guide is published online at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/children-looked-after-return-guide-to-submitting-data. The primary need categories defined in the department’s data collection are not intended to be exhaustive, and housing and homelessness is not a specific category. However, all potential risk factors are taken into consideration when assessing the needs of a child and how they might best be supported.

More detailed information on the needs and additional assessment factors used for children who are assessed by children’s social care are collected within the annual Children in Need census. The latest guide can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/children-in-need-census.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, relating to the Independent review of children’s social care if she will (a) publish all evidence and research to support the removal of Independent Reviewing Officers, (b) publish any plans around Independent Reviewing Officers being considered for different roles and (c) and if her Department has considered the conflict of interest between a child and their advocate when considering the removal of Independent Reviewing Officers.

Independent reviewing officers (IROs) play an important part of the accountability mechanism for ensuring that children in care are supported appropriately by the local authority. They play an important role in quality assuring the care planning and review process for each child and to ensure that their current wishes and feelings are given full consideration.

The department is fully committed to ensuring the voice of the child in care is listened to when services are being developed and delivered in taking forward our response to the Independent Care Review.

The department will publish an implementation strategy later this year, which will set out how we will improve outcomes for vulnerable children and place the system on a sustainable footing.

12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to bring forward secondary legislation to ensure that children who (a) arrive in the UK without a parent or carer and (b) are entitled to be looked after by local authorities under the Children Act 1989 are (i) provided care and protection as looked after children and (ii) not housed in hotels.

We have no plans to bring forward secondary legislation. The Home Office has been temporarily accommodating unaccompanied asylum seeking children in hotels on an emergency basis whilst they await a permanent local authority placement. Since February 2022, all local authorities with children’s services in the UK have been directed to participate in the National Transfer Scheme (NTS) with the aim of ensuring that children are moved out of hotel accommodation and into the care of a local authority as quickly as possible. We have seen an increased rate of transfers since directed transfers under the NTS started. The department and the Home Office are working together on plans to exit the hotels accommodating unaccompanied asylum seeking children as soon as possible.

12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on the establishment of a National Implementation Board in response to the Independent Review of Children's Care; and if his Department will publish details of the (a) composition and (b) membership of that board.

Work is currently underway to establish the National Implementation Board, which will be composed of people with experience of leading transformational change, as well as people with their own experience of the care system. The department will hold the first meeting and commit to publishing a membership list in due course. We have also committed to publishing a readout from each board, which will be made available online.

12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the agreement which his Department has made with the Children's Commissioner for England allowing her to take up a director position on the School-Led Development Trust, which is funded by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the arrangements in place to ensure that the Children's Commissioner for England maintains independence from (a) Government and (b) organisations outside Government.

The Children’s Commissioner’s role, functions, powers, and independence are set out in the Children Act 2004. Pursuant to Schedule 1 of the Children Act 2004, the Children’s Commissioner for England is a Corporate Sole and, therefore, independent from government and not to be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown.

The School-Led Development Trust (SLDT) is running the National Institute of Teaching under contract to the department. SLDT is currently a private limited company seeking independent charitable status and, as such, it is responsible for their own recruitment processes for staff and trustees.

The Children’s Commissioner has declared her role as Trustee of SLDT on the Office of Children’s Commissioner website under its register of interests.

30th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 25 June 2018 to Question 155805 and pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2022 to Question 24601, when his Department's policy changed to not contact the Children’s Commissioner with relevant Parliamentary Questions.

There has not been a change of policy. The hon. Member has asked for information which is not held by the department. Given that the Children’s Commissioner works independently of government, the hon. Member should send relevant questions directly to the Children’s Commissioner.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding his Department provides to English students studying a full degree at a university in the US.

Students are eligible for student finance only where their course is offered by a UK registered provider, and is substantially provided in the UK so that at least half of the teaching and supervision which comprise the course is provided in the UK. This ensures that funding is focused on eligible students studying within the UK.

To extend loan support to every student, no matter where they study, would involve substantial additional costs to the taxpayer, who already heavily subsidise the loan scheme.

The Fulbright Scholarship global programme provides the largest merit-based scholarship in the world, operating in 144 countries with bilateral programmes in 49 of them. The US-UK Fulbright Commission is responsible for administering the Fulbright Programme in the UK and is co-funded by the US and UK governments.

28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help ensure that children from families in receipt of Universal Credit receive free school meals.

Under the benefits-related criteria the department provides a free healthy meal to around 1.9 million children, ensuring they are well nourished and can concentrate, learn and achieve. We also spend around £600 million per year ensuring around 1.25 million infants enjoy a free, healthy and nutritious meal at lunchtime following the introduction of the Universal Infant Free School Meal policy in 2014.

Schools fund benefit-related free school meals (FSM) from their core funding which they receive through the schools block of the dedicated schools grant and is derived from the national funding formula. For 2022-23, the funding schools attract through the 'FSM factor' in the national funding formula (NFF) is increasing to £470 per eligible pupil. The per meal rate for Universal Infant Free School Meals was increased in 2022-2023 to £2.41.

Under this government, eligibility has been extended several times and to more groups of children than any other government over the past half a century, including the introduction of universal infant free school meals and further education FSM. The department has permanently extended eligibility to children from all groups with no recourse to public funds.

The number of pupils eligible for FSM has been increasing since 2018, when we introduced new eligibility criteria for Universal Credit families that was estimated to increase the number of free school meal pupils by 2022. Alongside this, we also introduced generous protections that meant no child would lose their free school meal eligibility as a result of this criteria change and throughout the rollout of Universal Credit.

We want to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming their FSM, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility. To support this:

  • We provide an Eligibility Checking System (ECS) to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities.
  • We have developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for free school meals.
  • We also provide guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2022 to Question 18916 on Children: Asylum, if he will ask the Children's Commissioner to provide a written update on that issue; and if he will make it his policy to place a copy of the response in the Library of both Houses.

This is a matter for the Children’s Commissioner. Given her independence, the hon. Member for South Shields will need to contact her directly.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the number of times that the Children's Commissioner has visited hotels which are accommodating unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

As an executive non-departmental public body, the department does not hold the requested information regarding specific visits by the Children’s Commissioner.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2022 to Question 140453 on Children: Care Homes, how many complaints were received by Ofsted for each children’s home provider, not national figures, in England in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2022 to Question 140453 on Children: Care Homes, if she will publish all incident notifications received by Ofsted for incidents of (a) a missing child, (b) emergency services called and (c) illness for each children’s home provider, not overall national figures, in 2020-21 in England.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will publish all incident notifications received by Ofsted for incidents of (a) a missing child, (b) emergency services called and (c) illness for each children’s home provider in 2020-2021 in England.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member for South Shields and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many complaints were received by Ofsted for each children’s home providers in England in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member for South Shields and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made on the effectiveness of fast-track social work programmes.

Investing in the social workers of the future is essential to building a profession that is best able to protect and care for vulnerable children and families.

The Frontline and Step Up to Social Work fast-track programmes demonstrate clear value for money and effectiveness in supporting the government’s commitment to improving the recruitment and retention of social workers. Both programmes account for an increasing proportion of postgraduate social work enrolments. Investment in fast-track social work programmes, alongside university social work education, supports local authority social worker recruitment by providing top quality training to candidates who may not have previously considered social work as a career.

An evaluation of Frontline, conducted by Cardiff University and published in March 2016, found Frontline participants to be highly skilled in their practice quality. The report is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/frontline-pilot-independent-evaluation.

A further study, undertaken by Cardiff University to track the retention and progression of Frontline and Step Up to Social Work graduates, found no evidence that attrition rates for fast-track trained social workers at 18 months after qualification are higher than they are for social workers trained via mainstream programmes. The report also found that social workers trained by fast-track programmes demonstrate good progression and high job satisfaction. The final report was published in December 2021 and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-work-fast-track-programmes-tracking-study.

8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the value for money of fast-track social work programmes.

Investing in the social workers of the future is essential to building a profession that is best able to protect and care for vulnerable children and families.

The Frontline and Step Up to Social Work fast-track programmes demonstrate clear value for money and effectiveness in supporting the government’s commitment to improving the recruitment and retention of social workers. Both programmes account for an increasing proportion of postgraduate social work enrolments. Investment in fast-track social work programmes, alongside university social work education, supports local authority social worker recruitment by providing top quality training to candidates who may not have previously considered social work as a career.

An evaluation of Frontline, conducted by Cardiff University and published in March 2016, found Frontline participants to be highly skilled in their practice quality. The report is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/frontline-pilot-independent-evaluation.

A further study, undertaken by Cardiff University to track the retention and progression of Frontline and Step Up to Social Work graduates, found no evidence that attrition rates for fast-track trained social workers at 18 months after qualification are higher than they are for social workers trained via mainstream programmes. The report also found that social workers trained by fast-track programmes demonstrate good progression and high job satisfaction. The final report was published in December 2021 and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-work-fast-track-programmes-tracking-study.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the abolition of the national assessment and accreditation system for children’s social workers, whether his Department plans to consult (a) representatives of the social work profession and (b) other relevant stakeholders on the long-term future of post-qualification social work training and career development.

The department invests over £50 million each year on recruiting and developing child and family social workers to ensure that the workforce has the capacity, skills and knowledge to support and protect vulnerable children.

The decision to end the current delivery model of the national assessment and accreditation system in March 2022 has been informed by feedback from social workers, local authorities and other stakeholders, as well as learning from other professions that have moved to remote assessment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We remain committed to assessment and accreditation as a key element of continuing improvements in children’s social care, and we will continue to engage and collaborate with the sector and other stakeholders as we develop the long-term future of post-qualification training and development for child and family social workers.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the impact of Frontline on (a) retention and (b) vacancy rates in children’s social work.

The government is committed to improving the recruitment and retention of social workers to ensure local authorities are best able to protect and care for vulnerable children and families.

Frontline trains around 450 social workers each year. Social workers trained by the Frontline programme have made a contribution towards retention which is comparable to those who train through other routes. A study undertaken by Cardiff University to track the retention and progression of Frontline and Step Up to Social Work graduates found “no evidence that attrition rates for fast-track-trained social workers at 18 months after qualification are higher than they are for social workers trained via mainstream programmes”. The final report was published in December 2021 and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-work-fast-track-programmes-tracking-study.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many serious incident notifications were made to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel in respect of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in each month from 1 July 2021 to 31 January 2022.

Serious incident data held by the department does not currently indicate whether an incident relates to an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child. However, the department is in the process of making changes to the notification system which will include whether a serious incident relates to an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to enable children on free school meals to roll over unspent monies on their prepaid cards in the context of the introduction of prepaid cards that will enable Healthy Start recipients to roll over unspent monies.

I refer the hon. Member for South Shields to the answer I gave on 7 February 2022 to Question 115924.

1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will enable children on free school meals to roll over unspent monies on their prepaid cards in the context of the introduction of prepaid cards that enable Healthy Start recipients to roll over unspent monies.

Free school meals (FSM) are intended as a benefit in kind, rather than a cash benefit, and the department’s primary interest is that schools meet their legal duties to provide nutritious free lunches to eligible children.

Schools have considerable freedoms in how they deliver FSM, and it is important that children are claiming their free lunch each day and schools and colleges ensure children are not building up significant cash reserves on their accounts or regularly spending their allowances at other times of day without receiving their healthy lunch.

The Healthy Start scheme, led by the Department of Health and Social Care, provides vouchers which can be exchanged for fruit, vegetables, pulses, milk, infant formula and free Healthy Start vitamins.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the requirement for all non-medical help providers to offer face-to-face support on (a) providers who are unable to offer face-to-face support, (b) sole traders who can only provide face-to-face support in one location and (c) users who require out of hours and weekend support.

Students in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance can choose to have their non-medical help sessions either face-to-face or remotely (for example by video call). We therefore expect all non-medical help suppliers to be able to provide either face-to-face or remote non-medical help sessions, or a mixture of the two, as the student chooses. The department confirmed this to the sector in July 2021 and more information is available here: https://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/media/1887/ssin-0721-new-arrangements-for-remote-support-202122.pdf.

In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak and providers who are unable to offer face-to-face support, the department considered the impact of this policy on non-medical help suppliers who were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Following this, we announced in December 2021 that there would be an exemption to this policy for non-medical help sole traders who have received specific clinical advice from a medical professional not to engage in face-to-face work for reasons relating to COVID-19. Further details of this exemption and how to apply for it can be found here: https://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/media/1913/update-on-arrangements-for-remote-support_ssin_december-2021_final.pdf.

With regard to sole traders who can only provide face-to-face support in one location, sole traders are able to specify in which regions they can offer non-medical help support in their listing on the department’s register of suppliers here: https://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/exchange-blog/2020/september/10092020-guidance-for-nmh-suppliers/. We require non-medical help suppliers, including sole traders, to be able to provide both face-to-face and remote support in the regions for which they are listed. Apart from that it is a matter for the supplier to decide in which regions they wish to operate.

Regarding users who require out of hours and weekend support, students have a choice between face-to-face and remote support. If students require out of hours and weekend support, and would prefer this to be remote, then they can request remote support from their non-medical help supplier.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the impact on schools of the (a) lack of confirmation of funding for the School Games Organiser network beyond March 2022 and (b) uncertainty around the future of the PE and Sport Premium beyond the 2021-22 academic year.

The department is considering arrangements for the primary PE and sport premium for the 2022-23 academic year and beyond. We are aware of the importance of providing schools with sufficient notice of future funding and will confirm the position as early as possible in the new year.

Similarly, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) are considering arrangements for the School Games Organisers programme and will confirm the position on future funding as soon as possible.

The department is also working to deliver on the nearly £30 million announced in October towards improving and opening up school sport facilities in England, as well as to improve the teaching of PE at primary school. We will continue to work closely with DCMS and DHSC to deliver on the aims of the school sport and activity action plan which we will be updating next year.

8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on discussions with the (a) Department of Health and Social Care, and (b) Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on confirming funding for the School Games Organiser network beyond March 2022.

The department is considering arrangements for the primary PE and sport premium for the 2022-23 academic year and beyond. We are aware of the importance of providing schools with sufficient notice of future funding and will confirm the position as early as possible in the new year.

Similarly, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) are considering arrangements for the School Games Organisers programme and will confirm the position on future funding as soon as possible.

The department is also working to deliver on the nearly £30 million announced in October towards improving and opening up school sport facilities in England, as well as to improve the teaching of PE at primary school. We will continue to work closely with DCMS and DHSC to deliver on the aims of the school sport and activity action plan which we will be updating next year.

18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether parental alienation is part of a social worker's (a) initial and (b) ongoing training.

All social workers in England must meet the professional standards set by the regulator, Social Work England. Providers of initial training must meet the education and training standards, also set by the regulator, to ensure their students can meet the professional standards. The department has also introduced clear post-qualifying standards, setting out the knowledge and skills expected of child and family social workers.

These standards cover working with parents, including managing tensions between parents and family members, the effect of different parenting styles and assessing parental capacity and capability to change.

It is for providers of initial education, ongoing training and local authority employers to decide specific areas of focus, for example, parental alienation, within social worker training, with reference to the relevant standards. This enables training at all levels to be tailored to the needs of individuals, responsive and up to date.

The definitions and risk factor categories defined in the department’s data collection on initial and end of assessments are not intended to be exhaustive, and parental alienation is not a specific category. However, all potential risk factors will be assessed including the impact of such behaviours on a child and the extent to which they may be considered harmful.

18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether parental alienation is a category on children's services assessments.

All social workers in England must meet the professional standards set by the regulator, Social Work England. Providers of initial training must meet the education and training standards, also set by the regulator, to ensure their students can meet the professional standards. The department has also introduced clear post-qualifying standards, setting out the knowledge and skills expected of child and family social workers.

These standards cover working with parents, including managing tensions between parents and family members, the effect of different parenting styles and assessing parental capacity and capability to change.

It is for providers of initial education, ongoing training and local authority employers to decide specific areas of focus, for example, parental alienation, within social worker training, with reference to the relevant standards. This enables training at all levels to be tailored to the needs of individuals, responsive and up to date.

The definitions and risk factor categories defined in the department’s data collection on initial and end of assessments are not intended to be exhaustive, and parental alienation is not a specific category. However, all potential risk factors will be assessed including the impact of such behaviours on a child and the extent to which they may be considered harmful.

16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether legislation is in place to prevent local authorities from not paying the minimum foster care allowance to foster carers.

There is no legislation in place setting a minimum foster allowance to be paid for foster carers. However, the Fostering National Minimum Standards are issued by the Secretary of State under the Care Standards Act 2000 and state at standard 28 ‘Each foster carer receives at least the national minimum allowance for the child, plus any necessary agreed expenses for the care, education, and reasonable leisure interests of the child, including insurance, holidays, birthdays, school trips, religious festivals etc, which cover the full cost of caring for each child placed with her/him.’

Fostering agencies are regulated by Ofsted under the Care Standards Act and under section 23 of the Care Standards Act 2000, the National Minimum Standards are applicable to them. Local authorities are inspected by Ofsted and under section 49 of the Care Standards Act, the National Minimum Standards apply to them also.

The department publishes a minimum allowance annually, which sets out the weekly amount a foster carer can expect to receive to cover such costs: https://www.gov.uk/support-for-foster-parents/help-with-the-cost-of-fostering.

16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what legislation is in place to ensure that family members who look after children in care are appropriately remunerated; and what steps he is taking to prevent the use of time limited arrangement orders as a substitute for foster care arrangements.

Local authorities are responsible for placing looked-after children in the most appropriate placement according to their needs. If the local authority wants to place looked after child with a family member or friend, the carer must be assessed and approved as a foster carer, although in an emergency time limited approval can be given on a temporary basis. Local authorities have duties to ensure they provide all carers of looked after children with appropriate support. Ofsted inspect local authorities with regard to their performance on placing and supporting looked after children.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to publish information on how the Soft Drinks Industry Levy has been allocated in each year since 2016.

The 2016 Budget announced that, alongside the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, the Department for Education would receive funding to invest in a number of related programmes. The funding has been used as follows.

The Primary PE and sport premium was increased to £320 million per year and has been maintained at that level. The Department publishes annual allocations, which can be accessed here: https://skillsfunding.service.gov.uk/view-latest-funding/national-funding-allocations/PSG/2020-to-2021.

£100 million was used for the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund in the 2018/19 financial year. Allocations for each local authority and multi-academy trust who were eligible to receive a direct allocation were published in March 2018 and are available here: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20190212204720/https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capital-allocations. Details of successful Healthy Pupils Capital Fund projects funded through the Condition Improvement Fund have been published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/condition-improvement-fund-2018-to-2019-outcome.

Funding of nearly £22 million was allocated between 2017 and 2019 for an Essential Life Skills programme to enable disadvantaged children and young people living in some of the most deprived parts of the country to participate in regular extra-curricular activities. The Essential Life Skills programme targeted disadvantaged children and young people aged five to 18 across 12 opportunity areas. Areas received £7.95 million in financial year 2017/18 and £13.8 million in financial year 2018/19. Details of the grants are published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/essential-life-skills-grant-s31-grant-determination-and-letters.

The Department has funded £38 million for the National School Breakfast Programme between March 2018 and July 2021, to help set up or improve breakfast clubs in up to 2,450 schools in disadvantaged areas and sustain them in the longer term.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary schools have received funding from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy in each year since 2016.

The 2016 Budget announced that, alongside the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, the Department for Education would receive funding to invest in a number of related programmes. The funding has been used as follows.

The Primary PE and sport premium was increased to £320 million per year and has been maintained at that level. The Department publishes annual allocations, which can be accessed here: https://skillsfunding.service.gov.uk/view-latest-funding/national-funding-allocations/PSG/2020-to-2021.

£100 million was used for the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund in the 2018/19 financial year. Allocations for each local authority and multi-academy trust who were eligible to receive a direct allocation were published in March 2018 and are available here: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20190212204720/https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capital-allocations. Details of successful Healthy Pupils Capital Fund projects funded through the Condition Improvement Fund have been published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/condition-improvement-fund-2018-to-2019-outcome.

Funding of nearly £22 million was allocated between 2017 and 2019 for an Essential Life Skills programme to enable disadvantaged children and young people living in some of the most deprived parts of the country to participate in regular extra-curricular activities. The Essential Life Skills programme targeted disadvantaged children and young people aged five to 18 across 12 opportunity areas. Areas received £7.95 million in financial year 2017/18 and £13.8 million in financial year 2018/19. Details of the grants are published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/essential-life-skills-grant-s31-grant-determination-and-letters.

The Department has funded £38 million for the National School Breakfast Programme between March 2018 and July 2021, to help set up or improve breakfast clubs in up to 2,450 schools in disadvantaged areas and sustain them in the longer term.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding his Department has allocated to South Tyneside Council to provide (a) the holiday activities and food programme and (b) for food and fuel poverty emergency assistance in the last 12 months.

The Department for Education-funded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children, has been expanded to every local authority across England this year – backed by up to £220 million. It builds on previous programmes, including last summer’s programme, which supported around 50,000 children across 17 local authorities.

South Tyneside Council has been allocated a maximum of £831,630 to deliver HAF programmes over Easter, summer and Christmas 2021.

In summer 2020, South Tyneside received £220,000 from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ £63 million grant.

Since 1 December 2020, the Department for Work and Pensions has operated the COVID Winter Grant Scheme, which has subsequently been renamed as the COVID Local Support Grant. Funding has been provided to local authorities in England to support families with food and essential utility bills. On 21 June, the government extended this temporary scheme for a final time, with an additional £160 million in funding through to 30 September, taking total funding under the scheme to £429 million. This funding recognises that, while restrictions are planned to end in July, families might need additional help to get back on their feet as the vaccine rollout continues and our economy recovers. South Tyneside Council has received £1,506,852.06 since 1 December through this scheme.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the successful applicants for the School Breakfast Club Programme 2021-23 tender are planned to be announced.

The Breakfast Clubs procurement has only recently been completed and is currently undergoing final checks. These details will be made available upon conclusion of the procurement process, through Contract Award Notices via the usual channels. We hope to inform the successful applicants as soon as proper procedure will allow.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the successful applicants of the Further Education Capital Transformation Fund bid are planned to be announced.

All further education (FE) colleges and designated institutions in England were invited to apply to stage 1 of the two stage FE Capital Transformation Fund in January, by setting out proposals for investment to tackle poor condition across their estates.

Stage 1 of the bidding process closed to colleges on 22 March and the department is assessing bid applications. We received a high number of applications, and the planned announcement of the stage 1 outcomes has been delayed.

We hope to inform colleges of the outcomes of stage 1, and publish the stage 2 guidance this summer. We will assess bids submitted at stage 2 before making final decisions on award of funding.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many organisations have expressed an interest in the Breakfast Clubs Programme Tender 2021-23.

The Breakfast Clubs procurement remains ongoing. Therefore, we are unable to disclose this information at this time. These details will be made available upon conclusion of the procurement process, through Contract Award Notices via the usual channels.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children are registered as having SEND; how many children with SEND are enrolled in schools; and what information his Department holds on attendance rates of children with SEND.

The department collects data on school children who have special educational needs (SEN), but does not collect data on those with disabilities specifically.

We publish annual figures on the number of children and young people (aged 0 to 25 years) for whom local authorities have issued education, health and care (EHC) plans, available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans. Data relating to January 2021 was published on 13 May 2021.

We publish annual figures on school pupils with SEN based on January school census data, which is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/special-educational-needs-in-england. Data relating to January 2021 will be published in June 2021.

Our routine absence statistics include figures for pupils with SEN at state-funded schools.

The most recent full-year absence statistics are for academic year 2018/19 and can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england. The most recently published part-year absence statistics are for autumn term 2019 which can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england-autumn-term. Data relating to autumn term 2020 will be published on 27 May 2021.

Data on the attendance of pupils with EHC plans during the COVID-19 outbreak has also been collected on a daily basis via the Education Settings Survey and published weekly at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children in England are off-rolled; how many of those children (a) have an EHIC plan and (b) are diagnosed SEND; and what the average length of time is that they have been off-rolled.

The information requested is not held by the Department and cannot be derived from current data sources.

The Government is clear that off-rolling is unacceptable in any form. We will continue to work with Ofsted to define and tackle it. Ofsted already considers records of children taken off roll and the revised framework in September 2019 strengthened this focus. Where inspectors find off-rolling, this will always be addressed in the inspection report, and where appropriate, could lead to a school’s leadership being judged inadequate.

A pupil’s name can lawfully be deleted from the admission register on the grounds prescribed in regulation 8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended. All schools must notify the local authority when a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register under any of the grounds prescribed in regulation 8, as soon as the ground for removal is met and no later than the time at which the pupil’s name is removed from the register.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the National School Breakfast Programme, what selection process his Department plans to implement in the event that all of the schools that qualified for funding apply.

Up to £24 million will be available to extend our support for school breakfast clubs until 2023, to make sure thousands of children in disadvantaged areas have a healthy start to the day.

Our new breakfast clubs programme will target schools which are eligible through our criteria for disadvantage, prioritising schools in Opportunity Areas. For the new programme, we are aiming to provide funding to around 2,500 schools as a minimum.

This approach to eligibility is per the current programme, which is supporting up to 2,450 schools. We have worked with the current supplier to recruit these schools, and not all schools eligible for breakfast provision have signed up to receive support.

It is unlikely that all eligible schools will sign up, because many already have breakfast clubs in place that are funded through other sources, and some choose not to offer a breakfast club.

19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the consultation on the renewal of Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, how many responses supported the extension.

The public consultation to seek views on extending and amending the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 received 212 responses.

Analysis showed that the majority of respondents agreed with the proposals to extend existing flexibilities in relation to virtual visits, medical reports (for fostering and adoption) and the minimum frequency of Ofsted inspections.

The table below sets out the number of respondents on each flexibility:

Flexibility

Number of respondents in agreement to extend existing flexibilities

Medical Reports

202

Virtual Visits

193

Ofsted inspection cycle

176

The government’s response to the consultation has been published and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-the-adoption-and-children-coronavirus-amendment-no-2-regulations-2020.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding he plans to allocate to school breakfast provision in each of the next three years; whether the sugar tax levy will be used to fund that programme; how many schools that programme will provide for; and what the eligibility criteria will be for that funding.

Up to £24 million will be available to extend our support for school breakfast clubs until 2023. For the financial year 2021-22, £9 million has been allocated (two school terms). For the financial year 2022-23 (three school terms), we currently estimate that the contract would require £11 million. For 2023-24 (one term), we estimate that £3-4 million will be required.

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy, announced in 2016, provides funds for investment in a number of children’s health initiatives including the National Schools Breakfast Programme from March 2018.

We are aiming to provide funding to around 2500 schools. The department has put out an invitation to tender for the delivery of the future programme, which can be accessed here under ‘View Opportunities’: https://education.app.jaggaer.com/web/login.html.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Children's Social Care Review, how many applications were made to join the Experts by Experience Group; what criteria were used to assess those applicants; who decided which applications were accepted and rejected; which of those accepted applicants are employed or in receipt of contracts or financial awards from the Department of Education.

The Experts by Experience Group is one of the ways in which the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care will be giving anyone who has had a social worker (either themselves or a child in their care) a voice in the review. The group will be responsible for helping the review to capture the views, experiences and opinions of care experienced children, young people, adults and families. The group will also be responsible for allowing us to test and refine emerging findings with children, young people, adults and families throughout the review and guiding the review on how best to engage and hear the voices of other children, young people and families that have experience of the care system.

Following an open expression of interest process the review has now established an Experts by Experience Board.

The review received 1,011 applications to join the board. The panel, chaired by the Lead Reviewer, Josh McAlistair, assessed every application and have appointed a small number of individuals that met the criteria detailed in the Expression of Interest application:

The criteria was as follows:

1. Have lived experienced of the children’s social care system, whether current or previous, through:

  • interaction with a social worker as a child
  • personal experience in care
  • the family of a child who has interacted with a social worker
  • the family of a child who has been placed in care

2. Are comfortable contributing respectfully alongside people who may have had very different experiences to their own.

3. Have the ability to communicate views about children’s social care clearly and concisely, and also the views of others with experience of children’s social care.

Board members have been asked to declare any conflicts of interest, which will be checked and recorded at the Board’s first meeting. The names of all the Experience by Expert Board members are available on the website:https://childrenssocialcare.independent-review.uk/experts/.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's press release, Unregulated accommodation banned for vulnerable children under 16, published on 19 February 2021, who made the decision to change policy on unregulated care; which organisations contributed to the consultation ahead of that policy change; which organisations consulted were (a) in favour and (b) against the change; and how many of those organisations that were in favour of the change are in receipt of contracts or financial awards from his Department.

Every child in the care system deserves to live-in a high-quality setting that meets their needs and keeps them safe. Anything less is unacceptable. Local authorities have statutory duties to meet the needs of children whom they look after and to ensure that there is sufficient provision.

We are clear that independent and semi-independent provision has an important role to play in the care system, where it is high quality and meets the needs of older children. However, we know that reform is needed to improve the quality of this provision and to ensure that placement practice is appropriate. That is why, following our consultation last year – through which we received views from over 230 respondents and 160 care experienced young people – we will be proceeding with ambitious measures to do just this.

These settings cannot meet the needs of children under the age of 16. These children are too young to be placed in independent and semi-independent provision and should be placed in foster care or children’s homes – that is why we are banning the practice from September 2021. Over three quarters of respondents to our consultation supported this ban.

The government will also introduce national standards for unregulated settings that are accommodating 16 and 17 year old children in care and care leavers, to raise the bar for the quality of this provision and ensure consistency across the country. The department will shortly launch a consultation on these new national standards which will ensure that, as more older children come into the care system, a high-quality option is available where they can receive the support they need to prepare for adult life. Over three quarters of respondents to our consultation were positive about the introduction of national standards.

The government will also be moving forward with plans for legislating to give Ofsted new powers to take enforcement action against illegal unregistered providers. This will enable Ofsted to take quicker action to register or close down these homes, building on their existing powers to prosecute providers operating without the correct registration and strengthening the options available to them. 85% of respondents to our consultation supported this proposal.

Alongside our response to the consultation, the department published an analysis of the responses we received to the consultation: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/962725/Unregulated_childcare_provision_-_Analytical_Report_Final1.pdf.This breaks down support for the proposals by type of organisation.

We have provided a list attached to this response of the organisations who responded to the consultation. There are 180 organisations on this list. This list does not tally with the total number of responses received to the consultation as some responses were made by individuals and some organisations responded multiple times from different positions within the organisation. 66 of the organisations named in the list provided currently hold an active grant or contract with the Department for Education.

We have considered your request to provide a breakdown of how each individual organisation responded to each policy proposal in the consultation, and whether those in favour of the measures are in receipt of a grant or contract. This breakdown of information is not readily available and could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2021 to Question 148802 on Children's Social Care Independent Review, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the process of recruiting the others, as referred to in that Answer, will be transparent; whether that process will follow the requirements for public appointments; how those appointments will be remunerated; and whether there is an agreed budget for those additional appointments.

All recruitment to the review team is carried out in line with the department’s processes for appointing and remunerating staff and contractors. All pro bono work will be recorded in the department’s registers in the usual way. The department publishes details of contracts and grants as part of transparency returns. The department will work with the lead reviewer to ensure there are sufficient resources available to undertake the review.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2021 to Question 138450 on Children's Social Care Independent Review, whether the chair of the review is working with a review team; and how and by whom will members of that team be selected.

The review of children’s social care will be bold, broad and independently led, taking a fundamental look at what is needed to make a real difference to the needs, experiences and outcomes of the children supported by children’s social care.

The review launched on 15 January, and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has asked Josh MacAlister, the founder and Chief Executive of Frontline, to lead the review. The review will also make use of a wide range of expertise to inform its work. This includes an experts by experience group, who will advise the reviewer on how to bring the voices of people with experience of children’s social care into the review.

The reviewer will be independent of the government, with freedom to make ambitious recommendations based on his findings. The reviewer will report his findings to ministers, and the government will respond to the review recommendations. The reviewer will be supported by a secretariat team, which will operate independently. In line with comparable reviews, the majority of the team will be made up of civil servants from a range of backgrounds and disciplines, and others will be recruited by the reviewer as needed to support his work.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much money from the public purse has been provided to schools for the provision of free school meals but has not been used.

Maintained schools, academies and free schools are required to provide benefits-related free school meals (FSM) under section 512ZB of the Education Act 1996.

Schools fund FSM from their core budget. For the academic year 2020/21, a factor value of £450 was included in the national funding formula for each FSM pupil. However, both local authorities and schools can apply their own local formulae. Schools must meet their statutory requirements to provide meals free of charge to eligible pupils, but they can decide how much of their budget to allocate to this.

During the current school opening restrictions, we have asked schools to continue providing support to free school meal pupils who are eligible for benefits-related FSM, and who are learning at home. We will provide £3.50 in top-up funding per eligible child per week for schools providing lunch parcels and £15 per eligible child for vouchers. This is in addition to the usual funding schools receive.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 November 2020 to Question 115686 on Children in Care, when his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations (2020) to make explicit reference to the importance of children living in care having contact with all their siblings.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to reaffirm the government’s commitment to updating the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 as we set out during the passage of the Children and Social Work Bill in 2017.

Due to the circumstances over the past year, where our priority has been to keep children, young people, and those who work with them safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been unable to identify an appropriate opportunity to consult on this amendment so far. However, I would like to reassure you that this remains an important action and we will seek to complete it as soon as possible.

15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what Parliamentary scrutiny there will be of the (a) Children's Social Care Review and (b) the findings of that review.

The independent review of children’s social care was launched on 15 January 2021. The terms of reference for the review can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952624/terms_of_reference_independent_childrens_social_care_review.pdf.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education asked Josh MacAlister to lead the review. He will be remunerated for his work on the review in line with government practice when commissioning independent reviews. Josh MacAlister will be supported by a secretariat team, which is currently being recruited.

The reviewer will consult widely to ensure that a broad range of views, particularly from those with experience of the children’s social care system, are reflected in the review. This will include with interested parliamentarians as appropriate. The reviews recommendations will be published, and the government will respond to the review.

The review is also in the process of recruiting for an Expert by Experience group which will further support the independent reviewer, more information on this group can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/independent-review-of-childrens-social-care#get-involved.

The department will set out the expected timescales for the review in due course.

15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the terms of reference are of the Children’s Social Care Review.

The independent review of children’s social care was launched on 15 January 2021. The terms of reference for the review can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952624/terms_of_reference_independent_childrens_social_care_review.pdf.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education asked Josh MacAlister to lead the review. He will be remunerated for his work on the review in line with government practice when commissioning independent reviews. Josh MacAlister will be supported by a secretariat team, which is currently being recruited.

The reviewer will consult widely to ensure that a broad range of views, particularly from those with experience of the children’s social care system, are reflected in the review. This will include with interested parliamentarians as appropriate. The reviews recommendations will be published, and the government will respond to the review.

The review is also in the process of recruiting for an Expert by Experience group which will further support the independent reviewer, more information on this group can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/independent-review-of-childrens-social-care#get-involved.

The department will set out the expected timescales for the review in due course.

15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which organisations and individuals will be consulted as part of the Children's Social Care Review.

The independent review of children’s social care was launched on 15 January 2021. The terms of reference for the review can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952624/terms_of_reference_independent_childrens_social_care_review.pdf.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education asked Josh MacAlister to lead the review. He will be remunerated for his work on the review in line with government practice when commissioning independent reviews. Josh MacAlister will be supported by a secretariat team, which is currently being recruited.

The reviewer will consult widely to ensure that a broad range of views, particularly from those with experience of the children’s social care system, are reflected in the review. This will include with interested parliamentarians as appropriate. The reviews recommendations will be published, and the government will respond to the review.

The review is also in the process of recruiting for an Expert by Experience group which will further support the independent reviewer, more information on this group can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/independent-review-of-childrens-social-care#get-involved.

The department will set out the expected timescales for the review in due course.

15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what process will be used for recruiting the Chair of the Children’s Care Review; what the remuneration will be for that role; what other roles have been formerly hired as part of that review; and what the (a) recruitment process and (b) remuneration was for those roles.

The independent review of children’s social care was launched on 15 January 2021. The terms of reference for the review can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952624/terms_of_reference_independent_childrens_social_care_review.pdf.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education asked Josh MacAlister to lead the review. He will be remunerated for his work on the review in line with government practice when commissioning independent reviews. Josh MacAlister will be supported by a secretariat team, which is currently being recruited.

The reviewer will consult widely to ensure that a broad range of views, particularly from those with experience of the children’s social care system, are reflected in the review. This will include with interested parliamentarians as appropriate. The reviews recommendations will be published, and the government will respond to the review.

The review is also in the process of recruiting for an Expert by Experience group which will further support the independent reviewer, more information on this group can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/independent-review-of-childrens-social-care#get-involved.

The department will set out the expected timescales for the review in due course.

15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the planned timescale is for concluding the Children's Social Care Review.

The independent review of children’s social care was launched on 15 January 2021. The terms of reference for the review can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952624/terms_of_reference_independent_childrens_social_care_review.pdf.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education asked Josh MacAlister to lead the review. He will be remunerated for his work on the review in line with government practice when commissioning independent reviews. Josh MacAlister will be supported by a secretariat team, which is currently being recruited.

The reviewer will consult widely to ensure that a broad range of views, particularly from those with experience of the children’s social care system, are reflected in the review. This will include with interested parliamentarians as appropriate. The reviews recommendations will be published, and the government will respond to the review.

The review is also in the process of recruiting for an Expert by Experience group which will further support the independent reviewer, more information on this group can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/independent-review-of-childrens-social-care#get-involved.

The department will set out the expected timescales for the review in due course.

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what companies have been awarded contracts to deliver free school meals during school closures; and what the value is of each contract.

The continuing provision of free school meals to children from out of work families or those on low incomes is of the utmost importance to this government.

School catering contracts are agreed locally, and the department does not hold a contract with Chartwells UK or any other provider to provide free school meals of lunch parcels to children. We have guidance in place allowing schools to decide the best approach for their pupils. This can be through lunch parcels, local vouchers or the national voucher scheme.

The images circulating of poor-quality food parcels are unacceptable. On 13 January 2021 my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education met with Chartwells and other leading school food suppliers and caterers to insist on urgent action to make sure lunch parcels meet the standards we expect. We are grateful to those firms who are working hard with schools to provide nutritious, balanced lunches for children.

If a parent is concerned about the standards of their lunch parcel, they should speak directly with their school. If a parent cannot resolve their concern through their school, they can contact the department. The department will make contact with suppliers where concerns are escalated, to ensure they are following the good practice guidance we have set out. We will also alert the school to confirm appropriate contract management arrangements are in place, so that immediate improvements are made.

We do not collect data on families that do not take-up their free school meals entitlement.

We know that take-up of free school meals is high, and we want to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming their free school meals, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility.

To support this, we provide an Eligibility Checking System (ECS) to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities. We have also developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for free school meals, and we have provided guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the cost to the public purse is of the contract with Chartwells UK for providing free school meals parcels to children.

The continuing provision of free school meals to children from out of work families or those on low incomes is of the utmost importance to this government.

School catering contracts are agreed locally, and the department does not hold a contract with Chartwells UK or any other provider to provide free school meals of lunch parcels to children. We have guidance in place allowing schools to decide the best approach for their pupils. This can be through lunch parcels, local vouchers or the national voucher scheme.

The images circulating of poor-quality food parcels are unacceptable. On 13 January 2021 my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education met with Chartwells and other leading school food suppliers and caterers to insist on urgent action to make sure lunch parcels meet the standards we expect. We are grateful to those firms who are working hard with schools to provide nutritious, balanced lunches for children.

If a parent is concerned about the standards of their lunch parcel, they should speak directly with their school. If a parent cannot resolve their concern through their school, they can contact the department. The department will make contact with suppliers where concerns are escalated, to ensure they are following the good practice guidance we have set out. We will also alert the school to confirm appropriate contract management arrangements are in place, so that immediate improvements are made.

We do not collect data on families that do not take-up their free school meals entitlement.

We know that take-up of free school meals is high, and we want to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming their free school meals, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility.

To support this, we provide an Eligibility Checking System (ECS) to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities. We have also developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for free school meals, and we have provided guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what specification his Department provided to Chartwells UK for the composition of free school meals parcels.

The continuing provision of free school meals to children from out of work families or those on low incomes is of the utmost importance to this government.

School catering contracts are agreed locally, and the department does not hold a contract with Chartwells UK or any other provider to provide free school meals of lunch parcels to children. We have guidance in place allowing schools to decide the best approach for their pupils. This can be through lunch parcels, local vouchers or the national voucher scheme.

The images circulating of poor-quality food parcels are unacceptable. On 13 January 2021 my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education met with Chartwells and other leading school food suppliers and caterers to insist on urgent action to make sure lunch parcels meet the standards we expect. We are grateful to those firms who are working hard with schools to provide nutritious, balanced lunches for children.

If a parent is concerned about the standards of their lunch parcel, they should speak directly with their school. If a parent cannot resolve their concern through their school, they can contact the department. The department will make contact with suppliers where concerns are escalated, to ensure they are following the good practice guidance we have set out. We will also alert the school to confirm appropriate contract management arrangements are in place, so that immediate improvements are made.

We do not collect data on families that do not take-up their free school meals entitlement.

We know that take-up of free school meals is high, and we want to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming their free school meals, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility.

To support this, we provide an Eligibility Checking System (ECS) to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities. We have also developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for free school meals, and we have provided guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children are eligible but not registered for free school meals in each local authority.

The continuing provision of free school meals to children from out of work families or those on low incomes is of the utmost importance to this government.

School catering contracts are agreed locally, and the department does not hold a contract with Chartwells UK or any other provider to provide free school meals of lunch parcels to children. We have guidance in place allowing schools to decide the best approach for their pupils. This can be through lunch parcels, local vouchers or the national voucher scheme.

The images circulating of poor-quality food parcels are unacceptable. On 13 January 2021 my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education met with Chartwells and other leading school food suppliers and caterers to insist on urgent action to make sure lunch parcels meet the standards we expect. We are grateful to those firms who are working hard with schools to provide nutritious, balanced lunches for children.

If a parent is concerned about the standards of their lunch parcel, they should speak directly with their school. If a parent cannot resolve their concern through their school, they can contact the department. The department will make contact with suppliers where concerns are escalated, to ensure they are following the good practice guidance we have set out. We will also alert the school to confirm appropriate contract management arrangements are in place, so that immediate improvements are made.

We do not collect data on families that do not take-up their free school meals entitlement.

We know that take-up of free school meals is high, and we want to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming their free school meals, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility.

To support this, we provide an Eligibility Checking System (ECS) to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities. We have also developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for free school meals, and we have provided guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.

4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the planned timescale is for Care Review, announced in December 2019.

The review of children’s social care will be broad and bold and take a fundamental look across children’s social care, with the aim of better supporting, protecting and improving the outcomes of vulnerable children and young people. The urgent local and national response to COVID-19 has delayed launching the review, but we are making preparations to launch as soon as possible and will set out further details at that point.

4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria is being applied to the selection of a chair for the Care Review, announced in December 2019.

The review of children’s social care will be broad and bold and take a fundamental look across children’s social care, with the aim of better supporting, protecting and improving the outcomes of vulnerable children and young people. The urgent local and national response to COVID-19 has delayed launching the review, but we are making preparations to launch as soon as possible and will set out further details at that point.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Court of Appeal's ruling of 24 November 2020, Case No: C1/2020/1279, if he will take steps to reintroduce safeguards for children in care removed by the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force on 24 April 2020 and expired on 25 September 2020. Further regulations continuing a small number of these amendments came into force from 25 September 2020 (Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020) following a public consultation over the summer. This is to ensure that services are maintained during the COVID-19 outbreak. These amendments are in place until 31 March 2021.

Where local authorities deemed it appropriate to make use of the amendments, taking account of all available information, every decision had to be agreed at senior manager level. The amendments were monitored by the department based on a triangulation of information gathered from a variety of sources, including local authorities, charities and key partners, including Ofsted.

As a departmental official, the Chief Social Worker is routinely involved in the development of policy on children’s social care, providing independent expert advice.

The legal cost for the initial Judicial Review (High Court) and the appeal (Court of Appeal) are estimated to total £80,000.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Court of Appeal's ruling of 24 November 2020, Case No: C1/2020/1279, what discussions he had with the Chief Social Worker for Children and Families prior to the introduction of the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force on 24 April 2020 and expired on 25 September 2020. Further regulations continuing a small number of these amendments came into force from 25 September 2020 (Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020) following a public consultation over the summer. This is to ensure that services are maintained during the COVID-19 outbreak. These amendments are in place until 31 March 2021.

Where local authorities deemed it appropriate to make use of the amendments, taking account of all available information, every decision had to be agreed at senior manager level. The amendments were monitored by the department based on a triangulation of information gathered from a variety of sources, including local authorities, charities and key partners, including Ofsted.

As a departmental official, the Chief Social Worker is routinely involved in the development of policy on children’s social care, providing independent expert advice.

The legal cost for the initial Judicial Review (High Court) and the appeal (Court of Appeal) are estimated to total £80,000.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what was the cost to the public purse of legal fees for the Court of Appeal case against him Case No: C1/2020/1279.

The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force on 24 April 2020 and expired on 25 September 2020. Further regulations continuing a small number of these amendments came into force from 25 September 2020 (Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020) following a public consultation over the summer. This is to ensure that services are maintained during the COVID-19 outbreak. These amendments are in place until 31 March 2021.

Where local authorities deemed it appropriate to make use of the amendments, taking account of all available information, every decision had to be agreed at senior manager level. The amendments were monitored by the department based on a triangulation of information gathered from a variety of sources, including local authorities, charities and key partners, including Ofsted.

As a departmental official, the Chief Social Worker is routinely involved in the development of policy on children’s social care, providing independent expert advice.

The legal cost for the initial Judicial Review (High Court) and the appeal (Court of Appeal) are estimated to total £80,000.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Court of Appeal's ruling of 24 November 2020, Case No: C1/2020/1279, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the effects on children of the removal of safeguards for children in care.

The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force on 24 April 2020 and expired on 25 September 2020. Further regulations continuing a small number of these amendments came into force from 25 September 2020 (Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020) following a public consultation over the summer. This is to ensure that services are maintained during the COVID-19 outbreak. These amendments are in place until 31 March 2021.

Where local authorities deemed it appropriate to make use of the amendments, taking account of all available information, every decision had to be agreed at senior manager level. The amendments were monitored by the department based on a triangulation of information gathered from a variety of sources, including local authorities, charities and key partners, including Ofsted.

As a departmental official, the Chief Social Worker is routinely involved in the development of policy on children’s social care, providing independent expert advice.

The legal cost for the initial Judicial Review (High Court) and the appeal (Court of Appeal) are estimated to total £80,000.

27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer on 28 June 2018 to Question 156433, how many additional places for children in secure accommodation were achieved through his Department’s £40million capital grants programme for secure accommodation; how much of that £40million budget he plans to spend by 31 March 2021; and if he will provide a breakdown of how the capital grants were spent.

The department’s capital grants programme for the current spending review period will, once completed, increase available placements by 17 beds across the secure children’s home estate. This includes some beds which are for use as ‘step-down’ provision. The grants programme has, in total, funded approximately 130 projects across the estate. We expect that the budget will be spent in full by March 2021, however, the completion of some projects has been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications for grants were assessed and awarded to various projects which ensured secure children’s homes could continue to operate in safe, secure, and well-functioning buildings, and that children needing a secure placement have their education, welfare, and well-being promoted and supported by the home’s environment.

On 25 November 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced as part of the Spending Review that the government will provide £24 million during the 2021/22 financial year to start a new programme to maintain capacity and expand provision in secure children’s homes. This will provide high quality, safe homes for some of our most vulnerable children, and will mean children can live closer to their families and support networks, in settings that meet their needs. This is the most significant one-year investment in the secure children’s homes estate in the last 10 years. We will set out further details in due course.

27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to section 7.3 of the Spending Review 2020, what estimate he has made of the number of additional places in secure children's homes that will be made available through the £24 million announced for such homes; and what the planned timescale is for making those places available.

The department’s capital grants programme for the current spending review period will, once completed, increase available placements by 17 beds across the secure children’s home estate. This includes some beds which are for use as ‘step-down’ provision. The grants programme has, in total, funded approximately 130 projects across the estate. We expect that the budget will be spent in full by March 2021, however, the completion of some projects has been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications for grants were assessed and awarded to various projects which ensured secure children’s homes could continue to operate in safe, secure, and well-functioning buildings, and that children needing a secure placement have their education, welfare, and well-being promoted and supported by the home’s environment.

On 25 November 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced as part of the Spending Review that the government will provide £24 million during the 2021/22 financial year to start a new programme to maintain capacity and expand provision in secure children’s homes. This will provide high quality, safe homes for some of our most vulnerable children, and will mean children can live closer to their families and support networks, in settings that meet their needs. This is the most significant one-year investment in the secure children’s homes estate in the last 10 years. We will set out further details in due course.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education in the Adjournment debate on Children in the Care System: Sibling Contact on 4 March 2020, Official Report, col 957, when the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 are planned to be updated.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, spoke in the adjournment debate on sibling contact for children living in care in March 2020. The Secretary of State for Education, said, during the debate, the current legislative framework places a duty on local authorities to promote contact between the child and their family members, unless this is not reasonably practical or consistent with the child’s welfare. Schedule 2 of the Children and Families Act (2004) requires local authorities to promote contact between a looked-after child and any relative, friend or other person connected with the child (including siblings), as long as it is consistent with the child’s welfare and reasonably practical.

Furthermore, we recognise the importance of sibling relationships and have made it clear – in The Children’s Act (1989) Guidance and Regulations: Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015) - that sibling groups should be placed together where it is appropriate and possible and in the best interests of all children within the group. Where this is not possible, we understand the importance of maintaining an ongoing relationship between children living in care and their siblings, whether they are in care or not. However, we are clear that the child’s needs, wishes, and welfare are the most important considerations when making decisions about their care and who they keep in touch with, when and how. For many children, having contact with family, friends and others is hugely valued, and may help towards a stable and successful placement.

During the debate, the Secretary of State for Education re-affirmed the government’s commitment to amending the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations (2020) to make explicit reference to the importance of children living in care having contact with all their siblings, where that is appropriate and consistent with the welfare of all siblings.

Given the circumstances since the debate was held in March 2020, we have been unable to identify an appropriate opportunity to consult on this amendment. However, this remains an important action and we will seek to complete it as soon as we are able to.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department provides to support breakfast clubs in England; how many (a) schools that funding is allocated to and (b) children that funding covers; what the cost per child of that funding was in each year since that funding was introduced; and what plans the Government has for that funding after March 2021.

The department is investing up to £35 million into the National School Breakfast Programme. This includes our extension of the programme by a further year until March 2021, with up to £11.8 million being invested during the current 2020-21 financial year. Overall, this money will kick-start or improve breakfast clubs in up to 2,450 schools in disadvantaged areas, making them sustainable in the long run.

Our supplier Family Action has estimated that 280,000 pupils, in more than 1,800 schools, had access to a healthy nutritious breakfast every school day between March 2018 to March 2020. Over this period the government spent £23,672,238.23. More information can be found here: https://www.family-action.org.uk/content/uploads/2019/07/NSBP-Impact-report-v11-LOWRES.pdf.

The government is considering how it can support breakfast clubs beyond March 2021 and recently issued a Prior Information Notice to gather evidence in relation to future policy and delivery for breakfast clubs. Future spending remains subject to the Spending Review.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children are registered as having SEND; how many children with SEND are enrolled in schools; what information his Department holds on attendance rates of children with SEND.

The department collects and publishes data on the number of children and young people aged 0 to 25 who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan because of their special educational needs (SEN). This data is available at https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/213f4e4b-e441-4996-b3f9-b614a0fd03bf.

The department also publishes data on the number of children enrolled in schools who have SEN, which includes both children with an EHC plan and children receiving SEN support. This data is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/5bb4617e-2bd3-4b08-b665-1035fe9c3666.

Additionally, the department collects data on the number of schools that have indicated that they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment measures, and the department also holds attendance data for schools that have done this. Published information on this is available at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. The latest data available, which is from 5 November 2020, shows that attendance was at 83.3% for pupils with an EHC plan in all state-funded schools.

Normally, in times not affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the department collects data on the number of sessions missed by pupils and the broad reason for this. The department also publishes data on the absence rates of pupils, including a breakdown by SEN status and whether the absence was authorised by the school or not. This data is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/96c0510a-4687-47f7-820d-07e9314fa077.

We know that for children and young people with SEN, attending their educational setting is crucial so that they can receive high-quality teaching and the specialist professional support that they need. It remains our priority to keep education settings open for vulnerable children and young people, including those who have an EHC plan.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support Black prospective adopters going through the adoption assessment process.

Ensuring the right adopters come forward for the children we have waiting for forever homes remains a priority for the government. That is why we have given Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs) £1 million to develop a sector led recruitment campaign during the 2020-21 financial year. This campaign, launched on 16 September 2020, is challenging preconceived conceptions about who can adopt and encouraging more potential adopters to come forward.

Part of the campaign has a specific focus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities through outreach work in two pilot areas, London and Birmingham. The RAAs are also funding the voluntary sector organisation, Home for Good, to run a triage service to support prospective adopters from these pilot areas. This will include a safe space to explore adoption and ask further questions, but also seek extra support during the process. Lessons learnt from this work will be spread to all RAAs and Voluntary Adoption Agencies.

The Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board regularly monitor adoption data including children who are waiting to be matched with a family. Ensuring children from BAME backgrounds are placed without delay is a priority for the Board.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the time taken for Black children to be found an adoptive family.

Ensuring the right adopters come forward for the children we have waiting for forever homes remains a priority for the government. That is why we have given Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs) £1 million to develop a sector led recruitment campaign during the 2020-21 financial year. This campaign, launched on 16 September 2020, is challenging preconceived conceptions about who can adopt and encouraging more potential adopters to come forward.

Part of the campaign has a specific focus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities through outreach work in two pilot areas, London and Birmingham. The RAAs are also funding the voluntary sector organisation, Home for Good, to run a triage service to support prospective adopters from these pilot areas. This will include a safe space to explore adoption and ask further questions, but also seek extra support during the process. Lessons learnt from this work will be spread to all RAAs and Voluntary Adoption Agencies.

The Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board regularly monitor adoption data including children who are waiting to be matched with a family. Ensuring children from BAME backgrounds are placed without delay is a priority for the Board.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of SEND pupils have been unable to return to school since term began in September.

The department does not hold this information.

The department collects data on the number of schools that have indicated that they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment measures, and have attendance data for schools that have done so. Published information is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

We know that for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, attending their educational setting is crucial so that they can receive high quality teaching and the specialist professional support they need. It remains our priority to keep education settings open for vulnerable children and young people, including those who have an Education Health and Care plan.

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which organisations have been provided with funding as a result of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy; and how much each of those organisations received, in each year since its introduction.

The Budget 2016 announced that the Department would receive funding of £575 million, linked to the revenue from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), for a number of programmes.

Since September 2017, the funding has been used to double primary PE and Sport Premium, with SDIL revenue contributing an additional £160 million a year towards the total of £320 million. School-level allocations are available here: https://skillsfunding.service.gov.uk/single-funding-statement/latest/start.

Allocations from previous years are available on The National Archives’ website: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search/result/?q=pe+and+sport+premium.

From the revenue generated from the SDIL, £100 million was used for the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund in the 2018-19 financial year. Allocations for each local authority and multi-academy trust, who were eligible to receive a direct allocation, were published in March 2018 and are available here: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20190212204720/https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capital-allocations.

Details of successful Healthy Pupils Capital Fund projects funded through the Condition Improvement Fund have been published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/condition-improvement-fund-2018-to-2019-outcome.

Funding of nearly £22 million was allocated, between 2017 and 2019, to an Essential Life Skills (ELS) programme to enable disadvantaged children and young people living in some of the most deprived parts of the country to participate in regular extra-curricular activities. These activities will enable them to develop essential life skills and get the best start in life. The ELS programme targeted disadvantaged children and young people aged 5-18 across 12 opportunity areas. Areas received £7.95 million in the 2017-18 financial year and £13.8 million in the 2018-19 financial year. Details of the grants are published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/essential-life-skills-grant-s31-grant-determination-and-letters.

The Department is investing up to £35 million from the SDIL to fund the National Schools Breakfast Programme over 3 years from March 2018. Overall, this money will start or improve breakfast clubs in up to 2,450 schools in disadvantaged areas, making them more sustainable in the long run. The focus of these clubs has been to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the Department’s opportunity areas, to help make sure every child gets the best start in life.

The Department confirmed in July that children from more than 1,800 schools in England, who are currently part of our Breakfast Clubs programme, would be offered healthy breakfasts over the summer months: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-children-offered-nutritious-breakfasts-during-summer.

9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children have experienced a parental death due to covid-19.

The government does not collect information from schools or local authorities on the number of primary and secondary school pupils who have suffered a family bereavement since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. There are no official estimates of the number of children who are affected by family bereavement, neither usually nor since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The government remains committed to promoting and supporting the mental health of children and young people. Access to mental health support, including bereavement support, is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak and the department has taken action to ensure schools and colleges are equipped to support children and young people.

We have worked hard to ensure that all pupils and learners were able to return to a full high-quality education programme in September. Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020-21 academic year, is supporting education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place.

Staff need to be equipped to understand that some pupils may have experienced bereavement. Our guidance for the full opening of schools signposts to further support and resources, and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

This includes the MindEd website which has specific material on bereavement and dealing with death and loss, and their website is available here: https://www.minded.org.uk/.

This is in addition to the department’s remote learning guidance and the National Children’s Bureau’s (NCB) self-review tool, ‘Preparing for recovery: Self-review and signposting tool’, which signposts online support from the Childhood Bereavement Network and Child Bereavement UK. More details on the NCB’s self-review tool is available here: https://www.ncb.org.uk/resources-publications/mental-health-and-wellbeing-primary-schools-preparing-recovery.

The website for the Childhood Bereavement Network is available here: http://www.childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/.

The website for Child Bereavement UK is available here: https://www.childbereavementuk.org/.

These materials were supported by webinars over the summer which reached thousands of school and college staff.

We are also investing £8 million in the Wellbeing for Education Return Programme. This will provide schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and practical skills they need to support teachers, students and parents, to improve how they respond to the emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The programme is funding expert advisers in every area of England to train and support schools and colleges during the autumn and spring terms. The training includes specific examples of supporting bereaved children.

School and college staff are not mental health professionals, and it is important that more specialist support is available for children and their families. All NHS mental health trusts have ensured that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. We have also provided £9.2 million of additional funding for mental health charities, including charities such as Young Minds, to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time.

In addition, Public Health England and Health Education England have developed advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. This includes a specific section on dealing with grief and bereavement. The resources are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including foster carers in the list of critical workers.

The department recognises that this is a very difficult time for foster families, who are caring for some of our most vulnerable children and play a vital role in caring for looked after children.

The government considers foster carers to be essential to the country’s response in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak, and as such, foster carers have been prioritised for access to COVID-19 testing where they are symptomatic. They are also able to access personal protective equipment supplies, via their fostering service, where they need them.

In some areas, fostering services have started to find ways to deliver respite to give foster families a break via household bubbles. We recognise that the government’s revised rules around social distancing and the experience of local lockdowns in some areas of the country may mean that respite is not available for all foster families. We would encourage respite carers to approach their agencies to see how they can be most useful and for fostering services to draw upon the experience and skills of respite carers when looking at how they can continue to best support children and their foster families.

The department remains committed to taking the necessary action to ensure that foster parents receive the respect and support that they need and deserve. We are considering options to help those services to boost their recruitment and maintain support for respite carers but have yet to publish plans. The role of foster parents is invaluable, especially now, and we want to drive forward change to empower them to care for our vulnerable children.

As both 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 outbreak.

Our latest guidance for fostering services is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-authorities-on-childrens-social-care.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that foster carers that normally offer (a) respite care and (b) short breaks placements but are unable to offer those services during the covid-19 outbreak are paid a retainer fee.

The department recognises that this is a very difficult time for foster families, who are caring for some of our most vulnerable children and play a vital role in caring for looked after children.

The government considers foster carers to be essential to the country’s response in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak, and as such, foster carers have been prioritised for access to COVID-19 testing where they are symptomatic. They are also able to access personal protective equipment supplies, via their fostering service, where they need them.

In some areas, fostering services have started to find ways to deliver respite to give foster families a break via household bubbles. We recognise that the government’s revised rules around social distancing and the experience of local lockdowns in some areas of the country may mean that respite is not available for all foster families. We would encourage respite carers to approach their agencies to see how they can be most useful and for fostering services to draw upon the experience and skills of respite carers when looking at how they can continue to best support children and their foster families.

The department remains committed to taking the necessary action to ensure that foster parents receive the respect and support that they need and deserve. We are considering options to help those services to boost their recruitment and maintain support for respite carers but have yet to publish plans. The role of foster parents is invaluable, especially now, and we want to drive forward change to empower them to care for our vulnerable children.

As both 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 outbreak.

Our latest guidance for fostering services is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-authorities-on-childrens-social-care.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children in England are (a) eligible and (b) registered for free school meals.

As of the schools January 2020 census, the number of children known to be eligible for
benefits-related free school meals in England was 1,440,778. Additionally, at the same census point, a further 1.4 million received a free meal under the Universal Infant Free School Meal policy. More information is available here:
https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to implement a national holiday activities and food programme during the 2021 school summer holidays.

This summer, our £9 million Holiday Activities and Food Programme worked across 17 local authority areas, providing thousands of children with access to healthy meals and enriching activities, building on the success of the programme in 2018 and 2019.

Future policy and spending decisions will be set following completion of the current Spending Review.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to continue the National School Breakfast programme beyond March 2021.

The department is investing up to £35 million into the National School Breakfast Programme. This includes our extension of the programme by a further year until March 2021, with up to £11.8 million being invested during this current financial year. Overall, this money will kick-start or improve breakfast clubs in up to 2,450 schools in disadvantaged areas, making them sustainable in the long run. Any further investment in school breakfast clubs beyond March 2021 is subject to the upcoming Spending Review.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons covid-19 cannot be cited as a reason to grant additional (a) study skills and (b) mentoring hours to higher education students that qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances.

All students requiring a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) must undertake a Study Needs Assessment to ascertain the type and level of support that they require to access the teaching and learning provided by their higher education provider.

Where a student’s DSA support needs to change, for whatever reason, they should contact Student Finance England to request a DSA re-assessment. This can be for reasons related to COVID-19 or for any other reason.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 3 Jul 2020 to Question 60772 on Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes, whether a child that becomes eligible for free school meal vouchers during the summer period can be granted a voucher for the remaining weeks.

New applicants are eligible up to the end of a school’s summer term. If a school receives a claim for an eligible child after the final ordering date of at least one week before their school term ends but before the start of the school’s summer holidays, it will be possible for the school to place an exceptional order for that child via the Edenred system.

If families are facing hardship, they can access the Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant. Further government support is available for families struggling as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. If families need urgent help, they can contact their local council to find out what services are available in their area:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-local-help.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to make available funding from the £1 billion catch-up fund for tutoring school pupils; and what the criteria is for the allocation of those funds.

The £350 million National Tutoring Programme will increase the availability of high-quality tutoring across England, enabling schools to access provision for disadvantaged pupils at a subsidised rate. It will also place high-calibre graduate coaches in the most disadvantaged schools across the country to support pupils to catch up in key subjects. We will say more about the programme in due course.

The wider £650 million catch-up fund recognises that all pupils, irrespective of their background or location, have lost time in education. Whilst school leaders will decide how it is used, the intention is that this money will be spent on the most effective interventions. On 19 June the Education Endowment Foundation published a guide to help school leaders and staff decide how to use this universal funding to best support their pupils. https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Covid-19_Resources/Covid-19_support_guide_for_schools.pdf

We will announce more details, including allocations, in due course.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 445); i); if he will publish the (a) local authorities, (b) organisations and (c) social workers who asked for the changes; and whether those (i) organisations and (ii) individuals were consulted on the Regulations.

The urgency with which the Regulations needed to be drafted meant that a formal consultation was not possible, views were sought from the department’s key delivery partners and stakeholders. As a departmental official, the Chief Social Worker is routinely involved in development of policy on children’s social care providing independent expert advice.

The department does not intend to publish the names of local authorities, organisations and social workers who provided views on the regulation changes as we did not seek the information on that basis.

Our approach to monitoring the Regulations is based on a triangulation of information gathered from a variety of sources, including local authorities, charities and key partners including Ofsted. I have committed to reporting to Parliament before summer recess on the outcome of the work the department has done to monitor the use of the amended regulations and the frequency in which they have been used.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 445); on what date he met with the Chief Social Worker for Children and Families For England to discuss the Regulations; and what representations the Chief Social Worker made to him on them.

The urgency with which the Regulations needed to be drafted meant that a formal consultation was not possible, views were sought from the department’s key delivery partners and stakeholders. As a departmental official, the Chief Social Worker is routinely involved in development of policy on children’s social care providing independent expert advice.

The department does not intend to publish the names of local authorities, organisations and social workers who provided views on the regulation changes as we did not seek the information on that basis.

Our approach to monitoring the Regulations is based on a triangulation of information gathered from a variety of sources, including local authorities, charities and key partners including Ofsted. I have committed to reporting to Parliament before summer recess on the outcome of the work the department has done to monitor the use of the amended regulations and the frequency in which they have been used.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, in relation to Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 445); if he will publish the local authorities that have enacted the changes contained in those Regulations; what changes those local authorities have made; and what processes his Department has put in place to monitor compliance with those regulations.

The urgency with which the Regulations needed to be drafted meant that a formal consultation was not possible, views were sought from the department’s key delivery partners and stakeholders. As a departmental official, the Chief Social Worker is routinely involved in development of policy on children’s social care providing independent expert advice.

The department does not intend to publish the names of local authorities, organisations and social workers who provided views on the regulation changes as we did not seek the information on that basis.

Our approach to monitoring the Regulations is based on a triangulation of information gathered from a variety of sources, including local authorities, charities and key partners including Ofsted. I have committed to reporting to Parliament before summer recess on the outcome of the work the department has done to monitor the use of the amended regulations and the frequency in which they have been used.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what is the (a) minimum and (b) maximum number of days a child can reside in care without a visit from their social worker.

We expect local authorities to conduct social worker visits to children in care within the statutory timeframes set out in Regulation 28 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010. The statutory timeframes have not changed and the minimum and maximum requirements for visits will depend on the type of placement the child is in.

In exceptional cases, where these visits cannot be made within the prescribed timeframes, such as during periods of significant staff shortages as a result of COVID-19, temporary flexibility has been provided through The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. This includes allowing visits from the child’s responsible authority to be conducted as soon as reasonably practicable and by telephone, video, or other electronic means.

Flexibilities should only be used when absolutely necessary, with senior management oversight, and must always be consistent with the overarching safeguarding and welfare duties that remain in place.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children’s’ social workers have been (a) shielding and (b) in self isolation in each month since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The information requested is not held centrally.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what are the current legal monitoring requirements for children placed on short break placements.

Local authorities are required to monitor short break placements as set out in Regulation 48 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010. The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 amended Regulation 48 to provide temporary flexibility, allowing visits to take place at regular intervals during a short break, as agreed with the child’s parents (or anyone else with parental responsibility for the child) and their Independent Reviewing Officer. The 2020 Regulations also specify that these visits can be conducted by telephone, video-link or other electronic means.

Timings for reviews of the child’s case have also been temporarily amended by the 2020 Regulations. The responsible authority must first review the child’s case as soon as is reasonably practicable from the start of the first placement, and subsequent reviews must be carried out at regular intervals during any short break.

These flexibilities should only be used when necessary on a case by case basis and only when consistent with the child’s safety and wellbeing.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to debate on 10 June, Official Report, col 353, when will she update the House on the changes made by Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 445).

I will report to Parliament before summer recess on the outcome of the work the department has done to monitor the use of the amended regulations.

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish details of the successful bids for the 2020 Holiday Activities and Food programme.

The Holiday Activities and Food scheme is integral to our approach to provide healthy food to children over the summer. It will ensure thousands of disadvantaged children have access to healthy meals and holiday activities in summer 2020, building on the success of the 2018 and 2019 programmes.

On Saturday 20 June, we published the list of successful bidders for 2020. The 10 co-ordinators delivering across 17 local authorities are:

  • StreetGames (Newcastle, North East region)
  • Gateshead Council (Gateshead - North East region)
  • Edsential (Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, Wirral - North West region)
  • Spring North (Blackburn with Darwen - North West region)
  • Leeds Community Foundation (Leeds and Bradford - Yorkshire and the Humber region)
  • Voluntary Action Sheffield (Sheffield - Yorkshire & the Humber region)
  • Suffolk County Council (Suffolk - East of England region)
  • Mayor’s Fund for London (Lambeth and Southwark - London)
  • Tower Hamlets Local Authority (Tower Hamlets - London)

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when will funding be made available for free school meals for children during summer 2020; when vouchers will be available to all children on free school meals and what the cut off date for eligibility will be.

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation over the summer. To reflect this, we will be providing additional funding for a COVID Summer Food Fund which will enable families with children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals to receive food vouchers covering the 6-week holiday period.

Our guidance on the COVID Summer Food Fund is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-summer-food-fund.

Through the COVID Summer Food Fund, schools can support eligible pupils with a £90 voucher to cover the 6-week holiday period. Schools must order the vouchers at least one week before their school term ends.

Schools should continue to accept and verify free school meal applications up until the end of the summer term. The eligibility criteria for free school meals can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals. If a school receives a claim for an eligible child during the final week before the school’s summer holidays, it will be possible for the school to place an exceptional order for that child via our supplier Edenred.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that foster carers who have had to shield during the covid-19 outbreak are financially supported until they can return to fostering.

The government has provided over £3.2 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures, including within children’s social care. We will keep this under very close review over the coming weeks and months.

We are continuing to work with fostering services and sector organisations to better understand the specific challenges that foster carers are facing, including those who have had to shield during the COVID-19 outbreak. We know that local authorities and fostering agencies are responding to the challenge by finding innovative ways to continue to support their foster carers.

We want to ensure that the right level of support is put in place to keep foster families together, retain capacity and provide stability for children in foster care. This includes working closely with Fosterline, an independent advice and support line funded by the department, to consider what additional support can be offered to foster families struggling at this time.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) the fostering workforce and (b) retention levels in that workforce are supported during and after the covid-19 outbreak.

It is vital that we continue to support foster families both during and after the COVID-19 outbreak, to keep them together and continue to provide safety and stability for vulnerable children. We understand the pressures that foster families have been under during this difficult time and our priority has been to protect foster carers.

We have ensured that foster carers are able to request personal protective equipment should they need it from their local authorities and that children in foster care are eligible to receive free IT devices and equipment to support their education.

In addition, the government has provided a national scheme to offer supermarket vouchers, worth £15 a week, to families of children who receive benefits-related free school meals. This is to cover the cost of meals for children who are currently unable to attend school.

The department continues to fund Fosterline, an independent advice service for current and prospective foster carers, to provide impartial and free-to-access support. We are working closely with sector organisations and fostering services to better understand the challenges currently faced by foster families, and the ways in which the needs of these families can be met going forward. We also want to support fostering services to build capacity to ensure that we have enough of the right carers in the right places as we emerge from the COVID-19 outbreak.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children have been reported missing from care since the introduction of the covid-19 lockdown.

Nothing is more important to this government than children’s safety and doing all we can through local authorities and their partners, to prevent children from going missing. Regrettably, sometimes children do go missing, and we must make sure they can return safely to their carers or families. Statutory safeguarding duties on local authorities are in place to underpin this, and they remain in place as strongly as ever during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The department’s statutory guidance to local authorities for the care and support of children who go missing – or who are at risk of going missing – makes the government’s position and expectations very clear. This statutory guidance reiterates that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is a key duty on local authorities and it actively promotes effective joint working between agencies and professionals to minimise the risk of children going missing. The statutory guidance applies to all children whether in care or living with their families. If children are in care settings, the safeguarding duties on local authorities apply regardless of the setting in which the child is placed. The statutory guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-who-run-away-or-go-missing-from-home-or-care.

The data on the number of children who have been reported missing from care since the introduction of the COVID-19 lockdown is not available in the form requested. The department is currently in the process of collecting looked after children data from local authorities for the reporting year ending 31 March 2020. Information on the number of children missing from care in 2019-20 will be published later this year. Local authorities will submit information on children who have been reported missing from care after 1 April 2020 in the 2020-2021 annual return.

The latest annual figures on children missing from care were published in ‘Additional tables: children looked after missing from their placement 2018 to 2019’ and in the underlying data of the statistical release, ‘Children Looked after in England including adoptions 2018-19’, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

The department does not collect datasets on children reported missing who are not in care, or ‘looked after’ by the local authority. Individual police forces hold information about current missing persons incidents. Annual missing persons statistics, including how many children are reported missing to the police are published by the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Missing Person’s Unit. The NCA intends to publish missing persons data for 2017-18 and 2018-19 later this month (June), with publication of data for 2019-20 expected at the end of 2020. The Home Office is the department that is responsible for liaising with the NCA on collection and publication of these datasets. It is important to recognise that NCA datasets are not comparable with data for looked after children that the department collects and publishes annually.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has issued to (a) local authorities, (b) foster carers, (c) children’s homes and (d) semi-independent unregulated accommodation on the (i) reporting of and (ii) response to children going missing from care during the covid-19 lockdown.

Nothing is more important to this government than children’s safety and doing all we can through local authorities and their partners, to prevent children from going missing. Regrettably, sometimes children do go missing, and we must make sure they can return safely to their carers or families. Statutory safeguarding duties on local authorities are in place to underpin this, and they remain in place as strongly as ever during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The department’s statutory guidance to local authorities for the care and support of children who go missing – or who are at risk of going missing – makes the government’s position and expectations very clear. This statutory guidance reiterates that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is a key duty on local authorities and it actively promotes effective joint working between agencies and professionals to minimise the risk of children going missing. The statutory guidance applies to all children whether in care or living with their families. If children are in care settings, the safeguarding duties on local authorities apply regardless of the setting in which the child is placed. The statutory guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-who-run-away-or-go-missing-from-home-or-care.

The data on the number of children who have been reported missing from care since the introduction of the COVID-19 lockdown is not available in the form requested. The department is currently in the process of collecting looked after children data from local authorities for the reporting year ending 31 March 2020. Information on the number of children missing from care in 2019-20 will be published later this year. Local authorities will submit information on children who have been reported missing from care after 1 April 2020 in the 2020-2021 annual return.

The latest annual figures on children missing from care were published in ‘Additional tables: children looked after missing from their placement 2018 to 2019’ and in the underlying data of the statistical release, ‘Children Looked after in England including adoptions 2018-19’, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

The department does not collect datasets on children reported missing who are not in care, or ‘looked after’ by the local authority. Individual police forces hold information about current missing persons incidents. Annual missing persons statistics, including how many children are reported missing to the police are published by the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Missing Person’s Unit. The NCA intends to publish missing persons data for 2017-18 and 2018-19 later this month (June), with publication of data for 2019-20 expected at the end of 2020. The Home Office is the department that is responsible for liaising with the NCA on collection and publication of these datasets. It is important to recognise that NCA datasets are not comparable with data for looked after children that the department collects and publishes annually.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children have been reported missing from the family home since the introduction of the covid-19 lockdown; and how many of those incidents had domestic abuse citied as a contributing factor.

Nothing is more important to this government than children’s safety and doing all we can through local authorities and their partners, to prevent children from going missing. Regrettably, sometimes children do go missing, and we must make sure they can return safely to their carers or families. Statutory safeguarding duties on local authorities are in place to underpin this, and they remain in place as strongly as ever during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The department’s statutory guidance to local authorities for the care and support of children who go missing – or who are at risk of going missing – makes the government’s position and expectations very clear. This statutory guidance reiterates that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is a key duty on local authorities and it actively promotes effective joint working between agencies and professionals to minimise the risk of children going missing. The statutory guidance applies to all children whether in care or living with their families. If children are in care settings, the safeguarding duties on local authorities apply regardless of the setting in which the child is placed. The statutory guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-who-run-away-or-go-missing-from-home-or-care.

The data on the number of children who have been reported missing from care since the introduction of the COVID-19 lockdown is not available in the form requested. The department is currently in the process of collecting looked after children data from local authorities for the reporting year ending 31 March 2020. Information on the number of children missing from care in 2019-20 will be published later this year. Local authorities will submit information on children who have been reported missing from care after 1 April 2020 in the 2020-2021 annual return.

The latest annual figures on children missing from care were published in ‘Additional tables: children looked after missing from their placement 2018 to 2019’ and in the underlying data of the statistical release, ‘Children Looked after in England including adoptions 2018-19’, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

The department does not collect datasets on children reported missing who are not in care, or ‘looked after’ by the local authority. Individual police forces hold information about current missing persons incidents. Annual missing persons statistics, including how many children are reported missing to the police are published by the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Missing Person’s Unit. The NCA intends to publish missing persons data for 2017-18 and 2018-19 later this month (June), with publication of data for 2019-20 expected at the end of 2020. The Home Office is the department that is responsible for liaising with the NCA on collection and publication of these datasets. It is important to recognise that NCA datasets are not comparable with data for looked after children that the department collects and publishes annually.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has issued to (a) local authorities and (b) police forces on the (i) reporting of and (ii) response to children going missing from the family home during covid-19 lockdown.

Nothing is more important to this government than children’s safety and doing all we can through local authorities and their partners, to prevent children from going missing. Regrettably, sometimes children do go missing, and we must make sure they can return safely to their carers or families. Statutory safeguarding duties on local authorities are in place to underpin this, and they remain in place as strongly as ever during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The department’s statutory guidance to local authorities for the care and support of children who go missing – or who are at risk of going missing – makes the government’s position and expectations very clear. This statutory guidance reiterates that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is a key duty on local authorities and it actively promotes effective joint working between agencies and professionals to minimise the risk of children going missing. The statutory guidance applies to all children whether in care or living with their families. If children are in care settings, the safeguarding duties on local authorities apply regardless of the setting in which the child is placed. The statutory guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-who-run-away-or-go-missing-from-home-or-care.

The data on the number of children who have been reported missing from care since the introduction of the COVID-19 lockdown is not available in the form requested. The department is currently in the process of collecting looked after children data from local authorities for the reporting year ending 31 March 2020. Information on the number of children missing from care in 2019-20 will be published later this year. Local authorities will submit information on children who have been reported missing from care after 1 April 2020 in the 2020-2021 annual return.

The latest annual figures on children missing from care were published in ‘Additional tables: children looked after missing from their placement 2018 to 2019’ and in the underlying data of the statistical release, ‘Children Looked after in England including adoptions 2018-19’, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

The department does not collect datasets on children reported missing who are not in care, or ‘looked after’ by the local authority. Individual police forces hold information about current missing persons incidents. Annual missing persons statistics, including how many children are reported missing to the police are published by the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Missing Person’s Unit. The NCA intends to publish missing persons data for 2017-18 and 2018-19 later this month (June), with publication of data for 2019-20 expected at the end of 2020. The Home Office is the department that is responsible for liaising with the NCA on collection and publication of these datasets. It is important to recognise that NCA datasets are not comparable with data for looked after children that the department collects and publishes annually.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date his Department provided a copy of The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 to the Children’s Commissioner for England.

The department shared a list of the children’s social care regulation changes with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) on 16 April 2020 and provided further detail of the changes in response to the OCC’s questions.

The OCC has also commented on the revised COVID-19 guidance for local authorities on children’s social care. The guidance provides information on the regulation changes and is due to be published shortly.

The department shared the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 with key stakeholders, including the Children’s Commissioner, when they were published on 23 April 2020. The regulations and guidance will be under continuous review, in close co-operation with the sector.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date he informed the Children’s Commissioner for England that children’s social care regulations were being amended; and whether the Commissioner was able to contribute to those changes.

The department shared a list of the children’s social care regulation changes with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) on 16 April 2020 and provided further detail of the changes in response to the OCC’s questions.

The OCC has also commented on the revised COVID-19 guidance for local authorities on children’s social care. The guidance provides information on the regulation changes and is due to be published shortly.

The department shared the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 with key stakeholders, including the Children’s Commissioner, when they were published on 23 April 2020. The regulations and guidance will be under continuous review, in close co-operation with the sector.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 24 June 2019 to Question 266173 on Children in Care, on what date his Department began assessing changes to the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 which have been included in the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

The safety of vulnerable children remains a high priority, and we have taken a number of steps to ensure this is prioritised during the COVID-19 outbreak, including ensuring that vulnerable children can continue to attend education and childcare settings that are closed to the majority of children.

The vast majority of statutory duties on children’s social care remain unchanged. However, in light of the current pressures COVID-19 is bringing on social care services, and the risk of such pressures increasing, we have reviewed our regulations to allow some temporary and limited flexibility, to be used where absolutely necessary, to enable children's services to continue to support vulnerable children in the most effective and safest way during the outbreak. The regulatory changes will be kept under continuous review and will expire on 25 September 2020 unless extended.

The department consulted a wide range of stakeholders and local authority practitioners about what changes to children’s social care regulations would be appropriate and has carried out an internal review of all existing regulations over the last couple of months since the start of the outbreak. The changes made anticipate the potential issues children’s social care may face during this period, as well as those currently being dealt with. Our starting point has been to make minimal changes to ensure the safe functioning of children’s social care during COVID-19. The additional flexibilities should only be used when absolutely necessary and in line with overarching safeguarding and welfare duties.

The department has produced COVID-19 guidance for local authorities on children’s social care which is currently being updated to include a plain English explanation of what each regulation change does. This guidance is due to be published very shortly and will be kept under review alongside the Regulations.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which organisations requested changes to the (a) Residential Family Centres Regulations 2002, (b) Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, (c) Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005, (d) Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure (England) Regulations 2006, (e) Education and Inspections Act 2006 (Inspection of Local Authorities) Regulations 2007, (f) Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010, (g) Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011, (h) Children Act 2004 (Joint Area Reviews) Regulations 2015, (i) Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 and (j) Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Fees and Frequency of Inspections) (Children’s Homes etc.) Regulations 2015 which were subsequently incorporated into the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

The safety of vulnerable children remains a high priority, and we have taken a number of steps to ensure this is prioritised during the COVID-19 outbreak, including ensuring that vulnerable children can continue to attend education and childcare settings that are closed to the majority of children.

The vast majority of statutory duties on children’s social care remain unchanged. However, in light of the current pressures COVID-19 is bringing on social care services, and the risk of such pressures increasing, we have reviewed our regulations to allow some temporary and limited flexibility, to be used where absolutely necessary, to enable children's services to continue to support vulnerable children in the most effective and safest way during the outbreak. The regulatory changes will be kept under continuous review and will expire on 25 September 2020 unless extended.

The department consulted a wide range of stakeholders and local authority practitioners about what changes to children’s social care regulations would be appropriate and has carried out an internal review of all existing regulations over the last couple of months since the start of the outbreak. The changes made anticipate the potential issues children’s social care may face during this period, as well as those currently being dealt with. Our starting point has been to make minimal changes to ensure the safe functioning of children’s social care during COVID-19. The additional flexibilities should only be used when absolutely necessary and in line with overarching safeguarding and welfare duties.

The department has produced COVID-19 guidance for local authorities on children’s social care which is currently being updated to include a plain English explanation of what each regulation change does. This guidance is due to be published very shortly and will be kept under review alongside the Regulations.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many local authorities have informed his Department that they have been unable to arrange for a social worker to have a telephone or video link call with each child in their care at least once every six weeks during the covid-19 outbreak.

The safety of vulnerable children remains a high priority, and we have taken a number of steps to ensure this is prioritised during the COVID-19 outbreak, including ensuring that vulnerable children can continue to attend education and childcare settings that are closed to the majority of children.

The vast majority of statutory duties on children’s social care remain unchanged. However, in light of the current pressures COVID-19 is bringing on social care services, and the risk of such pressures increasing, we have reviewed our regulations to allow some temporary and limited flexibility, to be used where absolutely necessary, to enable children's services to continue to support vulnerable children in the most effective and safest way during the outbreak. The regulatory changes will be kept under continuous review and will expire on 25 September 2020 unless extended.

The department consulted a wide range of stakeholders and local authority practitioners about what changes to children’s social care regulations would be appropriate and has carried out an internal review of all existing regulations over the last couple of months since the start of the outbreak. The changes made anticipate the potential issues children’s social care may face during this period, as well as those currently being dealt with. Our starting point has been to make minimal changes to ensure the safe functioning of children’s social care during COVID-19. The additional flexibilities should only be used when absolutely necessary and in line with overarching safeguarding and welfare duties.

The department has produced COVID-19 guidance for local authorities on children’s social care which is currently being updated to include a plain English explanation of what each regulation change does. This guidance is due to be published very shortly and will be kept under review alongside the Regulations.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date he discussed with the Chief Social Worker for Children and Families for England the amendments to the children’s social care regulations; and what her response was to those proposed changes.

The safety of vulnerable children remains a high priority, and we have taken a number of steps to ensure this is prioritised during the COVID-19 outbreak, including ensuring that vulnerable children can continue to attend education and childcare settings that are closed to the majority of children.

The vast majority of statutory duties on children’s social care remain unchanged. However, in light of the current pressures COVID-19 is bringing on social care services, and the risk of such pressures increasing, we have reviewed our regulations to allow some temporary and limited flexibility, to be used where absolutely necessary, to enable children's services to continue to support vulnerable children in the most effective and safest way during the outbreak. The regulatory changes will be kept under continuous review and will expire on 25 September 2020 unless extended.

The department consulted a wide range of stakeholders and local authority practitioners about what changes to children’s social care regulations would be appropriate and has carried out an internal review of all existing regulations over the last couple of months since the start of the outbreak. The changes made anticipate the potential issues children’s social care may face during this period, as well as those currently being dealt with. Our starting point has been to make minimal changes to ensure the safe functioning of children’s social care during COVID-19. The additional flexibilities should only be used when absolutely necessary and in line with overarching safeguarding and welfare duties.

The department has produced COVID-19 guidance for local authorities on children’s social care which is currently being updated to include a plain English explanation of what each regulation change does. This guidance is due to be published very shortly and will be kept under review alongside the Regulations.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which organisations were consulted on changes to regulations in children’s social care before the publication of the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and over what period were those organisations consulted.

The safety of vulnerable children remains a high priority, and we have taken a number of steps to ensure this is prioritised during the COVID-19 outbreak, including ensuring that vulnerable children can continue to attend education and childcare settings that are closed to the majority of children.

The vast majority of statutory duties on children’s social care remain unchanged. However, in light of the current pressures COVID-19 is bringing on social care services, and the risk of such pressures increasing, we have reviewed our regulations to allow some temporary and limited flexibility, to be used where absolutely necessary, to enable children's services to continue to support vulnerable children in the most effective and safest way during the outbreak. The regulatory changes will be kept under continuous review and will expire on 25 September 2020 unless extended.

The department consulted a wide range of stakeholders and local authority practitioners about what changes to children’s social care regulations would be appropriate and has carried out an internal review of all existing regulations over the last couple of months since the start of the outbreak. The changes made anticipate the potential issues children’s social care may face during this period, as well as those currently being dealt with. Our starting point has been to make minimal changes to ensure the safe functioning of children’s social care during COVID-19. The additional flexibilities should only be used when absolutely necessary and in line with overarching safeguarding and welfare duties.

The department has produced COVID-19 guidance for local authorities on children’s social care which is currently being updated to include a plain English explanation of what each regulation change does. This guidance is due to be published very shortly and will be kept under review alongside the Regulations.

24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has for the continuation of the (a) School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme and (b) delivery of free sanitary products to schools whilst schools are closed during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

We are currently working with officials at the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to consider plans for the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme during this period and will provide more information shortly. The scheme is led by the DHSC and is managed by NHS Supply Chain. It is jointly funded by the DHSC and the Department for Education.

Schools and colleges that continue operating throughout the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to be able to order products from the Period Products Scheme and distribute them to students who need them.

19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether vouchers for children eligible for free school meals during the covid-19 school closures will cover the cost of breakfast.

While schools are closed to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, they will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops for families. The government has confirmed that the total value of vouchers offered to each eligible child per week will exceed the rate it pays to schools for free school meals.

In addition to this, we are working to consider options to support children who receive a free breakfast through our contracts with Family Action and Magic Breakfast.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many local authorities use the National Accreditation and Assessment Programme; and how many social workers within those local authorities have (a) started and (b) completed the programme.

56 local authorities are currently participating in the National Assessment and Accreditation System and figures on the number of social workers who have completed their assessment is in the attached table.

The programme is voluntary for local authorities.

The cost of the programme to date has been £24 million, of which £12 million has been in grant funding to local authorities.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether introduction of the National accreditation and assessment programme is voluntary for local authorities.

56 local authorities are currently participating in the National Assessment and Accreditation System and figures on the number of social workers who have completed their assessment is in the attached table.

The programme is voluntary for local authorities.

The cost of the programme to date has been £24 million, of which £12 million has been in grant funding to local authorities.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the cost to the public purse has been of the roll-out of the National Accreditation and Assessment Programme to date.

56 local authorities are currently participating in the National Assessment and Accreditation System and figures on the number of social workers who have completed their assessment is in the attached table.

The programme is voluntary for local authorities.

The cost of the programme to date has been £24 million, of which £12 million has been in grant funding to local authorities.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of pupils who are entitled for free school meals on the grounds of low household income but are not registered to receive them, by local authority.

The provision of free school meals to children from out of work families or those on low incomes is of the utmost importance to this government. There are currently 1.3 million pupils eligible for and claiming a free nutritious school meal, saving families around £400 per year.

We do not routinely collect information on the proportion of pupils that would be entitled to a free school meal but do not make a claim. Our most recent estimate is that take-up is around 89% of those who are entitled.

Whilst take-up of free school meals is strong, we want to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming their free school meals and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility. To support this, we provide an Eligibility Checking System to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities. We have also developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for free school meals and we provide guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much pupil premium schools have used in each category in the most recent two years for which data is available.

In each of the last two years, we have allocated £2.4 billion to schools through the pupil premium to enable them to improve their disadvantaged pupils’ outcomes. The allocations, by category of pupil premium, are published for 2018-19 and 2019-20 on gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-allocations-and-conditions-of-grant-2019-to-2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-conditions-of-grant-2018-to-2019.

While head teachers are empowered to use the grant in ways that best serve their schools, we look to them to use the money well, taking account of effective practice evidence. The Education Endowment Foundation’s ‘Pupil Premium Guide’ recommends that schools focus their pupil premium on developing high quality teaching, targeted academic programmes and wider strategies that support pupils’ readiness to learn. Schools are required to publish details of their pupil premium strategy and its impact and Ofsted looks at provision for disadvantaged pupils during school inspection.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he provides to schools in England on allocating pupil premium funding to the provision of free breakfasts.

??Schools are allocated around £2.4 billion each year through the pupil premium to improve outcomes for their disadvantaged pupils. School leaders have the freedom to use the grant in a way that best meets the needs of their school and its pupils and are encouraged to make evidenced based decisions, drawing on information from the Education Endowment Foundation, in particular the recently published Pupil Premium Guide, available here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Pupil_Premium_Guidance_iPDF.pdf.

The guide recommends that, as well as focusing on developing high-quality teaching and targeted academic programmes, schools should invest their pupil premium in wider strategies that support pupils’ readiness to learn - this may include providing a breakfast meal.

In addition, the Department is investing up to £35 million into the National School Breakfast Programme between 2018 and 2021, using funds from Soft Drinks Industry Levy revenues. This includes our recent announcement that the programme will be extended by a further year until March 2021, with an aim of helping to establish or improving up to 650 more clubs, further details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/free-meals-and-summer-holiday-activities-for-children.

Overall, this money will help to establish or improve breakfast clubs in up to 2,450 schools in disadvantaged areas.

23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department is taking steps to prevent Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from entering into the environment in South Shields constituency.

A Defra report, produced in collaboration with the Environment Agency, conducted a study to determine the levels of PFAS chemicals in estuarine and coastal sediments - Science Search (defra.gov.uk). Results indicate there are a range of different PFAS present in English estuarine sediments, which included the Tyne estuary. Concentrations were found to be low in English estuary sediment. The Environment Agency continues to monitor PFAS in estuaries, and is currently considering levels across the water, biota and sediment.

The Environment Agency have been developing risk profiles for several site types where PFAS release is likely to have occurred or may be ongoing because of different historic and current land uses. This work has provided valuable information about the distribution and sources of PFAS in the environment in England. Several strategies are being developed to manage risk from these sorts of sources and the potential release of PFAS. This risk profiling work has not identified any specific sites in South Shields.

In the UK REACH Work Programme for 2021-22, Defra asked the EA and Health and Safety Executive to examine the risks posed by PFAS and develop a 'Regulatory Management Options Analysis' (RMOA). Defra welcomed the RMOA recently published and is working with its partners to develop the recommendations for risk management measures, building on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to tackle chemicals of concern.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to collaborate with (a) water companies and (b) scientific experts on future investment in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances remediation for South Shields.

The Environment Agency (EA) has worked with water companies and their research body, UK Water Industry Research, on the Chemicals Investigation Programme (CIP) since 2010. CIP has conducted investigations into PFOS and PFOA, and the CIP3 phase has established their concentrations in sewage works, their catchments and the receiving waters. Based on this work targeted investigations will be conducted in the next phase of CIP, known as CIP4, none of which need to be carried out in South Shields.

In the UK REACH Work Programme for 2021-22, Defra asked the EA and Health and Safety Executive to examine the risks posed by PFAS and develop a 'Regulatory Management Options Analysis' (RMOA). Defra welcomed the RMOA recently published and is working with its partners to develop the recommendations for risk management measures, building on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to tackle chemicals of concern.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much South Tyneside Council has returned to her Department from grants allocated in the last two years.

South Tyneside Council has not returned anything to Defra from grants allocated in the last two years.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the statement to the House by his predecessor on 6 September 2022 that removing storm overflows altogether from the sewage system would cost up to £600 billion, Official Report, Column 118, if he will publish a breakdown of those costs.

The Storm Overflows Evidence Project (SOEP) published in November 2021 shows that eliminating all discharges could cost up to £600 billion. This could increase household bills between £569 and £999 per year and is also highly disruptive and complex to deliver nationwide. This is also referenced in the storm overflows discharge reduction plan impact assessment.

A breakdown of these costs can be found in SOEP here: Storm overflows discharge reduction plan - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

22nd Jul 2021
What steps he is taking to help ensure untreated sewage is not discharged into rivers, inland waterways and the sea.

We have set up the Storm Overflows Taskforce which has already resulted in increased investment of £144 million and this Government has amended the Environment Bill to introduce measures on storm overflows. Water companies are currently investing £3.1 billion in storm overflow improvements between 2020 and 2025. On 9 July, Southern Water was fined £90 million for pumping raw sewage into protected waters, the largest ever fine imposed on a water company.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 June 2020 to Question 57983 on Welfare Assistance Schemes; when he plans to make that funding available; and what formula he plans to use to allocate that funding to each local authority.

We are working at pace to establish an allocation model to focus support where it is most needed and to disburse the money to local authorities as soon as we can.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the £63 million of local welfare assistance to be used by local authorities announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June 2020 , what his timescale is for (a) publishing guidance on use of that funding and (b) making that funding available.

Defra will distribute the funding directly to local authorities to ensure they can support people facing severe financial difficulty who may be struggling to afford food and other necessities. Local authorities set the criteria for eligibility for welfare assistance schemes. We recognise that local authorities have set up different structures and schemes to support their communities during COVID-19 according to local need.

This funding is a one-off boost to local authorities in recognition of the fact that some people in our communities are facing sudden and severe financial difficulties. The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary event and it is right that we take extraordinary measures in response to it.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to publish an interim report on the independent review led by Henry Dimbleby entitled Developing a National Food Strategy.

Henry Dimbleby was commissioned to lead an independent review to develop recommendations to shape a National Food Strategy, which will address challenges such as food security, health and climate change.

The independent review was due to publish the National Food Strategy Part 1: Diagnosis and Vision in Spring 2020. This has been delayed to focus efforts on the COVID-19 response. Although no firm date for publication can be given at this time, the National Food Strategy remains a priority for the Government and work will resume as soon as possible.

The Government remains committed to responding to the review’s final recommendations in the form of a White Paper within 6 months of the release of the final report.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many people in the covid-19 shielding group receive a Government food parcel every week.

Currently, over 290,000 food boxes are being delivered to the COVID-19 shielding group each week in England.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the organisations and companies that received contracts from the Government to deliver food supplies to people considered clinically vulnerable during the covid-19 outbreak; and on what date each contract was entered into.

Bidfood and Brakes both received Defra contracts to deliver food parcels to the clinically vulnerable. Contracts commenced on 27 March 2020 under letters of intent and formal contracts were signed on 24 April 2020.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to secure the food supply for key workers.

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they have adapted quickly to these changes in demand to ensure people have the food and products they need. Food supply into and across the UK is resilient.

To help the industry to respond to this unprecedented demand we have introduced new measures to support businesses to keep food supply flowing on to shelves and into homes. These include temporary relaxation of competition laws to allow supermarkets to work together, extending delivery hours to supermarkets and flexing rules on drivers’ hours to allow a higher frequency of deliveries to stores to ensure shelves are being replenished more quickly.

Supermarkets are already protecting shopping time for certain key workers. For example, several supermarkets have priority shopping hours for NHS staff and social care workers. We remain in close contact with industry on how they can support keyworkers.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many people his Department estimates are in need of food assistance; and what proportion of those people (a) were vulnerable before the covid-19 outbreak and (b) are newly vulnerable.

The Government has been and remains in close contact with representatives across the food supply chain and civil society to ensure that vulnerable groups have access to the food and products that they need.

We initially estimated that 1.5 million people would fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable group. We have put in place measures to ensure that those identified by the NHS as being extremely clinically vulnerable and who are without a support network of friends and family receive basic food and essential supplies when requested via the online NHS webportal or via the phone. Packages of essential supplies are being delivered across England within seven days of a request for support, as soon as their status as a shielded person is verified, and supermarkets are putting these customers at the front of the queue for online delivery slots.

Over 750,000 people across England signed up as NHS Volunteer Responders via the mobile app GoodSam. Over 600,000 volunteers have been verified as NHS Volunteer Responders via the Good Sam platform, and can now receive tasks to help those in their communities. These volunteers will help vulnerable people in England who are at most risk from coronavirus to stay well, including through shopping for vulnerable people for food and essential supplies.

We are working quickly to support people who do not fall into the category of being clinically vulnerable, but still need help getting essential food supplies. Government is working with industry, charities, other government departments and Devolved Administrations to ensure whatever support is needed is delivered in a coordinated and consistent manner. We welcome measures that supermarkets have put in place to support the elderly and other vulnerable groups.

We have been working closely with the third sector to understand the impacts the outbreak has had on food aid organisations, and how best to ensure that those who are financially vulnerable still have access to essential supplies. Food redistribution organisations across England are benefiting from £3.25 million of government funding to help them cut food waste and redistribute up to 14,000 tonnes of surplus stock.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department made of the potential merits of varying the terms of licences issued for the export of arms to Israel in response to the violence in that country and the neighbouring Palestinian Territory in May 2021.

I refer the Hon. Lady to the answer I gave on 21st July 2021 (UIN: 34507).

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, for what reason information on licences granted for the export of arms to Israel is not released for six months after those licences were granted.

Official licensing statistics are published on a quarterly basis, three and a half months after the end of the reported time period. For example, data for 1st January to 31st March 2021 was published 13th July 2021.

This is to allow for any reporting delays to be captured in the data, checking processes to be carried out, etc. These processes are to ensure accurate and reliable statistics in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of varying the terms of any licences issued for the export of arms to Israel as a result of the violence in that country and the neighbouring Palestinian Territory in May 2021.

HM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

We continue to monitor the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories closely, and we will take action to suspend, refuse or revoke licences – in line with the Consolidated Criteria – if circumstances require.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 17 December 2020 to Question 115685 on Arms Trade Export Controls; what those errors were; what period of time elapsed before those errors were identified and the licences revoked; whether any inappropriate deliveries were made under those licences before revocation; and what steps her Department is taking to prevent similar errors recurring.

One OIEL had one destination revoked (Isle of Man). The Isle of Man is a British Crown Dependency and we do not licence exports of military goods to there from the United Kingdom. A licence was issued on 9th January 2014, the error was identified on 10th February 2015 and the licence revoked 11th February 2015.

One OIEL for a variety of goods to a large number of countries had some items for three destinations (Hong Kong, Mongolia and Taiwan) recommended for rejection by one adviser. A licence was issued on 12th May 2015, the error was identified on 29th May 2015, and the licence revoked on 3rd July 2015. The procedure for partial refusal recommendations from advisers has now been amended.

One OIEL had 31 destinations revoked (Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, New Caledonia and Dependencies, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, St Helena, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Uruguay). The items included on this application required import authorisation from recipient countries before an export licence is granted specifying quantities, which could not be obtained. A licence was issued on 12th February 2019 and the error identified on 15th July 2019; the licence was revoked 17th July 2019.

Two OITCLs for Sierra Leone had goods revoked because the licences were issued in error (Criterion 1). The activity licenced, which was the promotion of supply of less-lethal weapons, was outside the scope of policy as set out by Lord Howell on 9th February 2012. One licence was issued on 5th January 2017 and another on 14th June 2017. The errors were identified on 22nd July 2019 and the licences revoked 29th July 2019.

We keep our processes under constant review and have an ongoing staff training programme. We do not hold information on any transfers that took place under these historic licences, but these licences have been corrected now. We have implemented a transformation programme which, amongst other things, will be improving our processes and control mechanisms, as well as implementing recommendations from an internal audit report.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many times the Government has suspended or revoked an existing Arms Export licence in the last five years; what the grounds were for those actions; and which countries those licences were for.

Since 2015, we have taken revocation action 74 times on individual licences; and suspended licences, pending further investigations, four times.

I have provided the Hon. Lady with instances below where a licence was revoked in full; where a country was removed; where goods were removed; or where goods for a country were removed.

  • 9 SIELs for Ukraine were revoked following increasing tensions in the region (Criterion 3).
  • 3 SIELs for Yemen and 1 OIEL destination were revoked further to the deteriorating situation in-country and the risk of diversion (Criteria 3, 7)
  • 1 OIEL had seven destinations revoked (Taiwan, Spain, Qatar, Greece, Canada, Australia and Afghanistan) when extended beyond its original validity date.
  • 1 OIEL has one destination revoked (Isle of Man) having been issued in error.
  • 1 OIEL had three destinations revoked (Japan, Norway and Switzerland) due to the sensitivity of the goods (Criterion 5)
  • 1 SIEL for the Philippines was revoked following a change of situation in country and the risk of items being used to commit abuses of rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2)
  • 3 SIELs for Germany, Italy and the United States were revoked where the goods were for onward export to Venezuela following the introduction of restrictive measures by the EU in 2017 (Criterion 1).
  • 2 SIELs and 13 OIEL destinations for Venezuela were revoked following the introduction of restrictive measures by the EU in 2017 (Criterion 1).
  • 1 OIEL had three destinations revoked (Hong Kong, Mongolia and Taiwan), having been issued in error.
  • 1 SIEL for Iraq was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion (Criterion 7)
  • 1 SIEL for Bangladesh was revoked following the provision of additional technical information on the capabilities of the equipment, giving rise to concerns over rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2)
  • 1 OIEL destination for Belarus was revoked because of the risk of contravening EU financial sanctions including asset freezes (Criterion 1)
  • 2 SIELs for China were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion (Criteria 5a and 7)
  • 1 SIEL and 3 OIEL destinations for Myanmar (Burma) were revoked following the expansion of EU Sanctions there in 2018 (Criterion 1)
  • 1 OIEL had 31 destinations revoked (Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, New Caledonia and Dependencies, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, St Helena, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Uruguay), having been issued in error.
  • 6 SIELs for China were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion (Criteria 5a and 7), 4 of these SIELs were initially suspended.
  • 1 SIEL for Pakistan was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a WMD programme (Criterion 1)
  • 2 SIELs for Sweden and Saudi Arabia and 2 OIEL destination for Jordan and Saudi Arabia were revoked because they were contrary to Secretary of State’s commitment to Parliament that no new licences would be granted for export of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia or its coalition partners for possible use in the conflict in Yemen.
  • 1 OIEL destination for Saudi Arabia was revoked because of the risk of internal repression and violations of rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2a)
  • 2 OITCLs for Sierra Leone had goods revoked because the licences were issued in error (Criterion 1).
  • 1 SIEL for Turkey was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1 and 7)
  • 1 SIEL for Uganda was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1 and 7)
  • 1 SIEL and 1 OIEL destination for Iraq was revoked following a change of situation in country and the risk of items being used to commit abuses of rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2)
  • 3 SIELs for Israel were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1, 5a and 7)
  • 3 SIELs for South Africa, Spain and Jordan, 3 SIELs for the United Arab Emirates and 1 OIEL destination for the United Arab Emirates were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1 and 7)

In seeking to be open with the Hon. Lady, this data is provided from management information and may, therefore, not align with published official statistics. My department has identified some instances where revocations were not reported. For example, following the introduction of EU restrictive measures in 2017, we revoked Venezuela from 13 OIELs, but five were not reported. My department has identified the cause of this and put in place measures to ensure there is no re-occurrence. The data will align with the next official statistics update and the official estimates will be revised.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to her Written Statement of 7 July 2020 on Trade Update and the Answer of 13 July 2020 to Question 68798, what criteria were used to determine whether the 535 incidents which, for the purpose of the Government’s analysis are being treated as violations of International Humanitarian Law, constituted a pattern.

Our analysis as to whether or not an incident constituted a ‘possible’ breach of international humanitarian law (IHL) was applied to over 300 incidents. The assessments used all available sources of information, including some that are necessarily confidential and sensitive. As a result, we are not able to provide details of individual assessments for national security reasons.

We have assessed that there were a small number of incidents that were ‘possible’ violations, which have been treated for the purposes of this analysis as ‘violations’ of international humanitarian law.

The Statement made by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade on 7th July was clear that we sought to determine whether these ‘violations’ were indicative of:

(i) any patterns of non-compliance;

(ii) a lack of commitment on the part of Saudi Arabia to comply with IHL; and/or

(iii) a lack of capacity or systemic weaknesses which might give rise to a clear risk of IHL breaches.

Our analysis did not reveal any such patterns, trends or systemic weaknesses.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what (a) volume and (b) type of arms and equipment have been sold to Saudi Arabia through open licences since March 2015.

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK and these reports contain detailed information, including the overall value, the type (e.g. Military, Other), and a summary of the items covered by these licences.

This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data and the most recent publication was on 14th July 2020, covering the period 1st January to 31st March 2020.

HM Government does not hold complete records on the amount of equipment sold to Saudi Arabia – nor any other country – and this can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what (a) amount and (b) type of (i) arms and (ii) equipment have been sold to Saudi Arabia under open licences since March 2015.

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK and these reports contain detailed information, including the overall value, the type (e.g. Military, Other), and a summary of the items covered by these licences.

This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data and the most recent publication was on 14th July 2020, covering the period 1st January to 31st March 2020.

HM Government does not hold complete records on the amount of equipment sold to Saudi Arabia – nor any other country – and this can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what licences for the sale of artillery and associated targeting equipment the Government has granted to Saudi Arabia in the last five years.

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK and these reports contain detailed information, including the overall value, the type (e.g. Military, Other), and a summary of the items covered by these licences.

This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data and the most recent publication was on 14th July 2020, covering the period 1st January to 31st March 2020.

HM Government does not hold complete records on the amount of equipment sold to Saudi Arabia – nor any other country – and this can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department has granted arms sales open licences to Saudi Arabia which include dual-use weaponry.

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK and these reports contain detailed information, including the overall value, the type (e.g. Military, Other), and a summary of the items covered by these licences.

This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data and the most recent publication was on 14th July 2020, covering the period 1st January to 31st March 2020.

HM Government does not hold complete records on the amount of equipment sold to Saudi Arabia – nor any other country – and this can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 52663, which countries in Africa have been identified as key markets.

The Department for International Trade’s Defence and Security Organisation has identified the following key markets in Africa for defence and security opportunities in 2019-20:

Algeria

Egypt

Morocco

Nigeria

South Africa

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Defence and Security Organisation's key markets are for 2019-20; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade’s Defence and Security Organisation has identified the following key markets for 2019-20 with defence and security opportunities:

Africa

Australia

Austria

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Belgium

Canada

Central European Network (Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria)

France

Germany

India

Indonesia

Italy

Japan

Kuwait

Latin America (Columbia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Panama, Argentina, Mexico)

Malaysia

New Zealand

Netherlands

Nordic Baltic Network (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia)

Oman

Philippines

Portugal

Qatar

Republic of Korea

Saudi Arabia

Singapore

Spain

Switzerland

Thailand

Turkey

United Arab Emirates

United States of America

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many staff worked for the Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) on 1 April 2020; how many of those staff are in the export support team; and what the DSO's budget is for 2020-21.

As of 1 April 2020, the Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) had 110 staff of which 18 worked for the Export Support Team.

DSO’s budget for 2020-21 is £9,514,191.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much money South Tyneside Council has returned to his Department from grants allocated in the last two years as of 19 January 2023.

South Tyneside Council has not returned any money from grants to the Department for Transport in the last two years as of 19 January 2023.

29th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the pass rate for the Chief Mate Stability paper of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping exam in each of the last five years; whether he has had discussions with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on the exam; and if he will discuss with the MCA potential steps to increase the pass rate.

The Chief Mate Stability paper is administered by Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). SQA formally hold pass rate statistics, but I am aware that the MCA continually monitor the exam pass rates and is currently working with the relevant industry representatives to increase the pass rate and improve the quality of the exam.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what South Tyneside Council's allocation of the Transforming Cities Funding was.

As announced at Budget 2020, North East region will be receiving £198 million in capital grant funding to be paid over four years from 2019-20 to 2022-23. This builds on the £10m awarded for quick-win schemes in March 2019 as part of Tranche 1. The funding is for public transport improvements in the North East as outlined in their Strategic Outline Business Case.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to maintain the international competitiveness of UK seafarer training.

The Department for Transport have established a Maritime Skills Commission (MSC) to lead the sector’s work in ensuring the maritime sector has a pipeline of talented people to serve all parts of the sector. The Commissions has recently completed and published a review of seafarer cadet training. Working with stakeholders the MSC and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will look at taking forward these recommendations.

Refreshing the seafarer training system in the UK will allow the well-regarded UK maritime training sector to strengthen its position internationally and meet the future skills needs of the sector.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May to Question 258 on Joint Maritime Security Centre; what the financial contributions are of (a) his Department, (b) the Ministry of Defence and (c) the Home Office; which other Departments contribute financially; what the financial contribution is of those other Departments; and which Department has lead responsibility.

In 2020/21, the Joint Maritime Security Centre received £16m funding for its ongoing operations and investment in maritime security capability specific to the end of the Transition Period. This funding was contributed by the Department for Transport, Home Office, Ministry of Defence, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and their agencies. JMSC is governed by cross-Whitehall structures comprising the funding departments, as well as ongoing Ministerial oversight including via the Maritime Security Ministerial Small Group.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which Government department holds responsibility for the (a) governance and (b) budget of the Joint Maritime Security Centre.

The Joint Maritime Security Centre (JMSC) is the multi-agency organisation responsible for ensuring the UK maintains its understanding of the UK maritime domain and develops the cross-government coordination frameworks to respond to threats to security, law and order, and the marine environment. The Department for Transport, Ministry of Defence and Home Office are the major financial contributors to JMSC but, mirroring its multi-agency remit, funding is also provided by a range of other Whitehall departments and agencies with maritime security interests. Cross-Whitehall governance structures are in place to oversee the strategic direction and financial management of JMSC at both official and Ministerial level.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average decision wait time was for new Personal Independence Payment applications over the last year; and how many applications were awaiting a decision on 25 April 2023.

The average decision wait times for new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) applications can be found in the latest published release: “Personal Independence Payment statistics to January 2023”. Particularly, table 1A shows PIP average actual clearance times (median number of weeks) for normal rules, new claims in England and Wales.

Notes:

  • Clearance time measures do not include claims that were withdrawn by the claimant or claims that were disallowed by the DWP prior to referral to the assessment providers (e.g. for failure to meet basic eligibility criteria).

The number of PIP applicants awaiting a decision has been interpreted as those who had registered a claim, but which had not been cleared. This includes some who may eventually be disallowed pre-assessment, those awaiting an assessment, and those awaiting a decision following an assessment. On 31 January 2023 this stood at 207,000 claims.

Source: PIP Atomic Data Store (ADS).


Notes:

  • Data excludes Scotland, in line with the latest published figures on PIP;
  • Figure is for new claims normal rules only; and
  • Figure is rounded to the nearest 1,000.
Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much grant money was returned to his Department by South Tyneside Council in 2021.

The department can confirm that between January 2021 - December 2021, South Tyneside Council refunded a Kickstart grant overpayment of £1,860.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when he will plans to answer Question 136620 on Universal Credit tabled by the hon. Member for South Shields on 30 January 2023.

An answer to PQ 136620 was sent on 20/02/2023.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much grant money was returned to his Department by South Tyneside Council in the period between 1 January 2022 and 30 November 2022.

The department can confirm that no grants by South Tyneside Council were returned to DWP between 1st January 2022 and 30th November 2022.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many children live in households in receipt of Universal Credit in each parliamentary constituency in the most recent month for which data is available.

Statistics on the number of households in receipt of Universal Credit are published every three months. The latest statistics are available by the number of children in the household and by Westminster Parliamentary Constituency, to August 2022, on Stat-Xplore.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many children live in households which are in receipt of Universal Credit but have experienced a deduction to that benefit in each parliamentary constituency in the most recent month for which data is available.

The requested information is provided in the attached spreadsheet.

Table 1 shows the requested analysis of number of children in Universal Credit households and number of children in Universal Credit households with deductions for claims with a payment due in August 2022 by Parliamentary Constituency in Great Britain (GB).

Accompanying Notes:

1. Figures per low level geography are rounded to the nearest 100, total claims at GB level are rounded to the nearest 1,000. Percentages are rounded to the nearest percent. The sum of individual low level geographies may not sum to the total figure due to rounding.

2. Deductions include advance repayments, third party deductions and all other deductions, but exclude sanctions and fraud penalties which are reductions of benefit rather than deductions.

3. Children are defined here as being people who are declared as living in the same household as the UC claimant(s) and who are under the age of 20. The number of children may not be equal to the number of dependent children in the household who are eligible for child element for various reasons. This includes children over the age of 16 in non-advanced full-time education, looked-after children and, other young people living in multigenerational households whose parents are not the claimant. Those affected by the policy to provide support for a maximum of two children may also have a larger number of children compared to the number of children entitled to the child element in their household.

4. Figures are provisional and are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available.

5. The 'unknown' label relates to claims for which a constituency could not be determined due to incomplete postcode information.

6. Data for August 2022 has been provided in line with the latest available UC Household Statistics.

7. Claim numbers and number of children on UC will not match official statistics caseloads due to methodological differences.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much money South Tyneside Council has returned to his Department from grants allocated over the last two years as of 23 January 2023.

Having looked at various systems we have determined that this information is not centrally held and so locating, analysing and retrieving the data would incur disproportionate costs.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department provides for young people in supported housing when they earn enough to take them off Universal Credit and lose their entitlement to full housing benefits.

DWP provides a range of employment support to different groups including young people who may live in Supported Housing. This includes helping claimants to make a Universal Credit claim as well as providing specialised tailored support through Jobcentre Plus including eligible access to the Flexible Support Fund, individual Work Coach support and priority access to the Work and Health Programme.

The income taper in Housing Benefit ensures claimants will always be financially better off working than not being in work.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the increase in absolute child poverty in (a) the North East and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber.

No assessment has been made of child poverty in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber for 2020/21. Given the impact of the pandemic on the size and quality of sample data, DWP statisticians concluded that for several of the breakdowns it would be difficult to make meaningful assessments of trends and changes in 2020/21 compared with the pre-Covid position. The Chief Statistician has therefore taken the decision not to publish additional breakdowns for regional child poverty in 2020/21.

The Government is committed to reducing poverty and supporting low-income families. In 2022/23 we will spend over £242 billion through the welfare system in Great Britain including £108 billion on people of working age.

With 1.25 million job vacancies across the UK, our focus is firmly on supporting parents to move into, and progress in work, an approach which is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment - particularly where it is full-time - in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty. The latest available data on in-work poverty shows that in 2019/20, children in households where all adults were in work were around six times less likely to be in absolute poverty (before housing costs) than children in a household where nobody works.

In 2021, compared to 2010, there were nearly 1 million fewer workless households and almost 590,000 fewer children in workless households in the UK. In 2020/21, there were 200,000 fewer children in absolute poverty (before housing costs) than in 2009/10.

To help people into work, including parents, our Plan for Jobs is providing broad ranging support for all Jobseekers with our Sector Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAP), Job Entry Targeted Support and Restart scheme. We are also extending the support Jobcentres provide to people in work and on low incomes. Through a staged roll-out, which started in April 2022, around 2.1 million low-paid benefit claimants will be eligible for support to progress into higher-paid work.

Around 1.9 million of the most disadvantaged pupils are eligible for and claiming a free school meal, saving families around £400 per year. In addition, around 1.25 million more infants enjoy a free, healthy and nutritious meal at lunchtime following the introduction of universal infant free school meals. The National School Breakfast Provision programme (NSBP) is providing funding of up to £24 million in a two-year contract to continue our support for school breakfast provision until July 2023 supporting pupils in up to 2,500 schools that meet our criteria for levels of disadvantage.

The Government is also investing £200 million a year to continue the Holiday Activities and Food Programme, which benefitted over 600,000 children last summer, and we have increased the value of the Healthy Start Scheme by a third to £4.25 a week.

The government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost of living and has taken further decisive action to support people with their energy bills. The government’s Energy Price Guarantee will save a typical British household around £700 this winter, based on what energy price would’ve been under the current price cap – reducing bills by roughly a third. This support will be in place from 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2023. A review will be launched to consider more targeted measures to support households with their energy bills after this period. This is in addition to the over £37bn of cost of living support announced earlier this year which includes the £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households provided through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

The £37bn also includes up to £650 in cost of living Payments (paid in 2 lump sums of £326 and £324) which have targeted support at around 8 million low-income households on means-tested benefits. In addition, 6 million eligible disabled people have received a one-off disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 and pensioner households will receive a one-off payment of £300 alongside the Winter Fuel Payment from this month.

In collaboration with Local Authorities we have a well-established system of hardship payments, including the Discretionary Housing Payments, available as a safeguard for if claimants demonstrate they cannot meet their immediate and most essential needs due to the rise in the cost of living. For those who require additional support, we extended the Household Support Fund in England, which will be providing up to £421m of support for those most in need for the period October 2022 - March 2023 and is being delivered by Upper Tier and Unitary Councils. In the case of South Tyneside, the local authority has been allocated £1,484,854.01 for this period. The devolved administrations have been allocated £79 million through the Barnett formula as usual.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the cost of DS1500 forms is for patients; and from where patients can obtain that form.

Most claims made under the Special Rules for End of Life (SREL) are supported by a short medical evidence form, called either the SR1 or DS1500, completed by a clinician who is involved in their care. People nearing the end of their life are not required to pay for these forms or for their clinician to fill them out on their behalf. Patients can request one free of charge from a registered clinician such as a GP, hospital consultant, hospice doctor or a senior nurse involved in their care.

30th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the guidance her Department has issued to case managers working on applications for advance payments of Universal Credit; how often advances were provided to people in each of the last 12 months; and for what reasons those advances were provided.

Universal Credit guidance is deposited in the House of Commons library twice a year, the latest published guidance was deposited on 26 April 2022 and can be found here.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much her Department has spent on defending initial decisions made at benefit or health assessments which were then overruled at a tribunal, in the most recent year for which data are available.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of including data at a local authority area level in the household food insecurity element of the Family Resources Survey.

The Family Resources Survey is designed to produce robust regional estimates and does not include all local authorities each year so is not suitable for analysis at the Local Authority level.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, by what date all personal independence payment applicants will be offered the choice of an audio recording at their assessment.

At present, claimants may use their own equipment to record their Personal Independent Payment (PIP) face to face assessment, should they wish to and in line with the conditions laid out in the PIP Assessment Guide. The option to request an audio recording of their PIP telephone assessment is also available with both assessment providers.

The department is currently working with PIP assessment providers to deliver an audio recording service for face to face assessments, that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment. Work is also ongoing to introduce an audio recording facility for video assessments. This will bring the audio recording of face to face and video assessments in line with the recording of telephone assessments and we aim to complete both as soon as it is practically possible.

15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress she has made on the rollout of yellow card warnings in place of immediate benefit sanctions.

We have not committed to rollout yellow card written warnings in place of immediate benefit sanctions. We are still looking into this process by undertaking a series of small-scale Proof of Concepts. This was delayed due to the pandemic. We are working to complete all testing before making an assessment of the merits of extending such a system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September 2020 to Question 84269 on Food Banks, what the timescale is for the publication of her Department's update of the literature review of the factors driving the use of food banks.

The Department reallocated resources to prioritise work to help the COVID-19 effort. As such, we will update on the literature review on the factors driving the use of food banks in due course.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to publish the results of the responses to the 10 new food security questions introduced to the Family Resources Survey in 2019.

The Family Resources Survey has collected data on food security since April 2019.

The results for the 2019-20 survey year will be released in March 2021. The exact date of publication will be announced at least 4 weeks in advance, in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

The inclusion of results from the food security questions is subject to the usual quality assurance processes which accompany all DWP statistical publications.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's policy is on yellow card warnings and benefit sanctions.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 78683 on 1st September 2020.

The increase in claimants due to Covid has led to a pause in this testing in order to prioritise support for claimants during this difficult time.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether all applicants for personal independence payment, whose assessments are currently telephone-based, are offered the option of recorded assessments.

Audio recording of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) telephone assessments is live in all areas. Claimants are required to make a request to the Assessment Provider in order to have their PIP assessment recorded, thereby opting-in to the recording of their assessment being undertaken.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants were subject to a deduction; and what the average sum deducted was in (a) South Shields and (b) the UK, in the most recent month for which data is available.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. It maintains our policy to enforce social obligations such as the payment of court fines, ensure Government debt is recovered and vitally to safeguard claimants from the potential impacts of not repaying priority debts, such as homelessness or loss of utilities. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. The Budget 2020 also set out that the maximum level will be further reduced, so that standard deductions will not exceed 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance from October 2021.

For Universal Credit payments due during August 2020:

a) 4,700 of 8,600 claims in the South Shields parliamentary constituency had a deduction, with £73 on average being deducted from these claims.

b) 1,847,000 of 4,536,000 claims of all GB claims had a deduction, with £70 on average being deducted from these claims.

Notes:

1. The number of claims per constituency are rounded to the nearest 100, total claims at GB level rounded to the nearest 1,000.

2. Deductions include advance repayments, third party deductions and all other deductions, but exclude sanctions and fraud penalties which are reductions of benefit rather than deductions.

3. Numbers are affected by the impact of the temporary suspension of some deduction types due to Covid-19. During April 2020, government deductions were temporarily suspended and only began to be reinstated from July.

4. Figures are provisional and are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available.

9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September 2020 to Question 84269 on Food Banks; whether the literature review of the factors driving the use of food banks has been updated.

The Department reallocated resources to prioritise work to helping the COVID-19 effort. As such, we will update on this literature review in due course.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to bring forward with immediate effect the proposal to allow universal credit claimants an extended period to repay advances and other debts through monthly deductions.

The Government has already taken significant steps to extend the repayment time for advances from 6 months to 12 months. This will increase to 24 months from October 2021 as announced in the 2019 Budget.

The Government has also reduced the normal maximum deduction from 40% to 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance from October 2019 and this will be further reduced to 25% from October 2021. For claimants who do find themselves in unexpected hardship, advance repayments can be deferred for up to three months.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish her Department's evidence review on the drivers of food bank usage.

The Department reallocated resources to prioritise work to helping the COVID-19 effort. As such, we will update on the literature review on the factors driving the use of food banks in due course.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of amending the universal credit application form and online journal to enable her Department to automatically (a) assess and (b) register children for free school meals.

The eligibility criteria for free school meals are the responsibility of the Department for Education in England, and the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Department for Education already provides an electronic eligibility checking service to all local authorities in England, which is used to confirm eligibility for free school meals.

Universal Credit (UC) claimants may currently be entitled to a number of other benefits because they are in receipt of UC. These are known as passported benefits and include free school meals and free prescriptions. The eligibility criteria for each passported benefit remain the responsibility of relevant departments and the devolved administrations that own them.

The Department needs to ensure that there is a high level of security to protect claimants’ personal information, and has no plans to amend either the UC claim form or online journal to obtain an applicant’s consent to register eligible children for free school meals.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to Answer of 24 February to Question 725, what plans she has to extend the Yellow Card warning system to other locations across the United Kingdom.

The Department committed to look at processes to give claimants a written warning, instead of a sanction, for a first sanctionable failure to attend a Work-Search Review and to undertake a series of small-scale Proof of Concepts of this warning system. The Department would like to complete all testing before making an assessment of the merits of extending such a system.

We have now gathered internal staff feedback on the first Proof of Concept and we are looking at informing our next steps. As this was a small proof of concept, we do not plan to publish this feedback.

Sites for future stages of the Proof of Concept are chosen in such a way that ensures we are able to assess the concept / policy under consideration. To do this effectively we consider what data can be collected from the site, whether the site is appropriate given its characteristics and if this can be done in a manner to ensure findings are sufficiently robust.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish an assessment of the effectiveness of a Yellow Card warning system based on the Proof of Concepts undertaken by her Department.

The Department committed to look at processes to give claimants a written warning, instead of a sanction, for a first sanctionable failure to attend a Work-Search Review and to undertake a series of small-scale Proof of Concepts of this warning system. The Department would like to complete all testing before making an assessment of the merits of extending such a system.

We have now gathered internal staff feedback on the first Proof of Concept and we are looking at informing our next steps. As this was a small proof of concept, we do not plan to publish this feedback.

Sites for future stages of the Proof of Concept are chosen in such a way that ensures we are able to assess the concept / policy under consideration. To do this effectively we consider what data can be collected from the site, whether the site is appropriate given its characteristics and if this can be done in a manner to ensure findings are sufficiently robust.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to work with Feeding Britain to identify additional locations in which to pilot a Yellow Card warning system.

The Department committed to look at processes to give claimants a written warning, instead of a sanction, for a first sanctionable failure to attend a Work-Search Review and to undertake a series of small-scale Proof of Concepts of this warning system. The Department would like to complete all testing before making an assessment of the merits of extending such a system.

We have now gathered internal staff feedback on the first Proof of Concept and we are looking at informing our next steps. As this was a small proof of concept, we do not plan to publish this feedback.

Sites for future stages of the Proof of Concept are chosen in such a way that ensures we are able to assess the concept / policy under consideration. To do this effectively we consider what data can be collected from the site, whether the site is appropriate given its characteristics and if this can be done in a manner to ensure findings are sufficiently robust.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2020 to Question 52025 on Unemployment: Immigrants, what support her Department is providing for people who fall outside of all of the coronavirus financial support packages as a result of no recourse to public funds being a condition of their indefinite leave to remain settlement status.

Non-UK nationals and family members who are issued with a residence permit with a NRPF condition are not eligible to access taxpayer-funded benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Benefit or housing assistance for the duration of their leave. Public funds does not include contributions-based benefits and the State Pension. DWP has no powers to award taxpayer-funded benefits to an individual whose Home Office immigration status specifies no recourse to public funds. The Home Office determine whether persons granted leave to enter or remain in the UK are eligible to access public funds.

However, as part of its response to COVID-19, the government announced in the Budget on 11 March that it would provide local authorities in England with £500 million of new grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area.

4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of universal credit are repaying an advance payment.

Universal Credit advance repayments are made gradually over 12 months, and deductions are capped at 30% of claimants’ standard allowance. This is further to the reduction of the overall maximum level of deductions from 40% to 30% of the standard allowance since October 2019.

From October 2021, the repayment period will be extended from 12 months to 24 months and the reduction of the deductions cap from 30% to 25%.

For those who find themselves in unexpected hardship, advance repayments can be deferred for up to three months in certain cases.

For Universal Credit payments due in February 2020, 43% (1,068,000 claims) had a deduction for an advance repayment.

Notes:
1. Claim numbers may not match official statistics caseloads due to small methodological differences

2. Claim numbers are rounded to the nearest 1,000.

3. Figures are provisional and are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department is providing to people who have been made unemployed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and who do not have recourse to public funds following their indefinite leave to remain settlement.

Access to DWP income-related benefits such as Universal Credit flows from an individual’s immigration status. The Home Office determine whether persons granted leave to enter or remain in the UK are eligible to access public funds.

Those unable to access DWP income-related benefits, such as Universal Credit, may be eligible to access DWP contributions-based benefits, providing they meet eligibility criteria.

Government measures to support workers and their families through Covid-19 are also available for those who meet the eligibility criteria. These include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-employed Income Support Scheme and Statutory Sick Pay.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will implement with immediate effect the policy announced in the Budget 2020 on lowering the repayment rate and extending the repayment period for universal credit advances, which is currently not due to take effect until October 2021.

The Government has already taken action to mitigate the impact of repaying advances. In the short-term, the temporary increase to the Standard Allowance of over £80 a month will immediately help absorb the impact of repaying advances. In October 2019, the level of standard deductions was reduced from 40% to 30% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance. In addition, the repayment period for advances has already been extended from 6 months to 12 months, and claimants can ask to defer advance repayments for up to 3 months in certain circumstances.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on household food insecurity of the introduction of the 10 new food security questions in the Family Resources Survey in 2019.

The first results from the food insecurity questions added to the Family Resource Survey in April 2019 are due to be published in 2021.

The information that will be published will be dependent on the results being robust and meeting the quality assurance processes which all DWP statistical publications are subject to.

5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in receipt of universal credit before March 2020 have not received the 1.7 per cent increase in that benefit on 6 April; and how many new claimants have received that increase.

All existing and new universal credit claims will have their claim assessed on the increased rates of benefit for the relevant assessment period from 6 April 2020.

5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the number of people who have ceased their child maintenance payments having been made unemployed since March 2020.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

DWP is a learning Department and we will look to understand the impact of the health emergency.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new universal credit applicants there have been in each month since March 2020; and how many of those new applicants have successfully applied for a universal credit advance loan payment.

The department publishes weekly management information, every Tuesday, on the number of Universal Credit declarations (claims) and Universal Credit Advances paid by the four advance types. It is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-declarations-claims-and-advances-management-information

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the time it takes to (a) process and (b) decide on disputes lodged by universal credit claimants regarding their real-time information calculations.

The data requested is not available.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to Answer of 24 February 2020 to Question 725, what the locations of the are of the small-scale Proof of Concepts for the warning system; and what the timescales are for (a) those proof of concepts and (b) reporting to the House on her Department's assessment of their effectiveness.

The small scale proof of concept took place in South London and we hope to complete the internal evaluation by the Spring at which point further decisions can be made on the next stages.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2020 to Question 727 on Universal Credit, how much has been paid back to universal credit claimants as a result of Real Time Information disputes being upheld in the most recent 12 months for which data are available.

The information is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2020 to Question 727 on Universal Credit, how many universal credit claimants successfully disputed the Real Time Information on which their awards were based (a) from February 2016 to January 2017, (b) from February 2017 to January 2018 and (c) from February 2018 to January 2019.

The Department has been working closely with HMRC since Universal Credit went live in 2013 to support and inform employers who report earnings to emphasise the importance of timely reporting via the Real Time Information (RTI) system.

HMRC have guidance to reiterate to employers the importance of reporting accurate dates and the impact on payment cycles; the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is also working closely with HMRC and employers to encourage accurate reporting dates. Please see the table below for the relevant data on the total successful RTI disputes.

Total RTI calculations

RTI calculation disputes

Percentage (%) of disputes to total calculations

Number of successful disputes

July 2017 – January 2018

3,902,052

11,133

0.3%

2,226

February 2018 – January 2019

13,566,745

61,246

0.4%

11,636

Notes:

  • The earliest available data is from July 2017.
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims have been (a) closed in error and (b) reopened in each of the last 24 months for which data is available.

The information is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims have been closed in each of the last 24 months for which data is available; and what the reasons were for the closure of those claims.

Information surrounding Universal Credit (UC) claim closure reasons and volumes for the last 24 months of available data are shown in the attached tables.

Monthly assessment periods align to the way the majority of employees are paid and also allows UC to be adjusted each month. This means that if a claimant’s income falls, they will not have to wait several months for a rise in their UC.

If a claimant’s earnings are sufficient enough in an assessment period to reach and/or exceed their nil earning threshold, their UC claim will be closed. Should the claimant then choose to reclaim, a claimant only has to update or confirm their information, rather than making a full new UC claim. This process allows claimants to return quickly and easily to UC by minimising the administrative burden on them.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have received an advance payment in the most recent 12 months for which data is available.

Universal Credit is now the main system of working age welfare support across the country. It is available in every Jobcentre, with a caseload of 2.8 million claimants, growing every month, now able to access the additional support and flexibilities it offers.

Between December 2018 to November 2019, 1,996,000 claimants received an advance payment.

As the overall Universal Credit caseload grows, we expect the volume and value of advance payments to increase in correlation. This shows that claimants are being made aware of advances and are using it where they need this help.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a yellow card warning system for benefit sanctions in England.

The Department committed to look at processes to give claimants a written warning, instead of a sanction, for a first sanctionable failure to attend a Work-Search Review and to undertake a series of small-scale Proof of Concepts of this warning system. The Department would like to complete all testing before making an assessment of the merits of introducing such a system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of personal independence payment decisions have been challenged (a) successfully and (b) unsuccessfully at (i) mandatory reconsideration and (ii) tribunal.

Data on Mandatory Reconsiderations (MR) and appeals for initial decisions following a PIP assessment can be found in Table 5A of the “Data tables: PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019” available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have successfully disputed the Real Time Information on which their awards have been based in the most recent 12 months for which data are available.

The Department has been working closely with HMRC since Universal Credit went live in 2013 to support and inform employers who report earnings to emphasise the importance of timely reporting via the Real Time Information (RTI) system.

HMRC have guidance to reiterate to employers the importance of reporting accurate dates and the impact on payment cycles; the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is also working closely with HMRC and employers to do this.

Between February 2019 to January 2020 the Department completed over 23 million Universal Credit earnings calculations using RTI data. Of these, 107,463 were disputed and 20,418 were upheld.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring all personal independence payment assessments to be recorded.

I refer the Rt.Hon Member to the answer I gave on 10 February 2020 to Question UIN 12293.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she will make an assessment of the potential merits of giving in-work universal credit claimants the option to move their assessment period to reflect more closely the dates on which they receive their earnings.

The Department has been working closely with HMRC since Universal Credit went live in 2013 to support and inform employers who report earnings to emphasise the importance of timely reporting via RTI system.

Employers should already record on HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Real Time Information (RTI) system the date a salary is scheduled to be paid, rather than the date it is paid, where it is earlier due to a weekend, bank holiday or at Christmas.

HMRC have updated their guidance to reiterate to employers the importance of reporting accurate dates and the impact on payment cycles; the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is also working closely with HMRC and employers to do this.

Universal Credit takes earnings into account in a way that is fair and transparent. The amount paid reflects, as closely as possible, the actual circumstances of a household during each monthly assessment period. This allows Universal Credit awards to be adjusted on a monthly basis, ensuring that if claimant’s incomes falls, they do not have to wait several months for a rise in their Universal Credit award. Currently there are no plans to change assessment periods.

Claimants can discuss queries about how fluctuating income effects Universal Credit with their case managers and work coaches, who can also signpost to services appropriate to individual circumstances.

17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress she has made on the inclusion of food insecurity questions in the Family Resources Survey; and what the timeframe is for publication of the results of that survey.

Food security questions were included in the Family Resources Survey questionnaire from April 2019 onwards. Data are being collected throughout the current financial year. The extent of information published will be subject to the usual quality assurance processes, which are applied to both survey responses and DWP statistical publications. If the data on food security are sufficiently robust, publication would take place in the first quarter of 2021.

30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to help improve cancer diagnosis services in primary healthcare settings for children and young people.

Cancer is a priority for the Government and the Department continues to take steps to demonstrate this. The Department is taking steps to better understand the landscape of childhood cancer with experts, aided by Dame Caroline Dinenage MP.

Increasing the diagnosis rates of cancers in children and young people is a priority for the Government. Several organisations, including the Department, are taking steps across England to improve cancer diagnosis services in primary health care settings, supporting general practices (GPs) in referring patients, expanding diagnostic capacity, and enabling more precise diagnosis through technology.

NHS England is working to deliver the ambition it set in its Long-Term Plan to diagnose 75% of cancers at stages one and two by 2028. The Department is working to support GPs in improving referrals for suspected cancer. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance underpinning cancer referrals sets out detailed guidance for GPs on the symptoms of cancer in children and young people, recommending very urgent referral, an appointment within 48 hours, for those presenting with a range of potential cancer symptoms including any unexplained lump, bruising or bleeding, neurological symptoms or bone pain. For many of these symptoms, GPs now have direct access to request diagnostic tests including X-ray and ultrasound.

Childhood, young people’s and young adults’ cancers are included within the Department’s work on developing a Major Conditions Strategy. Addressing cancer together with other groups of conditions in a joined-up strategy will allow us to focus on where there are similarities in approach and ensure care is better centered around the patient.

While the Department cannot pre-empt its outcomes or undertake a specific assessment at this stage, the Major Conditions Strategy’s final report will draw on previous work, including submissions from childhood, young people and young adults’ cancer charities and stakeholders in response to our calls for evidence on cancer and on major conditions. The emphasis is on earlier diagnosis, better support to manage conditions, and improved coordination of treatment and care. We are engaging with stakeholders representing babies, children and young people to ensure their views are considered in the development of the strategy.

The Department does not plan to insert any further additions into the strategy development for age appropriate and personalised care. The NHS Long Term Plan states that, where appropriate, every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support. This is being delivered in line with the NHS Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care, empowering people to manage their care and the impact of their cancer and maximise the potential of digital and community-based support.

In addition, the Under 16 Cancer Patient Experience Survey, commissioned by NHS England, is now in its third year and aims to gather feedback from children and young people and their parents/carers on the cancer care and treatment received.

These surveys provide valuable findings, helping the National Health Service to understand what is good about children, young people’s and adults’ cancer care, and identifying areas for improvements. 75% of children aged between eight and 15 years old reported that they were looked after very well for their cancer or tumour by healthcare staff and 89% of parents/carers rated the overall experience of their child's care as eight or more out of 10. The answers are being used to improve children’s cancer care across England. NHS England is working to review and improve play facilities, including working with the Starlight Foundation Charity on improvements to guidance, and surveying all provision to identify areas for improvement. Work is also underway in improving food quality, including nine larger Children’s Hospital’s NHS Trusts currently piloting better food provision for resident parents.

The Government welcomed Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group’s Children and Young People’s Cancer Plan. The Department has not made a formal assessment of the recommendations, given the significant amount of work ongoing across NHS England and the Department. Our priorities include improving early diagnosis, delivering more research, and driving progress in genomic medicine.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of NHS England's publication entitled Cancer Under 16 Patient Experience Survey, published on 8 November 2023.

Cancer is a priority for the Government and the Department continues to take steps to demonstrate this. The Department is taking steps to better understand the landscape of childhood cancer with experts, aided by Dame Caroline Dinenage MP.

Increasing the diagnosis rates of cancers in children and young people is a priority for the Government. Several organisations, including the Department, are taking steps across England to improve cancer diagnosis services in primary health care settings, supporting general practices (GPs) in referring patients, expanding diagnostic capacity, and enabling more precise diagnosis through technology.

NHS England is working to deliver the ambition it set in its Long-Term Plan to diagnose 75% of cancers at stages one and two by 2028. The Department is working to support GPs in improving referrals for suspected cancer. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance underpinning cancer referrals sets out detailed guidance for GPs on the symptoms of cancer in children and young people, recommending very urgent referral, an appointment within 48 hours, for those presenting with a range of potential cancer symptoms including any unexplained lump, bruising or bleeding, neurological symptoms or bone pain. For many of these symptoms, GPs now have direct access to request diagnostic tests including X-ray and ultrasound.

Childhood, young people’s and young adults’ cancers are included within the Department’s work on developing a Major Conditions Strategy. Addressing cancer together with other groups of conditions in a joined-up strategy will allow us to focus on where there are similarities in approach and ensure care is better centered around the patient.

While the Department cannot pre-empt its outcomes or undertake a specific assessment at this stage, the Major Conditions Strategy’s final report will draw on previous work, including submissions from childhood, young people and young adults’ cancer charities and stakeholders in response to our calls for evidence on cancer and on major conditions. The emphasis is on earlier diagnosis, better support to manage conditions, and improved coordination of treatment and care. We are engaging with stakeholders representing babies, children and young people to ensure their views are considered in the development of the strategy.

The Department does not plan to insert any further additions into the strategy development for age appropriate and personalised care. The NHS Long Term Plan states that, where appropriate, every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support. This is being delivered in line with the NHS Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care, empowering people to manage their care and the impact of their cancer and maximise the potential of digital and community-based support.

In addition, the Under 16 Cancer Patient Experience Survey, commissioned by NHS England, is now in its third year and aims to gather feedback from children and young people and their parents/carers on the cancer care and treatment received.

These surveys provide valuable findings, helping the National Health Service to understand what is good about children, young people’s and adults’ cancer care, and identifying areas for improvements. 75% of children aged between eight and 15 years old reported that they were looked after very well for their cancer or tumour by healthcare staff and 89% of parents/carers rated the overall experience of their child's care as eight or more out of 10. The answers are being used to improve children’s cancer care across England. NHS England is working to review and improve play facilities, including working with the Starlight Foundation Charity on improvements to guidance, and surveying all provision to identify areas for improvement. Work is also underway in improving food quality, including nine larger Children’s Hospital’s NHS Trusts currently piloting better food provision for resident parents.

The Government welcomed Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group’s Children and Young People’s Cancer Plan. The Department has not made a formal assessment of the recommendations, given the significant amount of work ongoing across NHS England and the Department. Our priorities include improving early diagnosis, delivering more research, and driving progress in genomic medicine.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will take steps to insert an addition to the Major Conditions Strategy requiring children and young people with cancer to receive (a) age appropriate care and (b) personalised care.

Cancer is a priority for the Government and the Department continues to take steps to demonstrate this. The Department is taking steps to better understand the landscape of childhood cancer with experts, aided by Dame Caroline Dinenage MP.

Increasing the diagnosis rates of cancers in children and young people is a priority for the Government. Several organisations, including the Department, are taking steps across England to improve cancer diagnosis services in primary health care settings, supporting general practices (GPs) in referring patients, expanding diagnostic capacity, and enabling more precise diagnosis through technology.

NHS England is working to deliver the ambition it set in its Long-Term Plan to diagnose 75% of cancers at stages one and two by 2028. The Department is working to support GPs in improving referrals for suspected cancer. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance underpinning cancer referrals sets out detailed guidance for GPs on the symptoms of cancer in children and young people, recommending very urgent referral, an appointment within 48 hours, for those presenting with a range of potential cancer symptoms including any unexplained lump, bruising or bleeding, neurological symptoms or bone pain. For many of these symptoms, GPs now have direct access to request diagnostic tests including X-ray and ultrasound.

Childhood, young people’s and young adults’ cancers are included within the Department’s work on developing a Major Conditions Strategy. Addressing cancer together with other groups of conditions in a joined-up strategy will allow us to focus on where there are similarities in approach and ensure care is better centered around the patient.

While the Department cannot pre-empt its outcomes or undertake a specific assessment at this stage, the Major Conditions Strategy’s final report will draw on previous work, including submissions from childhood, young people and young adults’ cancer charities and stakeholders in response to our calls for evidence on cancer and on major conditions. The emphasis is on earlier diagnosis, better support to manage conditions, and improved coordination of treatment and care. We are engaging with stakeholders representing babies, children and young people to ensure their views are considered in the development of the strategy.

The Department does not plan to insert any further additions into the strategy development for age appropriate and personalised care. The NHS Long Term Plan states that, where appropriate, every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support. This is being delivered in line with the NHS Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care, empowering people to manage their care and the impact of their cancer and maximise the potential of digital and community-based support.

In addition, the Under 16 Cancer Patient Experience Survey, commissioned by NHS England, is now in its third year and aims to gather feedback from children and young people and their parents/carers on the cancer care and treatment received.

These surveys provide valuable findings, helping the National Health Service to understand what is good about children, young people’s and adults’ cancer care, and identifying areas for improvements. 75% of children aged between eight and 15 years old reported that they were looked after very well for their cancer or tumour by healthcare staff and 89% of parents/carers rated the overall experience of their child's care as eight or more out of 10. The answers are being used to improve children’s cancer care across England. NHS England is working to review and improve play facilities, including working with the Starlight Foundation Charity on improvements to guidance, and surveying all provision to identify areas for improvement. Work is also underway in improving food quality, including nine larger Children’s Hospital’s NHS Trusts currently piloting better food provision for resident parents.

The Government welcomed Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group’s Children and Young People’s Cancer Plan. The Department has not made a formal assessment of the recommendations, given the significant amount of work ongoing across NHS England and the Department. Our priorities include improving early diagnosis, delivering more research, and driving progress in genomic medicine.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the Major Conditions Strategy on the needs of children and young people that are diagnosed with cancer; and whether she plans to produce a bespoke strategy for them.

Cancer is a priority for the Government and the Department continues to take steps to demonstrate this. The Department is taking steps to better understand the landscape of childhood cancer with experts, aided by Dame Caroline Dinenage MP.

Increasing the diagnosis rates of cancers in children and young people is a priority for the Government. Several organisations, including the Department, are taking steps across England to improve cancer diagnosis services in primary health care settings, supporting general practices (GPs) in referring patients, expanding diagnostic capacity, and enabling more precise diagnosis through technology.

NHS England is working to deliver the ambition it set in its Long-Term Plan to diagnose 75% of cancers at stages one and two by 2028. The Department is working to support GPs in improving referrals for suspected cancer. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance underpinning cancer referrals sets out detailed guidance for GPs on the symptoms of cancer in children and young people, recommending very urgent referral, an appointment within 48 hours, for those presenting with a range of potential cancer symptoms including any unexplained lump, bruising or bleeding, neurological symptoms or bone pain. For many of these symptoms, GPs now have direct access to request diagnostic tests including X-ray and ultrasound.

Childhood, young people’s and young adults’ cancers are included within the Department’s work on developing a Major Conditions Strategy. Addressing cancer together with other groups of conditions in a joined-up strategy will allow us to focus on where there are similarities in approach and ensure care is better centered around the patient.

While the Department cannot pre-empt its outcomes or undertake a specific assessment at this stage, the Major Conditions Strategy’s final report will draw on previous work, including submissions from childhood, young people and young adults’ cancer charities and stakeholders in response to our calls for evidence on cancer and on major conditions. The emphasis is on earlier diagnosis, better support to manage conditions, and improved coordination of treatment and care. We are engaging with stakeholders representing babies, children and young people to ensure their views are considered in the development of the strategy.

The Department does not plan to insert any further additions into the strategy development for age appropriate and personalised care. The NHS Long Term Plan states that, where appropriate, every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support. This is being delivered in line with the NHS Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care, empowering people to manage their care and the impact of their cancer and maximise the potential of digital and community-based support.

In addition, the Under 16 Cancer Patient Experience Survey, commissioned by NHS England, is now in its third year and aims to gather feedback from children and young people and their parents/carers on the cancer care and treatment received.

These surveys provide valuable findings, helping the National Health Service to understand what is good about children, young people’s and adults’ cancer care, and identifying areas for improvements. 75% of children aged between eight and 15 years old reported that they were looked after very well for their cancer or tumour by healthcare staff and 89% of parents/carers rated the overall experience of their child's care as eight or more out of 10. The answers are being used to improve children’s cancer care across England. NHS England is working to review and improve play facilities, including working with the Starlight Foundation Charity on improvements to guidance, and surveying all provision to identify areas for improvement. Work is also underway in improving food quality, including nine larger Children’s Hospital’s NHS Trusts currently piloting better food provision for resident parents.

The Government welcomed Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group’s Children and Young People’s Cancer Plan. The Department has not made a formal assessment of the recommendations, given the significant amount of work ongoing across NHS England and the Department. Our priorities include improving early diagnosis, delivering more research, and driving progress in genomic medicine.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group report entitled The Children and Young People's Cancer Plan, published on 7 February 2023.

Cancer is a priority for the Government and the Department continues to take steps to demonstrate this. The Department is taking steps to better understand the landscape of childhood cancer with experts, aided by Dame Caroline Dinenage MP.

Increasing the diagnosis rates of cancers in children and young people is a priority for the Government. Several organisations, including the Department, are taking steps across England to improve cancer diagnosis services in primary health care settings, supporting general practices (GPs) in referring patients, expanding diagnostic capacity, and enabling more precise diagnosis through technology.

NHS England is working to deliver the ambition it set in its Long-Term Plan to diagnose 75% of cancers at stages one and two by 2028. The Department is working to support GPs in improving referrals for suspected cancer. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance underpinning cancer referrals sets out detailed guidance for GPs on the symptoms of cancer in children and young people, recommending very urgent referral, an appointment within 48 hours, for those presenting with a range of potential cancer symptoms including any unexplained lump, bruising or bleeding, neurological symptoms or bone pain. For many of these symptoms, GPs now have direct access to request diagnostic tests including X-ray and ultrasound.

Childhood, young people’s and young adults’ cancers are included within the Department’s work on developing a Major Conditions Strategy. Addressing cancer together with other groups of conditions in a joined-up strategy will allow us to focus on where there are similarities in approach and ensure care is better centered around the patient.

While the Department cannot pre-empt its outcomes or undertake a specific assessment at this stage, the Major Conditions Strategy’s final report will draw on previous work, including submissions from childhood, young people and young adults’ cancer charities and stakeholders in response to our calls for evidence on cancer and on major conditions. The emphasis is on earlier diagnosis, better support to manage conditions, and improved coordination of treatment and care. We are engaging with stakeholders representing babies, children and young people to ensure their views are considered in the development of the strategy.

The Department does not plan to insert any further additions into the strategy development for age appropriate and personalised care. The NHS Long Term Plan states that, where appropriate, every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support. This is being delivered in line with the NHS Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care, empowering people to manage their care and the impact of their cancer and maximise the potential of digital and community-based support.

In addition, the Under 16 Cancer Patient Experience Survey, commissioned by NHS England, is now in its third year and aims to gather feedback from children and young people and their parents/carers on the cancer care and treatment received.

These surveys provide valuable findings, helping the National Health Service to understand what is good about children, young people’s and adults’ cancer care, and identifying areas for improvements. 75% of children aged between eight and 15 years old reported that they were looked after very well for their cancer or tumour by healthcare staff and 89% of parents/carers rated the overall experience of their child's care as eight or more out of 10. The answers are being used to improve children’s cancer care across England. NHS England is working to review and improve play facilities, including working with the Starlight Foundation Charity on improvements to guidance, and surveying all provision to identify areas for improvement. Work is also underway in improving food quality, including nine larger Children’s Hospital’s NHS Trusts currently piloting better food provision for resident parents.

The Government welcomed Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group’s Children and Young People’s Cancer Plan. The Department has not made a formal assessment of the recommendations, given the significant amount of work ongoing across NHS England and the Department. Our priorities include improving early diagnosis, delivering more research, and driving progress in genomic medicine.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many incidents of (a) self-harm, (b) suicide and (c) attempted suicide by patients within (i) 24 and (ii) 48 hours of discharge from a mental health hospital have been been recorded in the past year.

The Mental Health Services Dataset (MHSDS) does not hold the information requested.

The University of Manchester provides data on suicides for people in contact with mental health services annually. Their reports are available at the following link:

https://sites.manchester.ac.uk/ncish/reports/

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when she plans to respond to the correspondence of 1 June 2023 from the hon. Member for South Shields.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lord Markham) has received the hon. Member’s letter and will reply shortly.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when she plans to respond to the correspondence from the hon. Member for South Shields of 2 November 2023.

We replied to this correspondence on 21 December 2023. With apologies, this case was delayed as part of our continued backlog of cases following the pandemic and we are currently working through an urgent recovery plan to resolve this.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to reduce waiting times for cancer treatment.

  • Improving cancer treatment waiting times is a top priority for the government and is a key focus of our elective recovery plan, backed by an additional £8bn in revenue funding across the Spending Review Period.

  • In the 2023/24 Operational Planning Guidance, NHS England announced it is providing over £390m to Cancer Alliances. This will support delivery of operational priorities for cancer which includes increasing and prioritising cancer treatment capacity.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much her Department spent on the Healthy Start Scheme in the 2022-23 financial year.

2022-23 financial year spend information is subject to the upcoming DHSC Annual Report and Accounts publication, which is due to be published imminently. Healthy Start costs will be available following this publication.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many hospital admissions there were for (a) scurvy, (b) rickets, (c) vitamin D deficiency and (d) malnutrition in age groups (i) up to four, (ii) five to nine, (iii) 10-16 and (iv) over 17 years in (A) 2020/21 and (B) 2021/22.

The following tables show activity in National Health Service hospitals and NHS-commissioned activity in the independent sector in England, with a count of Finished Admission Episodes with a “primary” or “primary or secondary diagnosis” of scurvy, rickets, vitamin D deficiency and malnutrition by age group for 2020/21 and 2021/22:

2020/21

Primary Diagnosis

Patient Age (years)

Scurvy

Rickets

Vitamin D Deficiency

Malnutrition

0-4

1

41

28

11

5-9

2

1

12

7

10-16

2

8

50

16

17 or over

2

0

586

765

2020/21

Primary or Secondary Diagnosis

Patient Age (years)

Scurvy

Rickets

Vitamin D Deficiency

Malnutrition

0-4

3

41

1,715

71

5-9

4

1

1,698

43

10-16

10

8

4,713

165

17 or over

151

0

126,785

9,681

2021/22

Primary Diagnosis

Patient Age (years)

Scurvy

Rickets

Vitamin D Deficiency

Malnutrition

0-4

2

41

64

14

5-9

6

8

21

11

10-16

4

3

91

15

17 or over

3

1

863

843

2021/22

Primary or Secondary Diagnosis

Patient Age (years)

Scurvy

Rickets

Vitamin D Deficiency

Malnutrition

0-4

5

41

2,054

73

5-9

17

8

1,810

67

10-16

29

3

6,022

140

17 or over

144

1

167,169

10,242

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), NHS England

The root causes of malnutrition may be clinical, for example disease-related, social and/or economic. These problems often interact in a complex cycle. Some health conditions can lead to malnutrition including eating disorders, although malnutrition itself is not an eating disorder.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many hospital admissions were there for (a) scurvy, (b) rickets and (c) vitamin D deficiency in England in the latest period for which data is available, broken down by age groups (i) 0-5 years, (ii) 5-10 years, (iii) 10-16 years and (iv) over-16 years.

The following tables show activity in National Health Service hospitals and NHS-commissioned activity in the independent sector in England. NHS England has provided a count of Finished Admission Episodes with a “primary” or “primary or secondary diagnosis” of scurvy, rickets, vitamin D deficiency and malnutrition by age group for 2022/23.

Primary Diagnosis

Patient Age (years)

Scurvy

Rickets

Vitamin D Deficiency

Malnutrition

0-4

1

29

47

12

5-9

3

4

21

8

10-16

1

2

60

24

17 or over

9

2

752

741

Primary or Secondary Diagnosis

Patient Age (years)

Scurvy

Rickets

Vitamin D Deficiency

Malnutrition

0-4

5

317

2,052

71

5-9

5

30

1,757

45

10-16

5

56

5,251

153

17 or over

151

77

176,317

10,301

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), NHS England

The root causes of malnutrition may be clinical (for example disease-related), social and/or economic. These problems often interact in a complex cycle. Some health conditions can lead to malnutrition including eating disorders, although malnutrition itself is not an eating disorder.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many hospital admissions for malnutrition in England were there in the latest period for which data is available, broken down by age groups (a) 0-5 years, (b) 5-10 years, (c) 10-16 years and (d) over-16 years.

The following tables show activity in National Health Service hospitals and NHS-commissioned activity in the independent sector in England. NHS England has provided a count of Finished Admission Episodes with a “primary” or “primary or secondary diagnosis” of scurvy, rickets, vitamin D deficiency and malnutrition by age group for 2022/23.

Primary Diagnosis

Patient Age (years)

Scurvy

Rickets

Vitamin D Deficiency

Malnutrition

0-4

1

29

47

12

5-9

3

4

21

8

10-16

1

2

60

24

17 or over

9

2

752

741

Primary or Secondary Diagnosis

Patient Age (years)

Scurvy

Rickets

Vitamin D Deficiency

Malnutrition

0-4

5

317

2,052

71

5-9

5

30

1,757

45

10-16

5

56

5,251

153

17 or over

151

77

176,317

10,301

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), NHS England

The root causes of malnutrition may be clinical (for example disease-related), social and/or economic. These problems often interact in a complex cycle. Some health conditions can lead to malnutrition including eating disorders, although malnutrition itself is not an eating disorder.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of recipients of Healthy Start paper vouchers have not re-enrolled via the online registration system.

The NHS Business Services Authority estimate that as of 15 October 2023 there were 20,500 households which previously were in receipt of paper vouchers which have not successfully applied to the NHS Healthy Start prepaid card scheme. This is around 7% of the 286,791 households that were in receipt of paper vouchers in August 2021. The 7% figure includes households that are no longer eligible to apply for the Healthy Start scheme.

In September 2023, uptake for the Healthy Start scheme was 68.2%. Uptake of the fully digitised scheme is higher than the previous paper voucher scheme. Healthy Start now supports around 367,000 beneficiaries.

4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to make available audited data on the cost of operating the Healthy Start scheme in the 2022/23 financial year.

Audited financial information for the Department is due to be published in November 2023 as part of the Annual Review of Accounts (ARA). Specific information related to the costs of the Healthy Start scheme may not be explicit within the ARA due to the size of the programme but will be available from that point.

4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 13 June 2023 to Question 188559 on Healthy Start Scheme, for what reason Departmental forecasts on numbers of beneficiaries and uptake of the Healthy Start scheme are not available.

While the Department forecasts the numbers of beneficiaries on the Healthy Start scheme, the forecasts are updated frequently and are not centrally validated. As a result, these internal forecasts are not released in the public domain.

8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Heathy Start Scheme applications were rejected due to the form being filled out incorrectly in (a) 2021-22, (b) 2022-23 and (c) March 2023; and how many applications to that scheme were rejected in that period in total.

The NHS Business Services Authority does not collect this data.

8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much money was (a) allocated to and (b) spent on the Healthy Start Scheme in the 2021-22 financial year.

The Healthy Start Scheme is a demand-led scheme and spending on the scheme varies each year. Departmental forecasts on numbers of beneficiaries and uptake of the Healthy Start scheme are not available. The cost of operating the Healthy Start scheme in 2021/22 was £78,148,555.

8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2023 to Question 185900 on Healthy Start Scheme, what the forecasted number was of (a) beneficiaries or (b) families in percentage format of the Healthy Start Scheme for (i) 2023-24 and (ii) 2022-23.

The Healthy Start Scheme is a demand-led scheme and spending on the scheme varies each year. Departmental forecasts on numbers of beneficiaries and uptake of the Healthy Start scheme are not available. The cost of operating the Healthy Start scheme in 2021/22 was £78,148,555.

8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2023 to Question 185900 on Healthy Start Scheme, on what timescale his Department measures forecasted uptake of the Healthy Start Scheme.

The Healthy Start Scheme is a demand-led scheme and spending on the scheme varies each year. Departmental forecasts on numbers of beneficiaries and uptake of the Healthy Start scheme are not available. The cost of operating the Healthy Start scheme in 2021/22 was £78,148,555.

6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2023 to Question 185900 on Healthy Start Scheme, how much funding was provided to his Department for the Healthy Start scheme in 2021-22; and what was the forecasted number of families on the scheme during this time.

The cost of operating the Healthy Start scheme in 2021/22 was £78,148,555. Departmental forecasts of the number of families on the scheme during this time are not available.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an estimate of the uptake of the Healthy Start Scheme on a (a) monthly and (b) yearly basis; and what recent estimate his Department has made of the uptake of the Healthy Start Scheme.

Monthly uptake figures for the Healthy Start scheme are published on the NHS Healthy Start website. In May 2023, uptake for the Healthy Start scheme was 64.9%.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of recipients of Healthy Start paper vouchers who have not re-enrolled via the online registration system as of 1 June 2023.

The NHS Business Services Authority estimates that as of 1 June 2023 there were 34,020 households which previously were in receipt of paper vouchers which have not successfully applied to the NHS Healthy Start prepaid card scheme.

23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 30 November 2022, Official Report, column 896, what the evidential basis was for his statement that the UK had had the fastest vaccine roll-out in the world because of its freedoms after leaving the European Union.

All European Union member states pursued a joint vaccine procurement, which was slower to obtain supplies of vaccine than the approach pursued by the United Kingdom Government. Because the UK approach differed from that taken by the EU the UK was the first country in the world to authorise and deploy the Pfizer and Oxford / AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. The UK was also the first major European economy and first G20 member to vaccinate 50% of its population with at least one dose, and to provide boosters to 50% of the population.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 26 October 2022, Official Report, column 295, what the evidential basis is for his statement that the Government has reintroduced the nurses' bursary.

In September 2020, the Government introduced an enhanced Learning Support Funding (LSF). Under the LSF, all eligible nursing students in England now receive non-income assessed and non-repayable grants of at least £5,000 per year, with additional funding for those studying certain subjects and those with child dependants. Students eligible for the LSF can also access maintenance and tuition fee loans provided by the Student Loans Company.

19th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much has been spent on the Healthy Start Scheme including on (a) transition to the digital scheme, (b) applicant support and (c) promotion in 2022-23 financial year.

Audited data on the cost of operating the Healthy Start scheme in the 2022/23 financial year is not yet available.

19th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 17 April 2023 to Question 175581 on Healthy Start Scheme, whether his Department estimates the anticipated demand for the Healthy Start Scheme each year.

Healthy Start is a demand-led scheme and spending on the scheme varies each year. The amount of funds provided to the Department for Healthy Start each year is based on forecasts of the number of families on the scheme, with the Department managing actual spend within its overall budget.

19th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average weekly Healthy Start payment was for (a) individuals entitled to the scheme and (b) households with claimants receiving a digital card payment in March 2023.

In March 2023, the average weekly Healthy Start payment for individuals on the scheme was £7.25 and the average weekly payment for households was £7.86. This includes one-off back dated payments, which were made to some beneficiaries’ pre-paid cards in March.

The average weekly payment for individuals on the scheme, not including back dated payments, was £5.03 and the average weekly payment for households, not including back dated payments, was £5.49.

18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much was unclaimed by people eligible for the Healthy Start Scheme in financial years (a) 2021-22 and (b) 2022-23.

The information requested is not held centrally.

18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has adequate funding to cover the cost of all people who are eligible for the Healthy Start Scheme.

The Department is allocated funds for each financial year, which includes funds for Healthy Start. Healthy Start is a demand-led scheme and spending on the scheme varies each year.

25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to meet its target of increasing the take-up of the Healthy Start Scheme to 75 per cent by the end of March 2023.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) operate the Healthy Start scheme on behalf of the Department. The NHSBSA is committed to increasing uptake of the scheme to ensure as many children as possible have a healthy start in life.

The NHSBSA promotes the Healthy Start scheme through its digital channels and has created free tools to help stakeholders promote the scheme locally. The NHSBSA has also reached out to stakeholders to see how it can support them to promote the scheme.

25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to provide additional funding to the Healthy Start scheme to help tackle food poverty.

The Department has no plans to provide additional funding for the Healthy Start scheme. In April 2021 the value of the Healthy Start benefit increased from £3.10 to £4.25 per week, providing additional support to pregnant women and families on lower incomes to make healthy food choices.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an estimate of the number of families expected to be on the Healthy Start Scheme in (a) 2023 and (b) 2024.

We have no current plans to make a specific estimate.

16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to extend the Healthy Start scheme to cover the time period between the age at which eligibility for Healthy Start stops and the age at which children start school and begin to receive Free School Meals.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) operate the Healthy Start scheme on behalf of the Department. The NHSBSA is committed to increasing uptake of the scheme to ensure as many children as possible have a healthy start in life.

The NHSBSA promotes the Healthy Start scheme through its digital channels and has created free tools to help stakeholders promote the scheme locally. The NHSBSA has also reached out to stakeholders to see how it can support them to promote the scheme.

The eligibility criteria and value for the Healthy Start scheme are kept under continuous review. There are no current plans to extend the eligibility criteria for the scheme by one year to cover children under the age of five or increase the value of Healthy Start. In April 2021 the value of the Healthy Start benefit increased from £3.10 to £4.25 per week, providing additional support to pregnant women and families on lower incomes to make healthy food choices. Due to the increase, eligible families with children aged under one receive £8.50 per week compared to £6.20 previously.

16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to increase the value of the Healthy Start scheme in line with the value of the Best Start Foods scheme in Scotland.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) operate the Healthy Start scheme on behalf of the Department. The NHSBSA is committed to increasing uptake of the scheme to ensure as many children as possible have a healthy start in life.

The NHSBSA promotes the Healthy Start scheme through its digital channels and has created free tools to help stakeholders promote the scheme locally. The NHSBSA has also reached out to stakeholders to see how it can support them to promote the scheme.

The eligibility criteria and value for the Healthy Start scheme are kept under continuous review. There are no current plans to extend the eligibility criteria for the scheme by one year to cover children under the age of five or increase the value of Healthy Start. In April 2021 the value of the Healthy Start benefit increased from £3.10 to £4.25 per week, providing additional support to pregnant women and families on lower incomes to make healthy food choices. Due to the increase, eligible families with children aged under one receive £8.50 per week compared to £6.20 previously.

16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has set a target for uptake of the Healthy Start scheme.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) operate the Healthy Start scheme on behalf of the Department. The NHSBSA is committed to increasing uptake of the scheme to ensure as many children as possible have a healthy start in life.

The NHSBSA promotes the Healthy Start scheme through its digital channels and has created free tools to help stakeholders promote the scheme locally. The NHSBSA has also reached out to stakeholders to see how it can support them to promote the scheme.

The eligibility criteria and value for the Healthy Start scheme are kept under continuous review. There are no current plans to extend the eligibility criteria for the scheme by one year to cover children under the age of five or increase the value of Healthy Start. In April 2021 the value of the Healthy Start benefit increased from £3.10 to £4.25 per week, providing additional support to pregnant women and families on lower incomes to make healthy food choices. Due to the increase, eligible families with children aged under one receive £8.50 per week compared to £6.20 previously.

16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the NHS Business Service Authority are taking to encourage people who were not previously registered for Healthy Start paper vouchers to register for the digital Healthy Start scheme.

The NHS Business Services Authority actively promotes the NHS Healthy Start scheme through their digital channels and has created free tools to help stakeholders promote the scheme at a local level.

6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of bursaries for social work students on access to those courses.

The Department has no plans to assess the adequacy of social work bursaries for the forthcoming academic year.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take steps to help improve (a) the equality of distribution of and (b) access to bursaries for student social workers.

The Department has no plans to assess distribution of and access to social work bursaries for the forthcoming academic year.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much money South Tyneside Council has returned to his Department from grants allocated in the last two years as of 19 January 2023.

The Department’s finance and accounts data systems show that a total of £71,205.51 has been returned by South Tyneside Council to the Department in respect of grant payments allocated by the Department to the Council in the last two years.

11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the reasons for his decision to require people providing social contact within a care setting to wear face masks as published in updated guidance on 15 December 2022.

Changes to the ‘COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care’ guidance were published on 15 December 2022 following consultation with the sector and a review of the latest public health advice. Guidance is constantly under review, with the latest update enabling providers to risk assess the proportionate use of masks while continuing to outline instances where face masks are recommended in line with public health advice. This means that in most situations, people providing social contact will not have to wear masks.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Minister of State for Social Care's Answer to the Question from the hon. Member for South Shields at Health and Social Care questions on 6 December 2022, Official Report, column 203, when the updated guidance for the social care sector on the use of face masks will be published.

As of 15 December 2022, adult social care guidance has been amended to support a risk-based approach to mask wearing. This has replaced previous guidance that stated face masks should be worn at all times across adult social care.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many beneficiaries of Healthy Start paper vouchers have not yet re-enrolled via the new online registration system.

The NHS Business Services Authority estimate that as of 18 October 2022, there were 42,954 households previously were in receipt of paper vouchers which have not successfully applied to the NHS Healthy Start prepaid card scheme.

21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many applications to Healthy Start payment have been made by parents with No Recourse to Public Funds with British children; and (b) how many beneficiaries are currently in receipt of payments.

The Department has received 44 fully completed applications which meet the eligibility criteria for the temporary extension to the Healthy Start scheme. There are currently 31 beneficiaries in receipt of payments from the temporary extension to the Healthy Start scheme.

21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many eligible Beneficiaries for the Healthy Start voucher scheme there were in (a) England, (b) Northern Ireland and (c) Wales between April and September 2022.

This information is not currently held centrally. The Department of Health and Social Care continues to work with the NHS Business Services Authority and the Department for Work and Pensions to obtain this data.

21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will increase the value of Healthy Start payments to keep in line with food price inflation.

While there are no current plans to increase the value of Healthy Start, this is kept under continuous review. In April 2021 the value of the Healthy Start increased from £3.10 to £4.25, providing additional support to pregnant women and families on lower incomes to make healthy food choices. Due to the increase, eligible families with children aged under one year old receive £8.50 compared to £6.20 previously.

14th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made (a) podiatry vacancy rates in the NHS in South Shields constituency and (b) the impact these vacancies will have on patient treatment for diabetic foot complications.

No specific assessment has been made and this information is not collected in the format requested.

30th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place a copy of the (a) contract and (b) negotiation terms agreed between the NHS and Dolby Vivisol in the House of Commons Library.

NHS England undertook a central procurement exercise for home oxygen supplies (HOS) on behalf of local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). However, individual contracts are in place between CCGs and suppliers and are not held centrally. All HOS contracts are based on the National Health Service terms and conditions for the procurement of services which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-standard-terms-and-conditions-of-contract-for-the-purchase-of-goods-and-supply-of-services

The North East, South East and South Central NHS regions contracted with Dolby Vivisol.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2022 to Question 1680 on Care Homes: Coronavirus, if she will publish figures on respite care home capacity from March 2020 to the present.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has guidance in place for families whose disabled relatives require a negative lateral flow test to access respite services but are unable to obtain the necessary testing sample due to the nature of their disability.

The Department has published guidance on testing in adult social care settings, including respite services. Individuals accessing respite care through a care home should test before admission, to reduce the risk of bringing infection into the home and given the high-risk nature of these settings and vulnerabilities of residents. Based on public health advice, testing is not required if accessing care through other adult social care services, such as day care centres and domiciliary care.

For individuals who may be unable to test due to a disability, a risk assessment should be undertaken and a decision may determine whether it is in their best interests to be tested. In all instances, guidance on infection prevention and control measures should be followed in all adult social care services where individuals may access respite care to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many households previously in receipt of Healthy Start vouchers who were eligible to migrate to Healthy Start cards had not done so by 1 April and are therefore no longer in receipt of their entitlement.

As of 31 March 2022, approximately 67,000 households which had previously received paper vouchers had not successfully applied for the prepaid card scheme. Those previously in receipt of vouchers are continuing to apply for the prepaid card scheme.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an estimate of the amount owed to Healthy Start recipients in backdated payments arising from complications in their migration from vouchers to cards as of 1 June 2022.

The information requested is not held centrally.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an estimate of the number of (a) respite care homes, (b) care homes and (c) nursing homes limiting their patient capacity due to covid-19 restrictions in the latest period for which information is available.

The information requested is not held centrally. Updated guidance for the sector was published on 31 March 2022 to ensure there are sufficient protections for care recipients while safely removing restrictions as far as possible.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of ongoing covid-19 restrictions for care settings on (a) respite care home capacity and (b) patients and carers requiring respite care.

No specific assessment has been made. However, we continue to monitor the delivery of the ‘Living with COVID-19’ plan. Updated guidance for the sector was published on 31 March 2022 to ensure there are sufficient protections for care recipients while safely removing restrictions as far as possible. We are investing up to £25 million to identify and test a range of new and existing interventions to support unpaid carers, which could include respite and breaks.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many households migrating from Healthy Start vouchers to cards were initially informed that they were ineligible for a card but were subsequently found to be eligible and are therefore owed backdated payments.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish all (a) documents, (b) evidence and (c) research his Department holds on the Government's decision to not allow bereavement support bubbles during the lockdowns in the covid-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 Taskforce has advised that the Government is unable to provide the information requested as it relates to the formulation of Government policy.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he will answer Question 121766 tabled on 9 February 2022 by the hon. Member for South Shields.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish information held by his Department on service use for the Healthy Start voucher scheme helpline since December 2021.

Between 1 December 2021 and 17 March 2022, the Healthy Start Issuing Unit, which administers the Healthy Start voucher scheme, received 61,301 calls to its contact centre.

17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when information on the uptake of the Healthy Start scheme by (a) region and (b) local authority will be published online.

The NHS Business Services Authority is currently transferring Healthy Start beneficiaries from the paper voucher scheme to the digital scheme. Once the transition process is complete, the number of beneficiaries on the digital scheme will be made available by region and local authority.

17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many beneficiaries of the Healthy Start scheme there were (a) before and (b) after digitisation of that scheme; and if he will provide an update.

The NHS Business Services Authority is currently transferring Healthy Start beneficiaries from the paper voucher scheme to the digital scheme. Once the transition process is complete, the number of beneficiaries on the digital scheme will be made available. Prior to the transition process, there were 346,754 beneficiaries on the Healthy Start paper voucher scheme.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allowing Healthy Start prepaid cards to be used for (a) online and (b) telephone purchases of food items covered by that scheme.

All beneficiaries with a prepaid card can use it in all retailers which accept Mastercard payments and sell the permitted Healthy Start food items. There are no current plans to allow the prepaid card to be used online or for telephone purchases.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what transaction fees are incurred on purchases covered by Healthy Start prepaid cards and; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of exempting charitable food providers from those fees.

The NHS Business Services Authority does not charge the retailer transaction fees for use of the Healthy Start pre-paid card. As for any card payment, retailers may be charged by their acquiring bank.

8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether GPs can prescribe EpiPens for anaphylaxis; and what mitigations are in place for children who have received a diagnosis of anaphylaxis and are required to wait for an EpiPen to be prescribed by a consultant.

Clinicians are responsible for making prescribing decisions for their patients, taking into account best practice and the local commissioning decisions of the respective clinical commissioning group. There are no restrictions on the licence which precludes general practitioners from prescribing these products and no requirement in the Summary of Product Characteristics that EpiPens may only be prescribed by specialists or consultants.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing training for registered medical practitioners offering bridging hormones to transgender patients while those patients wait for NHS specialist services.

No formal assessment has been made.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will publish all the data it holds on (a) waiting (i) lists and (ii) times for gender identity services in England and (b) suicide rates among those waiting for gender identity services in the last three years.

The information requested on waiting times is not currently available in the format requested. Gender clinics currently collate and evaluate data at a local level.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish all Departmental documents, evidence and research in relation to the Government's mandatory covid-19 vaccination policy for social care staff.

The Government has published evidence and research regarding vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) in Care Quality Commision (CQC)-regulated care homes and in health and wider social care settings.

Documents relating to VCOD in CQC-regulated care homes are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/making-vaccination-a-condition-of-deployment-in-older-adult-care-homes

Documents relating to VCOD in wider social care settings are available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/making-vaccination-a-condition-of-deployment-in-the-health-and-wider-social-care-sector

The published documents contain references to evidence and research in the footnotes.

The Secretary of State’s statement to the House setting out intentions to revoke VCOD is available at the following link:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2022-01-31/debates/C23A5791-2CC9-44FA-B9D6-BC9355C014C1/VaccinationConditionOfDeployment

The consultation on the proposal is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/revoking-vaccination-as-a-condition-of-deployment-across-all-health-and-social-care

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish all (a) documents, (b) evidence and (c) research on the Government's decision to not allow bereavement support bubbles during the lockdowns in the covid-19 outbreak.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish all Departmental documents, evidence and research in relation to NHS staff who have already left their positions as a result of the Government’s mandatory covid-19 vaccination policy, prior to recent changes to that policy.

NHS Digital publishes quarterly statistics on the reason National Health Service (NHS) trust staff left their roles, however, the reported reasons for leaving do not include a category related to COVID-19 vaccination. The most recently published data covers the second quarter of 2021/2022 and can be found at the following link:

https://files.digital.nhs.uk/27/2BF87D/NHS%20Workforce%20Statistics%2C%20September%202021%20Reasons%20for%20Leaving.xlsx.

The Department published an Impact Assessment (IA) relating to vaccination as a condition of deployment in health and wider social care settings. This estimated that 73,000 workers would remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 at the end of the 12-week grace period who are not otherwise medically exempt. The IA is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1039988/making-vaccination-a-condition-of-deployment-in-the-health-and-wider-social-care-sector-impact-assessment.pdf.

The latest NHS England data (published on 3 March) shows there are now more vaccinated NHS trust healthcare workers (1.48 million with at least one dose) than there were total NHS trust healthcare workers when the consultation on vaccination requirements in the health and wider social care sector was launched in early September 2021 (1.43 million).

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure recipients of Healthy Start vouchers are not excluded from the scheme once the vouchers have been replaced by pre-paid cards.

The NHS Business Service Authority are in the process of transferring existing Healthy Start beneficiaries, who are in receipt of paper vouchers, to the new pre-paid card scheme. All beneficiaries will be given the opportunity to apply to the NHS Healthy Start scheme, before the paper voucher service closes on 31 March 2022.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that recipients of Healthy Start coupons can continue to redeem those coupons with retailers that do not possess chip-and-pin machines once vouchers have been replaced by pre-paid cards.

Retailers who are currently registered with the Healthy Start scheme can continue to accept Healthy Start paper vouchers that are valid. Retailers must submit these to the Healthy Start Reimbursement Unit within six months of the expiry date on the voucher. Healthy Start beneficiaries will no longer receive paper vouchers after this service ends on 31 March 2022. Vouchers can be used until the expiry date shown.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a pregnant woman who will be giving birth to a child in England is eligible for Healthy Start coupons before the child is born.

The Healthy Start scheme offers support to pregnant women at least 10 weeks into pregnancy if they are in receipt of any of the following benefits:

- Income Support;

- Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance;

- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;

- Child Tax Credit;

- Universal Credit; and

- Pension Credit.

Pregnant women aged under 18 years old are also eligible for Healthy Start, regardless of whether they receive any of the above benefits.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish all Departmental documents, evidence and research in relation to the Government's mandatory covid-19 vaccination policy for (a) NHS staff and (b) social care staff.

Following consideration of the changes in the pandemic a result of the Omicron variant and the continued success of the vaccination programme, the Government confirmed on 1 March 2022 that vaccination will no longer be a condition of deployment for health and social care staff.

The clinical rationale and evidence for revoking these requirements was set out in the published consultation document, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/revoking-vaccination-as-a-condition-of-deployment-across-all-health-and-social-care/revoking-vaccination-as-a-condition-of-deployment-across-all-health-and-social-care

The Government also assessed vaccine efficacy data from the UK Health Security Agency, which is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/guidance/monitoring-reports-of-the-effectiveness-of-covid-19-vaccination

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his officials are having with their counterparts in the European Commission on potential travel restrictions for UK citizens who have had the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India.

The Government continues to engage the European Union on certification to ensure that travel between the United Kingdom and the EU is unhindered and supported by a common approach.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactures Vaxzevria and Covishield and both branded vaccines are the same as the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. All SII-made doses approved by the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and administered in the UK were branded as the ’COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca’ which is now known commercially as ‘Vaxzevria’. The MHRA has not approved doses branded as ‘Covishield’ and none have been administered in the UK. All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS COVID Pass as Vaxzevria. The European Medicines Agency has authorised Vaxzevria vaccine and it is therefore recognised by the EU.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to create a network of early support hubs across the country for young people who experience mental health issues.

While we are investigating the early access model of support, there are no current plans to create such a network. In England, there are approximately 60 ‘hubs’ offering early intervention and prevention services. They are locally designed and funded and often provide several different services such as sexual health clinics or careers advice. Clinical commissioning groups and local authorities work with local partners to understand local needs and commission services on that basis.

19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence his Department used to calculate the total savings an individual can acquire before they are required to self-fund their own care.

The upper capital limit or the level of savings or assets above which an individual is expected to self-fund their care and the lower capital limit or the level of savings and investment above which an individual is expected to make some contribution was set in April 2010 by the previous administration.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions her Department has held with stakeholders on whether seafarers and other maritime key workers will be exempt from hotel quarantine measures relating to the covid-19 pandemic.

We have undertaken a range of engagement with the maritime industry at both official and Ministerial level and continue to discuss the operation of the scheme with the sector. Exemptions to the requirement to book and enter managed quarantine if a person has been in a ‘red list’ country at any point in the 10 days prior to their arrival into England are kept under regular review.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the length of the shelf life of Healthy Start vitamin supplies containing three months' worth of tablets that are provided by the Government to eligible people.

The shelf-life of Healthy Start Vitamins tablets for women is 24 months and the shelf-life of Healthy Start Vitamins drops for children is 15 months. Both products are supplied in containers which contain eight weeks’ supply.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance has been given to GP Surgeries on continuing B12 injections throughout the covid-19 outbreak.

The British Committee for Standards in Haematology (BCSH), which operates independently of the Department and NHS England and produces evidence-based guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of haematological disease, has published a range of guidance in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance on the management of B12 deficiency.

On B12 injections, the BCSH guidance recommends that screening questions for COVID-19 infection are asked before patients attend their general practitioner surgeries and that alternatives to attending the surgery such as local pharmacies or home administration by district nurses should be explored. The full guidance is available at the following link:

b-s-h.org.uk/media/18259/bsh-guidance-b12-replacement-covid-1924042020finalversion2020-4-3.pdf

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department is using to allocate covid-19 vaccines to GP surgeries in (a) South Shields and (b) the rest of the country.

General practices are delivering COVID-19 vaccinations at scale, coming together in Primary Care Network (PCN) groupings to deliver the vaccine as local vaccination services. Over 1,000 PCN-led local vaccination service sites are now offering the vaccine across England.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are aligning the supply of the vaccine with the number of people in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation priority cohorts yet to receive their vaccination, to ensure an equitable distribution across England. This means the frequency and quantity of vaccine delivered may vary between local vaccination services in line with local need. Each week, all available vaccine is allocated, so local vaccination services are supplied with the vaccine as soon as it is available.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to the medical profession on whether covid-19 is recorded as (a) the primary cause and (b) a contributory factor when registering a death.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates of cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD.

The cause of death is certified by a medical practitioner. The medical profession is not responsible for registering a death – this is the role of the registrar.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will issue guidance to schools on using locally grown produce in the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is run centrally by the Department of Health and Social Care, and funded jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education. It is not commissioned locally by schools themselves.

The Scheme is operated by a private contractor on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care and produce grown in the United Kingdom is used as part of the Scheme.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what advice his Department has published on shielding for patients with Batten Disease.

Batten disease is not one of the specific health conditions identified by expert clinicians and signed off by the Chief Medical Officer that put someone at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Some patients with Batten disease may have been advised to shield, but this will be because they have been recommended to do so by their general practitioner or hospital specialist, due to other health conditions or individual clinical circumstances. National shielding advice has been paused since 1 August, although it remains in place for some local areas where incidence of the disease remains high.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support has been provided to families of people diagnosed with Batten Disease during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the vital role unpaid carers play, especially during this difficult period now more than ever, and we recognise the difficulties this pandemic has placed on those caring for family, relatives and their loved ones. On 8 April we published guidance for unpaid carers on GOV.UK, which includes general advice, links to other information and support, and advice on caring where someone has symptoms. We have provided funding to extend Carers UK’s helpline, information and advice services so unpaid carers are able to access trusted information and advice. We have listened to unpaid carers’ concerns about getting access to testing and have made them a priority group for COVID-19 testing. We will continue to work closely with carer organisations and others to support unpaid carers during this period.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to make enzyme replacement therapy accessible outside of London for patients suffering from Batten Disease.

Enzyme replacement therapy for CLN2 (Batten disease) is available through a managed access agreement. In Batten disease, the enzyme replacement therapy is administered into the cerebrospinal fluid by infusion via a surgically implanted intracerebroventricular access device. It can only be given in a healthcare setting by a trained healthcare professional knowledgeable in this specific administration. Given the complexity of the procedure, the training, equipment and governance required and the small numbers of patients with the disease, this is currently provided by one expert centre. NHS England is evaluating whether other centres have the expertise and infrastructure to provide the drug.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there is no delay to the diagnosis of Batten Disease as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to improving the lives of those affected by rare diseases such as Batten disease. NHS England as a direct commissioner of services and clinical commissioning group commissioners are currently working with all service providers to restore diagnostic capacity for all patient care groups. They will continue to look at what services can continue to be delivered successfully through virtual communication technology such as telephone consultation and videoconferences. Where services do need to be delivered face-to-face, including the diagnosing of new cases, NHS England will work with providers to ensure that patients have a safe journey through the hospital to the treatment area.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer received on 5 June 2020 to Question 52035 on Hospitals: Coronavirus, of the total number of covid-19 deaths in each NHS Trust containing a Nightingale Hospital, how many of those deaths occurred within the Nightingale Hospital.

The data provided in response to the previous question indicated all recorded deaths within Nightingale hospitals as at 3 June 2020.

Data on COVID-19 deaths is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-daily-deaths/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which Minister in the Government signed off the guidance entitled, Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes, published on 2 April 2020.

The Department working with Public Health England and the National Health Service are closely monitoring the international evidence, to ensure best practice is reviewed and can be applied.

Guidance documents are informed by expert advice before publication to ensure that they are based on latest evidence.

As the pandemic progresses we will continue to review and update guidance in line with the latest evidence and are continuing to seek further evidence as national and international experience accrues and is published.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many times the Social Care Taskforce has met; and when the minutes of its meetings will be published.

Since being commissioned, the Social Care Taskforce has met on 18 June and 1 July. A third meeting is due to take place on 15 July. A fourth meeting is due to take place on 29 July.

The Department for Health and Social Care shares summaries of topics discussed through regular communications with adult social care stakeholders.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been reallocated from the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme since March 2020; and where that funding was reallocated to.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme budget for the summer term was around £14 million. Funds which were not used for the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme during the summer term were instead used to support the Government’s key priorities during the pandemic.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to resume the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme will resume in September when all children will return to school. As before, all children in Key Stage 1 in state-funded primary schools will receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable every school day.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what awards have been made under the Pharmacy Integration Fund in each year of its operation.

The Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF) was announced in December 2015, with an engagement exercise that ran until the end of March 2016 to identify priority areas for investment. For the initial financial year 2016/17, up to £2 million was available. From 2017/18 onwards, up to £40 million per year has been available for investment. The PhIF does not make ‘awards’, but rather invests in the development and integration of clinical pharmacy. Key areas of investment over the last four years are listed in the attached table.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support was provided to pharmacies in response to the closure of GP surgeries during the initial phase of the covid-19 lockdown.

The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 outline provisions for emergency supply by a pharmacist, including one when a pandemic is declared or imminently anticipated. This specific provision has been utilised at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, to allow NHS England and NHS Improvement to commission a local enhanced service - where one is needed, for example when a general practitioner surgery closes – to enable pharmacists to supply medicines, which patients have been previously prescribed, without a prescription, and at the same time reducing administrative burden on pharmacies.

Funds were also made available to support pharmacies to deliver medicines to shielded population and, since March, we have made available £350 million in extra advance payments to alleviate cash flow pressures.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what scientific evidence was used to support the policy that covid-19 tests were not provided to care homes with residents under 65.

We initially prioritised testing for homes that specialise in caring for older people and those living with dementia in line with Public Health England and Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advice, as they are at higher risk of adverse consequences if they get the virus.

All adult care homes can now access whole care home testing for all residents and asymptomatic staff through a digital portal.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which contractors participated in building each (a) Nightingale and (b) field hospital; and how much funding each contractor was awarded for that work.

Current estimates provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement to the Department indicate that the total set up costs for all seven Nightingale hospital sites equates to approximately £220 million.

Contracts in the form of licences to occupy have been entered into for the Nightingale hospital sites by the National Health Service. However, disclosure of these contracts is likely to harm the legitimate commercial interests of the site owners. Information contained in the contracts has been provided in confidence and in circumstances where disclosure would amount to an actionable breach of confidence. These contracts will not be published.

Each Nightingale hospital has a host trust to provide healthcare services. Host trusts put in place contracts for necessary works/facilities and management matters and contract award notices should be published in accordance with applicable requirements.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of the contractors involved in building each NHS Nightingale hospital; and how much each contractor was awarded for that construction work.

Current estimates provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement to the Department indicate that the total set up costs for all seven Nightingale hospital sites equates to approximately £220 million.

Contracts in the form of licences to occupy have been entered into for the Nightingale hospital sites by the National Health Service. However, disclosure of these contracts is likely to harm the legitimate commercial interests of the site owners. Information contained in the contracts has been provided in confidence and in circumstances where disclosure would amount to an actionable breach of confidence. These contracts will not be published.

Each Nightingale hospital has a host trust to provide healthcare services. Host trusts put in place contracts for necessary works/facilities and management matters and contract award notices should be published in accordance with applicable requirements.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much each of the NHS Nightingale hospitals cost to construct; and what estimate he has made of the running costs of each of those hospitals.

Current estimates provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement to the Department indicate that the total set up costs for all seven Nightingale hospital sites equates to approximately £220 million.

Contracts in the form of licences to occupy have been entered into for the Nightingale hospital sites by the National Health Service. However, disclosure of these contracts is likely to harm the legitimate commercial interests of the site owners. Information contained in the contracts has been provided in confidence and in circumstances where disclosure would amount to an actionable breach of confidence. These contracts will not be published.

Each Nightingale hospital has a host trust to provide healthcare services. Host trusts put in place contracts for necessary works/facilities and management matters and contract award notices should be published in accordance with applicable requirements.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS GoodSAM Responder App, how many volunteers (a) applied, (b) were successful and (c) have been utilised since the app was launched.

As of 23 June 2020, out of the 750,000 people who have signed up to the NHS Volunteer Responders programme, 589,450 have completed the necessary identity checks to begin helping those most vulnerable.

We do not hold the data on number of volunteers utilised in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 May 2020 to Question 43030 on Coronavirus: Hospitals, what information his Department holds on the number of (a) admissions and (b) deaths in (i) all and (ii) each Nightingale hospital.

NHS England collects and publishes information on the deaths of patients who have died in hospitals in England and had tested positive for COVID-19 or where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. This data is currently available for two of the Nightingale hospitals (NHS Nightingale Hospital London and NHS Nightingale Hospital North West).

Data is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-daily-deaths/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to review the Path to Excellence in respect of South Tyneside Hospital as announced in December 2019.

There are currently no plans for the Secretary of State to review the Path to Excellence in respect of South Tyneside Hospital.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued on the (a) provision and (b) use of personal protective equipment in mental health services that are commissioned by the NHS and delivered by third-sector providers.

The Government launched its three-strand plan for the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) on 10 April. There is a specific section on social care which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-personal-protective-equipment-ppe-plan

The guidance on PPE is part of ‘COVID-19: infection prevention and control’ guidance and includes mental health services. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's policy is on the distinction between (a) high risk individuals that need to shield and (b) high risk individuals that need to practise social distancing in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government’s policy on those people considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable and needing to shield is set out at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

This is based on the specific medical conditions that clinicians have identified as placing someone at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

A list of those groups of people who are considered to be clinically vulnerable but not in the highest clinical risk category is set out at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

Clinically vulnerable people are not advised to shield as the additional benefit gained from this extra measure needs to be weighed against any impact on mental and physical wellbeing from a significant loss of social contact and needing to stay in the home for a long period of time.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been tested for covid-19 in each region as at 15 May 2020.

The ‘people tested’ measure was initially used to count people who had not been previously received a test, deliberately excluding subsequent instances an individual would have been tested if they had been tested once or more previously. It no longer usefully reflects the volume of tests carried out as, for example, a healthcare worker receiving their second, third or fourth test since the start of the pandemic would not be counted as they have been tested once before. Therefore, the people tested figure will be published on a weekly basis within the NHS Test and Trace statistics rather than daily and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

The Department has also published transparency data for the number of people tested for coronavirus (England): 30 January to 27 May 2020 which is weekly and covers the period before Test and Trace. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/number-of-people-tested-for-coronavirus-england-30-january-to-27-may-2020

Daily data for the period 20 March to 2 July is available for the United Kingdom as daily and cumulative people tested (discontinued measure) as part of the time series of testing statistics. This data is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

This data is not available to finer resolutions than whole UK or England depending on the publication.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued on the use of personal protective equipment in mental health trusts.

The overall infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance applies to any healthcare setting, including services provided by mental health trusts in both mental health inpatient units and outpatient settings. It is available to view at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/881489/COVID-19_Infection_prevention_and_control_guidance_complete.pdf

The recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance for mental health inpatient settings is outlined in the IPC guidance, and the guidance for outpatient/community settings including mental health can be viewed at the following links: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/879107/T1_poster_Recommended_PPE_for_healthcare_workers_by_secondary_care_clinical_context.pdf

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878750/T2_poster_Recommended_PPE_for_primary__outpatient__community_and_social_care_by_setting.pdf

Other PPE guidance such as putting on and taking off PPE is applicable for all health and care workers, in health and social care settings. This guidance can be seen at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-personal-protective-equipment-use-for-non-aerosol-generating-procedures

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people diagnosed with covid-19 have been discharged from hospital into residential care since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government does not hold data on the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 who have been discharged from hospital into residential care since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are working closely with local authorities, the care sector and NHS England

to understand the impact of COVID-19 on care homes, and ensure everyone has access to the right care in the most appropriate setting for their needs.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we will continue to work closely with the sector to keep our policies and data under review as the pandemic goes on.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many admissions have there been to Nightingale hospitals; and how many deaths have occurred within them.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the organisations and companies which received contracts from the Government to deliver personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak; and on what date each contract was entered into.

We've contracted with over 175 new suppliers able to deliver at the scale and pace the UK requires.

Lord Deighton, formerly Chief Executive of London 2012 Olympics, has been appointed to lead on our domestic efforts to increase the supply of PPE. The Department has now signed contracts for over 2 billion items of PPE through UK-based manufacturers, including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons, ensuring we build and maintain a domestic base for the future.

Procurement Regulations require the publication of Contract Award Notices, containing information on the final agreed value of the contract, in the Official Journal of the European Union and we publish certain information on Contracts Finder about contracts awarded.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of kidney organ donors that develop health problems after donating a kidney.

Data on the number of kidney donors that develop health problems after donating a kidney is not held centrally.

However, evidence suggests that living kidney donation is safe and life-time risks are low provided that the living donor is carefully assessed in the context of his/her own individual health risks. All potential kidney donors undergo a comprehensive evaluation to ensure their suitability and to minimise the risk of donation.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many hospital admissions there have been for (a) scurvy, (b) rickets and (c) vitamin D deficiency in each of the last three years.

A table showing admissions with a primary diagnosis of ascorbic acid deficiency (scurvy), rickets and vitamin D deficiency nationally, 2016-17 to 2018-19, is attached.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many admissions there have been for malnutrition in England in the latest period for which figures are available, by age group (a) 0 to 5 years, (b) 5 to 10 years, (c) 10 to 16 years and (d) 16 years plus.

A table showing finished admission episodes with a primary diagnosis of malnutrition by selected age groups in England for 2018/19 is attached.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether any licences issued for the export of arms to Israel have been revoked as a result of the violence in that country and the neighbouring Palestinian Territory in May 2021.

The Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. The Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the terms of any licences issued for the export of arms to Israel have been varied as a result of the violence in that country and the neighbouring Palestinian Territory in May 2021.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. If extant licences are found to be no longer consistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, those licences will be revoked.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the trends in the level of international humanitarian law breaches committed as a result of shelling in Yemen.

The UK takes alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and human rights law extremely seriously. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of IHL, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from non-governmental and international organisations.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
29th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an estimate of the annual cost of increasing Child Benefit by £20 per week.

To ensure that Child Benefit payments retain their value, from April 2023, they will increase in line with September 2022 CPI (10.1%).

The Government publishes details of historic and forecast benefit expenditure, including Child Benefit, on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/benefit-expenditure-and-caseload-tables-2022

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
7th Feb 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent fiscal steps he has taken to help tackle regional economic inequalities.

The Treasury remains committed to tackling this country’s geographical inequalities; the Chancellor recently outlined how spreading opportunity ‘everywhere’, including through devolution deals such as that recently announced with the North East, is crucial to long-term growth.

This Government has invested billions towards levelling up in this Parliament. Most recently, the Government announced the results of the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund’s second round, and rolled out the £2.6 billion UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
9th Jan 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much money have South Tyneside Council returned to his Department from Government Grants allocated over the past two years as of 6 January 2023.

Local authorities receive a wide range of grants from multiple government departments to reflect their broad responsibilities.

HM Treasury does not maintain a central record of grant funding provided to individual local authorities. Information on specific grants, including where relevant the amount returned, is held by the department that is responsible for administering the grant.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how the National Minimum Wage for Seafarers on UK flagged ships is monitored; and what plans his Department has to publish monitoring data.

The Government is determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) receives it.

HMRC does not routinely publish sector specific data on NMW complaints received. However, since April 2021, they have received the following number of complaints from seafarers and third-party information (from members of the public who may not work for a specific employer) since April 2021:

Year

Complaints Received

Third Party Information Received

2021-22

9

11

2022-23

4

2

Total:

13

13

HMRC consider and take all complaints seriously from workers referred by the Acas helpline, or received via the online complaints form, and investigate as appropriate.

HMRC do not just rely on complaints. They also undertake proactive enforcement activities, based on their own risk modelling, and undertaking outreach activities to help employers understand their obligations and making sure workers know their rights

If anyone thinks they are not receiving at least the minimum wage, they can contact Acas, in confidence, on 0300 123 1100 or submit a query online using the link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pay-and-work-rights-complaints.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether people on Contributory Employment and Support Allowance are eligible for (a) the Energy Bills Support Scheme, (b) the Warm Home Discount Scheme and (c) Cold Weather Payments.

All households with a domestic electricity meter will receive a universal rebate of £400 through the Energy Bills Support Scheme. This is a doubling of the £200 of support announced in February, and there will no longer be any repayments.

In England and Wales, the £150 Warm Home Discount is targeted to all recipients of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit and also those households who receive means-tested benefits and whose homes are estimated to have the highest energy requirements. In Scotland, the £150 Warm Home Discount is also targeted to all recipients of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit and then certain low income and vulnerable households can apply to their energy supplier to receive the £150 rebate.

The qualifying income-related benefits for the £25 Cold Weather Payments are Pension Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, and Universal Credit. There are additional qualifying conditions that have to be met to receive the payment.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much has been spent on infrastructure per capita by the Government in (a) London, (b) the North East and (c) South Shields in each year from 2010 to 2022.

The government is committed to delivering a revolution in the UK's infrastructure. Spending Review 2021 delivers the government’s plans, first set out at Spring Budget 2020, to invest over £600 billion in gross public sector investment over this Parliament, reaching the highest sustained levels of public sector net investment as a proportion of GDP since the late 1970s.

The government has been taking action to level up the North East as set out in the recently published Levelling Up White Paper. This includes the announcements from the Spending Review and Autumn Budget 202