Helen Hayes Portrait

Helen Hayes

Labour - Dulwich and West Norwood

First elected: 7th May 2015

Shadow Minister (Education)

(since December 2021)

Environmental Audit Committee
22nd Feb 2021 - 7th Mar 2023
Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill
14th Dec 2022 - 11th Jan 2023
Social Housing (Regulation) Bill [HL]
23rd Nov 2022 - 29th Nov 2022
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
10th Apr 2020 - 30th Dec 2020
Opposition Whip (Commons)
27th Jan 2020 - 10th Apr 2020
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Scheduled Event
Thursday 29th February 2024
17:00
Adjournment - Main Chamber
29 Feb 2024, 5 p.m.
Young adults with spinal injuries and NHS Continuing Healthcare funding
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Department Event
Monday 11th March 2024
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
11 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Scheduled Event
Friday 22nd March 2024
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Offensive Weapons Bill: Second Reading
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Department Event
Monday 29th April 2024
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
29 Apr 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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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
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Independent School Fees: VAT
It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship today, Mr Henderson. I congratulate the hon. Member for Northampton …
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
National SEND and Alternative Provision Implementation Board
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will provide a list of dates of meetings of the …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 2nd November 2021
First anniversary of the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia
That this House, noting the first anniversary of the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia on 3 November 2021, deeply regrets the …
Bills
Tuesday 23rd January 2024
Offensive Weapons Bill 2023-24
A Bill to make provision about the weapons to which section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applies; and …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 18th September 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: PEDAL Centre (University of Cambridge)
Address of donor: 184 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8PQ
Amount of donation …
EDM signed
Tuesday 21st June 2022
Windrush Day 2022
That this House celebrates the 74th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Dock on the 22nd …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 2nd November 2021
Plastics (Wet Wipes) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to prohibit the manufacture and sale of wet wipes containing plastic; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Helen Hayes has voted in 745 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Helen Hayes 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(20 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(14 debate interactions)
Will Quince (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(70 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(51 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(40 debate contributions)
Home Office
(39 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Helen Hayes's debates

Dulwich and West Norwood 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 Dulwich and West Norwood signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

We want the UK to be neutral in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and withdraw offers of support for Israel.

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The UK Government should urge the Israeli Government to stop the blockade of Food, Fuel and Electricity to the already impoverished city of Gaza

The Government should not reduce the existing adult-child childcare ratios as has been suggested. There are surely better ways to reduce the cost of living – potentially endangering children in trusted care is not how it should be done.

Ensure Water companies treat the sewage they are responsible for. Not discharge it into rivers and water courses. After all what goes into the ocean comes back as the fish we eat.

Black Women in the U.K. are 5 times more likely to die during pregnancy and after childbirth compared to White Women (MBRRACE, 2019). We need more research done into why this is happening and recommendations to improve health care for Black Women as urgent action is needed to address this disparity.

The threat of covid19 is real. Children can’t be expected to maintain sufficient social distancing to keep this virus from spreading. They are social creatures. Allowing them back to school could cause a new spike in cases. They could bring it back home, even if they are a-symptomatic.

The Government should cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021 due to the disruption of Covid-19. By the time students go back to normal learning, 6 months will have passed since schools were closed to most pupils. This has already had a huge impact on the studying of so many.

Schools should move to online learning from 9 December so that all students and school staff have a chance to isolate for two weeks and then can safely meet older relatives.

Close down schools and colleges due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. We are seeing cases of students and teachers catching the virus since schools have reopened.


Latest EDMs signed by Helen Hayes

20th June 2022
Helen Hayes signed this EDM on Tuesday 21st June 2022

Windrush Day 2022

Tabled by: Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Labour - Streatham)
That this House celebrates the 74th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Dock on the 22nd June 1948; recognises that Windrush has become a key symbolic moment in the history of both the Black British contribution to Britain and the broader post-war Commonwealth migration that reshaped …
45 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Apr 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 23
Scottish National Party: 12
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
6th June 2022
Helen Hayes signed this EDM on Wednesday 8th June 2022

Treatment of Liverpool fans at the 2022 Champions League Final in Paris

Tabled by: Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
That this House condemns the deeply disturbing treatment by French police of Liverpool and Real Madrid fans outside Stade de France at the Champions League Final in Paris; notes catastrophic failures in stadium management by UEFA and French authorities which threatened the lives and wellbeing of supporters; further notes the …
81 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Feb 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 53
Independent: 8
Scottish National Party: 7
Liberal Democrat: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Alliance: 1
View All Helen Hayes's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Helen Hayes, 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.


Helen Hayes has not been granted any Urgent Questions

6 Adjournment Debates led by Helen Hayes

Wednesday 22nd March 2023
Wednesday 30th November 2022
Thursday 25th March 2021
Tuesday 23rd June 2020

4 Bills introduced by Helen Hayes


A Bill to give social housing tenants the right to continuity of secure tenancy in circumstances when they have to move because of a threat to the personal safety of the tenant or someone in their household; to place associated responsibilities on local authorities and social housing providers; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to make provision about the weapons to which section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applies; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 23rd January 2024
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 22nd March 2024
Order Paper number: 17
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

A Bill to make provision about the branding, promotion and advertising of electronic cigarettes, for the purpose of preventing electronic cigarettes from being marketed in a way which appeals to children; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 5th September 2023
(Read Debate)

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 define affordable housing in relation to household incomes; to amend the law relating to land valuation and compensation; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 27th February 2019
(Read Debate)

1697 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
25 Other Department Questions
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she is taking steps to strengthen LGBT+ rights.

The UK has a proud history of LGBT rights with a comprehensive and robust framework of legislative protection.

We have already taken great strides, including:

    • reducing the cost of applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate and moving the application process online

    • extending same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland

    • setting out our plan to end new HIV cases by 2030, and ending the ban on HIV+ people joining the UK armed services; and

    • setting out tailored action to address LGBT homelessness in the Rough Sleeping Strategy, such as improving how data on LGBT homelessness is collected and extending investment into coordinated local rough sleeping services.

I am also pleased to add that I recently held a roundtable with a range of stakeholders on the issue of LGBT homelessness which explored prevalence and what we can do to address it in the coming months. We will continue to make progress on LGBT rights and will set out further details soon.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that fathers who are the primary carers of their children are not discriminated against in the workplace.

Being a parent or a carer is not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. However, we are clear that the Act makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate (directly or indirectly) against a person because of or for reasons related to the protected characteristic of sex, or victimise them for bringing a complaint, in any of the areas covered by the Act.

For example, if a man is treated less favourably compared to his female colleague in relation to flexible working to accommodate childcare responsibilities, this could amount to direct sex discrimination. For fathers caring for a child with a disability, the disability discrimination protections in the Equality Act 2010 will apply to less favourable treatment because of being associated with a person with a disability.

Any father who feels he has been discriminated against can bring a claim at an employment tribunal. They may also contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service, which is funded by the Cabinet Office, and provides free bespoke advice and in-depth support to individuals with discrimination concerns.

We continue to keep the effectiveness of the Equality Act under review, however this is not an active area of work.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on rates of international decarbonisation of the China's potential non-attendance at COP26; and what steps he is taking to ensure global agreement on action to prevent global warming beyond 1.5C.

COP26 comes at a critical moment for the future of our planet. As hosts of COP26, we are encouraging high-level participation in COP26 from all parties. To date over 120 leaders have confirmed their attendance. In our capacity as COP26 President, the UK looks forward to working closely with all parties, including China, to bring key negotiating issues to a constructive conclusion at COP26. This includes securing ambitious announcements to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Under the Paris Agreement, all parties committed to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. As the incoming COP President, the UK has been pressing all leaders to commit to ambitious climate action ahead of COP26 through a programme of regular engagement and events, including through the Climate Ambition Summit, the G7 and G20.

25th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using climate finance to support farmers in the global south whose businesses are disrupted by the impacts of climate change.

The Just Rural Transition coalition launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019. Since then, the UK and World Bank have co-convened a series of Government-to-Government Policy Dialogues in order to accelerate the transition to sustainable agriculture. These dialogues will culminate in an event at COP26 which will bring together Governments, policy makers and farmers in a framework for action to accelerate transition to sustainable agriculture.

The UK has also committed to doubling its spend on International Climate Finance (ICF) to £11.6 billion over the next five years; £3 billion of which will support outcomes on nature and the environment, including through agriculture. These investments will help the most vulnerable people, including farmers, adapt and build resilience against the impacts of climate change. FCDO’s agriculture portfolio has contributed substantially towards these results through interventions such as the introduction of drought resilient crops, irrigation systems and agricultural extension.

25th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to ensure COP26 delivers the commitments required to help farmers in the global south to (a) adapt to the impacts of climate change and (b) transition to more sustainable environmental practices.

The Just Rural Transition coalition launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019. Since then, the UK and World Bank have co-convened a series of Government-to-Government Policy Dialogues in order to accelerate the transition to sustainable agriculture. These dialogues will culminate in an event at COP26 which will bring together Governments, policy makers and farmers in a framework for action to accelerate transition to sustainable agriculture.

The UK has also committed to doubling its spend on International Climate Finance (ICF) to £11.6 billion over the next five years; £3 billion of which will support outcomes on nature and the environment, including through agriculture. These investments will help the most vulnerable people, including farmers, adapt and build resilience against the impacts of climate change. FCDO’s agriculture portfolio has contributed substantially towards these results through interventions such as the introduction of drought resilient crops, irrigation systems and agricultural extension.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to negotiate a global fund to support the transition to net zero in less wealthy countries.

We must support the poorest and most vulnerable countries to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis, and mobilise finance to enable their net zero transition. The commitment to jointly mobilise $100bn of climate finance a year is critically important; it helps countries raise ambition and supports their transition. The UK Presidency has been very clear that developed countries must meet existing commitments and come forward with ambitious post-2020 climate finance pledges, to achieve and surpass the $100bn a year goal. I have also asked Germany and Canada to lead on the development of a Delivery Plan which sets out how donor countries will meet the goal.

Public finance alone will not be enough to achieve the trillions needed in developing countries. The UK Presidency is working with other donors, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and the private sector to promote and support a range of targeted initiatives that mobilise finance globally and tackle barriers to and promote investment into developing countries. There are a range of financing mechanisms including the dedicated UN backed climate funds which we support - including the Green Climate Fund, Climate Investment Funds and the Global Environmental Facility. The recently launched Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero will also accelerate global flows into activities that support a net zero and resilient future.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she is having with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office on planned engagement with (a) disabled people and (b) groups representing disabled people as part of the public inquiry into the handling of the covid-19 pandemic.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that the public inquiry into COVID-19 will begin its work in spring 2022 and that bereaved families and other groups will be consulted before the terms of reference are finalised. Further details will be announced in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
20th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment has he made of the (a) potential merits and (b) likelihood of an international agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international agreement which aims to hold average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C. It is the framework under which such efforts should be delivered. The science is clear that in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change we must keep 1.5C in reach and this is my priority for COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment he has made of the (a) potential merits and (b) likelihood of an international agreement to ensure global co-operation to transition to renewable energy sources.

Accelerating the transition from coal to clean energy is a top priority for the UK’s COP 26 Presidency. There are many benefits that the energy transition can bring: cleaner air, cheaper power, increased investment, new jobs, better public health, and many more.

The UK recognises that global collaboration is vital to achieving a cleaner future. We have already made significant progress. The Climate and Environment Ministers of the G7 have made historic commitments to end international coal finance in 2021 and to accelerate the transition towards overwhelmingly decarbonised power systems in the 2030s. The UK has also launched the Energy Transition Council, bringing together the political, financial and technical leaders of the global power sector in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America, to ensure that clean power is the most attractive offer globally. The UK is also collaborating internationally through the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a coalition of 135 members, advancing the transition from unabated coal power generation to clean energy.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what recent meetings he has held with representatives of (a) councils and (b) local government organisations on the role of local government in meeting the national net zero target; and how he plans to articulate that matter at COP26.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 7885 on 7 June 2021.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what meetings he has held with councils and local government organisations on (A) the role of local government in meeting the national net zero target, and (b) how that role will be communicated at COP26.

We are continuing to engage with local authorities and leaders across the UK through the UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council, which most recently met on 15 March. We also work closely with a number of a number of Non-State Actor organisations such as the C40 Cities, ICLEI and UK100 to help further engage with local authorities.

The Government is still in the process of developing the programme for the Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day at COP26, which will showcase the key role that they all play in the pathway to net zero. I look forward to working with members of the UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council to develop the programme.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he plans to take to engage with local government over the coming months to ensure local government is effectively represented at COP26.

We are continuing to engage with local authorities and leaders across the UK through the UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council, which most recently met on 15 March. We also work closely with a number of a number of Non-State Actor organisations such as the C40 Cities, ICLEI and UK100 to help further engage with local authorities.

The Government is still in the process of developing the programme for the Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day at COP26, which will showcase the key role that they all play in the pathway to net zero. I look forward to working with members of the UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council to develop the programme.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
24th Mar 2021
What progress the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has made on its report on ethnic disparities and inequality.

The independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has reviewed inequality in the UK, focusing on areas including poverty, education, employment, health and the criminal justice system. They have held meetings with key delivery partners and agencies for these areas, gathered evidence from a range of external stakeholders and influencers, and ran an open Call for Evidence that invited evidence from across the United Kingdom. Yesterday, I spoke with Chair of the Commission, Dr Tony Sewell. The Commission is of course independent of government, but he has assured me that their report will be submitted to the Prime Minister shortly.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what the Government’s objectives are for the cities and built environment theme for the COP; and what steps the Government is taking to engage UK cities in delivering those objectives at COP26.

The Government is in early stages of planning for the Cities and Built Environment theme day which will showcase the key role that cities and the built environment play in the pathway to net zero. We are engaging widely with stakeholders ahead of the day, as well as using forthcoming meetings of the UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council to ensure their views are reflected in preparations for the day.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what recent meetings he has had with (a) councils and (b) local government organisations on the role of local government in meeting the national net zero target; and how that role is planned to be articulated at COP26.

Local authorities and leaders have a key role to play in tackling climate change and meeting net zero targets. That is why I have set up the UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council with mayors and local authority leaders from across the UK to engage them in COP26. We met most recently on 15 March to discuss how mayors and local authorities could contribute to the Together for our Planet Campaign, and I look forward to engaging further with the group as part of our preparations for COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he plans to take to engage with UK local government during preparations for COP26.

Local authorities and leaders have a key role to play in tackling climate change and meeting net zero targets. That is why I have set up the UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council with mayors and local authority leaders from across the UK to engage them in COP26. We met most recently on 15 March to discuss how mayors and local authorities could contribute to the Together for our Planet Campaign, and I look forward to engaging further with the group as part of our preparations for COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment he has made of the importance of promoting the role of local government in delivering the national net zero target at COP26.

Local authorities and leaders have a key role to play in tackling climate change and meeting net zero targets. That is why I have set up the UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council with mayors and local authority leaders from across the UK to engage them in COP26. We met most recently on 15 March to discuss how mayors and local authorities could contribute to the Together for our Planet Campaign, and I look forward to engaging further with the group as part of our preparations for COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and (b) Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on expanding the Community Champions scheme to support vaccine uptake in ethnic minority communities.

On 25 January, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced allocations of £23.75 million to support the Community Champions scheme which supports those groups at greater risk of COVID-19. This includes funding for 60 local authorities and voluntary and civil society partners.

As part of this, Community Champions will use their local networks to provide advice about COVID-19 and promote the take-up of vaccines.

Officials in the Race Disparity Unit, who are supporting me in my work to address COVID-19 disparities amongst ethnic minorities, continue to meet regularly with colleagues in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health and Social Care to discuss a range of topics related to the delivery of the Community Champions scheme including vaccination uptake amongst ethnic minorities.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the adequacy of funding for local authorities to encourage vaccine uptake in ethnic minority communities.

On 25 January, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced allocations of £23.75 million to support the Community Champions scheme which supports those groups at greater risk of COVID-19. This includes funding for 60 local authorities and voluntary and civil society partners.

As part of this, Community Champions will use their local networks to provide advice about COVID-19 and promote the take-up of vaccines.

Officials in the Race Disparity Unit, who are supporting me in my work to address COVID-19 disparities amongst ethnic minorities, continue to meet regularly with colleagues in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health and Social Care to discuss a range of topics related to the delivery of the Community Champions scheme including vaccination uptake amongst ethnic minorities.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions she (a) has had and (b) plans to have with representatives of (i) the Local Government Association and (ii) local authorities throughout the UK on (A) the work of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities and (B) how local authorities can work with that Commission.

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ call for evidence closed on 30 November 2020 and the Commission aims to provide its full report to the Prime Minister by the end of this month. The Commission also intends to publish its results on gov.uk, following submission of its full report to the Prime Minister. As per its terms of reference, the Commission will then draw to a close.

I am aware that the Commission, in carrying out its work, has considered evidence from a wide range of organisations (including Local Authorities), from across the UK as well as individuals.

We look forward to receiving the Commission's final report at the end of this month, to which the government will respond in due course. On receipt of the report, the government will consider what further engagement is necessary with Local Authorities and other bodies.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what progress the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities is making on their call for evidence work; and what the timeframe is for that Commission's recommendations to be published.

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ call for evidence closed on 30 November 2020 and the Commission aims to provide its full report to the Prime Minister by the end of this month. The Commission also intends to publish its results on gov.uk, following submission of its full report to the Prime Minister. As per its terms of reference, the Commission will then draw to a close.

I am aware that the Commission, in carrying out its work, has considered evidence from a wide range of organisations (including Local Authorities), from across the UK as well as individuals.

We look forward to receiving the Commission's final report at the end of this month, to which the government will respond in due course. On receipt of the report, the government will consider what further engagement is necessary with Local Authorities and other bodies.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what progress the Race Disparity Unit has made in its work on health inequalities in response to the Public Health England report on disparities in the risk and outcomes of covid-19.

In June, the Prime Minister asked me, as Minister for Equalities, to lead cross-government work on the findings of the Public Health England (PHE) report ‘COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes’. The Race Disparity Unit (RDU) is supporting me in this.

Following work undertaken by the RDU, the Office for National Statistics and the wider scientific community, we have made good progress in recent weeks in identifying the key drivers of the disparities highlighted by the PHE review and the relationships between the different risk factors for ethnic minority communities. We have also been reviewing the effectiveness and impact of current actions being undertaken by government departments and their agencies to directly lessen these disparities.

I will shortly be submitting the first quarterly update report on this work to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, as required by the terms of reference.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the timeframe is for the publication of the work of the Racial Disparity Unit in response to the report of Public Health England on disparities in risks and outcomes in relation to covid-19.

In June, the Prime Minister asked me, as Minister for Equalities, to lead cross-government work on the findings of the Public Health England (PHE) report ‘COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes’. The Race Disparity Unit (RDU) is supporting me in this.

Following work undertaken by the RDU, the Office for National Statistics and the wider scientific community, we have made good progress in recent weeks in identifying the key drivers of the disparities highlighted by the PHE review and the relationships between the different risk factors for ethnic minority communities. We have also been reviewing the effectiveness and impact of current actions being undertaken by government departments and their agencies to directly lessen these disparities.

I will shortly be submitting the first quarterly update report on this work to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, as required by the terms of reference.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent discussions has she had with the Department for Work and Pensions on the equality impact of the current statutory sick pay rate.

The responsibility for equalities impact assessments lies with departments, who take this responsibility very seriously. Impact assessments are kept under review and my colleagues are fully aware of their equality duties.

In this particular instance, the Department for Work and Pensions published a consultation Health is everyone’s business in July 2019 in which they sought views on the rate of statutory sick pay. A response will be published later this year (2020).

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 November 2121 to Question 75043 on Travel: Civil Servants and Ministers, if he will publish a breakdown of the Government spending on (a) domestic flights and (b) trains for business trips undertaken by (i) Ministers and (ii) civil servants in each of the last five years.

I refer the hon. Member to PQ 75043.

Details of business expenses for senior officials are published quarterly on GOV.UK. The Government does not plan to publish a breakdown of Ministers' domestic travel costs for previous years in routine transparency data.

15th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of domestic flights taken by (a) Ministers and (b) civil services for the purposes of conducting official Government business in each of the last 12 months; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of alternative ways of conducting that business that do require using domestic flights.

Details of Ministers' travel are published quarterly on GOV.UK.

The Cabinet Office is committed to minimising travel costs and reducing the environmental impact of journeys. Ministers and Civil Servants are advised to travel by the most efficient means of transport and to use public transport where possible.

Ministers and Civil Servants are also encouraged to consider alternative ways of conducting business to minimise travel. For example, using video and telephone conferencing facilities where possible and appropriate.

9th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to Answer of 29 October 2021 to Question 63799 on Imports, if he will publish his Department's analysis that led to the conclusion that delays at UK ports for inbound goods are caused by other issues connected to the current situation with global supply chains.

The basis for this conclusion - that delays are not caused by import controls following Brexit - is that these import controls are not yet in force.

26th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to reduce the additional bureaucracy placed on British businesses (a) importing from and (b) exporting to the EU since the end of the transition period.

There are currently no delays at UK ports as a consequence of the time taken to carry out UK customs and other checks. To the extent that there are delays at some UK ports for inbound goods, these are caused by other issues connected to the current situation with global supply chains. UK border import controls on goods from the EU are being introduced in a phased way and in accordance with the timetable announced by my noble Friend, Rt Hon Lord Frost, on 14 September.

The Government has taken a number of measures to assist UK businesses in exporting to the EU since the end of the Transition Period. This includes online guidance and targeted financial support. On 1 October, my Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for International Trade, launched the Export Support Service specifically to help businesses trade with the EU.

In addition, my Rt Hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced on 27 October that the Government will make £180 million available to fund the development of the UK Single Trade Window. The Single Trade Window will offer a single gateway into Government for traders to complete their import, export and transit requirements. This will benefit business by dramatically reducing the administrative costs of trade. It forms part of the 2025 Border Strategy, announced in December 2020, to build the most effective border in the world.

26th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Common Market on the availability of imported goods; and what discussions he is having with his European counterparts to ease the import of those goods.

There are currently no delays at UK ports as a consequence of the time taken to carry out UK customs and other checks. To the extent that there are delays at some UK ports for inbound goods, these are caused by other issues connected to the current situation with global supply chains. UK border import controls on goods from the EU are being introduced in a phased way and in accordance with the timetable announced by my noble Friend, Rt Hon Lord Frost, on 14 September.

The Government has taken a number of measures to assist UK businesses in exporting to the EU since the end of the Transition Period. This includes online guidance and targeted financial support. On 1 October, my Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for International Trade, launched the Export Support Service specifically to help businesses trade with the EU.

In addition, my Rt Hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced on 27 October that the Government will make £180 million available to fund the development of the UK Single Trade Window. The Single Trade Window will offer a single gateway into Government for traders to complete their import, export and transit requirements. This will benefit business by dramatically reducing the administrative costs of trade. It forms part of the 2025 Border Strategy, announced in December 2020, to build the most effective border in the world.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the effect of the end of the transition period on (a) charges and (b) costs for businesses that (i) import and (ii) export to the EU; and what steps his Department is taking to support those businesses.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answers given at Cabinet Office oral questions on 11 February.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the (a) level of public awareness of postal voting and (b) the accessibility of the postal voting application process; and what steps he is taking to widen access to postal voting ahead of the May 2021 elections.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 147911 on 9 February 2021.

The Government is working on finalising the funding allocations for the May 2021 elections, and Returning Officers and local authorities will be updated on their funding allocations for the Police and Crime Commissioner and local elections respectively by the end of March.

There will be an estimated £92 million of government funding that will be provided to local authorities for the elections; of this, £31 million is an uplift to directly address costs associated with making the elections covid-secure.

For the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, Returning Officers will be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred for the smooth running of those polls via the usual process. Further detail of the potential fees and charges that Returning Officers can claim for in relation to any additional measures required to ensure covid-secure Police and Crime Commissioner elections in May is set out in guidance provided by the Cabinet Office to Returning Officers.

10th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to he Answer of 9 February 2021 to Question 147940, how much funding will be allocated to each local authority under his Department’s delivery plan for the May 2021 elections.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 147911 on 9 February 2021.

The Government is working on finalising the funding allocations for the May 2021 elections, and Returning Officers and local authorities will be updated on their funding allocations for the Police and Crime Commissioner and local elections respectively by the end of March.

There will be an estimated £92 million of government funding that will be provided to local authorities for the elections; of this, £31 million is an uplift to directly address costs associated with making the elections covid-secure.

For the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, Returning Officers will be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred for the smooth running of those polls via the usual process. Further detail of the potential fees and charges that Returning Officers can claim for in relation to any additional measures required to ensure covid-secure Police and Crime Commissioner elections in May is set out in guidance provided by the Cabinet Office to Returning Officers.

5th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with his Department on increased (a) charges and (b) costs for businesses that (a) import from and (b) export to the EU following the end of the transition period.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on funding for local authority programmes to encourage postal voting for the 2021 elections.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. The Government has confirmed that the set of local and PCC elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Further guidance for all those involved in the elections will be available in due course and well in advance of the polls.

As has been the case under successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed. Details of ministers' meetings with external organisations and individuals are published on gov.uk periodically.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to strengthen cross-government engagement with local authorities on implementing the COVID-19 Winter Plan.

We continue to engage with local authorities closely on a range of issues, including on their preparedness for the implementing of the COVID-19 winter plan. There has been regular and significant contact between Ministers, regional mayors, council leaders, and the Local Government Association to provide support for local authorities before and during the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes frequent webinars hosted by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Minister for Local Government for all English Council Leaders and Chief Executives.

A daily bulletin of COVID-19 related announcements and guidance is distributed to over 4000 recipients in the local tier to ensure they are kept informed of the latest from central government.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the erection of a memorial to the victims of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery.

May I apologise for the delay in answering this question. The UK deplores the human suffering caused by slavery and the slave trade. They are among the most dishonourable and abhorrent chapters in the history of humanity.

Public and private organisations are able to propose, fund, develop and deliver memorials marking incidents and historical moments.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the social value which will be delivered by Interserve and Mitie on Government contracts in the event of the proposed merger of those firms.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ103653 on 19 October.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the total value of Government contracts which may be awarded to a single contractor in the event of the proposed merger of Interserve and Mitie.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ103653 on 19 October.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the financial resilience of (a) Interserve, (b) Mitie and (c) the business that will result following their proposed merger.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ103653 on 19 October.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of staff (a) employed by Interserve and Mitie on Government contracts as of 19 October 2020 and (b) who will be employed on those contracts following the proposed merger of the two firms.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ103653 on 19 October.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed merger of Interserve and Mitie on the terms and conditions of staff employed by those firms in relation to Government contracts.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ103653 on 19 October.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people (a) work and (b) have worked in the Race Disparity Unit.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ83740 on 10 September 2020.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his Department's budget for the Race Disparity Unit was in (a) each year since its inception and (b) 2020; and what the forecast budged for that Unit is in future years.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ83740 on 10 September 2020.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many civil service appointments have been made in pay band 2 and above as exceptions to the Recruitment Principles of the Civil Service Commission in each Department (a) in each of the last 10 years and (b) since January 2020.

Details of exceptions to the Civil Service Commission Recruitment Principles at and above Payband 2 are published by the Civil Service Commission and available on their website. Details for the financial year 2020/2021 will be published in due course.

Details of the proportion of exception requests which are refused are not held centrally.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many applications have been made to the Civil Service Commission to make appointments in pay band 2 which would be exceptions to the Recruitment Principles of the Civil Service Commission in each Government Department (a) in each of the last 10 years and (b) since January 2020; and what proportion of those applications have been (a) approved and (b) refused.

Details of exceptions to the Civil Service Commission Recruitment Principles at and above Payband 2 are published by the Civil Service Commission and available on their website. Details for the financial year 2020/2021 will be published in due course.

Details of the proportion of exception requests which are refused are not held centrally.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Operation Yellowhammer Reasonable Worst Case Planning Assumptions coinciding with a potential second wave of covid-19 on (a) civil service capacity and (b) civil service preparedness.

Operation Yellowhammer has been stood down.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government plans to carry out further testing of Operation Brock following the (a) announcement to remove the Operation Brock barrier of 10 January 2020 and (b) potential use of the Smart Freight System outlined on page 134 of his Department's document entitled, Border Operating Model, published on 13 July 2020.

A consultation on the proposed legislative amendments on enforcing Operation Brock, including regarding the use of Smart Freight, ran from 3 August 2020 to 23 August 2020. A summary of the responses will be published within three months of the consultation closing. The Government has invited businesses to participate in discussions on design and user testing of the Smart Freight IT service. Further announcements will be made in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many contracts the Government has awarded to Public First Ltd in each year since 2016.

Further to my answer on 01 October 2020, competitive tenders are used across government, including by the Cabinet Office. It is also the case that there are certain circumstances where regulations permit that contracts can be awarded without a competition, including where there is extreme urgency.

As has been the case under successive administrations, this Government works with a number of suppliers to provide polling and focus group work. Public First was engaged by the Cabinet Office to test public opinion and reaction to government messaging, including focus groups for COVID-19 research. Details of this contract have been published on GOV.UK in the usual way.

No ministerial sign off was sought for the award of a contract to Public First. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on GOV.UK.

A claim for Judicial Review was issued by the High Court on 10 July 2020 in relation to the award of this contract. It would not, therefore, be appropriate to make further comment whilst this is subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the nature is of the on-site resources provided by Public First Ltd to support Number 10 communications.

Further to my answer on 01 October 2020, competitive tenders are used across government, including by the Cabinet Office. It is also the case that there are certain circumstances where regulations permit that contracts can be awarded without a competition, including where there is extreme urgency.

As has been the case under successive administrations, this Government works with a number of suppliers to provide polling and focus group work. Public First was engaged by the Cabinet Office to test public opinion and reaction to government messaging, including focus groups for COVID-19 research. Details of this contract have been published on GOV.UK in the usual way.

No ministerial sign off was sought for the award of a contract to Public First. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on GOV.UK.

A claim for Judicial Review was issued by the High Court on 10 July 2020 in relation to the award of this contract. It would not, therefore, be appropriate to make further comment whilst this is subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to The Border with the European Union: Importing and Exporting Goods, published on 13 July 2020, what his timescale is for the consultation on on the use of the Smart Freight Service in Kent this summer.

A consultation on the proposed legislative amendments on enforcing Operation Brock, including regarding the use of Smart Freight, ran from 3 August 2020 to 23 August 2020. A summary of the responses will be published within three months of the consultation closing. The Government has invited businesses to participate in discussions on design and user testing of the Smart Freight IT service. Further announcements will be made in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his timetable is for introduction of the Smart Freight Service before the end of the transition period.

A consultation on the proposed legislative amendments on enforcing Operation Brock, including regarding the use of Smart Freight, ran from 3 August 2020 to 23 August 2020. A summary of the responses will be published within three months of the consultation closing. The Government has invited businesses to participate in discussions on design and user testing of the Smart Freight IT service. Further announcements will be made in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to Unlocking the Power of Location, the Government’s Geo-Spatial Strategy 2020-2025, how much funding the Government has allocated to the delivery of the National Underground Assets Register.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 55137 on 10 July 2020.

Details of Cabinet Office expenditure are published online and available in annual reports. Future funding allocations will be determined in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to Unlocking the Power of Location, the Government’s Geo-Spatial Strategy 2020-2025, what the timescale is for the (a) commencement and (b) completion of the establishment of a National Underground Assets Register.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 55137 on 10 July 2020.

Details of Cabinet Office expenditure are published online and available in annual reports. Future funding allocations will be determined in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse has been of Cabinet Office spending on civil contingencies preparedness in each year since 2010.

The Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) budget since 2010 is set out in the table below. The Cabinet Office does not distinguish between operational and programme budgets as resources are used flexibly to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptive challenges. For the same reason additional costs on preparedness will have been incurred which are not possible to disaggregate from wider Cabinet Office expenditure.

Year

Total Budget (£m)

2010-2011

9.6

2011-2012

10.5

2012-2013

10.3

2013-2014

9.1

2014-2015

8.0

2015-2016

10.5

2016-2017

11.5

2017-2018

15.4

2018-2019

17.7

2019-2020

21.0

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the (a) operational and (b) programme budgets were of the Civil Contingency Secretariat in each year since 2010.

The Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) budget since 2010 is set out in the table below. The Cabinet Office does not distinguish between operational and programme budgets as resources are used flexibly to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptive challenges. For the same reason additional costs on preparedness will have been incurred which are not possible to disaggregate from wider Cabinet Office expenditure.

Year

Total Budget (£m)

2010-2011

9.6

2011-2012

10.5

2012-2013

10.3

2013-2014

9.1

2014-2015

8.0

2015-2016

10.5

2016-2017

11.5

2017-2018

15.4

2018-2019

17.7

2019-2020

21.0

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of BAME people serving as Non-Executive Directors in the Civil Service.

The Government publishes diversity data on Non-Executive Board Members on Departmental Boards and public appointees on GOV.UK. The government is also implementing the Public Appointments Diversity Action Plan, which is available on GOV.UK.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to increase BAME representation among Non-Executive Directors in the UK Civil Service.

The Government publishes diversity data on Non-Executive Board Members on Departmental Boards and public appointees on GOV.UK. The government is also implementing the Public Appointments Diversity Action Plan, which is available on GOV.UK.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of private contracts issued by the Government during the covid-19 outbreak which have subsequently been sub-contracted to other firms.

This information is not held centrally.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish his Department’s processes to monitor the performance of contracts which involve significant amounts of sub-contracting.

The Cabinet Office follows government procurement policy. Guidance is already published on GOV.UK, and can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contract-management

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what checks on standards are carried out before suppliers are listed in the Crown Commercial Service’s COVID-19: Catalogue of supplier offers.
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a Government Digital Service peer review of the contact tracing app has been completed.

The Government is committed to ensuring that public services, including digital services, continue to be delivered to the highest standards.

In line with this commitment, peer reviews are conducted to ensure such services are secure, resilient, accessible and able to evolve to meet citizens’ needs.

4th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government has taken to ensure the protection of citizens’ data and privacy under the Government’s contract with Faculty.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000, including the value of those contracts, are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

All Government contracts which involve the processing of personal data, must adhere to the requirements of Procurement Policy Note – Changes to Data Protection Legislation & General Data Protection Regulation Action Note PPN 02/18.

4th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the (a) scope and (b) remit of the Government's contract with Faculty is to deliver services related to the covid-19 pandemic.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQs 54981 and 54931 on 9 June 2020.

20th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his 12 May 2020 announcement of four new Cabinet Office non-executive board members, how many candidates (a) applied and (b) were invited to interview with Ministers; and what the criteria were for (i) the appointment of those candidates and (ii) membership of the appointment board.

Non-executive board members are appointed by the minister in charge of the relevant department, in this case the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

163 candidates applied for the role, of which eight were interviewed and four were appointed. Details of the roles, including a job description, were published on the HM Government Public Appointments and on GOV.UK.

Due diligence, including potential conflicts of interest, was carried out on each appointee. The register of interests for the new Board Members will be published shortly.

20th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to his 12 May 2020 announcement of four new Cabinet Office non-executive board members, what assessment he made in that appointment process of candidates' potential conflicts of interest; and if he will publish the declarations of interest of those board members.

Non-executive board members are appointed by the minister in charge of the relevant department, in this case the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

163 candidates applied for the role, of which eight were interviewed and four were appointed. Details of the roles, including a job description, were published on the HM Government Public Appointments and on GOV.UK.

Due diligence, including potential conflicts of interest, was carried out on each appointee. The register of interests for the new Board Members will be published shortly.

6th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that annual pay increases for civil servants are not delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Pay for civil servants below the Senior Civil Service is delegated to individual departments. The Civil Service Pay Remit Guidance sets the framework for departments to set pay. The guidance will be published soon to ensure that departments are able to make pay awards to staff following negotiations with trade unions.

6th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that civil servants who are unable to work remotely during the covid-19 outbreak have (a) access to personal protective equipment where needed and (b) social distancing measures in place.

Cabinet Office is following the government and Public Health England advice on supplying PPE and social distancing - to stay alert, stay safe and save lives. The Cabinet Office is currently working with the Government Property Agency and delivery partners to plan for the gradual reoccupation of our buildings and will continue to follow the advice from PHE as it develops.

6th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what guidance his Department has provided to (a) cleaning, (b) catering and (c) other companies who provide services to the civil service on (i) personal protective equipment and (ii) sick pay during the covid-19 outbreak.

I apologise for the delay in responding, but I can confirm that departments, including the Cabinet Office, continue to liaise regularly with their suppliers as they respond to the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19.

In respect of personal protective equipment it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that the latest guidance as published by the appropriate Public Health body is followed. The latest guidance can be found on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/offices-and-contact-centres. Cabinet Office stands ready to support companies with any questions or assist with difficulties regarding the guidance.

The Cabinet Office has issued Procurement Policy Note 02/20 to provide guidance for suppliers. This outlines the approach that contracting authorities should adopt. In the Cabinet Office this has meant continuing to guarantee payments to service providers when delivery is impacted by Covid-19 resource shortages and paying employees that are absent due to presentation of Covid-19 symptoms or the need to be shielded or self-isolated.

24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of Royal Mail’s fulfilment of the Universal Service Obligation in South London in 2023.

As the independent regulator for the postal sector, it is for Ofcom to monitor Royal Mail’s delivery of the universal service obligation and decide how to respond should Royal Mail fail to meet its obligations.

Ofcom fined the business £5.6m for failing to meet its service delivery targets in 2022-23 and is meeting Royal Mail regularly to ensure service issues are addressed as a matter of urgency.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what estimate she has made of how many households have (a) applied to and (b) had insulation installed through the Great British Insulation Scheme.

Through the GOV.UK self-referral service, there have been over 76,000 referrals for the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) up to 7 January 2024. The Department does not hold data on how many customers have applied for the scheme through other routes.

Information on the number of insulation measures installed through GBIS can be found in the latest GBIS Statistical Release.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the (a) capacity of energy companies to respond to applications through the Great British Insulation Scheme and (b) target times for such applications to be processed.

As part of the service levels agreed with the Department, obligated energy suppliers are expected to respond to households referred for the Great British Insulation Scheme via the Government website within 10 working days.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the rise in the Energy Price Guarantee in April 2023 on families.

The Energy Price Guarantee will continue to ensure all households pay less for their energy bills than they would have otherwise with no Government intervention.

The Government has also announced further support worth £26 billion in 2023-24, to help the most vulnerable households.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many homes have had Energy Company Obligation scheme measures installed in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, as of 31 October 2022.

The Department publishes information on the number of households in receipt of Energy Company Obligation scheme measures by Parliamentary Constituency in Table 4.5 accompanying the latest Household Energy Efficiency Statistics release (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/household-energy-efficiency-statistics-headline-release-december-2022).

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an estimate of the number of jobs supported by the Green Homes Grant support in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of the voucher scheme, including analysis of scheme outcomes and evidence collected from scheme applicants and other stakeholders, is being undertaken by an independent research organisation. The evaluation includes an assessment of the effect of the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme on jobs at national level with findings available in Summer 2023.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications for the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme were successful in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency.

The Department estimates that the average government contribution per successful household application to the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency was £3,580 for the main scheme and £5,990 for the low-income scheme.

Information on the number of applications by application stage for the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme by parliamentary constituency can be found in table 4.4 accompanying the latest Green Homes Grant Voucher release (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/green-homes-grant-voucher-release-october-2022).

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what was the average grant given to homeowners with successful applications under Green Homes Grant voucher scheme in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency.

The Department estimates that the average government contribution per successful household application to the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency was £3,580 for the main scheme and £5,990 for the low-income scheme.

Information on the number of applications by application stage for the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme by parliamentary constituency can be found in table 4.4 accompanying the latest Green Homes Grant Voucher release (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/green-homes-grant-voucher-release-october-2022).

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many homes have been retrofitted as a result of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, as of 31 October 2022.

The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to a £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) over a 10-year period. The SHDF Demonstrator and Wave 1 awarded a combined total of around £240m of grant funding to Local Authorities, with data held on local authority-led projects rather than at a constituency level. The SHDF Wave 2.1 competition, which closed on 18th November 2022, will allocate up to £800m of grant funding, with successful projects likely to be notified in March 2023.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many homes have been retrofitted as a result of the Local Authority Delivery Scheme in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, as of 31 October 2022.

Information on the number of households upgraded by parliamentary constituency under the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme can be found in table 11 accompanying the latest Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) and Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) release (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/green-homes-grant-local-authority-delivery-lad-and-home-upgrade-grant-hug-release-december-2022).

Information on the number of households with at least one measure installed by parliamentary constituency under the Green Homes Grant Voucher scheme can be found in table 4.4 accompanying the latest Green Homes Grant Voucher release (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/green-homes-grant-voucher-release-october-2022).

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many energy-saving home improvement projects have been completed through the Green Deal in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, as of 31 October 2022.

The Department estimates that in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, between one and five projects are live (all measures installed but not yet paid off), and between one and five projects have been completed (all measures installed and paid off). To manage the risk of revealing personal or commercial data, non-zero counts of less than five for a small geographic area are not released.

Data covers the period from May 2013 to October 2022.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had recent discussions with the Minister for Women and Equalities on improving accessibility to entrepreneurship and business ownership for people with protected characteristics in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency.

The Government is fully committed to supporting businesses and creating the best conditions for enterprise so that everyone, whatever their background, has the means and know-how to start and grow a business. <br/> We are supporting early-stage entrepreneurs from all backgrounds through the Start-Up Loans Company which provides funding and intensive support to new entrepreneurs. Since 2012, 40% of Start Up Loans have gone to women, worth over £341m and 20% of loans worth 183m have gone to Black, Asian, and Ethnic-minority business (as at October 2022). 411 SMEs in Dulwich and West Norwood have received loans to the value of £3,364,909 as of November 2022.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps is his Department taking to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises Dulwich and West Norwood constituency are receiving support from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme provides a discount on the wholesale element of gas and electricity bills to ensure that all eligible small and medium sized businesses are protected from excessively high energy costs over the winter period. Non-domestic customers do not need to take action or apply to the scheme as support is automatically applied to bills.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase funding to renewable energy sources in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency.

Local authorities and private investors can bid for grant funding for renewable innovation or community-based renewable schemes. The Contract for Difference (CfD) scheme, the Government’s main mechanism for supporting low carbon generation, is awarded through a competitive process, ensuring that the most cost-effective projects are supported regardless of their location. Future rounds will run annually to help accelerate deployment of renewable power.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to increase the rate of energy efficiency measure installations in homes in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency.

The Government is committed to improving the energy performance of homes across the country, including in Dulwich and West Norwood.

The Government is already investing £6.6 billion over this parliament on decarbonising heat and energy efficiency measures.

An additional £6 billion of new Government funding, announced in the Autumn Statement, will be made available from 2025 to 2028. This provides long-term funding certainty, supporting the growth of supply chains, and ensuring the Government can scale up delivery over time.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with businesses in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency on the potential impacts of the cost of living crisis on those businesses.

The Government recognises the impact rising prices are having on businesses, including those in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, and is engaging with businesses across the UK to understand these challenges and explore ways to mitigate them.
The Government has reversed the National Insurance rise, saving SMEs approximately £4,200 on average, the cut to fuel duty for 12 months and raising the Employment Allowance to £5,000. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will protect SMEs from high energy costs over the winter. In addition, at the Autumn Statement, my Rt Hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £13.6 billion of support for businesses over the next five years, reducing the burden of business rates for SMEs.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many small and medium sized enterprises in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency have received Government funding for support with the cost of living crisis.

The Government recognises the impact rising prices are having on businesses.

Businesses in Dulwich and West Norwood will have benefitted from the Government’s reversal of the National Insurance rise, saving SMEs approximately £4,200 on average, the cut to fuel duty for 12 months and raising the Employment Allowance to £5,000. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will protect SMEs from high energy costs over the winter. In addition, at the Autumn Statement, my Rt Hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £13.6 billion of support for businesses over the next five years, reducing the burden of business rates for SMEs.

Support is also available to SMEs across the UK through the Recovery Loan Scheme and the Start Up loan scheme which has provided 411 SMEs in Dulwich and West Norwood loans to the value of £3,364,909 as of November 2022.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an estimate of the number of homes that have been retrofitted through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund in Dulwich and West Norwood constituency.

The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to a £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) over a 10-year period. The SHDF Demonstrator and Wave 1 awarded a combined total of around £240m of grant funding to Local Authorities, with data held on local authority-led projects rather than at a constituency level. The SHDF Wave 2.1 competition, which closed on 18th November 2022, will allocate up to £800m of grant funding, with successful projects likely to be notified in March 2023.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is providing support to help pay the electricity costs of carers running medical equipment for those they care for.

The Government is delivering the Energy Bills Support Scheme, a £400 non-repayable grant to support all families with their energy bills and the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) which will save a typical household in Great Britain £900 this Winter. In addition, families with disabled children are also entitled to a one-off £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment.

The Government is reviewing the EPG. This consultation will explore the best ways to ensure that vulnerable high energy users, such as those with medical requirements, are not put at risk of having to pay more.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of rising energy costs on unpaid carers.

The Government has recognised the pressures on households caused by rising energy prices. This is why the Government introduced the Energy Bills Support Scheme, providing £400 off energy bills this winter and the Energy Price Guarantee, ensuring that a typical UK household will pay, on average, around £2,500 a year on their energy bill up till April 2023, when the EPG will be reviewed.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) parcels and (b) letters which were not delivered by Royal Mail within its stated timeframes in November and December 2021.

Ofcom, the independent regulator, monitors Royal Mail’s performance and has powers to investigate and take enforcement action if Royal Mail fails to achieve its service delivery targets.

Royal Mail is required by Ofcom to publish quality of service reports on a quarterly basis. Royal Mail’s next report, covering the period October-December is expected to be published by March at the latest.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of delayed or lost Royal Mail deliveries on small independent businesses during Christmas 2021.

The Government recognises the importance of a reliable universal postal service to small businesses across the UK and we know postal workers have worked exceptionally hard to meet demand over the festive period.

Ofcom, the independent regulator, has an ongoing postal market research programme which tracks the use of, and attitudes to, post among small and medium enterprise (SME) customers.

Ofcom summarises its findings in its annual monitoring update for postal services. Ofcom’s last report covering 2020-21, published on 9 December 2021, found that overall satisfaction levels with Royal Mail’s services remain high with 79% of SMEs being satisfied. Satisfaction among SMEs about the level of lost post sent by Royal Mail was at 70%. Ofcom aims to publish the next report towards the end of 2022.

30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential barriers to community energy projects; and what steps he is taking to tackle those barriers.

The Government has received the Environmental Audit Committee’s (EAC) report into community energy, which makes several recommendations to government.

In order to support community energy projects, the Government funds the Rural Community Energy Fund. The £10 million scheme supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to their community. We also continue to work with Community Energy England to share best practice within the sector, so less experienced communities can learn from those already operating.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage growth of community energy projects.

The Government has received the Environmental Audit Committee’s (EAC) report into community energy, which makes several recommendations to government.

In order to support community energy projects, the Government funds the Rural Community Energy Fund. The £10 million scheme supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to their community. We also continue to work with Community Energy England to share best practice within the sector, so less experienced communities can learn from those already operating.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the context of no eligible prize holders having applied for the Home Office's fast-track Global Talent visa in the first six months of that scheme, what steps he is taking to help ensure that the UK attracts talented academics and researchers at all stages of their careers.

The prize route is just one option under our Global Talent route, through which Home Office have received thousands of applications since its launch in February 2020, and this number continues to rise.

The Government is committed to making the UK the most exciting destination in the world for scientists, researchers, and innovators. The Government will continue to improve our approach to attracting global talent to the UK through the Office for Talent, and by reviewing our talent offer to make sure that our programmes are among the best and most attractive in the world.

The Government continues to work closely with the science and research sector to ensure the UK immigration system is closely aligned to the sector’s needs.

24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the context of no eligible prize holders having applied for the Home Office's fast-track Global Talent visa in the first six months of that scheme, what steps he is taking to help ensure that the UK attracts talented scientists at all stages of their careers.

The prize route is just one option under our Global Talent route, through which Home Office have received thousands of applications since its launch in February 2020, and this number continues to rise.

The Government is committed to making the UK the most exciting destination in the world for scientists, researchers, and innovators. The Government will continue to improve our approach to attracting global talent to the UK through the Office for Talent, and by reviewing our talent offer to make sure that our programmes are among the best and most attractive in the world.

The Government continues to work closely with the science and research sector to ensure the UK immigration system is closely aligned to the sector’s needs.

19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Universal Service Obligation for letters is being met consistently, in the context of Royal Mail’s announcement of a £400 million payout to shareholders.

The Government has no role in operational or commercial decisions by Royal Mail which is a fully private business.

The Government sets the minimum requirements and service standards for the UK postal service in the Postal Services Act 2011 which designates the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as the independent regulator for the sector with the responsibility and powers to regulate postal services.

Ofcom has a duty to ensure the provision of a financially sustainable and efficient universal postal service. It monitors Royal Mail’s provision of the universal service and has powers to investigate and take enforcement action if Royal Mail fails to achieve its performance targets, taking account of all relevant factors.

19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of returning postal services into public ownership to ensure profits are reinvested into the service, in the context of Royal Mail’s announcement of a £400m payout to shareholders.

The Government has no plans to renationalise Royal Mail. Operational and commercial decisions are a matter for the company’s management.

One of the primary reasons for the sale was to enable Royal Mail to access the capital it needed to invest in and grow the business.

Royal Mail has invested £2 billion in the firm since privatisation, with a further £1.8 billion investment in the UK’s postal service announced in 2019 to transform and grow the UK business.

19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what comparative assessment he has made of the level of Royal Mail’s (a) recent investment in mail delivery services and (b) £400m payout to shareholders.

The Government has no plans to renationalise Royal Mail. Operational and commercial decisions are a matter for the company’s management.

One of the primary reasons for the sale was to enable Royal Mail to access the capital it needed to invest in and grow the business.

Royal Mail has invested £2 billion in the firm since privatisation, with a further £1.8 billion investment in the UK’s postal service announced in 2019 to transform and grow the UK business.

19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Royal Mail services in south London; and what steps he is taking to ensure that Royal Mail improves services disrupted by the covid-19 pandemic.

Royal Mail is a fully private business. The Government has no role in its operational or commercial decisions.

The Government sets the minimum requirements and service standards for the UK postal service in the Postal Services Act 2011 which designates the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as the independent regulator for the sector with the responsibility and powers to regulate postal services.

Ofcom has a duty to ensure the provision of a financially sustainable and efficient universal postal service. It monitors Royal Mail’s provision of the universal service and has powers to investigate and take enforcement action if Royal Mail fails to achieve its performance targets, taking account of all relevant factors.

Ofcom’s statement declaring the Covid-19 pandemic an emergency regulatory period under the Postal Services Act 2011, and therefore removing the regulatory conditions placed on Royal Mail, ended on 31 August 2021. Ofcom has stated that it continues to take a pragmatic and proportionate approach to compliance monitoring taking account of any relevant matters beyond Royal Mail’s control that impact on its performance, including any continuing impacts of the pandemic.

19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he is holding with the CEO of Royal Mail regarding current service standards for the delivery of letters, in the context of Royal Mail’s announcement of a £400 million payout to shareholders.

The Department has regular discussions with Royal Mail on a range of issues although, as a fully private business, its operational and commercial decisions are a matter for the company’s management.

Ofcom has a duty to ensure the provision of a financially sustainable and efficient universal postal service. It monitors Royal Mail’s provision of the universal service and has powers to investigate and take enforcement action if Royal Mail fails to achieve its performance targets as appropriate, taking account of all relevant factors.

12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the paper by Chatham House and Woodwell Climate Research Center, published on 14 October 2021, what steps he is taking to help reduce the use of biomass for energy production and to increase the use of renewable sources, including wind and solar power, in the context of the finding that treating biomass from forests as a zero-carbon fuel risks not being in line with the Paris Agreement.

Sustainable biomass has played a vital role in the UK’s decarbonisation efforts to date and is an important part of the UK’s renewable energy mix. The Government recognises the need to ensure that biomass is prioritised where it brings about GHG emission reductions in hard to decarbonise sectors without other viable alternatives. The CCC and the National Grid’s 2020 Future Energy Scenarios indicated that it is not possible to achieve net zero without Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). The Government has committed to establishing the role that BECCS could play in reducing carbon emissions across the economy.

The Government will continue to support a diversity of renewable technologies including wind and solar, through the Contracts for Difference scheme. The next allocation round will open in December 2021, with a draft budget of £265 million. In the Net Zero Strategy, the Government has committed to a sustained increase in the deployment of renewable generation technologies, such as solar and onshore wind in the 2020s and beyond, and to deliver 40GW from offshore wind by 2030.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) potential effect of subsidies given to companies burning biomass for power generation on the UK's carbon emissions and (b) potential merits of redirecting that funding to more renewable sources.

Sustainable biomass has played a vital role in the UK’s decarbonisation efforts to date and is an important part of the UK’s renewable energy mix. The Government recognises the need to ensure that biomass is prioritised where it brings about GHG emission reductions in hard to decarbonise sectors without other viable alternatives. The CCC and the National Grid’s 2020 Future Energy Scenarios indicated that it is not possible to achieve net zero without Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). The Government has committed to establishing the role that BECCS could play in reducing carbon emissions across the economy.

The Government will continue to support a diversity of renewable technologies including wind and solar, through the Contracts for Difference scheme. The next allocation round will open in December 2021, with a draft budget of £265 million. In the Net Zero Strategy, the Government has committed to a sustained increase in the deployment of renewable generation technologies, such as solar and onshore wind in the 2020s and beyond, and to deliver 40GW from offshore wind by 2030.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of wood-burning for electricity on the UK’s carbon emissions; and what steps his Department is taking to encourage a transition away from biomass burning for power generation.

Sustainable biomass has played a vital role in the UK’s decarbonisation efforts to date and is an important part of the UK’s renewable energy mix. The Government recognises the need to ensure that biomass is prioritised where it brings about GHG emission reductions in hard to decarbonise sectors without other viable alternatives. The CCC and the National Grid’s 2020 Future Energy Scenarios indicated that it is not possible to achieve net zero without Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). The Government has committed to establishing the role that BECCS could play in reducing carbon emissions across the economy.

The Government will continue to support a diversity of renewable technologies including wind and solar, through the Contracts for Difference scheme. The next allocation round will open in December 2021, with a draft budget of £265 million. In the Net Zero Strategy, the Government has committed to a sustained increase in the deployment of renewable generation technologies, such as solar and onshore wind in the 2020s and beyond, and to deliver 40GW from offshore wind by 2030.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to progress the delivery of the Life Sciences Vision.

The Government, NHS and Life Science Sector have already made significant progress in delivering the Life Science Vision. Activity since publication includes the establishment and delivery of the Life Science Scale Up Taskforce, work to improve the NHS’s capacity and capability to utilise new technologies, and innovation work by the Vaccine Taskforce and Antivirals Taskforce to secure access to cutting new technologies to address COVID-19.

Following the conclusion of the 2021 Spending Review on 27th October, the Government has confirmed specific funds will be provided upfront to directly support the delivery of the Life Sciences Vision.

This includes £95m funding to support the uptake of innovative drugs and technologies and address a number of the Healthcare Missions outlined in the Vision, drive new initiatives through Genomics England to deliver life-changing technologies, and £354m to strengthen the UK’s Life Sciences manufacturing base. This builds on significant programmes of investment in Health Research across DHSC and BEIS, and the largest ever increases in the NHS’s operating budget.

The Office for Life Sciences are currently working with partner organisations to develop an implementation plan, which will deliver on the commitments as set out in the Life Sciences Vision. Further details on the implementation plan will be set out in due course.

28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) manufacturing sector, (b) finance sector, (c) hospitality sector, (d) retail sector and (e) long-term fiscal security of urban communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every region and sector of the UK economy. That is why the Government provided businesses with an unprecedented support package of £352 billion, including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. In July, we published the first ever Hospitality strategy: reopening, recovery, resilience, along with the Build Back Better High Streets Strategy, in support of city and town centre businesses.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer set out further steps to help the economy recover in the Autumn Budget. These included extending the Recovery Loan Scheme until June 2022, providing over £1 billion to ensure businesses can continue to access loans and other finance, and a 50% business rates discount for companies in retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors for the year 2022-23.

26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the investment in heat pumps announced in the Heat and buildings strategy, published on 19 October 2021, for meeting the Government's aim for 600,000 installations a year by 2028.

As set out in the Heat and Buildings Strategy, a range of policies will be needed to ensure the heat pump market supports 600,000 installations per year by 2028.

Key measures within this package include the £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme, the Future Homes Standard and Future Buildings Standards which will drive low carbon heating in new buildings; a new market-based incentive for heating system manufacturers to be introduced from 2024; and consulting on measures to phase out new installations of fossil fuel heating in areas located off the gas grid from the mid-2020s. Support for heat pump installation will also be available through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant schemes.

The package combines targeted funding to kickstart market growth with incentives and regulations to provide long-term policy clarity for industry that will rapidly drive down costs and increase deployment in line with Government’s stated ambitions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the sufficiency of the Government's investment in hydrogen for the UK to become a world-leader in that field.

The Government has set out a clear plan to decarbonise our power grid and will continue to build a robust domestic renewable energy sector so that the UK is not as exposed to global trends in natural gas supply and demand.

Competition is the most effective and sustainable way to keep prices low for all consumers. Throughout the transition to net zero, consumers should pay a fair, affordable price for their energy. As the net zero strategy sets out, this will be a key aim when making reforms to the energy retail market.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government plans to take to help ensure (a) stable and (b) affordable energy prices over future years.

The Government has set out a clear plan to decarbonise our power grid and will continue to build a robust domestic renewable energy sector so that the UK is not as exposed to global trends in natural gas supply and demand.

Competition is the most effective and sustainable way to keep prices low for all consumers. Throughout the transition to net zero, consumers should pay a fair, affordable price for their energy. As the net zero strategy sets out, this will be a key aim when making reforms to the energy retail market.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of jobs that will be affected by the transition to net zero; and what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that affected staff are (a) supported into new green jobs and (b) offered opportunities to retrain in green industries.

Through our Net Zero Strategy we will grow green industries and supply chains in the UK, supporting up to 440,000 jobs across net zero industries in 2030. The Strategy sets out how we are supporting skills and retraining for the green economy, including reforming the skills system; delivering green Skills Bootcamps; and working with industry to support green apprenticeships.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the potential (a) economic and (b) environmental effects of relying on gas as a transition source of energy.

The Government has published a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy, which outlines measures to transition to a green and sustainable future, helping businesses and consumers to move to clean power.

The Government is taking a range of steps to decarbonise gas and to develop alternatives to unabated gas-fired generation in the electricity system, including CCUS-enabled generation, hydrogen-fired generation, BECCS, and flexible storage, which means that gas generation will be used less frequently in the future (except in limited circumstances where it may be required to provide security of supply).

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure that any future increase in electricity demand is met with energy produced in a renewable manner.

The Net Zero Strategy reaffirmed the UK’s ambitious target to deliver 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, including 1GW of floating offshore wind, alongside the expansion of other low-cost renewable technologies such as onshore wind and solar.

We have also set out the biggest ever Contracts for Difference round – the UK's main support mechanism for large-scale renewable generation –representing a major step towards the sustained growth in renewables needed over the next decade to meet the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the volatility in gas prices on the UK's (a) energy security and (b) transition to renewable resources.

Higher wholesale gas prices have been seen globally in 2021 due to multiple international factors in supply and demand. The UK has highly diverse sources of gas supply and a diverse electricity mix, which ensures households, businesses, and heavy industry get the energy they need. National Grid Gas’s Winter Outlook notes the supply margin has increased compared to last winter and is sufficient in all of their modelled scenarios. Similarly, National Grid Electricity System Operator’s 2021 Winter Outlook Report confirms that there will be sufficient capacity available for the coming winter.

The Government has published a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy, which outlines measures to transition to a green and sustainable future, helping businesses and consumers to move to clean power, so that households and businesses will be much better protected from energy price spikes caused by volatile international fuel markets.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the contribution of fossil-fuel reliant companies to the UK’s transition to net zero; and what steps he is taking to ensure that those companies contribute to the costs of managing pollution, with reference to public debt.

As set out in the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, the costs of net zero must be shared fairly between the taxpayer, industry and its customers. HM Treasury’s Net Zero Review considers the potential exposure of businesses and households to the transition, and highlights factors to be taken into account when designing policy that will allocate costs over this time horizon.

The Government has already established a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) which demonstrates the UK’s commitment to carbon pricing as an effective tool that will help fulfil our climate change objectives. The UK ETS will be the world’s first net zero cap and trade market, delivering a robust carbon price signal and promoting cost-effective decarbonisation by allowing businesses to cut carbon where it is cheapest to do so.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the Government’s new oil and gas developments on the Government's goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

All scenarios proposed by the Climate Change Committee setting out how the Government could meet its 2050 net zero emissions target include continuing demand for oil and natural gas.

Even with continued new development, the UK is expected to consume more oil and gas than it produces in the coming decades. This is because production from the UK Continental Shelf is declining rapidly as the basin matures. Existing licensed but undeveloped oil and gas assets are already factored into the Government’s projections for future production, as well as associated emissions.

The Oil and Gas Authority’s (OGA’s) new strategy, which came into force in February 2021, integrates net zero considerations into the development consent process. This strategy provided the OGA with tools they can use to help ensure that new developments are designed and operated as cleanly as possible, in line with the Government’s net zero obligation.

Looking forward, the Government will introduce a climate compatibility checkpoint which will be used to assess whether any future licensing rounds remain in keeping with the Government’s climate goals.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure British homes are insulated in response to recent rises in energy prices.

The Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy sets out the actions we will be taking to reduce emissions from buildings in the near term, including £3.9 billion of new funding.

Part of this new funding has been allocated to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund which will upgrade a significant amount of the social housing stock currently below EPC C up to that standard. This will include improvements to insulation.

This funding will also support the Home Upgrade Grant which will provide grants to up to 100,000 low-income households to upgrade the energy performance of the worst quality, off gas grid homes in England. This will typically include insulation measures to make the home heat efficient and suitable for the future as we build towards net zero.

In addition, The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme which commenced in 2013, which is an obligation that the Government has placed on larger energy suppliers to install energy efficiency and heating measures to low income and vulnerable households across GB and has delivered around 3.29m measures in 2.31m homes, up to the end of July 2021.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of the production of hydrogen on CO2 levels.

The Government's Net Zero Strategy sets out how low carbon hydrogen will be an essential part of our future energy mix. We are currently consulting on a new UK standard for low carbon hydrogen, which will ensure any hydrogen production we support provides genuine carbon savings. As part of this we have published a comprehensive assessment on the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of different production methods.

The UK Hydrogen Strategy indicates that use of 5 GW low carbon hydrogen could deliver total emissions savings of 41 MtCO2e between 2023 and 2032, the equivalent of the carbon captured by 700 million trees over the same period.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing low-income households with subsidised heat pumps in order to (a) protect poorer households in the run up to winter and (b) kickstart the low-carbon heating market.

The Government has published its comprehensive Heat and Buildings Strategy, with major new plans to lower the cost of low-carbon heating technology, like heat pumps, to ensure they are no more expensive to buy and run than fossil-fuel boilers. The strategy aims to promote growth and levelling up through supporting 175,000 green skilled jobs by 2030 and 240,000 by 2035.

New grants of £5,000 will be available from April next year to encourage homeowners to install more efficient, low-carbon heating systems – like heat pumps – through a £450 million three-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Home Upgrade Grant, Energy Company Obligation and Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery schemes all support the installation of heat pumps for social housing tenants and lower-income homeowners and private tenants. These schemes also support other energy-efficiency measures such as insulation and heating controls to ensure homes are easier to heat and waste less energy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help ensure that low income households are able to heat their homes following recent rises in energy prices.

The Government is committed to ensuring fair energy prices for consumers. That is why Government introduced the energy price cap in 2019, which saves 15 million households on default tariffs up to £100 a year on average.

The Government’s Warm Home Discount provides over 2 million eligible households with £140 off their bills. In addition, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments will help ensure those most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes over the colder months.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what contingency planning his Department is undertaking to help ensure that vulnerable people are not left without heating in the event of energy shortages in winter 2021, with particular reference to the elderly and disabled people.

We remain confident that gas and electricity security of supply can be maintained under a wide range of scenarios.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the feasibility that UK reaches net zero emissions sooner than 2050.

The UK was the first major economy to legislate for a net zero target. This target was set in line with advice from our independent expert advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), that 2050 was the earliest feasible date for achieving this. The CCC made clear in their advice on the 6th Carbon Budget, published in December 2020, that net zero in 2050 remains the right target for the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the role of local authorities in delivering the policy objectives of COP26.

The Government recognises that local authorities can, and do, play an essential role in meeting national net zero ambitions. The Government has held Together for Our Planet round tables with Local Authorities and Community groups to receive their input in advance of COP26.

BEIS’s Local Energy Programme continues to support Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), local authorities and communities in England to play a leading role in decarbonisation and clean growth. Further details of how we intend to work with local government to reach net zero will be set out in the Net Zero Strategy.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the Government’s objectives are for the cities and built environment theme for COP26; and what steps he is taking to engage the UK's cities in delivering on those outcomes at COP26.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 7th June 2021 to Question UIN 7886.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to work with local authorities to reduce carbon emissions ahead of COP26.

The Government recognises that local government can drive progress towards our national climate change commitments, and we are committed to working closely with them to ensure their role in delivering net zero targets are promoted at COP26.

Since 2017, BEIS has invested almost £22m in the Local Energy Programme, which is designed to build local capacity, capability and encourage joined-up working between local areas, investors and central government on decarbonisation and clean growth. Further details of how we intend to work with local government to reach net zero will be set out in the Net Zero Strategy, to be published prior to COP26.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Energy Performance Certificates in assessing carbon emissions in traditional buildings built before 1919.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for existing dwellings are generated through the Reduced data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP). EPC assessors collect and input data on the fixed components of the building during an on-site assessment. RdSAP uses this data to model energy performance and generate recommendations tailored to the property to improve the EPC rating. Though EPCs use a cost metric, RdSAP also generates an estimate of the building’s annual CO2 emissions to be displayed on the EPC. We are continuing to keep the metrics displayed on EPCs under review as we develop policies to decarbonise homes.

Previously there was an update to RdSAP in 2017 to update the U-value of uninsulated solid brick walls (the wall type most often found in pre-1919 dwellings) to take into account BEIS solid wall research which found these types of walls performed significantly better on average than previously assumed. We have now commenced work on the development of the next version of RdSAP, in line with changes to the energy system, to ensure it continues to be an accurate, effective, and transparent tool.

Furthermore, we are continuing to deliver the commitments in our EPC Action Plan, published last year, to maximise the effectiveness of EPCs as a tool to help improve the energy performance of buildings. This includes considering the additional training requirements for assessors to assess traditional buildings and reviewing the recommendations on EPCs to ensure suitability for older property types.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of developing a strategy for decarbonising traditional domestic buildings that were built before 1919.

There is a package of policies, including grants, incentives, and advice, currently in place to support low income and fuel poor households, as well as to encourage investment in decarbonisation and energy efficiency improvements within the domestic housing stock. This package includes grant funding delivered via local authorities (including the Local Authority Delivery Scheme, Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the Home Upgrade Grant). The Energy Company Obligation is not a grant scheme, but an obligation on the largest energy suppliers to deliver heating and energy efficiency measures to low income and vulnerable and fuel poor households.

Traditional properties built before 1919 will be eligible for upgrades through these schemes. Advice is also provided through the Simple Energy Advice service. We are consulting on requirements for lenders to support homeowners to improve the energy performance of their homes.

Further, the most recent PAS2035 and PAS 2030:2019 standards set out clear requirements for retrofitting homes built before 1919 to ensure that the most appropriate measures are installed for the building. The risk assessment in the standard is used to help the installers and designers take into consideration the age of the building and any features of heritage or design that need to be considered when upgrading these buildings.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to protect people who have experienced financial hardship as a result of aggressive recruitment by multi-level marketing brands.

It is a criminal offence to persuade someone to make a payment to a scheme by promising benefits from getting other people to join the same scheme (Fair Trading Act 1973 section 120(3)).

Similarly, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) prohibit unfair and aggressive marketing tactics towards consumers.

If individuals believe there has been a breach of these Regulations, they should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133, www.citizensadvice.org.uk/.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the recruitment practices of multi-level marketing brands during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is a criminal offence to persuade someone to make a payment to a scheme by promising benefits from getting other people to join the same scheme (Fair Trading Act 1973 section 120(3)).

Similarly, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) prohibit unfair and aggressive marketing tactics towards consumers.

If individuals believe there has been a breach of these Regulations, they should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133, www.citizensadvice.org.uk/.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the growth in recruitment for multi-level marketing brands since March 2020.

It is a criminal offence to persuade someone to make a payment to a scheme by promising benefits from getting other people to join the same scheme (Fair Trading Act 1973 section 120(3)).

Similarly, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) prohibit unfair and aggressive marketing tactics towards consumers.

If individuals believe there has been a breach of these Regulations, they should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133, www.citizensadvice.org.uk/.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the income foregone to the UK economy as a result to STEM skills shortages; and what steps his Department is taking to work with local authorities and Combined Authority Mayors to tackle skill shortages locally.

The Government recognises the need to tackle skills shortages in STEM occupations and is encouraging more students, across all areas of the country, into STEM education and training at all stages from primary school to higher education. Improving take up of STEM subjects is vital for the UK’s future economic needs and to drive up productivity.

In order to ensure a strong pipeline of qualified students into higher education and careers in STEM areas, the Department for Education has committed substantial spending on mathematics, digital and technical education to increase take-up and better teaching of STEM subjects in schools.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) works closely with Department of Education (DfE) and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), and other departments to understand the impact of skills shortages in England, nationally, across sectors, and across regions. The Skills Advisory Panels’ recent Local Skills Reports are a valuable source for understanding skills need across all parts of England. The Skills and Productivity Board will draw on intelligence, evidence, and data from a range of local partners and businesses to understand skills demand as we seek to build back better.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) potential contribution of local government (i) in delivering the national net zero target and (ii) to COP26, (b) effectiveness of the existing framework for local delivery of that target and (c) resources that will be needed to support local delivery of that target.

The Government recognises that local government can drive progress towards our national climate change commitments, and we are committed to working closely with them to ensure their role in delivering net zero targets are promoted at COP26.

Since 2017, BEIS has invested almost £22m in the Local Energy Programme, which is designed to build local capacity, capability and encourage joined-up working between local areas, investors and central government on decarbonisation and clean growth. Further details of how we intend to work with local government to reach net zero will be set out in the Net Zero Strategy, to be published prior to COP26.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the Government’s objectives are for the cities and built environment theme for the COP; and how the Government is engaging with UK cities in delivering on those objectives at COP26.

All of the theme days for COP26 are in the early stages of planning, including the cities, regions and built environment day. We will work with a wide range of domestic and international stakeholders in the delivery of all theme days.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to promote the role of local government in delivering the national net zero target at COP26.

The Government recognises that local government can drive progress towards our national climate change commitments, and we are committed to working closely with them to ensure their role in delivering net zero targets are promoted at COP26.

Since 2017, BEIS has invested almost £22m in the Local Energy Programme, which is designed to build local capacity, capability and encourage joined-up working between local areas, investors and central government on decarbonisation and clean growth. Further details of how we intend to work with local government to reach net zero will be set out in the Net Zero Strategy, to be published prior to COP26.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what leadership role the UK Government is taking ahead of the G7 and COP26 to encourage international coordination and collaboration to support emerging technologies with the potential to contribute to achieving net zero.

International collaboration to support innovation in emerging technologies is a key strand of work through the G7 and towards COP26, and was a theme of the UK Presidency’s G7 Climate and Environment Ministerial on 20-21 May. Among other commitments, G7 Ministers welcomed the second phase of Mission Innovation and the third phase of the Clean Energy Ministerial, and launched the G7 Industrial Decarbonisation Agenda to support such work and plug any gaps in the international landscape. We will play a leadership role in Mission Innovation 2.0 which is launching global innovation missions in shipping, power and hydrogen on 2 June.

Under UK leadership, the G7 committed to increasing clean energy innovation investments to a level in line with our Net Zero ambition, and will design appropriate pull mechanisms to accelerate the scale-up of clean energy and net zero technologies across all G7 members and to support the clean energy transition in developing countries.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made on publishing a strategy on net zero.

Leading up to COP26 - in addition to ambitious plans across key sectors of the economy, including an Energy White Paper, Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Heat and Buildings Strategy - we will publish a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy. This will set out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy, making the most of new growth and employment opportunities across the UK, and outline our path to hit our 2050 target.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the value of an independent technology assessment body to inform investment decisions in technologies to deliver net zero.

We reference a wide range of analysis, both domestic and international to establish what, based on current understanding of technologies, are the high-level priorities on a sensible pathway to Net Zero. In particular, BEIS commissioned independent analysis through the Energy Innovation Needs Assessment (EINAs), which involved input from over 180 stakeholders. That analysis informs the prioritisation of government investment in low-carbon innovation, and is available on our website[1]. We also benefit from private sector, independent challenge on our cross-Government Energy Innovation Board which will become the Net Zero Innovation Board, chaired by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-innovation-needs-assessments

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to encourage investment in the research and development of technologies which have the potential to contribute to achieving net zero.

The Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) will spend £1bn over the next 4 years to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative low-carbon technologies, systems and business models in power, buildings and industry. It will focus on ten priority areas with the potential to contribute to Net Zero, including: floating offshore wind, nuclear advanced modular reactors, energy storage and flexibility; bioenergy; hydrogen; homes; direct air capture and advanced CCUS; industrial fuel switching; and disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence for energy.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with international partners on shared investment in new net zero technologies.

The UK aims to be a global leader in green and net zero technologies, underpinned by our commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is supported by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and other key government plans, including the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy and Energy White Paper.

Our approach brings together ambitious policies and significant new public investment, while seeking to mobilise private investment. This has the potential to deliver up to an estimated £42 billon of private investment, from both domestic and international partners, by 2030 across energy, buildings, transport, innovation and the natural environment.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy works closely with the Department for International Trade, and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, in supporting these investment opportunities, including through a wide range of meetings and events with international partners.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will confirm (a) when the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will open for applications, (b) for how long the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will remain open to applicants and (c) the period during which works can be completed.

The bid window for the first wave of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will open in Autumn 2021.The competition guidance is still being designed, but it is thought that the bid window will be open for around 6 weeks. Project delivery will run until March 2023. Further details on the application process will be announced later in the year.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the role of local government in COP26, what plans the Government has to provide funding and resources to local government to support the development of a framework for local delivery of the national net zero target.

Over £20million has been invested in the Local Energy Programme to date, including £1.6m which has funded all 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships to develop local energy strategies.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the level of risk to shop workers of covid-19; and what discussions he is having with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the prioritisation of shop workers in the next phase of the covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Throughout the pandemic,we have taken evidence from SAGE, as well as research by Public Health England, statistics published by the ONS and the international scientific literature into account when making decisions.

We have published safer workplaces guidance  to help employers make their workplaces COVID-Secure for their employees, visitors, and customers. The guidance does not replace existing employment, health and safety or equalities legislation. It provides information to employers on how best to meet these responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI identified that the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers was a priority for the COVID-19 vaccination programme, due to the high risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection and also transmitting that infection to those vulnerable to COVID-19 and other staff. We continue to be guided by the JCVI on the order in which people will be offered the vaccine.

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2021 to Question 146962 on Companies: Meetings, whether a legislative framework is in place to allow company AGMs to be held (a) virtually or (b) on a hybrid virtual/physical model under the current covid-19 restrictions; and in the event that it is not possible to hold virtual or hybrid AGMs, what guidance he is making available to companies on the safety of physical AGMs during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Companies Act 2006 establishes the framework within which public and traded private companies are required to hold annual general meetings, including where electronic means are deployed. It is ultimately for companies to determine how to balance the requirements of that framework against those of the coronavirus restrictions that pertain to the date of the meeting concerned. The Department has been working with the Financial Reporting Council, the Chartered Governance Institute (ICSA), legal firms and others to facilitate discussions about how companies can strike the right balance. ICSA has recently published guidance to assist companies in this regard.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the value for money of the Green Homes Grant scheme; and if he will make a comparative assessment of the amount allocated to set up and administer that scheme and the value of vouchers offered by that scheme.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of the voucher scheme, including a comprehensive analysis of scheme outcomes and evidence collected from scheme applicants and other stakeholders will be undertaken.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason funding will be reduced to the Green Homes Grant scheme from April 2021.

The funding of up to £1.5bn for the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme was designed to provide a short-term economic stimulus for financial year 2020/21 while helping to tackle our contribution to climate change. In his Spending Review, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £320 million for the scheme in the next financial year, as part of funding to make homes and public buildings more energy efficient.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department’s findings were from discussions with industry and providers on the effectiveness of the Green Homes Grant Scheme; and what steps he has taken in response to those findings.

We have numerous channels for dialogue with the supply chain and consumer groups, including roundtables with certification bodies, trade bodies and representatives from the industry.

The Department has been working closely with the scheme administrator to refine and improve the processes for: customer application to the scheme; the processing of applications; the issuance and redemption of vouchers; and payment to installers on completion of the work.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of the voucher scheme, including a comprehensive analysis of scheme outcomes and evidence collected from scheme applicants and other stakeholders will be undertaken.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer 154560, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of the £111.7 million of the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme vouchers will be taken from the (a) 2020-21 budget and (b) the 2021-22.

The funding of up to £1.5 billion for the Scheme was originally announced as a short-term stimulus, for use in 2020/21 financial year.

All vouchers issued and redeemed in line with the scheme rules will be honoured, regardless of when the work is undertaken.

Vouchers become redeemable once scheduled works are completed.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what research his Department has undertaken on the effect of the Green Homes Grant Scheme on levels of investment in (a) low carbon schemes and (b) training for staff by providers.

The Green Homes Grant was designed to provide economic stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while helping us meet our net zero commitments and supporting jobs in green retrofit.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of the Voucher Scheme, including a comprehensive analysis of scheme processes and outcomes, with evidence collected from scheme applicants, installers and other stakeholders is underway.

An independent research organisation, Ipsos MORI, was contracted in December 2020 to undertake the evaluation.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether all Green Home Grant vouchers applied for before 31st March 2021 will come out of the £1.5bn budget for 2020-21.

The funding of up to £1.5 billion for the Scheme was originally announced as a short-term stimulus, for use in 2020/21 financial year.

All vouchers issued and redeemed in line with the scheme rules will be honoured, regardless of when the work is undertaken.

Vouchers become redeemable once scheduled works are completed.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that adequate supplies of each covid-19 vaccine are available for second doses in terms of (a) volume of supply and (b) distribution of first doses of Pfizer and Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccines.

The Government has secured early access to 457 million vaccines doses through agreements with eight separate vaccine developers.

We have successfully met our target of offering a first dose to everyone in the top four priority groups, as advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, by 15th February and we are on track to offer a vaccine to priority cohorts 1 to 9 by mid-April. Everyone will receive their second vaccine dose within 12 weeks of their first.

The Government has conducted a supply chain risk assessment and continues to monitor the requirements across the supply chain from supplier through to patient; we remain confident that the supply of vaccines to the UK will not be disrupted.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the £1.5 billion announced last year for homeowners under the Green Homes Grant has been spent to date; and what estimate he has made of the amount that will be spent under that grant before the end of the financial year.

As of 3pm on 22nd February, 25,770 vouchers have been issued to customers under the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme. The value of these vouchers is currently £111.7 million. Vouchers will become redeemable once scheduled works are completed.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the projected potential effect of (a) £1.5 billion and (b) £320m investment in the Green Homes Grants scheme on reducing domestic carbon emissions.

As outlined in the Energy White Paper (2020), emissions from homes and from commercial and public sector buildings account for 19 per cent of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. In order to meet the net zero target by 2050, we will need to rapidly decarbonise the UK’s housing stock.

The Green Homes Grant is designed to provide short term economic stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst helping us meet our net zero commitments. The funding allocated to the scheme represents a significant and accelerated down payment on decarbonising buildings.

Carbon savings as a result of the scheme will depend heavily on the uptake of individual measures by households. An independent evaluation of the processes and outcomes of the Voucher Scheme will run until 2023, with interim publications released prior to the final evaluation report.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2021 to Question 145087, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) jobs and (b) small businesses of the decision not to roll over underspend in the Green Homes Grant scheme.

Funding of up to £1.5 billion for the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme was announced as a short-term economic stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, for use in the 2020/21 financial year. In the Spending Review, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £320 million for the scheme in the next financial year, as part of funding to make homes and public buildings more energy efficient.

The scheme is designed to tackle our contribution to climate change and support jobs in green retrofit. We have worked to ensure that jobs are created across the country and there are now 940 installers registered to install measures under the Green Homes Grant.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of the voucher scheme, including a comprehensive analysis of scheme outcomes, with evidence collected from scheme applicants, installers and other stakeholders is underway. An independent research organisation, Ipsos MORI, was contracted in December 2020 to undertake the evaluation.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many homes have had work completed under the Green Homes Grant scheme by region.

Official statistics for the Green Homes Grant (Voucher) Scheme were released on 18 February. The data published in this release is for all applications to the end of January 2021.

Based on this data, the number of measures installed1 under the scheme, by English geographic region is as follows:

  • North East - 167
  • North West - 282
  • Yorkshire and The Humber - 279
  • East Midlands - 234
  • West Midlands - 198
  • East of England - 521
  • London - 248
  • South East - 598
  • South West - 250

1This figure represents the number of measures that have had an installation completed with notification made to the scheme delivery partner on the completion of the work.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of small business installers on (a) the accessibility of, (b) effectiveness of and (c) potential improvements to Green Home Grants schemes.

The Department regularly engage with stakeholders across the installer supply chain, including small businesses, through roundtable meetings, webinars, and individual engagements. Recently Certification Bodies, individual installers, Trade Associations and representatives from TrustMark and MCS have been engaged and views sought on how the scheme could be improved. Based on business and expert feedback, my officials have:

(a) allowed subcontractors to more easily take part in the scheme and reduced the cost of accreditation by 50% for Green Homes Grant installers for some PAS standards.

(b) improved guidance for installers on providing quotes, to clarify the information needed for the scheme administrator to approve an application and reduce time to approval. We have also updated guidance around the payment processes.

(c) opened channels for further dialogue and feedback within the scheme. The Department held its first installer Webinar in December with over 150 installers in attendance, taking questions and walking through the scheme details and processes.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department is having with HM Treasury on funding for projects to reduce domestic carbon emissions ahead of the budget 2021.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly meets with my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer bilaterally and in Cabinet committees, including to discuss the Government’s commitment to tackle climate change and working together to drive forward the net zero agenda.

The Government’s Spending Review 2020 publication clearly shows that achieving net zero is a priority outcome across Whitehall; a total of £12 billion was allocated to several departments to support the Government’s aim of achieving net zero by 2050.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2021 to Question 145087, what (a) alternative projects or (b) other Departments the underspend on the first tranche of the Green Homes Grant is planned to be allocated to.

We are determined to deliver on the £9.2bn Manifesto commitment to improve the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.

In the Spending Review, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £320 million for the Green Home Grant Voucher Scheme in the next financial year, as part of funding to make homes and public buildings more energy efficient.

Support is also available for installation of energy efficiency measures, including insulation, through a number of government-funded schemes. In addition to the £640 million per year Energy Company Obligation (ECO), in financial year 2020-21, these include the £500 million Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Green Homes Grant Scheme and the £50 million Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator (SHDFD), with a further £60 million for this scheme for 2021-22 announced in the Spending Review.

The Government is planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in the coming months, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support projects which produce renewable energy in densely populated urban centres.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the then Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth on 15 December 2020 to Question 128213.

The public consultation on the proposed Green Heat Network Fund closed on 29 January 2021. We are currently analysing these responses and will update the House shortly.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research on new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

I refer the Hon. Member to the reply I gave in PQs 145176, 144844, and 144847.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and (b) local authority leaders on support for councils’ programmes for tackling climate change and improving climate resilience.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State recently met with my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, reiterating the commitment to tackling climate change and agreed for the two departments to continue working together to drive forward the net zero agenda.

The Secretary of State also meets with Local Authorities and local Members of Parliament regularly to discuss a range of issues including their net zero ambitions as do members of his wider ministerial team.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to review the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 with reference to provisions for virtual company AGMs in light of the third covid-19 lockdown.

The Department keeps under constant review the ongoing need for the range of easements and support mechanisms it has put in place to assist companies in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Ministerial colleagues, Departmental officials and I have frequent discussions with a broad range of stakeholders on these and other matters.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with (a) representatives of business and (b) other stakeholders on the expiry of provisions for virtual AGMs under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.

The Department keeps under constant review the ongoing need for the range of easements and support mechanisms it has put in place to assist companies in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Ministerial colleagues, Departmental officials and I have frequent discussions with a broad range of stakeholders on these and other matters.

21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) trends in the levels of fuel poverty and (b) potential effect of the third covid-19 lockdown on energy bills.

The trends in levels of fuel poverty from 2003-2018 are published on GOV.UK in these tables:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fuel-poverty-trends-2020.

There is insufficient information available to assess the impact of this for the current lockdown in England. Household energy bills depend on a variety of factors including tariff prices; weather conditions; as well as time spent at home.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) non-essential workers being asked to attend offices by employers, and (b) essential workers who can work remotely being asked to attend offices by employers; and what discussions he has had with trade unions on workers required to work in offices.

In the most recent data from the ONS Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, covering the period 13-17 January, 45% of adults stated that they had worked from home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the last seven days. This figure is up from 43% the week previously, and up from 31% the week before that.

It is important that people stay at home wherever possible to minimise the risk of transmission and Government will continue to reinforce this message when engaging with businesses and representative organisations across a range of different sectors.

The Government has developed Safer Working Guidance alongside employers and trade unions, and employers are encouraged to discuss their Covid risk assessment and mitigation measures with trade unions.

21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the need for people that work as gas and electricity meter readers to be working in other people’s homes during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

As visiting peoples’ homes is an essential part of a meter readers job, they need to ensure they follow the Safer Working guidance.

When meter readers need to enter other peoples’ homes, they should take appropriate Covid-19 secure precautions such as socially distancing wherever possible, wearing a face covering or making sure there is appropriate ventilation.

21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of his Department’s guidance on working safely during coronavirus with regard to people that work as meter readers in other people’s homes.

As visiting peoples’ homes is an essential part of a meter readers job, they need to ensure they follow the Safer Working guidance.

When meter readers need to enter other peoples’ homes, they should take appropriate Covid-19 secure precautions such as socially distancing wherever possible, wearing a face covering or making sure there is appropriate ventilation.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the deadline for delivery of the Local Authority Delivery Scheme 2.

The Green Homes Grant, Local Authority Delivery Scheme is part of a package of measures aimed at providing an urgent stimulus to the economy. BEIS intend to allocate £300m to the regional Local Energy Hubs for delivery by December 2021. This aims to balance the aim of the scheme to support economic recovery whilst being pragmatic over delivery timescales.

These economic stimulus schemes are part of a longer term, sustained investment in the growth of skills and jobs to build the supply chains necessary to achieve net zero. We have recently published the Energy White Paper and next year we plan to publish a Heat and Building Strategy outlining our approach alongside an updated Fuel Poverty Strategy for England, that builds upon the commitments in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, to extend the Energy Company Obligation and implement the Home Upgrade Grant.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the deadline for the Local Authority Delivery Scheme on the development of sustainable jobs and skills.

BEIS estimates the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme will support on average 8,000 jobs per annum over the years 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to use the results of the Local Authority Delivery scheme to evaluate the effectiveness of local authorities in the future.

BEIS has embedded evaluation into the delivery plans of the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme so that Government can learn about its effectiveness, implement learning into the future of energy efficiency schemes and consider what ongoing role Local Authorities should have in the delivery of such schemes.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits aligning the deadlines for all Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme phases with the Voucher Scheme deadline of March 2022.

The Local Authority Delivery and Vouchers schemes have been designed to work alongside each other whilst reflecting the differences in delivery methods. Both schemes’ primary objective is to provide a short-term economic stimulus.

BEIS has allocated LAD funding to 55 projects totalling £74.3m of expenditure for delivery by March 2021, which can play an important role in sustaining and creating jobs in all regions of England.

BEIS anticipates funding in excess of £124m of LAD scheme projects imminently with a delivery date of September 2021, and a further £300m is allocated to the regional Local Energy Hubs for delivery by December 2021.

These staggered dates intend to balance the aim of the scheme to support economic recovery whilst being pragmatic over delivery timescales.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of recently imposed Tier 3 covid-19 restrictions in London on jobs in the (a) hospitality and (b) retail sectors in London; and what steps he is taking in support those (i) businesses and (ii) jobs.

The Government is fully committed to supporting retailers and the hospitality sector as the nation responds to the impacts of COVID-19.

We have entirely removed all eligible properties in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors from business rates, so that no pub, hotel, or high street shop will pay business rates for 12 months – worth over £10 billion. We have provided Local Authority grants of almost £11.7 billion paid to 999,735 SME’s in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors. We have extended the moratorium on commercial landlords’ right to forfeiture for the non-payment of rent to the end of March 2021.

We?have also extended the?Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of April 2021,?extended?the Future Fund?to the end of January 2021, with an ability to top-up bounce back loans, and?increased?the support available to the self-employed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension.

On 1 December, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’.

On 5 January when the new National Lockdown began, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a one-off top up grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the spring. £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants has also been made available to support other impacted businesses.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and (b) local authority leaders on support for councils’ programmes for tackling climate change and improving climate resilience.

As COP President, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State is co-Chair of the COP26 UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council. The role of the council is to engage with mayors and local leaders across the UK and work with them to engage communities so that COP is truly representative of the whole country.

Since 2017, BEIS has funded five regional Energy Hubs across England. The Hubs work with LEPs and local authorities in their region to help them to identify a pipeline of low carbon projects and provide practical support for the initial stages of project development.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support projects which produce renewable energy in densely populated urban centres.

The five regional energy hubs in England are supporting the development of low carbon and renewable energy projects at the local level, including those within our towns and cities.

Heat networks, in particular, are best suited to an urban setting.

Heat networks are the only way we can exploit larger-scale renewable and recovered heat sources (like the latent heat from large rivers and urban recovered heat - such as from the London Underground). The Department’s Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP) is investing £320m up to April 2022 to support the construction of heat networks and accelerate the growth of the market. We expect around £1bn of private and other investment to be leveraged by HNIP.

In the March Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced additional £270m of funding for the creation of the Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF). The GHNF is intended to be a targeted successor to BEIS’ Heat Network Investment Project, and to run to 2025, and we believe it will be a significant source of funding for projects in urban areas looking to make use of renewable energy sources. A full public consultation was launched on 30 November, to run until 29 January 2021.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) uptake of the green home grant scheme by installers and (b) availability of those installers in (i) London and (ii) England.

As of 16 November, there were 1,196 businesses in England that are TrustMark registered and certified to install measures under the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme, with more registering every day. We do not have data on the total number of installers who cover Greater London, however across the region, there are between 50 and 66 TrustMark registered installers available in Local Authorities to carry out home retrofits.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the accreditation process for installers on the uptake of the green home grant scheme by small building firms; and what steps he is taking to promote that scheme among small building firms.

In order to qualify as a Green Homes Grant installer, tradespeople must be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified for clean heat measures and certified to the appropriate PAS standards for energy efficiency measures. This ensures improvements are completed to the high standards and consumers are protected.

BEIS officials have taken a number of steps to engage with the building sector and promote the green home grant scheme among small building firms, including working with Trade Associations to engage with and promote interest in the scheme among a wide range of installer groups including small building firms. In particular we wrote to the construction industry to ensure that they are aware of the scheme and the opportunities it presents.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with representatives of energy suppliers on support for customers for the increased costs of heating homes during Winter 2020-21 as a result of the new national covid-19 lockdown restrictions in operation from 5 November 2020.

Ministers and officials regularly engage with energy companies on a range of issues relating to the impact of Covid-19 on energy businesses and their customers.

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. Government has also provided unprecedented support to protect jobs and incomes, including an extension to the furlough scheme, through to the end of March, support for the self-employed and an uplift in Universal Credit.

The Department is assessing the level and impact of Covid-19 on households this winter and we will continue to review options to support energy customers.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown on levels of fuel poverty.

We have been working to ensure there are multiple support systems in place for low income and vulnerable households.

In order to reduce the impact of high energy bills we successfully negotiated an agreement with energy suppliers to support consumers impacted by COVID-19. The Green Homes Grant, launched in September 2020, is a £2 billion programme which will help improve the energy efficiency of homes in England. Of this, £1 billion is allocated specifically for low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households.

In order to protect incomes, we have extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of March, and are increasing the third self-employed grant, covering November to January, from 55% to 80% of trading profits.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement of 30 September 2020 of £3 billion of grants for energy efficiency improvements, if he will set out a timeframe for (a) publication of details of the scheme for schools and public buildings and (b) when applications for the scheme are planned to open.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will help public sector organisations in England, including central government departments and their agencies, local authorities, schools and NHS Trusts, to install energy efficiency and low carbon heating measures.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is open for applications, and more details including how to apply, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-sector-decarbonisation-scheme-psds.

1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will take steps to reduce the use of dismiss and re-engage tactics by employers.

I understand that this is an extremely difficult situation for employees to find themselves in. Ultimately these are commercial matters between employers and employees, and employers are free to offer the terms and conditions of employment which best suit their business needs, but Government is clear that employers must not discriminate unlawfully. In the vast majority of cases, employers want to do the right thing, and there are robust processes in place to prevent discrimination and abuse.

1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with employers or employer bodies on the use of dismiss and re-engage tactics in negotiations with employees.

Details of meetings held by Ministers in the Department are recorded in our transparency data, which is published at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings.

1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of employers in receipt of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme payments who have adopted dismiss and re-engage tactics when negotiating terms and conditions changes with employees.

As of 20 September 2020, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has helped 1.2 million employers across the UK furlough 9.6 million jobs. The data does not include information on the decisions a business makes on its recruitment or dismissal practices.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the publication by the Mayor of London entitled Skills for Londoners: a Call for Action, published in September 2020, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of devolving skills and employment policy in the manner set out in that report.

The Government recognises the importance of having an employment and skills system that responds to local economic need. We have taken significant steps to deliver this through devolution of around half of the Adult Education Budget (AEB). The Greater London Authority and six of the Mayoral Combined Authorities have had devolved responsibility for the AEB since the start of the 2019/20 academic year, with the North of Tyne MCA having taken on responsibility at the start of the 2020/21 academic year. We have already started to see how they have been able to use this budget to support local residents impacted by COVID–19.

The Government is now developing both a Local Recovery and Devolution White Paper and a Further Education White Paper that will set out how we intend to take forward this work in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what criteria his Department uses to measure and calculate the impact on (a) biodiversity and (b) ecosystems of biomass sourced and imported into the UK from overseas forests.

The UK only supports biomass for electricity generation which complies with strict sustainability criteria, and generating stations utilising biomass only receive subsidies in respect of compliant biomass. These criteria take into account social, economic and environmental issues including protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, land use rights, sustainable harvesting and regeneration rates. They ensure that the carbon stock of the forest from which the pellets are derived is not decreased by requiring that biomass fuels are derived from forest waste wood and residues and that the forest owner adheres to relevant legal requirements to protect biodiversity and the environment.

1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the methodology it uses to measure the impact of UK biomass imports on the forests from which those imports are sourced; and what plans his Department has to review that methodology.

The criteria used to ensure that only sustainably sourced biomass is used within our power sector is effective in protecting biodiversity and carbon stock in forests where biomass is sourced and requires biomass fuels to be derived from forest waste wood and residues. In their ‘Biomass in a low-carbon economy’ report the Committee on Climate Change stated the evidence suggests that the UK’s bioenergy sustainability rules are helping to limit sustainability risks.

Those sites using biomass with a capacity greater than or equal to 1 megawatt must also prepare an annual sustainability report compiled by a third party auditor/verifier which provides assurance that biomass is from sustainable sources.

1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the use of biomass fuel for electricity.

All Ministerial meetings gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings are published quarterly. Details of meetings from January to March can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings-january-to-march-2020.

Data for April to June 2020 will be published in due course.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of retrofitting schools to become zero carbon schools on (a) carbon emissions and (b) behaviour change.

The Public Sector Energy Efficiency Loan scheme provides interest-free loans which enable schools, and other public sector organisations, to make improvements to their buildings to reduce carbon emissions. The public sector, including schools, can play an important role in driving wider behaviour change by demonstrating leadership in reducing their emissions.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the economic effect of the covid-19 outbreak on London’s economy in the (a) retail, (b) culture and (c) hospitality sectors.

The Government recognises that these are challenging times for London businesses within the retail, culture, and hospitality sectors.

Hospitality, culture, retail, leisure, and tourism employ 1 in 5 Londoners and generate £62bn in GVA. On a normal working day roughly 2 million Londoners use the tube to travel to work. The loss of a large proportion of this daily office foot traffic represents a major challenge to the capital’s hospitality and retail businesses, especially in Central London where the residential population is low such as Westminster and the West End.

Businesses in the hospitality sector across the economy are being supported through a range of measures including Local Authority Discretionary Grants, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Eat Out to Help Out and the reduced VAT rate to 5%, along with Coronavirus Business Interruption loans.

Take-up of these schemes across the UK have been high. The accommodation and food services sector has seen 73% take-up rate in terms of employments, with over £4.1 billion claimed through CJRS. With 87% of employers in this sector furloughing at least one employment. The sector has been offered 3,924 CBILS facilities worth £956m, and 88,427 BBLS loans worth £3.10bn.


On 5 July, the Government announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, including performing arts and theatres, museums and galleries, heritage sites, live music venues and independent cinema.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to the life sciences sector to help ensure that life sciences research does not suffer long-term damage as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.

The Government’s long-term objectives for research and development (R&D) are clear: to be a science superpower and invest in the science and research that will deliver economic growth and societal benefits across the UK for decades to come, and to build the foundations for the new industries of tomorrow. This was supported by the unprecedented commitment at the Budget to increase public investment in R&D to £22 billion by 2024/25.

In June, the Government announced a support?package to sustain research capacity and capability, including life sciences research, which might otherwise be impacted by COVID-19. From this autumn, UK universities will be able to access a Government funded package of long-term, low interest loans, supplemented by a small amount of grant, covering up to 80% of the university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 2020/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity. This will help to protect research jobs, capability, and ground-breaking research.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to support research into the correlation between age and susceptibility to covid-19.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the Medical Research Council, in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided £4.9m funding to the ISARIC consortium for research and provision of real time information into the factors, including age, that put people most at risk of developing severe hospitalised illness as a result of Covid-19. They have also provided £1m to OpenSAFELY, a secure platform linking the primary care NHS records of 24 million patients, which is able to identify patients at higher risk of admission, ventilation and death from Covid-19.

More widely, as of 13 August, UKRI has committed more than £95m to new research aimed at tackling COVID-19. This includes projects supported by the UKRI call launched in March 2020 for short-term projects (up to 18 months) addressing the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak. This call includes new research with a clear impact pathway that has the potential (within the period of the award) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the Covid-19 pandemic. UKRI has also repurposed research grants with a total value of around £80m to address the effects of the pandemic.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has for the UK’s future association with the Horizon Europe programme.

The UK is open to associate to Horizon Europe, if a fair and balanced deal can be agreed. We will make a final decision once it is clear whether such terms can be reached. Any agreements relating to Union programmes should contain fair terms for UK participation. This should include fair treatment of participants, a fair and appropriate financial contribution, provisions allowing for sound financial management by both parties, and appropriate governance and consultation.

As a responsible government, we are also developing alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration. If we do not formally associate to Horizon Europe we will implement ambitious alternatives as quickly as possible from January 2021 and address the funding gap.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into the long-term health consequences of covid-19.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave the Hon. Member for Newport West on 14th July 2020 to Question 71882.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason non-essential construction workers have been advised to continue working during the covid-19 outbreak.

Construction plays a crucial role in supporting our public services, maintaining the nation’s infrastructure, and providing safe, decent homes for people to live in. Recently, the Government wrote to all those working in the construction sector to thank them for the critical contribution they are making to the resilience of this country.

Construction workers who cannot work from home, who show no symptoms of Covid-19, and who live in households where no person is self-isolating, should still go to work. This is consistent with the advice of the Chief Medical Officer.

However, the Government is clear that construction activity should only continue where it can take place in line with the social distancing guidance provided by Public Health England. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance#construction

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to relieve the financial pressures of utility bills for people on lower incomes during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State announced on 19 March that the Government, working with Citizens Advice, Ofgem and Energy UK have secured an industry-wide agreement to a set of principles for assisting consumers through difficulties caused by Covid-19 to:

  • Identify and prioritise customers at risk
  • Support customers who are impacted financially as a direct or indirect result of Covid 19.
  • Support prepayment meter customers directly or indirectly impacted by Covid 19 to stay on supply.
  • Provide information to their customers

The support offered will be based on the individual circumstances of the customer and the systems, processes and capability of the supply company, but could include extending discretionary or friendly credit, or sending out a pre-loaded top up card for traditional prepay customers who are unable to top up.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans she has to amend Ofgem’s remit to incorporate the Government’s Net Zero target.

Ofgem will have an important role in the transition to net zero and already has various powers and duties in relation to decarbonisation, including a duty to consider reductions in targeted greenhouse gas emissions. The regulator is planning to publish a decarbonisation "action plan" in February and we look forward to working closely with Ofgem to help them to implement the contents of the plan.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions her Department has had with the Treasury on the application of business rates to solar power.

This Government will conduct a fundamental review of business rates.

Ministers and officials regularly discuss a range of issues and topics with counterparts across Government, including on the issue of business rates.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether she plans to make an assessment of the effectiveness of the regulations on (a) Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin certificates and (b) the advertising of green energy packages; and if she will make a statement.

The Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin scheme derives from EU law and is intended to provide transparency to consumers about the proportion of electricity that suppliers source from renewable generation. The vast majority of REGOs in the UK are issued to projects that are also in receipt of public subsidy, so it is difficult to isolate the exact impact REGO value will have had on the business cases for individual projects or on renewables deployment overall.

The Electricity (Fuel Mix Disclosure) Regulations 2005 requires electricity suppliers to declare the fuel mix of their supply. This lays out the method suppliers must use to calculate the fuel mix that they publish on their website and use in promotional materials. Companies include electricity covered by REGOs as renewable electricity in their Fuel Mix Disclosure tables.

Ofgem, as the independent regulator, hold a supply licence condition (21D) which requires a supplier who attaches an Environmental Claim to a tariff to meet requirements on additionality, transparency and evidence of supply. The Government is continuing to work with Ofgem to ensure that regulation of the retail market (including the supply licence) remains fit for purpose through the energy transition as consumers play an increasingly important role in achieving net zero.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate she has made of the number of energy packages sold to consumers where the advertised figure of 100% green has been based on the purchase of Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin certificates.

The Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin scheme derives from EU law and is intended to provide transparency to consumers about the proportion of electricity that suppliers source from renewable generation. The vast majority of REGOs in the UK are issued to projects that are also in receipt of public subsidy, so it is difficult to isolate the exact impact REGO value will have had on the business cases for individual projects or on renewables deployment overall.

The Electricity (Fuel Mix Disclosure) Regulations 2005 requires electricity suppliers to declare the fuel mix of their supply. This lays out the method suppliers must use to calculate the fuel mix that they publish on their website and use in promotional materials. Companies include electricity covered by REGOs as renewable electricity in their Fuel Mix Disclosure tables.

Ofgem, as the independent regulator, hold a supply licence condition (21D) which requires a supplier who attaches an Environmental Claim to a tariff to meet requirements on additionality, transparency and evidence of supply. The Government is continuing to work with Ofgem to ensure that regulation of the retail market (including the supply licence) remains fit for purpose through the energy transition as consumers play an increasingly important role in achieving net zero.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the effect of renewable energy guarantees of origin certificates regulations on the level of supply of energy from green sources.

The Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin scheme derives from EU law and is intended to provide transparency to consumers about the proportion of electricity that suppliers source from renewable generation. The vast majority of REGOs in the UK are issued to projects that are also in receipt of public subsidy, so it is difficult to isolate the exact impact REGO value will have had on the business cases for individual projects or on renewables deployment overall.

The Electricity (Fuel Mix Disclosure) Regulations 2005 requires electricity suppliers to declare the fuel mix of their supply. This lays out the method suppliers must use to calculate the fuel mix that they publish on their website and use in promotional materials. Companies include electricity covered by REGOs as renewable electricity in their Fuel Mix Disclosure tables.

Ofgem, as the independent regulator, hold a supply licence condition (21D) which requires a supplier who attaches an Environmental Claim to a tariff to meet requirements on additionality, transparency and evidence of supply. The Government is continuing to work with Ofgem to ensure that regulation of the retail market (including the supply licence) remains fit for purpose through the energy transition as consumers play an increasingly important role in achieving net zero.

13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has to engage with the charity sector on the potential effect of bank branch closures on their operations.

We regularly engage with sector representatives to understand challenges and opportunities facing the sector, as does the regulator of charities, the Charity Commission of England and Wales, and the Fundraising Regulator. To date, DCMS has not received representations about the immediate risk to the sector of branch closures. However, we are aware of the longer term pressures that a move towards a cashless society will create for some in the sector. The Government is keen to engage with the sector on this issue, and work on it with the regulators.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions her Department has had with the charity sector on the effect of bank branch closures on charities’ ability to bank cash collections.

We regularly engage with sector representatives to understand challenges and opportunities facing the sector, as does the regulator of charities, the Charity Commission of England and Wales, and the Fundraising Regulator. To date, DCMS has not received representations about the immediate risk to the sector of branch closures. However, we are aware of the longer term pressures that a move towards a cashless society will create for some in the sector. The Government is keen to engage with the sector on this issue, and work on it with the regulators.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to ensure the UK attracts talented workers in the creative industries at all stages of their career in response to the lack of eligible prize holders that have applied to her Department's fast-track Global Talent visa.

The Global Talent Visa enables the UK to attract the best and brightest in a number of creative and cultural sectors, including through its fast-tracked route for award-winning leaders in these fields.

The Government works closely with the endorsing bodies for the route, including Arts Council England, to develop the route to ensure it continues to meet sectors’ needs. We ensure that the route makes it as easy as possible for those top creatives coming to the UK, which is why we introduced the Prestigious Prizes pathway for those at the pinnacle of their career. Where individuals do not hold one of these prizes they continue to be able to use the wider Global Talent Visa route. The number of visas granted on this route has continued to grow from 422 between its launch in February 2020 to September 2020, to 1,709 applicants for the year ending September 2021.

DCMS continues to work with the Home Office, across government and with the creative sectors to look at what more can be done to further attract talented creative professionals to live and work in the UK.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will issue guidance on the safe reopening of Parkrun events under covid-19 regulations.

I refer my honourable colleague to the answer I gave to written parliamentary question 3831.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the (a) level of change in executive pay, (b) level of change in public benefit payments and (c) increase in domain name prices by Nominet on the UK’s digital infrastructure.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has regular discussions with Nominet to discuss a range of issues connected with the .uk top level domain name registry, their work to protect essential public services, cyber security, crime prevention and other functions. As the operator of the .uk registry, Nominet is providing an essential service that must satisfy security requirements under the Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018. Other functions are managed as a private company with a public purpose objective and any changes to the way in which the registry is managed is done so through a multi-stakeholder approach, which have not been subject to a departmental assessment.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps is he taking to ensure that (a) performance venues, (b) performers and (c) technicians are supported through the third covid-19 lockdown.

The Government’s unprecedented £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund has now surpassed the £1 billion milestone.

Over £500 million in recovery grants have been made to over 3000 arts, culture and heritage organisations in England helping to support 75,000 jobs. This is in addition to over £160m in repayable finance; almost £100m in capital grants; £188m in support for the Devolved Administrations and £100m in direct support to the national cultural institutions. This funding is supporting the arts and culture sector to survive the pandemic and continue operating.

£400 million was held back as a contingency, and is being used for a second round of grants and repayable finance funding, to support cultural organisations facing financial distress as a result of closure, as well as helping them transition back to fuller opening during 2021. It will support organisations to transition from the challenging months of lockdowns and social distancing to welcoming audiences and visitors back to the country’s theatres, museums, cinemas, music venues and heritage sites.

This investment is part of a wider package of help from the UK Government. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has provided unprecedented financial assistance which many cultural organisations have taken advantage of.

On 5 November, the Chancellor announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended until April 2021. Businesses can continue to apply for government-backed loans, and self-employed individuals can access the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which has also been extended until April 2021.The CJRS and SEISS support has been made more generous, with individuals able to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked/average trading profits respectively.

Within the current national restrictions, performing arts venues can continue to operate under Stages 1 and 2 of the performing arts roadmap. This means that performing arts professionals including technicians may continue to rehearse and train, and perform for broadcast and recording purposes.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he is having with (a) Swim England and (b) Cabinet colleagues on supporting (i) Brockwell lido and (ii) other outdoor swimming facilities during the covid-19 outbreak; and what his timescale is for enabling those facilities to safely reopen.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

On Monday 4 January the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions. Therefore indoor and outdoor sports facilities must close.

Government decisions on reducing the current restrictions will be based on scientific evidence. Swim England are invited to regular meetings of the Sport Working Group which I chair. Through these meetings we are continuing discussions with representatives from the sport and physical activity sector about the steps required to reopen indoor and outdoor sports facilities as soon as it is safe to do so and will update the public when possible.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sports clubs have benefited from.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he is having with Cabinet colleagues on supporting (a) tennis outdoor courts, (b) running tracks, (c) golf courses and (d) other outdoor sports facilities through the covid-19 outbreak; and what his timescale is for enabling those facilities to safely reopen.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

On Monday 4 January the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions. Therefore indoor and outdoor sports facilities must close.

Government decisions on reducing the current restrictions will be based on scientific evidence. We are continuing discussions with representatives from the sport and physical activity sector about the steps required to reopen indoor and outdoor sports facilities as soon as it is safe to do so and will update the public when possible.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sports clubs have benefited from.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of recently imposed Tier 3 covid-19 restrictions in London on (a) theatres, (b) music venues and (c) galleries and museums in London; and what steps he is taking to support those venues.

The Government fully recognises the disruptive impact that Coronavirus and restrictions has on the arts, theatre, live music and museums and galleries sectors and the devastating impact that closing events and venues has. The Government continues to work with all its sectors to assess the impact of the tiers and in particular Tier 3 and to develop proposals for how venues can reopen when it is safe to do so.

That is why we have already extended the Job Retention Scheme until March, alongside the unprecedented £1.57bn Culture Recovery package which has already benefited thousands of organisations and the individuals supported by them.

We recognise the impact that closures across the country will have on our vital cultural sector and remain committed to supporting it as it suffers the impact of this virus. The remaining £400m of Culture Recovery Fund grants and loans announced on Friday 11th December will support significant cultural organisations who now face financial distress as a result of closure, as well as helping them transition back to fuller opening in the spring.

The £1bn already committed has supported over 3000 organisations to weather this storm, supporting more than 75,000 jobs, with many more freelancers and jobs in vital supply chain industries also benefitting. Across the arts and heritage recovery grants, repayable finance, and capital awards so far, support for London was approximately £300m.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much and what proportion of his Department's funding has been allocated to (a) organisations and (b) projects focused on black history in each financial year since 2015.

The majority of DCMS’s funding goes directly to its Arms Length Bodies (ALBs) such as Arts Council England, National Heritage Memorial Fund, Historic England, British Film Institute. Decisions to fund organisations or projects focused on black history would be made by them.

In 2018 the Department did allocate £200,000 to the Black Cultural Archives to secure its immediate future.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the senior leadership of museums and archives (a) with national museum status and (b) in receipt of direct funding from his Department.

DCMS has a role in promoting diversity across its sectors, as set out in the department’s Single Departmental Plan. This includes understanding where there are barriers to specific groups, bringing people together and creating connections between individuals and communities.

The majority of senior leadership appointments are a matter for each museum to decide, and DCMS works with its ALBs to ensure they consider diversity and inclusion in terms of both their staff and audiences.

Diversity, including BAME representation, is considered, as one of the eight key Principles of Public Appointments in the Governance Code on Public Appointments and must be considered when appointing boards.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of exhibits and projects focused on black history in museums and archives with national museum status; and if he will make an estimate of the amount and proportion of direct funding from his Department that has been allocated to those exhibits and projects.

DCMS-sponsored museums operate at arm’s length from the Government and DCMS does not have a role in creative or curatorial decisions. As such we do not directly fund any particular exhibitions or projects.

Many national museums and galleries display or hold material relating to black history with collections including relevant art, ceramics, fashion and photography.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the senior leadership of Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations.

The Government is clear that it expects the cultural sectors to represent our diverse society in their artistic talent, workforce and audiences. As the national development agency for art and culture, Arts Council England has a responsibility to ensure that public money benefits all of the public.

They are keen to ensure the diversity of audiences, leaders, producers and creators of arts and culture reflect the diversity of contemporary England. They measure their progress and the progress of the organisations they fund by collecting, analysing and reporting on data relating to diversity, publishing this online annually in the ‘Creative Case for Diversity’ reports. The key figures for black, Asian and minority ethnic people in leadership roles in National Portfolio Organisations can be found in the Arts Council’s most recent report for 2018-19 here (page 23)

The department has set the diversity of Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations’ board members as a key performance indicator measured on an annual basis and reported on in Arts Council England’s Annual Report. The latest one can be viewed here.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) elderly people and (b) people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to covid-19 who do not have access to (i) a smart phone and (ii) secure broadband; and what steps he is taking to reduce levels of digital exclusion among those groups.

Estimates based on Ofcom data suggest that between 4,920,000 - 5,780,000 people aged 70+ do not personally use a smartphone. Between 2,390,000 - 3,220,000 people aged 70+ do not have household access to connected devices. We do not have robust data on the digital access of people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to covid-19 and we are seeking to improve our understanding of this issue.

In March, the government agreed a set of voluntary commitments with telecommunications providers to support and protect vulnerable consumers and those who might become vulnerable as a result of Covid-19. This included a commitment to work with customers who are finding it difficult to pay their bills to ensure that they are treated fairly and appropriately supported. The Government also brokered a deal with providers which have allowed half a million NHS staff to benefit from better connectivity, and also ensured that a number of websites, including the NHS website, are zero-rated.

The introduction of the digital entitlement means that from August 2020, adults with no or low digital skills can undertake new digital skills qualifications up to Level 1 free of charge. The Government also supports the Future Digital Inclusion programme focussing on those hardest to reach. Since 2014, the programme has helped over 1.4 million people to gain the digital skills they need for life and work.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support London’s creative sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Culture Recovery Fund is an unprecedented £1.57 billion one-off cash injection into UK culture, to tackle the crisis facing our most loved arts organisations, heritage sites, and creative sector.

Over £500 million has been allocated so far with over 700 recovery grant awards to London (across arts and heritage as of 11 November), totalling over £150 million. This is in addition to government support schemes and funding made available by Arts Council England, including an £18 million ‘Developing Your Creative Practice Fund’ which is open across England.

On 5 November, the Chancellor announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until March 2021. Businesses can continue to apply for government-backed loans, and self-employed individuals can access the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which has also been extended until April 2021. The CJRS and SEISS support has been made more generous, with individuals able to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked/average trading profits respectively.

We are continuing to meet with creative industries stakeholders - based in London and beyond - to provide support and guidance for the sector during this time.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the role of collective approaches by the Government, charities and community organisations in solving the complex challenges faced by vulnerable people as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Charities, community organisations and volunteers are playing a vital role to support the coronavirus effort. Government continues to work closely with the civil society sector to assess both the needs of vulnerable people and the sector itself, and how government can best support the continuation of critical work.

Government has granted £4,803,089 to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergency Partnership (VCSEP), which brings the sector together with government and statutory agencies to meet the needs of vulnerable people during the Covid-19 outbreak. Specifically, this funding will allow the VCSEP to improve coordination across the sector, establish a system to capture unmet need at a local level, and enable volunteer demand and supply from government departments and VCS organisations to be matched.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that (a) voluntary and (b) community sector organisations have access to the resources they need to adapt to distanced delivery during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE). This funding supports charities to adapt and enhance the delivery of vital services during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Similarly, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Loan Interruption Scheme and Bounce Back Loans help VCSE organisations adapt their services in response to the challenges caused by the Covid-19 outbreak


Furthermore, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 allows many VCSE organisations to hold Annual General Meetings and other members’ meetings online until 30 December which provides them with the flexibility to continue operating at a distance.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment has he made of the potential merits of establishing an innovation fund for charities to help the voluntary sector (a) develop services for children and (b) increase its use of digital technology.

While responsibility for developing services for children is held by the Department for Education, we recognise that it is essential for charities to be part of the digital revolution. The government is committed to bringing together digital and civil society to help tackle social challenges and develop services needed.

That is why DCMS provided £1.6m of set up funding for the Catalyst, a programme which is incubated by the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST). The Catalyst brings together a network of charities, digital design agencies and major funders with the shared objective of establishing a digital support hub for the charity sector. The Catalyst programme represents the first time the charity sector has had a dedicated, high-profile coalition jointly funding and championing digital innovation in the charity sector and continues to support charities to embed digital in their strategy, services and culture.

Encouraging digital innovation has long been a priority in DCMS. For example, in 2018 DCMS launched a £400,000 Digital Inclusion Innovation Fund to help older and disabled people acquire digital skills. The aim of this fund was to help ensure that ‘what works’ on digital inclusion is identified, replicated and scaled. A full independent evaluation will be published soon to share learnings from this fund.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to (a) publish a long-term, costed strategy on closing the digital divide and (b) make that strategy available for consultation.

I announced last month that the government will be publishing a new digital strategy in the Autumn that reflects the new post-COVID reality. This will focus on growth and using tech to power us out of the recession, to drive productivity and to create jobs in all parts of our economy.

For the aspirations of this strategy to be delivered successfully, we recognise people will need the capability and confidence to get the most out of an increasingly digital world, and we welcome ideas for the strategy from stakeholders.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to tackle online (a) direct or indirect threats of physical or sexual violence against women, (b) targeted harassment of women and (c) privacy violations of women.

The Online Harms White Paper sets out our plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator. Companies will be held to account for tackling harms occurring on their platforms, including hate crime, harassment and cyberstalking.

The Law Commission is also to conducting a second phase of its review of the legal framework around abusive and offensive communications online. This will include considering whether co-ordinated harassment by groups of people online could be more effectively dealt with by the criminal law. The review will make specific recommendations for legal reform and is due to report in early 2021.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to (a) tackle and (b) protect victims of online (i) racist, (ii) transphobic and (iii) homophobic abuse.

The Online Harms White Paper sets out our plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator. Companies will be held to account for tackling harms occurring on their platforms, including hate crime.

The Law Commission is also conducting a second phase of its review of the legal framework around abusive and offensive communications online. This will include considering whether co-ordinated harassment by groups of people online could be more effectively dealt with by the criminal law. The review will make specific recommendations for legal reform and is due to report in early 2021.

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her Department's policy is on the publication of the strategic delivery plans for each SEND Change Programme Partnership.

Each of the Change Programme Partnerships (CPP) has developed a Strategic Delivery Plan, which outlines their plan for delivery across their local areas for the duration of the Change Programme.

These plans are specifically for the department to understand how the CPPs will work with each other, the department and delivery partners to deliver the Change Programme. As such, these are internal working documents and are not intended for publication.

The department will be sharing updates on the progress of the Change Programme in due course.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will provide a list of dates of meetings of the national SEND and alternative provision implementation board since June 2023; and if she will publish the minutes of these meetings.

The National Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Implementation Board met on 6 June, 18 September and 12 December 2023. Information about the Board is available on GOV.UK and will continue to be updated in due course.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information her Department holds on the number and proportion of local authorities who have advised their local childcare providers of their hourly rate from 1 April 2024; and what steps she is taking to help ensure that childcare providers have adequate notice to prepare for the expanded roll-out.

The 2024/25 government hourly funding rates for all the early years entitlements for individual local authorities were announced on 29 November 2023 to reflect the funding uplifts and the national living wage increase.

The department is in close communication with local authorities and recognises the need to ensure childcare providers have early confirmation of their early years funding rates for 2024/25. The department now anticipates that all local authorities will have confirmed funding rates that come into force from 1 April 2024 no later than the end of February 2024.

As of 31 January 2024, the department can confirm that over 40 local authorities in England have published their final funding rates for providers. Where local authorities have not yet published the final rates, the vast majority have provided indicative rates to their providers to support in their business planning.

On 2 February 2024, the department also took steps to provide greater funding certainty to nurseries and childcare providers going forwards. Each year, the government sets out funding rates in the autumn, to take effect in the following financial year. A window, likely to be 8 weeks, will be introduced, within which local authorities have to confirm rates, after the point the department announces local authority hourly rates. The department will work with the sector in the coming weeks to finalise the approach.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what opportunities parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have had to contribute to the development of new professional standards for mediators working with SEND.

In the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, the department committed to work with the Civil Mediation Council (CMC) and the College of Mediators (CoM) to review and build on the existing professional standards for SEND mediators, which was first published in 2018. The standards are owned by CMC and CoM and apply to those listed on their joint register of accredited SEND mediators.

CMC and CoM conducted a review of the existing standards last year and are currently consulting on proposed updated standards. Departmental officials have been working closely with CMC and CoM to ensure that the views of families, local authorities and other stakeholders are considered.

Parents and carers of children with SEND can contribute their views directly by responding to the consultation via the CMC’s website: https://civilmediation.org/send-consultation.

The department has also engaged with the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF), which is the national combined strategic voice of parent carer forums working in co-production with the government. All funded local parent carer forums are, by default, members of the NPCF. The department has engaged with NNPCF via the department’s SEND Dispute Resolution Steering Group, where they have had an opportunity to comment and share their views on plans to update the standards. NNPCF have also shared details of the consultation with their network.

The Council for Disabled Children and Contact have also shared details of the consultation.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of the number of parents of 2-year-olds who have applied for the expanded childcare entitlement; and how many applications are yet to be processed.

The department will be providing an update on the childcare application system shortly.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate of the number of care-experienced 16 and 17-year-olds who have been placed in unregistered accommodation in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency.

​​I refer the hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood to the answer of 19 January 2024 to Questions 9906 and 9907.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate of the number of looked-after children who were raised in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency who have been placed (a) outside and (b) 20 miles or more from the local authority area.

​​I refer the hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood to the answer of 19 January 2024 to Questions 9906 and 9907.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of childcare providers who have closed in the Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency in each of the last five years.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, the Chancellor announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency is within the area covered by Blackpool Council.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

If Blackpool Council report any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency, specifically, or by individual years.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of the availability of childcare places in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, the Chancellor announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency is within the area covered by Blackpool Council.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

If Blackpool Council report any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency, specifically, or by individual years.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate of the average cost of childcare for a (a) two and (b) three and four-year-old child for 25 hours a week in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, the Chancellor announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency is within the area covered by Blackpool Council.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

If Blackpool Council report any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency, specifically, or by individual years.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of the number and proportion of children with SEND who are (a) persistently and (b) severely absent from school in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency.

A pupil is classified as persistently absent if they miss 10% or more of their own possible sessions. A pupil is classified as severely absent if they miss 50% or more of their possible sessions.

This table shows the numbers and rates of persistently absent and severely absent pupils in Blackpool North and Cleveleys parliamentary constituency by Special Educational Need (SEN) status for the latest full academic year available, 2021/22.

Persistent absentees

Persistent absentee %

Severe absentees

Severe absentee %

SEN1 Support

491

31.9

34

2.2

Statement or EHCP2

122

31.2

8

2.0

Source: School Census.

1 Special Educational Need

2 Education, Health and Care Plan.

This table excludes a small number of pupils with unclassified SEN status.

Information on pupil absence, including breakdowns by pupil characteristics, is published in the ‘Pupil absence in schools in England’ national statistic, though this does not give constituency level information. This publication for the latest full academic year, 2021/22, is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england/2021-22.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of childcare providers that have closed in Blackpool South constituency in each of the last five years.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England.

Blackpool South constituency is within the area covered by Blackpool Council. The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Blackpool South constituency, specifically, or by individual years.

The department continually monitors the sufficiency of childcare in local authorities, and has regular contact with all local authorities in England, about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

If Blackpool Council report any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment has she made of the adequacy of availability of childcare places in Blackpool South constituency.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England.

Blackpool South constituency is within the area covered by Blackpool Council. The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Blackpool South constituency, specifically, or by individual years.

The department continually monitors the sufficiency of childcare in local authorities, and has regular contact with all local authorities in England, about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

If Blackpool Council report any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the average cost to parents of childcare for a (a) two year old and (b) three or four year old child for 25 hours per week in Blackpool South constituency as of 17 January 2024.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England.

Blackpool South constituency is within the area covered by Blackpool Council. The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Blackpool South constituency, specifically, or by individual years.

The department continually monitors the sufficiency of childcare in local authorities, and has regular contact with all local authorities in England, about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

If Blackpool Council report any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of Education, Health and Care Plans were issued outside the 20 week timeframe in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency in the latest period for which that data is available.

I refer the hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood to the answer of 19 January 2024 to Questions 9903 and 9904.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of the average waiting time for an Education, Health and Care Plan in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency.

I refer the hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood to the answer of 19 January 2024 to Questions 9903 and 9904.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many care experienced 16 and 17 year olds have been placed in unregistered accommodation in Blackpool South constituency.

The department does not collect this data by Parliamentary constituency area.

The latest information on placements for looked after children, relating to the year ending 31 March 2023, was published on 16 November 2023 in the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoptions’, which is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked after children from Blackpool South constituency are placed (a) outside and (b) 20 miles or more from the local authority area.

The department does not collect this data by Parliamentary constituency area.

The latest information on placements for looked after children, relating to the year ending 31 March 2023, was published on 16 November 2023 in the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoptions’, which is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of education, health and care plans are issued outside the 20 week timeframe in Blackpool South constituency.

The department publishes annual data on the number and proportion of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans issued within 20 weeks, in each calendar year, excluding exceptions at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans.

EHC plans are administered at the local authority level and therefore figures are not available for Parliamentary constituencies. The department does not collect data on the average time taken.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information her Department holds on the average waiting time for an EHC Plan in Blackpool South constituency.

The department publishes annual data on the number and proportion of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans issued within 20 weeks, in each calendar year, excluding exceptions at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans.

EHC plans are administered at the local authority level and therefore figures are not available for Parliamentary constituencies. The department does not collect data on the average time taken.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children with SEND are (a) persistently and (b) severely absent from school in Blackpool South constituency.

Information on pupil absence, including breakdowns by pupil characteristics, is published in the ‘Pupil absence in schools in England’ national statistic. This publication for the latest full academic year, 2021/22, is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england/2021-22.

A pupil is classified as persistently absent if they miss 10% or more of their own possible sessions. A pupil is classified as severely absent if they miss 50% or more of their possible sessions.

The table below shows the numbers and rates of persistently absent and severely absent pupils in Blackpool South parliamentary constituency by Special Educational Need (SEN) status for the latest full academic year available, 2021/22.

Persistent absentees

Persistent absentee %

Severe absentees

Severe absentee %

SEN Support1

554

33.5

34

2.1

Statement or EHCP2

189

32.6

18

3.1

Source: School Census.

1 Special Educational Need

2 Education, Health and Care Plan.

This table excludes a small number of pupils with unclassified SEN status.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of care experienced sixteen and seventeen year olds who have been placed in unregistered accommodation in Kingswood constituency in the latest period for which data is available.

The department does not collect this data by parliamentary constituency area.

The latest information on children in looked after placements, relating to the year ending 31 March 2023, was published on 16 November 2023 in the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoptions’ which is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of looked after children raised in Kingswood constituency who are placed (a) outside and (b) twenty miles or more from the local authority area.

The department does not collect this data by parliamentary constituency area.

The latest information on children in looked after placements, relating to the year ending 31 March 2023, was published on 16 November 2023 in the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoptions’ which is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of education, health and care plans are issued outside the 20 week timeframe in Kingswood constituency.

The department publishes annual data on the number and proportion of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans issued within 20 weeks, in each calendar year, excluding exceptions, which is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans.

EHC plans are administered at the local authority level and therefore figures are not available for parliamentary constituencies. The department does not collect data on the average time taken.

The department and NHS England will continue to work with local authorities to monitor and improve the quality, consistency and experience of completing EHC needs assessments, as well as the issuing of completed plans.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of the average waiting time for an education, health and care plan in Kingswood constituency.

The department publishes annual data on the number and proportion of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans issued within 20 weeks, in each calendar year, excluding exceptions, which is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans.

EHC plans are administered at the local authority level and therefore figures are not available for parliamentary constituencies. The department does not collect data on the average time taken.

The department and NHS England will continue to work with local authorities to monitor and improve the quality, consistency and experience of completing EHC needs assessments, as well as the issuing of completed plans.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of childcare providers who have closed in Kingswood constituency in each of the last five years.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Kingswood constituency, specifically, or by individual years.

The department continually monitors the sufficiency of childcare in South Gloucestershire. The department has regular contact with them, and all other local authorities in England, about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

If South Gloucestershire report any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the availability of childcare places in Kingswood constituency.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Kingswood constituency, specifically, or by individual years.

The department continually monitors the sufficiency of childcare in South Gloucestershire. The department has regular contact with them, and all other local authorities in England, about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

If South Gloucestershire report any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the average cost to parents of childcare for a (a) a two year old and (b) a three and four year old child for 25 hours per week in Kingswood constituency.

In the government’s Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, this government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Kingswood constituency, specifically, or by individual years.

The department continually monitors the sufficiency of childcare in South Gloucestershire. The department has regular contact with them, and all other local authorities in England, about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

If South Gloucestershire report any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of children with SEND who are (i) persistently absent and (ii) severely absent from school in Wellingborough constituency.

Information on pupil absence, including breakdowns by pupil characteristics, is published in the ‘Pupil absence in schools in England’ national statistic. The latest release, covering the autumn and spring terms of the 2022/23 academic year is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england. Data from the latest full academic year, 2021/22, is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england/2021-22.

A pupil is classified as persistently absent if they miss 10% or more of their possible sessions. A pupil is classified as severely absent if they miss 50% or more of their possible sessions.

The table below shows the numbers and rates of persistently absent and severely absent pupils in Wellingborough parliamentary constituency by special educational need status for the latest full academic year available, 2021/22.

Persistent absentees

Persistent absentee %

Severe absentees

Severe absentee %

No identified SEN1

2,754

21.6

179

1.4

SEN Support

548

30.1

71

3.9

Statement or EHCP2

167

29.9

22

3.9

Source: School Census.

1 Special Educational Need

2 Education, Health and Care Plan.

This table excludes a small number of pupils with unclassified SEN status.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of care experienced 16 and 17 year olds who have been placed in unregistered accommodation in Wellingborough constituency in the last 12 months.

​​The department does not collect data by Parliamentary constituency area.

​The latest information on children in looked after placements, relating to the year ending 31 March 2023, was published on 16 November 2023 in the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoptions’ at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of looked after children raised in Wellingborough constituency who are placed (a) outside of the local authority area and (b) 20 miles or more from the local authority area as of 30 November 2023.

​​The department does not collect this data by Parliamentary constituency area.

​The available data relates to local authority level. The latest data on looked after children relates to 31 March 2023 and was published on 16 November 2023 in the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoptions’, and is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions.​

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the availability of childcare places in Wellingborough constituency.

The department continually monitors the sufficiency of childcare in North Northamptonshire. The department has regular contact with them, and all other local authorities in England, about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing.

The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. Part B of the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

Where North Northamptonshire reports any sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues, and where needed, supports them with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.   ​​

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of childcare providers that have closed in Wellingborough constituency in each of the last five years.

This government is making the largest investment in childcare in England’s history. By the 2027/28 financial year, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education. It will provide hard working parents 30 hours of free childcare per week (38 weeks per year) for children aged 9 months to until they start school. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

As announced in the Spring Budget, the department will substantially uplift the hourly rate paid to local authorities and childcare providers to deliver existing free entitlements offers. In the 2024/25 financial year alone, we will invest over £400 million additional funding to deliver a significant uplift to these rates. This investment builds on the £204 million of additional funding provided in the 2023/24 financial year (paid from September 2023).

The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Wellingborough constituency specifically or by individual years.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate of the average cost to parents of childcare for a (a) two and (b) three or four year old child for 25 hours per week in Wellingborough constituency.

This government is making the largest investment in childcare in England’s history. By the 2027/28 financial year, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education. It will provide hard working parents 30 hours of free childcare per week (38 weeks per year) for children aged 9 months to until they start school. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

As announced in the Spring Budget, the department will substantially uplift the hourly rate paid to local authorities and childcare providers to deliver existing free entitlements offers. In the 2024/25 financial year alone, we will invest over £400 million additional funding to deliver a significant uplift to these rates. This investment builds on the £204 million of additional funding provided in the 2023/24 financial year (paid from September 2023).

The department does not hold data for the number of childcare providers that have either opened or closed in the Wellingborough constituency specifically or by individual years.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of average waiting times from referral to the issue of an education, health and care plan in Wellingborough constituency.

Data on the number of Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans is published on GOV.UK at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans. The latest data was published on 8 June 2023. This includes the number of EHC Plans that were issued within a 20-week timeframe in North Northamptonshire.

The department and NHS England will continue to work with North Northamptonshire Council to monitor, and improve the quality, consistency and experience of completing EHC Plan needs assessments, and the issuing of completed Plans.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of the timing of publishing arrangements for the 2024 intake of the Education Psychology Funded Training on the number of students applying for training.

Educational psychologists play a critical role in the support available to children and young people, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. That is why the department is investing £21 million in training 400 more educational psychologists from September 2024. The department regularly reviews the data regarding applications to the course. This is a highly competitive training scheme, with a high volume of applications.

The department is not able to comment on plans to publish the details of the funding and arrangements for the September 2024 intake of the Educational Psychology Funded Training Scheme, as this is subject to a live procurement. An update will be provided as soon as possible.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to publish the details of (a) funding and (b) arrangements for the September 2024 intake of the Education Psychology Funded Training scheme.

Educational psychologists play a critical role in the support available to children and young people, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. That is why the department is investing £21 million in training 400 more educational psychologists from September 2024. The department regularly reviews the data regarding applications to the course. This is a highly competitive training scheme, with a high volume of applications.

The department is not able to comment on plans to publish the details of the funding and arrangements for the September 2024 intake of the Educational Psychology Funded Training Scheme, as this is subject to a live procurement. An update will be provided as soon as possible.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to Answer of 20 November 2023 to Question 755 on Carers: Finance, how her Department plans to spend the remaining £6 million committed in February 2023.

In February, the department announced £200 million funding alongside the ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’ strategy, which is being used to address urgent issues over this Spending Review period and set the path for longer-term reform. As these plans have been implemented, there have been a number of changes to the balance of funding across reform programme areas including increases to the fostering pathfinder. The total £200 million announced in February 2023 will be directed to reform activity as detailed in ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to her Department's publication entitled Stable Homes, Built on Love: Implementation Strategy, whether standards of care will (a) set standards on the use restraint and (b) apply to providers of secure transportation for looked after children.

The safeguarding and wellbeing of children and young people is always of the utmost importance to the department.

Restraint should only be used in exceptional cases where it is necessary and proportionate, for example, if there was no other way to prevent a child from seriously harming themselves or others.

In Stable Homes, Built on Love, the department committed to working closely with sector experts to review all existing legislation, standards and guidance, and to develop a core overarching set of Standards of Care with accompanying regulations. The department envisages that its new standards and regulations will cover the use of restraint and the department is exploring what further action is needed regarding the use of restraint in transportation as part of this.

The department intends to consult on the Standards of Care in due course, with a view to updating legislation subject to parliamentary time.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has plans to regulate the use of restraints on looked after children and young people during secure transportation.

The safeguarding and wellbeing of children and young people is always of the utmost importance to the department.

Restraint should only be used in exceptional cases where it is necessary and proportionate, for example, if there was no other way to prevent a child from seriously harming themselves or others.

In Stable Homes, Built on Love, the department committed to working closely with sector experts to review all existing legislation, standards and guidance, and to develop a core overarching set of Standards of Care with accompanying regulations. The department envisages that its new standards and regulations will cover the use of restraint and the department is exploring what further action is needed regarding the use of restraint in transportation as part of this.

The department intends to consult on the Standards of Care in due course, with a view to updating legislation subject to parliamentary time.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report entitled Children's Social Care: Stable Homes, Built on Love, published in September 2023, how her Department plans to use the £9 million earmarked for kinship care training and support.

I refer the hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood to the answer of 20 November 2023 to Question 755.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the technical capacity of schools to deliver digital support for children with (a) visual and (b) hearing impairment.

All schools have duties under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people. They must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage.

To teach a class of pupils with sensory impairments, a teacher is required to hold the relevant mandatory qualification, which is the Mandatory Qualification in Sensory Impairment (MQSI). Teachers working in an advisory role to support these pupils should also hold the appropriate qualification. The MQSI provides sensory impairment teachers with the specialist expertise needed to ensure that pupils with a visual or hearing impairment are supported effectively, including the use of assistive technology and specialist equipment.

The department commissioned an assistive technology rapid literature review which evaluated studies of assistive technology use with students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The report concluded that assistive technology is under-utilised and, alongside other recommendations, recommended developing assistive technology training courses for educators.

The department also runs a biennial technology in schools survey to capture up-to-date data on the current state, use and spread of technology within primary and secondary schools in England. Findings from the first survey will be published in 2023.

Following the promising results of a pilot training programme to increase mainstream school staff confidence using assistive technology, the government extended training to capture more detailed data on the impact on teachers and learners. The department will publish the impact report in May 2024.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has issued recent guidance to schools on technical standards for computer equipment.

The Department is developing a core set of digital and technology standards to support schools and colleges to understand their digital environment and know what technology they should have in place. These standards can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-digital-and-technology-standards-in-schools-and-colleges.

The Department has released standards on connectivity, cyber security, filtering and monitoring, cloud, and servers and storage. These will help schools save money and ensure secure teaching environments. The Department is currently working with technical experts, schools and colleges to develop standards on devices, accessibility and IT governance which is planned to be published by early 2024.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete in buildings used for residential placements for looked after children, by region.

The department will always put the safety and wellbeing of children and staff at the heart of its policy decisions. The government has taken more proactive action to identify and mitigate RAAC in education settings than the devolved administrations in the UK, or indeed, governments overseas.

The Local Authority run children’s homes sector in England is small with 13 secure children’s homes and 333 open children’s homes across all regions. Due to the nature of these buildings, which are typically constructed and used as residential home settings, RAAC is unlikely to be present. Of the 13 secure children’s homes in England, eight were constructed before 2000, with only one within the RAAC target era of 1950-1990. All eight of the secure children’s homes built before 2000 have been contacted by the department and have confirmed that RAAC is not present.

Although Local Authorities retain responsibility and a duty of care for open children’s homes and placements in private settings, the department has written to Local Authorities to check if RAAC is present in their buildings due to the age or type of construction. The department asked Local Authorities to contact it with details of any homes where RAAC may be present. As of 16 October, no Local Authorities or open children’s homes have contacted the department confirming that RAAC is present.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September 2023 to Question 196433 on Special Educational Needs, if she will announce a timescale for when her Department expects to review the transparency of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Reports.

The department is exploring how the role of Information Reports could be developed as part of our work to implement the Improvement Plan.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department is taking steps to protect the mental health of children forced to learn remotely while their schools undergo building works to remove reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete.

The Department’s priority will always be to ensure the safety of pupils and staff, which is why a precautionary approach has been taken to ask schools to vacate spaces known to contain RAAC until mitigations are put in place. The Department is working at pace to identify RAAC in every school and college in England, to ensure settings are supported and children are safe.

All schools where RAAC is confirmed are provided with a dedicated caseworker to support them and help implement a mitigation plan and minimise the disruption to children’s learning. Project delivery, property and technical experts will be on hand to support schools to put face-to-face education measures in place.

The Department will fund emergency mitigation work needed to make buildings safe, including installing alternative classroom space where necessary. Longer-term refurbishment projects, or rebuilding projects will also be funded where these are needed, to rectify the RAAC issue in the long term.

The guidance for education settings with confirmed RAAC in their buildings makes clear that schools should consider educational, safeguarding and wellbeing impacts for pupils before taking any mitigating actions and do their best to minimise the amount and length of any disruption to education, with support from their caseworker. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-guidance-for-responsible-bodies-and-education-settings-with-confirmed-raac. It is expected that schools and colleges affected by RAAC will still be able to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils other than in exceptional circumstances.

Where schools do need to deliver education remotely, they are likely to already have established plans in place that have worked well for them, including through the Covid-19 pandemic. The Department has produced guidance to support schools to provide high-quality remote education, which is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1136309/Providing_remote_education_non-statutory_guidance_for_schools.pdf#:~:text=Provision%20of%20remote%20education%20should%20be%20made%20as,may%20require%20additional%20support%20to%20continue%20their%20education. This recommends that schools have an understanding that children can be at risk of harm inside and outside of the school, inside and outside of home and online, and having systems for checking, daily, whether pupils are safe at home and engaging with their remote education. To help schools in doing that, the Department has brought together various sources of government support available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mental-health-and-wellbeing-support-in-schools-and-colleges.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of the number of nurseries in each region in England that require building works to remove reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

An updated list of schools and colleges with confirmed cases of RAAC was published on 19 October, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-raac-management-information. This contains a summary of the number of settings with confirmed RAAC and the status of education in place at these settings at the specified date. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out.

Maintained nursery schools, which fall under the Department’s remit, were asked to complete a questionnaire. All settings that inform the Department via their questionnaire response that they have suspected RAAC are being fast tracked for surveying. All education settings that are currently suspected as containing RAAC are surveyed in a matter of weeks. As of 16 October 2023, the Department has not found RAAC in any maintained nursery schools.

The departmental guidance covers educations settings including schools, colleges and maintained nursery schools. If RAAC is confirmed or suspected in other settings, leaders and relevant responsible bodies may want to consider the principles and approaches set out in the guidance in relation to managing their buildings and the mitigating actions necessary to ensure continuity of provision.

The Government has taken more proactive action to identify and mitigate RAAC in education settings than the devolved administrations in the UK, or indeed, governments overseas.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential implications of the (a) closure of Rutland Early Years Agency and (b) decision by Koru Kids to suspend its childminding support service for her Department’s proposed expansion of free hours.

The request for an estimate of how many registered childminders worked for a childminder agency (CMA) in each of the last five years has been interpreted to refer to an estimate of how many childminders were registered with a CMA in each of the last five years. This is a matter for His Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, as Ofsted produce these figures. 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. Since June 2022, Ofsted have published the number of childminders registered with a CMA in their official statistics, which are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/early-years-and-childcare-statistics.

The department understands the uncertain circumstances in which Rutland’s providers find themselves and the anxiety that this must be causing, for them and families who may be experiencing some disruption. The department wants to minimise the disruption caused by Rutland’s decision to resign its resignation, and are exploring a number of ways in which to ensure those providers who want to remain registered are able to do so.

The department is ensuring a phased implementation of the expansion to the 30 hours offer to allow the market to develop the necessary capacity. The department will also continue to monitor the sufficiency of childcare places. The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children.

The department has regular contact with each local authority in England about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. Where local authorities report sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues and where needed support the local authority with any specific requirements through our childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of how many registered childminders worked for a childminding agency in each of the last five years.

The request for an estimate of how many registered childminders worked for a childminder agency (CMA) in each of the last five years has been interpreted to refer to an estimate of how many childminders were registered with a CMA in each of the last five years. This is a matter for His Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, as Ofsted produce these figures. 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. Since June 2022, Ofsted have published the number of childminders registered with a CMA in their official statistics, which are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/early-years-and-childcare-statistics.

The department understands the uncertain circumstances in which Rutland’s providers find themselves and the anxiety that this must be causing, for them and families who may be experiencing some disruption. The department wants to minimise the disruption caused by Rutland’s decision to resign its resignation, and are exploring a number of ways in which to ensure those providers who want to remain registered are able to do so.

The department is ensuring a phased implementation of the expansion to the 30 hours offer to allow the market to develop the necessary capacity. The department will also continue to monitor the sufficiency of childcare places. The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children.

The department has regular contact with each local authority in England about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing. Where local authorities report sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues and where needed support the local authority with any specific requirements through our childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to support children with special educational needs and disabilities in schools that have reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools - academy trusts, Local Authorities and voluntary aided school bodies - to manage the safety and maintenance of their schools and to alert the Department if there is a serious concern with a building. It has always been the case that where the Department is made aware a building may pose an immediate risk, immediate action is taken.

An updated list of schools and colleges with confirmed cases of RAAC was published on 19 October, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-raac-management-information. This contains a summary of the number of schools and colleges with confirmed RAAC and the status of education in place at these schools and colleges at the specified date. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out. At the time of publication, none of the schools with remote education arrangements in place were special schools.

The Department is focused on ensuring schools are supported to put in place immediate measures to enable face to face teaching. The longer-term requirements of each school or college with RAAC will vary depending on the extent of the issue and nature and design of the buildings. The Department will work closely with responsible bodies to understand and assess requirements in detail and offer appropriate support.

The varying contexts of specialist provision mean special schools may require different solutions if RAAC is confirmed. A caseworker from the Department will be able to discuss the support they might need and mitigations they are putting in place. The Department recognises that some pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including those in alternative provision, may find it more difficult to adapt to change and require additional support to transition to emergency accommodation or longer-term temporary accommodation. If pupils or students in a special school need to be taught in emergency or temporary accommodation, head teachers and staff are best placed to know how their needs can most effectively continue to be met.

The Department’s priority is that pupils remain in face to face education or can return to it as soon as possible. The Department will provide funding for all mitigation works that are capital funded. This includes propping and temporary units on the estate. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, such as transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall or office, all reasonable requests will be approved.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the date when all reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete will have been removed from special schools in England.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools - academy trusts, Local Authorities and voluntary aided school bodies - to manage the safety and maintenance of their schools and to alert the Department if there is a serious concern with a building. It has always been the case that where the Department is made aware a building may pose an immediate risk, immediate action is taken.

An updated list of schools and colleges with confirmed cases of RAAC was published on 19 October, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-raac-management-information. This contains a summary of the number of schools and colleges with confirmed RAAC and the status of education in place at these schools and colleges at the specified date. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out. At the time of publication, none of the schools with remote education arrangements in place were special schools.

The Department is focused on ensuring schools are supported to put in place immediate measures to enable face to face teaching. The longer-term requirements of each school or college with RAAC will vary depending on the extent of the issue and nature and design of the buildings. The Department will work closely with responsible bodies to understand and assess requirements in detail and offer appropriate support.

The varying contexts of specialist provision mean special schools may require different solutions if RAAC is confirmed. A caseworker from the Department will be able to discuss the support they might need and mitigations they are putting in place. The Department recognises that some pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including those in alternative provision, may find it more difficult to adapt to change and require additional support to transition to emergency accommodation or longer-term temporary accommodation. If pupils or students in a special school need to be taught in emergency or temporary accommodation, head teachers and staff are best placed to know how their needs can most effectively continue to be met.

The Department’s priority is that pupils remain in face to face education or can return to it as soon as possible. The Department will provide funding for all mitigation works that are capital funded. This includes propping and temporary units on the estate. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, such as transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall or office, all reasonable requests will be approved.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete in special schools by region.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools - academy trusts, Local Authorities and voluntary aided school bodies - to manage the safety and maintenance of their schools and to alert the Department if there is a serious concern with a building. It has always been the case that where the Department is made aware a building may pose an immediate risk, immediate action is taken.

An updated list of schools and colleges with confirmed cases of RAAC was published on 19 October, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-raac-management-information. This contains a summary of the number of schools and colleges with confirmed RAAC and the status of education in place at these schools and colleges at the specified date. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out. At the time of publication, none of the schools with remote education arrangements in place were special schools.

The Department is focused on ensuring schools are supported to put in place immediate measures to enable face to face teaching. The longer-term requirements of each school or college with RAAC will vary depending on the extent of the issue and nature and design of the buildings. The Department will work closely with responsible bodies to understand and assess requirements in detail and offer appropriate support.

The varying contexts of specialist provision mean special schools may require different solutions if RAAC is confirmed. A caseworker from the Department will be able to discuss the support they might need and mitigations they are putting in place. The Department recognises that some pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including those in alternative provision, may find it more difficult to adapt to change and require additional support to transition to emergency accommodation or longer-term temporary accommodation. If pupils or students in a special school need to be taught in emergency or temporary accommodation, head teachers and staff are best placed to know how their needs can most effectively continue to be met.

The Department’s priority is that pupils remain in face to face education or can return to it as soon as possible. The Department will provide funding for all mitigation works that are capital funded. This includes propping and temporary units on the estate. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, such as transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall or office, all reasonable requests will be approved.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete in alternative provision educational settings by region.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools - academy trusts, Local Authorities and voluntary aided school bodies - to manage the safety and maintenance of their schools and to alert the Department if there is a serious concern with a building. It has always been the case that where the Department is made aware a building may pose an immediate risk, immediate action is taken.

An updated list of schools and colleges with confirmed cases of RAAC was published on 19 October, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-raac-management-information. This contains a summary of the number of schools and colleges with confirmed RAAC and the status of education in place at these schools and colleges at the specified date. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out. At the time of publication, none of the schools with remote education arrangements in place were special schools.

The Department is focused on ensuring schools are supported to put in place immediate measures to enable face to face teaching. The longer-term requirements of each school or college with RAAC will vary depending on the extent of the issue and nature and design of the buildings. The Department will work closely with responsible bodies to understand and assess requirements in detail and offer appropriate support.

The varying contexts of specialist provision mean special schools may require different solutions if RAAC is confirmed. A caseworker from the Department will be able to discuss the support they might need and mitigations they are putting in place. The Department recognises that some pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including those in alternative provision, may find it more difficult to adapt to change and require additional support to transition to emergency accommodation or longer-term temporary accommodation. If pupils or students in a special school need to be taught in emergency or temporary accommodation, head teachers and staff are best placed to know how their needs can most effectively continue to be met.

The Department’s priority is that pupils remain in face to face education or can return to it as soon as possible. The Department will provide funding for all mitigation works that are capital funded. This includes propping and temporary units on the estate. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, such as transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall or office, all reasonable requests will be approved.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of children with (a) special needs and (b) disabilities who will have to use remote learning due to building works in their schools to address reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools - academy trusts, Local Authorities and voluntary aided school bodies - to manage the safety and maintenance of their schools and to alert the Department if there is a serious concern with a building. It has always been the case that where the Department is made aware a building may pose an immediate risk, immediate action is taken.

An updated list of schools and colleges with confirmed cases of RAAC was published on 19 October, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-raac-management-information. This contains a summary of the number of schools and colleges with confirmed RAAC and the status of education in place at these schools and colleges at the specified date. This will be updated on a regular basis as new buildings are identified and surveying and remediation are carried out. At the time of publication, none of the schools with remote education arrangements in place were special schools.

The Department is focused on ensuring schools are supported to put in place immediate measures to enable face to face teaching. The longer-term requirements of each school or college with RAAC will vary depending on the extent of the issue and nature and design of the buildings. The Department will work closely with responsible bodies to understand and assess requirements in detail and offer appropriate support.

The varying contexts of specialist provision mean special schools may require different solutions if RAAC is confirmed. A caseworker from the Department will be able to discuss the support they might need and mitigations they are putting in place. The Department recognises that some pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including those in alternative provision, may find it more difficult to adapt to change and require additional support to transition to emergency accommodation or longer-term temporary accommodation. If pupils or students in a special school need to be taught in emergency or temporary accommodation, head teachers and staff are best placed to know how their needs can most effectively continue to be met.

The Department’s priority is that pupils remain in face to face education or can return to it as soon as possible. The Department will provide funding for all mitigation works that are capital funded. This includes propping and temporary units on the estate. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, such as transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall or office, all reasonable requests will be approved.

6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of Birmingham Council issuing a Section 114 notice on children’s social (a) care and (b) services in Birmingham.

Councils are responsible for their own finances and the decision to issue a Section 114 notice is one taken locally. The issuing of a notice means the council is subject to a 21-day spending prohibition during which the council may not enter into any new spending agreement without approval by the Chief Financial Officer.

Birmingham City Council are tightening their current financial controls, and a framework will be set in place to ensure they have a complete grip, whilst ensuring that statutory and key services to children and vulnerable people are not affected because of these controls.

The Department for Education, along with colleagues from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the SEND Commissioner remain in regular contact with Birmingham City Council and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of Birmingham Council issuing a Section 114 notice on (a) services for children with special educational needs and disabilities and (b) the processing of Education, Health and Care plan applications.

Councils are responsible for their own finances and the decision to issue a Section 114 notice is one taken locally. The issuing of a notice means the council is subject to a 21-day spending prohibition during which the council may not enter into any new spending agreement without approval by the Chief Financial Officer.

Birmingham City Council are tightening their current financial controls, and a framework will be set in place to ensure they have a complete grip, whilst ensuring that statutory and key services to children and vulnerable people are not affected because of these controls.

Departmental officials, along with colleagues from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Commissioner remain in regular contact with Birmingham City Council, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) nurseries and (b) childminders that closed in the East of England in the 2022-23 financial year; and how many childcare places became unavailable as a result of those closures.

This is a matter for His 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.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the (a) adequacy of guidance to schools on drafting SEND Information Reports and (b) accessibility of those reports for (i) parents with SEND, (ii) parents for whom English is a second language and (iii) other parents.

The requirement for all schools to publish Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Information Reports was introduced in the Children and Families Act 2014. This means that every school must publish details of its provision for pupils with SEND, and review these details annually.

In the department’s SEND Improvement Plan, published in March 2023, we committed to explore whether the expectations about the contents of the SEND Information Report could be developed further to improve transparency. This will include how to improve accessibility.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the (a) readability and (b) accessibility to schools of SEND Information Reports.

The requirement for all schools to publish Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Information Reports was introduced in the Children and Families Act 2014. This means that every school must publish details of its provision for pupils with SEND, and review these details annually.

In the department’s SEND Improvement Plan, published in March 2023, we committed to explore whether the expectations about the contents of the SEND Information Report could be developed further to improve transparency. This will include how to improve accessibility.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment her Department has made of the capacity of the regulated accommodation sector for child social care placements.

While the statutory responsibility for ensuring sufficient places for looked after children sits with local authorities, the department understands the current challenges in the looked after children placement market. Both the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care and the Competition and Markets Authority’s Children’s Social Care Market Study made recommendations around the commissioning and sufficiency of care placements. In the Stable Homes, Built on Love strategy, we set out our response to these reports and our plans to reform children’s social care to ensure that there are enough of the right homes in the right places for children who need them.

To support local authorities to meet their statutory duty in ensuring there is sufficient provision for children in their care, the department has announced £259 million capital funding to maintain capacity and expand provision in secure and open children’s homes that provide high quality and safe homes for some of our most vulnerable children and young people across England.

The department is investing £27 million this Spending Review to deliver a fostering recruitment and retention programme to make foster care even more readily available for more children. This will boost approvals of foster carers in areas of specific shortage, such as sibling groups, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, teenagers, mother and baby placements and children who have suffered complex trauma.

We have also improved the offer of support, raising the national minimum allowance for foster carers by 12.43% to reflect the increasing costs of caring for a child and increasing the amount of income tax relief available to foster carers up to £18,140, from £10,000.

We are also developing two Regional Care Co-operatives (RCCs) pathfinders, each pathfinder will also receive up to £5 million in capital funding to develop new provision. These pathfinders will trial an approach to make RCCs work within the current legal framework ahead of bringing forward legislation when parliamentary time allows. In the long term, RCCs will plan, commission and deliver children’s social care placements. Through operating on a larger scale and developing specialist capabilities, the RCCs will be able to develop a wide range of places to better meet children’s needs. This, in turn, should lead to improved placement stability and fewer out of area placements.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has issued guidance to local authorities on managing the transition period before the prohibition on using unregulated child social care placements; and if she will make a statement.

​​This government is clear that all supported accommodation must be safe, high-quality and provide excellent support to our young people as they transition into adulthood. That is why the department is investing over £142 million to introduce new mandatory national standards and a system of Ofsted-led registration and inspection for providers who accommodate 16 and 17-year-old looked after children and care leavers. These reforms will drive up the quality and consistency of this provision.

​In March 2023, following extensive consultation with the sector, we announced that from 28 October 2023, all providers of supported accommodation must be registered with Ofsted, or have submitted a full application and paid their fee in advance of this date, to legally operate. Local authorities will be prohibited from placing children in unregistered supported accommodation.

​The department has published guidance for the sector on the new requirements which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1145117/Guide_to_the_supported_accommodation_regulations_March_2023.pdf.

​Ofsted has also published guidance on 4 April 2023 to support providers through the registration process, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/registering-a-supported-accommodation-service.

​To further support the implementation of the new requirements, the department has awarded the National Children’s Bureau a contract up to April 2024, to provide practical support, information, and good practice resources targeted directly at providers and local authority commissioners.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of children that required social care placements from their local authority in the last 12 months.

The department has not yet published information on the number of children and young people who are looked after during the reporting year ending 31 March 2023. This data will be published in the annual statistical release later this year.

Information on the number of children looked after as at 31 March 2022 and at any point during the 2021/22 reporting year is published in the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after including adoptions’ at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress her Department has made on considering the evidence required to access flexibilities to standard English and mathematics requirements for apprenticeships.

Achieving a good standard in English and mathematics is important to longer term career prospects and improving social mobility, with research showing that achieving English and mathematics qualifications can correlate to higher earning potential. This is why the department provides funding for all apprentices to achieve up to a Level 2 in English and mathematics. Providers can access funding where apprentices require additional learning support.

The department also recognises that some groups require more flexibility to achieve English and mathematics qualifications. There are already flexibilities in place which allow apprentices who have Education Health and Care (EHC) plans to achieve their apprenticeship with lower entry Level 3 English and mathematics.

In addition, from 1 May 2023 to 1 May 2024 the department is conducting a pilot which considers how other apprentices with learning difficulties and disabilities, but without an EHC plan, could access these same flexibilities, in line with our objectives to support all apprentices to achieve. The department will share the outcomes of the pilot in due course.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department has taken to conduct a pilot study of varying standard requirements on English and mathematics for apprenticeships.

Achieving a good standard in English and mathematics is important to longer term career prospects and improving social mobility, with research showing that achieving English and mathematics qualifications can correlate to higher earning potential. This is why the department provides funding for all apprentices to achieve up to a Level 2 in English and mathematics. Providers can access funding where apprentices require additional learning support.

The department also recognises that some groups require more flexibility to achieve English and mathematics qualifications. There are already flexibilities in place which allow apprentices who have Education Health and Care (EHC) plans to achieve their apprenticeship with lower entry Level 3 English and mathematics.

In addition, from 1 May 2023 to 1 May 2024 the department is conducting a pilot which considers how other apprentices with learning difficulties and disabilities, but without an EHC plan, could access these same flexibilities, in line with our objectives to support all apprentices to achieve. The department will share the outcomes of the pilot in due course.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) nurseries and (b) childminders that closed in the Yorkshire and the Humber in the 2022-23 financial year; and how many childcare places were affected by these closures.

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

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) nurseries and (b) childminders that closed in the North East in the 2022-23 financial year; and how many childcare places were affected by these closures.

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

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) nurseries and (b) childminders that closed in the West Midlands in the 2022-23 financial year; and how many childcare places were affected by these closures.

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

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) nurseries and (b) childminders that closed in the South West in the 2022-23 financial year; and how many childcare places were affected by these closures.

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

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) nurseries and (b) childminders that closed in the South East in the 2022-23 financial year; and how many childcare places were affected by these closures.

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

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) nurseries and (b) childminders that closed in Greater London in the 2022-23 financial year; and how many childcare places were affected by these closures.

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

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, when her Department plans to publish the local and national inclusion dashboard.

The first version of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision national and local inclusion dashboard will be published in autumn 2023.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, what steps she is taking to test the prototype local and national inclusion dashboard.

The department is currently carrying out phase one user testing of the prototype national and local inclusion dashboard with a range of potential users, including parents and carers, local authorities and Special Educational Needs education providers. The department will also use the Change Programme to develop a longer term understanding of our primary users, what they are using the dashboard for, their needs and any unintended consequences.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to publish its response to the consultation entitled Child and family social worker workforce, published on 2 February 2023.

The department published its bold and ambitious plans to reform children’s social care on 2 February 2023 through ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, an implementation strategy and consultation.

On 11 May 2023, three consultations closed on our proposals for reform, our draft children’s social care national framework and data dashboard, and our plans for addressing the high use of agency social workers in the workforce.

The department is thankful to the thousands of people who engaged and responded to the consultations, including those with personal experience of the care system, dedicated professionals providing key services, and civil society. A government response to these consultations will be published in due course.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to publish its response to the consultation entitled Children's social care national framework and dashboard, published on 2 February 2023.

The department published its bold and ambitious plans to reform children’s social care on 2 February 2023 through ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, an implementation strategy and consultation.

On 11 May 2023, three consultations closed on our proposals for reform, our draft children’s social care national framework and data dashboard, and our plans for addressing the high use of agency social workers in the workforce.

The department is thankful to the thousands of people who engaged and responded to the consultations, including those with personal experience of the care system, dedicated professionals providing key services, and civil society. A government response to these consultations will be published in due course.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to publish the results of the consultation on the Stable Homes, Built on Love: Implementation Strategy.

The department published its bold and ambitious plans to reform children’s social care on 2 February 2023 through ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, an implementation strategy and consultation.

On 11 May 2023, three consultations closed on our proposals for reform, our draft children’s social care national framework and data dashboard, and our plans for addressing the high use of agency social workers in the workforce.

The department is thankful to the thousands of people who engaged and responded to the consultations, including those with personal experience of the care system, dedicated professionals providing key services, and civil society. A government response to these consultations will be published in due course.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of the level of compliance with the registration requirements for accommodation for looked-after 16- and 17-year olds prior to the deadline of 28 October 2023.

The government believes that every child in the care system deserves to live in a high-quality setting that meets their needs and keeps them safe. That is why the department is investing over £140 million to introduce mandatory national standards and Ofsted registration and inspection requirements for providers of supported accommodation for 16 and17 year old looked after children and care leavers. Ofsted began registering providers on 28 April 2023.

The department knows that these reforms represent major change. That is why we have commissioned the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) through a £750,000 contract up to April 2024, to support providers and local authorities to prepare for the changes and registering with Ofsted. Departmental officials are working closely with Ofsted to monitor progress with registering providers as we approach October and will continue to work with the NCB to ensure that their support and resources are targeted in the areas it is most needed. The department is investing £123 million of the overall funding package to support local authorities to respond to the changes and offset the costs associated with these reforms.

Ofsted will begin piloting inspections this year, ahead of beginning full inspections of providers of supported accommodation from April 2024. Ofsted has published a consultation which seeks views on how supported accommodation should be inspected. Further information on this consultation, including Ofsted’s proposed approach to inspecting providers of supported accommodation, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposals-for-inspecting-supported-accommodation.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the implications for her Department's policies of (a) recent trends in the number of inspections that have taken place of previously unregulated accommodation for looked after 16 and 17 year olds and (b) the outcomes of those inspections.

The government believes that every child in the care system deserves to live in a high-quality setting that meets their needs and keeps them safe. That is why the department is investing over £140 million to introduce mandatory national standards and Ofsted registration and inspection requirements for providers of supported accommodation for 16 and17 year old looked after children and care leavers. Ofsted began registering providers on 28 April 2023.

The department knows that these reforms represent major change. That is why we have commissioned the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) through a £750,000 contract up to April 2024, to support providers and local authorities to prepare for the changes and registering with Ofsted. Departmental officials are working closely with Ofsted to monitor progress with registering providers as we approach October and will continue to work with the NCB to ensure that their support and resources are targeted in the areas it is most needed. The department is investing £123 million of the overall funding package to support local authorities to respond to the changes and offset the costs associated with these reforms.

Ofsted will begin piloting inspections this year, ahead of beginning full inspections of providers of supported accommodation from April 2024. Ofsted has published a consultation which seeks views on how supported accommodation should be inspected. Further information on this consultation, including Ofsted’s proposed approach to inspecting providers of supported accommodation, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposals-for-inspecting-supported-accommodation.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the implications for her Department's policies of recent trends in the number of applications to register previously unregulated accommodation for looked after 16 and 17 year olds.

The government believes that every child in the care system deserves to live in a high-quality setting that meets their needs and keeps them safe. That is why the department is investing over £140 million to introduce mandatory national standards and Ofsted registration and inspection requirements for providers of supported accommodation for 16 and17 year old looked after children and care leavers. Ofsted began registering providers on 28 April 2023.

The department knows that these reforms represent major change. That is why we have commissioned the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) through a £750,000 contract up to April 2024, to support providers and local authorities to prepare for the changes and registering with Ofsted. Departmental officials are working closely with Ofsted to monitor progress with registering providers as we approach October and will continue to work with the NCB to ensure that their support and resources are targeted in the areas it is most needed. The department is investing £123 million of the overall funding package to support local authorities to respond to the changes and offset the costs associated with these reforms.

Ofsted will begin piloting inspections this year, ahead of beginning full inspections of providers of supported accommodation from April 2024. Ofsted has published a consultation which seeks views on how supported accommodation should be inspected. Further information on this consultation, including Ofsted’s proposed approach to inspecting providers of supported accommodation, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposals-for-inspecting-supported-accommodation.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, how many early years staff have signed up for training to gain a Level 3 early years SENCO qualification.

By 24 August 2023, there had been 4,099 Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) who had signed up to the Level 3 Early Years SENCO training.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to deliver updated Ofsted and CQC Area SEND inspections.

The department has worked closely with Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to develop and launch the new Area Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) inspection framework. Inspection activity commenced in January 2023 and will continue on a continuous cycle in line with the published framework and handbook.

These inspections will place greater emphasis on the outcomes that are being achieved for children and young people and look more closely at children under five and those aged 16-25 years old. They will also involve social care inspectors and include alternative provision for the first time.

This inspection framework will allow the department to act quickly when areas fail to provide the necessary support to meet the needs of children and young people.

Since the launch of the current Ofsted/CQC area SEND inspection framework in January 2023, 16 inspections have concluded and eight reports have been published. All local areas are due to receive a full inspection within five years, driving better outcomes and standards in line with our ambitious programme of reform.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate with Cabinet colleagues of the number of PGCE students who (a) work in addition to their studies and (b) have children under the age of five that will not be eligible to access the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer in 2024-2025.

The department does not hold data on the number of students who are ineligible for 30 hours free childcare.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The announcement included the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer, through which eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week, for 38 weeks per year from when their child is 9 months old, to when they start school. The key objective of this measure is to support parental participation in the labour market, which is why the offer is conditional on work.

All students who work in addition to their studies and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage, and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible for this offer. If they are unable to meet this threshold, they will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours of free early education, which is available to all 3 and 4 year olds regardless of family circumstances.

The department recognises the value of parents continuing in education and provide a range of support for students in further or higher education to support them with childcare.

Support available to full-time students with dependent children includes the Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. Entitlement to these grants is based on a student’s household income.

For additional financial support, since September 2020, all eligible full-time nursing, midwifery, paramedic and other allied health profession students have been able to receive a non-repayable training grant through the NHS Learning Support Fund of £5,000 per academic year. Eligible full-time students with child dependants can also access a further £2,000 per academic year through the Learning and Support Fund. Eligible students studying part-time receive a pro-rated amount of support depending on their intensity of study compared to a full-time course.

Further information on the childcare offers available to parents can be found at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate with Cabinet colleagues of the number of STEM degree students who (a) work in addition to their studies and (b) have children under the age of five that will not be eligible to access the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer in 2024-2025.

The department does not hold data on the number of students who are ineligible for 30 hours free childcare.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The announcement included the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer, through which eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week, for 38 weeks per year from when their child is 9 months old, to when they start school. The key objective of this measure is to support parental participation in the labour market, which is why the offer is conditional on work.

All students who work in addition to their studies and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage, and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible for this offer. If they are unable to meet this threshold, they will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours of free early education, which is available to all 3 and 4 year olds regardless of family circumstances.

The department recognises the value of parents continuing in education and provide a range of support for students in further or higher education to support them with childcare.

Support available to full-time students with dependent children includes the Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. Entitlement to these grants is based on a student’s household income.

For additional financial support, since September 2020, all eligible full-time nursing, midwifery, paramedic and other allied health profession students have been able to receive a non-repayable training grant through the NHS Learning Support Fund of £5,000 per academic year. Eligible full-time students with child dependants can also access a further £2,000 per academic year through the Learning and Support Fund. Eligible students studying part-time receive a pro-rated amount of support depending on their intensity of study compared to a full-time course.

Further information on the childcare offers available to parents can be found at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate with Cabinet colleagues of the number of medical students who (a) work in addition to their studies and (b) have children under the age of five that will not be eligible to access the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer in 2024-2025.

The department does not hold data on the number of students who are ineligible for 30 hours free childcare.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The announcement included the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer, through which eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week, for 38 weeks per year from when their child is 9 months old, to when they start school. The key objective of this measure is to support parental participation in the labour market, which is why the offer is conditional on work.

All students who work in addition to their studies and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage, and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible for this offer. If they are unable to meet this threshold, they will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours of free early education, which is available to all 3 and 4 year olds regardless of family circumstances.

The department recognises the value of parents continuing in education and provide a range of support for students in further or higher education to support them with childcare.

Support available to full-time students with dependent children includes the Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. Entitlement to these grants is based on a student’s household income.

For additional financial support, since September 2020, all eligible full-time nursing, midwifery, paramedic and other allied health profession students have been able to receive a non-repayable training grant through the NHS Learning Support Fund of £5,000 per academic year. Eligible full-time students with child dependants can also access a further £2,000 per academic year through the Learning and Support Fund. Eligible students studying part-time receive a pro-rated amount of support depending on their intensity of study compared to a full-time course.

Further information on the childcare offers available to parents can be found at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate with Cabinet colleagues of the number of unpaid carers who have children under the age of five that will not be eligible to access the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer in 2024-2025.

The department does not hold data on the number of unpaid carers with children under the age of five.

Unpaid carers would not be eligible for the 30 hours offer unless they meet the minimum income criteria. A two-parent household may still be able to meet the criteria for 30 hours free childcare where one parent is working, and meeting the above income criteria, and the other is receiving one of certain benefits. The eligibility criteria is available at: https://www.gov.uk/30-hours-free-childcare?step-by-step-nav=f517cd57-3c18-4bb9-aa8b-1b907e279bf9. Those receiving Carer’s Allowance are included.

All three and four year-olds are eligible for the 15-hour free entitlement regardless of their parents’ circumstances. This is available the term after a child turns three and is available for 38 weeks a year during term time, or across more weeks of the year if they use fewer hours per week.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate her Department has made of the number of apprentices (a) studying for roles in health and social care and (b) other roles who are working parents and will not be able to access the expanded 30 hours free childcare offer in 2024-25.

The department does not hold the data on how many apprentices will be unable to access the expanded free hours offer in 2024/25.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The announcement included the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer, through which eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks per year from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school. The key objective of this measure is to support parental participation in the labour market, which is why the offer is conditional on work.

To be eligible, as with the existing 30 hours offer, parents will need to earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum/living wage, and under £100,000 per year. This means that parents can be eligible if they earn from just over £167 per week or £8,670 per year from April 2023. This offer aims to support working families with the cost of childcare and to support parents back into work or to work more hours should they wish to.

All parents including apprentices who earn equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage, and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible for this offer. If they are unable to meet this threshold, they will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours of free early education, which is available to all 3 and 4 year olds regardless of family circumstances.

Further information on the childcare offers available to parents can be found at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she plans to bring forward new policies to support (a) care leavers and (b) care-experienced people.

On 2 February 2023, the government published its response to Josh MacAlister’s independent review of Children’s Social Care. This review can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1147317/Children_s_social_care_stable_homes_consultation_February_2023.pdf. The review sets out ambitious plans to radically reform the children’s social care system and includes five Missions to improve outcomes and experiences of care leavers:

  • Mission 1: By 2027, every care-experienced child and young person will feel they have strong, loving relationships in place: including providing £30 million to extend family-finding, mentoring & befriending services.
  • Mission 2: By 2027, we will strengthen and extend corporate parenting responsibilities towards children in care and care leavers across the public sector: with a view to legislating to extend corporate parenting responsibilities when parliamentary time allows.
  • Mission 3: By 2027, to see an improvement in the education, employment and training outcomes of children in care and care leavers: including through increasing the care leaver apprenticeship bursary from £1,000 to £3,000 from 1 August 2023; increasing funding for the care leaver covenant; providing £24 million to virtual school heads to increase support for care leavers in 16-19 education; and developing an accreditation scheme for universities and further education colleges.
  • Mission 4: By 2027, to see an increase in the number of care leavers in safe, suitable accommodation and a reduction in care leaver homelessness: including providing £52 million to roll-out Staying Close; and uplifting the leaving care allowance from £2,000 to £3,000 from 1 April 2023.
  • Mission 5: Working closely with health partners to reduce the disparities in long-term mental and physical health outcomes and improve wellbeing for care-experienced people: including updating guidance on promoting the health and well-being of looked-after children and extending it to cover care leavers to age 25.

The government has no plans to amend legislation to extend support for care leavers to all care-experienced people.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate her Department has made how many student nurses will be unable to access the expanded free hours offer in 2024/25.

The department does not hold the data on how many student nurses will be unable to access the expanded free hours offer in 2024/25.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children, and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The announcement included the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer, through which eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks per year from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school. The key objective of this measure is to support parental participation in the labour market, which is why the offer is conditional on work.

All students who work in addition to their studies and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at National Minimum/Living Wage, and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible for this offer. If they are unable to meet this threshold, they will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours of free early education which is available to all three and four-year-olds, regardless of family circumstances.

The government is not currently planning to extend the income criteria for 30 hours free childcare. We recognise the value of parents continuing in education and provide a range of support for students in further or higher education to support them with childcare.

Support available to full-time students with dependent children includes the Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. Entitlement to these grants is based on a student’s household income.

For additional financial support, since September 2020, all eligible full-time nursing, midwifery, paramedic, and other allied health profession students have been able to receive a non-repayable training grant through the NHS Learning Support Fund of £5,000 per academic year. Eligible full-time students with child dependants can also access a further £2,000 per academic year through the Learning and Support Fund. Eligible students studying part-time receive a pro-rated amount of support depending on their intensity of study compared to a full-time course.

Further information on the childcare offers available to parents is available at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to introduce a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) national professional qualification (NPQ); and whether the new qualification will affect the planned revision of the SEND Code of Practice.

In the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, the department announced the introduction of a new National Professional Qualification (NPQ) for Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) as the mandatory qualification, replacing the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination.

All arrangements around delivery, providers, start dates, and funding regarding the NPQ for SENCOs will be communicated in due course.

The SEND Regulations 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice will be updated to reflect the change to the mandatory qualification.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues to respond to the report by the Committee on the Rights of the Child entitled Concluding observations on the combined sixth and seventh reports of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, published on 2 June 2023.

Following the constructive dialogue in Geneva, the UN Committee published their Concluding Observations on 2 June 2023. These are available at: https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/06/un-child-rights-committee-publishes-findings-finland-france-jordan-sao-tome.

The department strives to find new ways to promote children’s rights and recognises that strengthening children’s rights is a continuous process. The government welcomes the constructive challenge that was made by the Committee in Geneva and will take into consideration the Concluding Observations, including considering a Children’s Rights Action Plan. We will confirm our next steps in due course.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to protect looked after children living in privately-run children's homes from been moved from their homes (a) at short notice and (b) at short notice in the event of a home's closure in cases other than necessary to safeguard and promote the welfare of affected children.

The department recognises the impact that unplanned short notice moves can have on looked after children. Both the Independent Care Review and the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) report made recommendations around the commissioning of care placements. In Stable Homes, Built on Love, the department set out our response to these reports and our plans to transform children’s social care. The Children’s social care Stable Homes, Built On Love consultation can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1147317/Children_s_social_care_stable_homes_consultation_February_2023.pdf.

To support local authorities to meet their statutory duty to ensure there is sufficient provision for children in their care, the department has announced £259 million capital funding to maintain capacity and expand provision in both secure and open children’s homes that provide high-quality and safe homes for some of our most vulnerable children and young people across England.

To ensure the resilience of both independent fostering agencies and children’s homes providers, we are working with Ofsted and the sector to develop plans for a financial oversight regime to increase transparency and prevent sudden market exit which would disrupt the lives of children living there.

As announced in Stable Homes, Built on Love, the department is also investing up to £10 million to develop Regional Care Co-Operatives (RCCs) in two pathfinder areas to plan, commission and deliver children’s social care placements. RCCs will be able to develop a wide range of placements to meet children’s needs better. This, in turn, should lead to improved placements stability.

We recognise that recruiting staff with the right skills and retaining staff is a challenge for the residential childcare sector.

Stable Homes, Built on Love is clear that we are exploring the Care Review’s recommendations for supporting the children’s homes workforce, namely through a leadership programme to recruit new talent to the sector and the professional registration of the workforce.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 21 October 2022 to Question 65897 on Children: Care Homes, if she will publish (a) the list of local authorities who have been allocated funding for open or secure children’s homes from the £259 million announced in the Autumn 2021 Spending Review and (b) the amounts received by each of those local authorities to date.

The Spending Review 2021 (SR21) announced £259 million of funding over the SR21 period to maintain capacity and expand provision in secure and open residential children’s homes.

Following this, the department launched several waves of bidding rounds for local authorities to submit applications for this funding for both open and secure children’s homes.

A total of £80 million has been allocated to open children's home projects over two bidding rounds. The remaining funds are being allocated to secure children’s home projects. This includes funding the development of two new secure children’s homes in London and the West Midlands, and a rebuild of Lincolnshire Secure Children's Home, as well as a number of smaller projects to improve the sufficiency of existing secure children’s homes.

The department is in the process of agreeing a final wave of funding for existing secure children’s homes for this Spending Review period. The department will share final details when funding awards for all projects have been agreed and local authorities have been notified.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has issued guidance on the circumstances in which motorised caravans, barges and boats could be registered by Ofsted as supported accommodation for looked after children aged 16 and 17.

This government is clear that all supported accommodation must be safe, high-quality and provide excellent support to young people as they transition into adulthood.

That is why the department has introduced new mandatory national standards and a system of Ofsted-led registration and inspection, which will drive up the quality and consistency of this provision. This vital reform programme, backed by £142 million in funding, will raise the bar for supported accommodation and ensure that this provision meets the needs of the young people it serves.

Ofsted started registering providers from 28 April 2023, and registration becomes mandatory from 28 October 2023. Providers must ensure that all their settings meet the national standards and meet the needs of young people.

The new national standards set high expectations for the quality of accommodation, including the requirement that all settings are secure and do not isolate young people from important local services. We do not expect that mobile or impermanent settings will be able to meet these standards, unless it is in exceptional circumstances. Ofsted, as the regulator of this provision, will consider any application made by a provider to register a mobile setting on a case-by-case basis.

Providers must ensure that all settings they operate comply with the national standards and provide a good experience for young people. Ofsted will be able to take action against providers where they find that they are not complying with these requirements.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 4.163-4.166 of the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of support for childcare costs on students studying for a PGCE with dependant children.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The announcement included the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer, through which eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks per year from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school. The key objective of this measure is to support parental participation in the labour market, which is why the offer is conditional on work.

All apprentices and students, including postgraduate researchers, who work in addition to their studies and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage, and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible for this offer. If they are unable to meet this threshold, they will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours of free early education, which is available to all 3 and 4-year-olds, regardless of family circumstances.

The government is not currently planning to extend the income criteria for 30 hours free childcare. The department recognises the value of parents continuing in education and provides a range of support for students in further or higher education to support them with childcare.

For example, support available to full-time students includes the Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. These schemes are available for full-time students with dependent children.

For additional financial support, since September 2020, all eligible full-time nursing, midwifery, paramedic, and other allied health profession students can receive a non-repayable training grant through the NHS Learning Support Fund of £5,000 per academic year. Eligible full-time students with child dependants can also access a further £2,000 per academic year. Eligible students studying part-time will receive a pro-rated amount of support, depending on their intensity of study compared to a full-time course.

The government introduced new support packages for students starting postgraduate master’s degree courses from the 2016/17 academic year onwards and postgraduate doctoral degree courses from 2018/19 onwards. These loans are not based on income and are intended as a contribution to the cost of study. They can be used by students according to their personal circumstances to cover the costs of fees and living costs, including childcare. The new support packages have provided a significant uplift in support for postgraduate students while ensuring the student support system remains financially sustainable.

Students studying on postgraduate courses can apply for loans towards their course fees and living costs, up to £11,836 in 2022/23 for new students undertaking postgraduate master’s degree courses and up to £27,892 in 2022/23 for new students undertaking postgraduate doctoral degree courses.

Further information on the childcare offers available to parents can be found at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 4.163-4.166 of the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of support for childcare costs on medical students with dependant children.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The announcement included the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer, through which eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks per year from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school. The key objective of this measure is to support parental participation in the labour market, which is why the offer is conditional on work.

All apprentices and students, including postgraduate researchers, who work in addition to their studies and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage, and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible for this offer. If they are unable to meet this threshold, they will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours of free early education, which is available to all 3 and 4-year-olds, regardless of family circumstances.

The government is not currently planning to extend the income criteria for 30 hours free childcare. The department recognises the value of parents continuing in education and provides a range of support for students in further or higher education to support them with childcare.

For example, support available to full-time students includes the Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. These schemes are available for full-time students with dependent children.

For additional financial support, since September 2020, all eligible full-time nursing, midwifery, paramedic, and other allied health profession students can receive a non-repayable training grant through the NHS Learning Support Fund of £5,000 per academic year. Eligible full-time students with child dependants can also access a further £2,000 per academic year. Eligible students studying part-time will receive a pro-rated amount of support, depending on their intensity of study compared to a full-time course.

The government introduced new support packages for students starting postgraduate master’s degree courses from the 2016/17 academic year onwards and postgraduate doctoral degree courses from 2018/19 onwards. These loans are not based on income and are intended as a contribution to the cost of study. They can be used by students according to their personal circumstances to cover the costs of fees and living costs, including childcare. The new support packages have provided a significant uplift in support for postgraduate students while ensuring the student support system remains financially sustainable.

Students studying on postgraduate courses can apply for loans towards their course fees and living costs, up to £11,836 in 2022/23 for new students undertaking postgraduate master’s degree courses and up to £27,892 in 2022/23 for new students undertaking postgraduate doctoral degree courses.

Further information on the childcare offers available to parents can be found at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 4.163-4.166 of the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of support for childcare costs on apprentices with dependant children.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The announcement included the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer, through which eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks per year from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school. The key objective of this measure is to support parental participation in the labour market, which is why the offer is conditional on work.

All apprentices and students, including postgraduate researchers, who work in addition to their studies and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage, and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible for this offer. If they are unable to meet this threshold, they will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours of free early education, which is available to all 3 and 4-year-olds, regardless of family circumstances.

The government is not currently planning to extend the income criteria for 30 hours free childcare. The department recognises the value of parents continuing in education and provides a range of support for students in further or higher education to support them with childcare.

For example, support available to full-time students includes the Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. These schemes are available for full-time students with dependent children.

For additional financial support, since September 2020, all eligible full-time nursing, midwifery, paramedic, and other allied health profession students can receive a non-repayable training grant through the NHS Learning Support Fund of £5,000 per academic year. Eligible full-time students with child dependants can also access a further £2,000 per academic year. Eligible students studying part-time will receive a pro-rated amount of support, depending on their intensity of study compared to a full-time course.

The government introduced new support packages for students starting postgraduate master’s degree courses from the 2016/17 academic year onwards and postgraduate doctoral degree courses from 2018/19 onwards. These loans are not based on income and are intended as a contribution to the cost of study. They can be used by students according to their personal circumstances to cover the costs of fees and living costs, including childcare. The new support packages have provided a significant uplift in support for postgraduate students while ensuring the student support system remains financially sustainable.

Students studying on postgraduate courses can apply for loans towards their course fees and living costs, up to £11,836 in 2022/23 for new students undertaking postgraduate master’s degree courses and up to £27,892 in 2022/23 for new students undertaking postgraduate doctoral degree courses.

Further information on the childcare offers available to parents can be found at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 4.163-4.166 of the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of that announcement on student nurses dependant children.

In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The announcement included the expansion of the 30 hours free childcare offer, through which eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks per year from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school. The key objective of this measure is to support parental participation in the labour market, which is why the offer is conditional on work.

All apprentices and students, including postgraduate researchers, who work in addition to their studies and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage, and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible for this offer. If they are unable to meet this threshold, they will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours of free early education, which is available to all 3 and 4-year-olds, regardless of family circumstances.

The government is not currently planning to extend the income criteria for 30 hours free childcare. The department recognises the value of parents continuing in education and provides a range of support for students in further or higher education to support them with childcare.

For example, support available to full-time students includes the Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. These schemes are available for full-time students with dependent children.

For additional financial support, since September 2020, all eligible full-time nursing, midwifery, paramedic, and other allied health profession students can receive a non-repayable training grant through the NHS Learning Support Fund of £5,000 per academic year. Eligible full-time students with child dependants can also access a further £2,000 per academic year. Eligible students studying part-time will receive a pro-rated amount of support, depending on their intensity of study compared to a full-time course.

The government introduced new support packages for students starting postgraduate master’s degree courses from the 2016/17 academic year onwards and postgraduate doctoral degree courses from 2018/19 onwards. These loans are not based on income and are intended as a contribution to the cost of study. They can be used by students according to their personal circumstances to cover the costs of fees and living costs, including childcare. The new support packages have provided a significant uplift in support for postgraduate students while ensuring the student support system remains financially sustainable.

Students studying on postgraduate courses can apply for loans towards their course fees and living costs, up to £11,836 in 2022/23 for new students undertaking postgraduate master’s degree courses and up to £27,892 in 2022/23 for new students undertaking postgraduate doctoral degree courses.

Further information on the childcare offers available to parents can be found at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 4.163-4.166 of the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of support for childcare costs on unpaid carers with dependant children.

In the Spring Budget 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy. By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This represents the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever.

The reforms announced build on the department’s current early education entitlement offers, which include a universal 15 hour offer for all three and four-year-olds, regardless of family circumstances, the existing 30 hours offer for three and four-year-olds, and the 15 hour offer for disadvantaged two-year-olds. This latter offer includes low-income households and parents on certain benefits, as well as looked after children and children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

In addition to the entitlements, Tax-Free Childcare continues to be available to eligible parents. Tax-Free Childcare is available to parents who meet the same income criteria as the 30 hours offer and can be worth up to £2,000 per year for children aged 0 to 11, or up to £4,000 per year for disabled children aged 0 to 16.

The 30 hours free childcare offer in England aims to support working families of three- and four-year-olds with the cost of childcare and to help parents back into work or work more hours. To be eligible for the 30 hours offer, parents will need to earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the National Minimum/Living Wage. This is equivalent to just over £8,670 per year, or £167 a week.

Two-parent households may still be able to meet the criteria for 30 hours free childcare where one parent is working and meeting the above income criteria, and the other is receiving one of certain benefits, which are available at: https://www.gov.uk/30-hours-free-childcare?step-by-step-nav=f517cd57-3c18-4bb9-aa8b-1b907e279bf9. This includes unpaid carers receiving Carer’s Allowance.

All three and four-year-olds are eligible for the 15 hour free entitlement, regardless of their parents’ circumstances. This includes unpaid carers. The offer is available the term after a child turns three and is available for 38 weeks a year during term time, or across more weeks of the year if fewer hours a week are used.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of funding available to schools for special educational needs coordinator training on the requirements of the SEND and AP Improvement Plan.

In the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, the department announced the introduction of a new National Professional Qualification (NPQ) for special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCos) as the mandatory qualification, replacing the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCo).

The NPQ for SENCos will play a key role in achieving our ambition to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND, by ensuring SENCos consistently receive high-quality, evidence-based training. The SEND Code of Practice also continues to set out the roles and responsibilities of SENCos.

Schools currently fund the NASENCo from their budgets. All arrangements around delivery of the new NPQ, including funding and start dates, will be communicated in due course.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance she has provided to schools on the requirements of the SEND and AP Improvement Plan for special educational needs coordinators.

In the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, the department announced the introduction of a new National Professional Qualification (NPQ) for special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCos) as the mandatory qualification, replacing the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCo).

The NPQ for SENCos will play a key role in achieving our ambition to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND, by ensuring SENCos consistently receive high-quality, evidence-based training. The SEND Code of Practice also continues to set out the roles and responsibilities of SENCos.

Schools currently fund the NASENCo from their budgets. All arrangements around delivery of the new NPQ, including funding and start dates, will be communicated in due course.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
3rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to additional support for childcare costs announced in the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, whether her Department is taking steps to help support terminally ill parents with dependent children who are unable to work with the cost of childcare.

Hearing that your illness cannot be cured must be a frightening and devastating experience. In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children, and the economy. Whilst terminally ill parents do not explicitly form part of the eligibility criteria for any entitlement, these parents may be able to access the existing offers that support low-income or non-working households, such as the universal 15-hour offer for all 3 and 4-year-olds and the 15-hour offer for disadvantaged 2-year-olds. Parents are eligible for the 2-year-old offer if they are low-income and in receipt of certain benefits, such as Universal Credit, or if the child is looked after, previously looked after, or has an Education, Health and Care plan.

Low-income families who are eligible for Universal Credit will still have up to 85% of their childcare costs covered. In the Spring Budget, we announced changes that will ensure these families have support with their childcare costs upfront when they need it, rather than in arrears. The government is also increasing support for these families by increasing the childcare cost maximum amounts to £950 for one child and £1,629 for two children.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provides terminally ill people, including parents, with financial support quickly and compassionately through the benefits system. The main way that DWP does this is through special benefit rules, sometimes referred to as the Special Rules. These enable people who are nearing the end of their lives to get faster, easier access to certain benefits, without needing to attend a medical assessment, serve waiting periods and in most cases, receive the highest rate of benefit.

From 3 April 2023, people who have 12-months or less to live can claim Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Attendance Allowance under the special rules.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
3rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the free education and childcare for 2-year-olds announced in the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, what assessment her Department has made of the need to ensure access to support for terminally ill parents who are unable to work due to their condition.

Hearing that your illness cannot be cured must be a frightening and devastating experience. In the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children, and the economy. Whilst terminally ill parents do not explicitly form part of the eligibility criteria for any entitlement, these parents may be able to access the existing offers that support low-income or non-working households, such as the universal 15-hour offer for all 3 and 4-year-olds and the 15-hour offer for disadvantaged 2-year-olds. Parents are eligible for the 2-year-old offer if they are low-income and in receipt of certain benefits, such as Universal Credit, or if the child is looked after, previously looked after, or has an Education, Health and Care plan.

Low-income families who are eligible for Universal Credit will still have up to 85% of their childcare costs covered. In the Spring Budget, we announced changes that will ensure these families have support with their childcare costs upfront when they need it, rather than in arrears. The government is also increasing support for these families by increasing the childcare cost maximum amounts to £950 for one child and £1,629 for two children.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provides terminally ill people, including parents, with financial support quickly and compassionately through the benefits system. The main way that DWP does this is through special benefit rules, sometimes referred to as the Special Rules. These enable people who are nearing the end of their lives to get faster, easier access to certain benefits, without needing to attend a medical assessment, serve waiting periods and in most cases, receive the highest rate of benefit.

From 3 April 2023, people who have 12-months or less to live can claim Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Attendance Allowance under the special rules.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
2nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has sought to (a) refuse freedom of information requests and (b) prevent other forms of public disclosure of any matters relating to the involvement of Koru Kids in policy development.

I can re-assure the hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood that all Freedom of Information requests are handled with due process, in line with the statutory provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 11 May 2023 to questions 181438 and 182354.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure that homeless 16 and 17 years are accommodated by their local authority under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989.

The government published joint guidance in 2018 that sets out the expectations of local authorities in relation to homeless 16 and 17-year-olds. The guidance can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/712467/Provision_of_accommodation_for_16_and_17_year_olds_who_may_be_homeless.pdf.

The expectation is that in circumstances where a 16 or 17-year-old is homeless, and mediation on living at home has not been possible or not prevented them being homeless, they would be accommodated as a Looked After Child (LAC) under section 20 of the Children’s Act. If they are then accommodated as a LAC for at least 13 weeks, they are entitled to a leaving care support package.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department had discussions with (a) childminding agencies other than Koru Kids and (b) the representatives of childminding agencies on start-up grants for childminders in the six months before the Spring Budget 2023.

Childminders are a vital way to deliver affordable and flexible care and more are needed. That is why the government is introducing start-up grants of £600 for childminders who register with Ofsted, and £1,200 for those who register through a childminder agency (CMA).

Department ministers and officials meet a wide range of people and organisations representing the early years sector to discuss matters relevant to early education and childcare.

In the six months before the Spring Budget 2023, officials from the department discussed childminder grants with representatives from CMAs on three occasions:

  • On 30 November 2022, department officials updated a broad group of early years stakeholders about their ongoing policy development at an early years strategic forum. Tiney.co, a CMA, was in attendance as part of the group of early years stakeholders. Childminder start-up grants were discussed as part of a discussion about wider policy development regarding childminders.
  • On 6 December 2022, department officials updated CMA representatives on the department’s ongoing policy development at a quarterly CMA forum. The CMA forum is a quarterly, working-level meeting organised by Ofsted. The CMAs themselves, including Koru Kids, and representatives from Ofsted and the department attend. It is an opportunity to share information and updates, discuss operational issues and inform policy development.
  • On 7 March 2023, a department official had a conversation with Tiney.co about a wide range of matters.

Following the Spring Budget, department officials updated representatives from all five CMAs in England who have providers on their books, as well as a wide range of stakeholders, on the content of the announcement.

All decisions are made on the basis of collective responsibility and the government would not normally comment on internal policy discussions. However, this is to note on the record that the current Prime Minister has not been personally involved in the policy development on this matter.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether local authorities that have a Safety Valve Agreement with her Department will take part in Regional Expert Partnerships.

The establishment and setup of the Regional Expert Partnerships (REPs) will begin in summer 2023.

The department has used publicly available data to help identify a shortlist of local authorities that have the potential to lead the REPs in each region. The Department has shared the criteria used with these local authorities. We have not shortlisted any Safety Valve local authorities for the REPs. Being on the Safety Valve programme will not necessarily exclude these local authorities from sharing and/or receiving learning during the Change Programme’s lifetime.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will publish the criteria her Department used to select local authorities to lead Regional Expert Partnerships under the Change Programme.

The establishment and setup of the Regional Expert Partnerships (REPs) will begin in summer 2023.

The department has used publicly available data to help identify a shortlist of local authorities that have the potential to lead the REPs in each region. The Department has shared the criteria used with these local authorities. We have not shortlisted any Safety Valve local authorities for the REPs. Being on the Safety Valve programme will not necessarily exclude these local authorities from sharing and/or receiving learning during the Change Programme’s lifetime.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she plans to establish the first SEND Regional Expert Partnership.

The establishment and setup of the Regional Expert Partnerships (REPs) will begin in summer 2023.

The department has used publicly available data to help identify a shortlist of local authorities that have the potential to lead the REPs in each region. The Department has shared the criteria used with these local authorities. We have not shortlisted any Safety Valve local authorities for the REPs. Being on the Safety Valve programme will not necessarily exclude these local authorities from sharing and/or receiving learning during the Change Programme’s lifetime.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
18th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department had discussions with (a) Koru Kids and (b) the Prime Minister on start-up grants for childminders in the six months before the Spring Budget 2023.

Childminders are a vital way to deliver affordable and flexible care and more are needed. That is why the government is introducing start-up grants of £600 for childminders who register with Ofsted, and £1,200 for those who register through a childminder agency (CMA).

Department ministers and officials meet a wide range of people and organisations representing the early years sector to discuss matters relevant to early education and childcare.

In the six months before the Spring Budget 2023, officials from the department discussed childminder grants with representatives from CMAs on three occasions:

  • On 30 November 2022, department officials updated a broad group of early years stakeholders about their ongoing policy development at an early years strategic forum. Tiney.co, a CMA, was in attendance as part of the group of early years stakeholders. Childminder start-up grants were discussed as part of a discussion about wider policy development regarding childminders.
  • On 6 December 2022, department officials updated CMA representatives on the department’s ongoing policy development at a quarterly CMA forum. The CMA forum is a quarterly, working-level meeting organised by Ofsted. The CMAs themselves, including Koru Kids, and representatives from Ofsted and the department attend. It is an opportunity to share information and updates, discuss operational issues and inform policy development.
  • On 7 March 2023, a department official had a conversation with Tiney.co about a wide range of matters.

Following the Spring Budget, department officials updated representatives from all five CMAs in England who have providers on their books, as well as a wide range of stakeholders, on the content of the announcement.

All decisions are made on the basis of collective responsibility and the government would not normally comment on internal policy discussions. However, this is to note on the record that the current Prime Minister has not been personally involved in the policy development on this matter.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made by age and gender of the number of children who have been persistently absent from school in each year since 2018.

The requested information is provided in the National Statistics publication on pupil absence, available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england.

Information on persistent absence by National Curriculum year group, as an indicator of age, is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/15c7e633-b610-471e-bb5b-08db371944c7.

Information on persistent absence by gender is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/c4a68621-b08e-4cad-bb5c-08db371944c7.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the proportion of children persistently absent from school who have been the subject of a safeguarding referral in each of the last five years.

The Department does not hold the information in the format requested, but absence rates for children in need of support from social services are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/outcomes-for-children-in-need-including-children-looked-after-by-local-authorities-in-england/2022.

This data relates to children in need, children on a child protection plan and children looked after by local authorities in England.

Persistent absence rates for these children at 31 March between 2016/17 and 2021/22 are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/fast-track/bd25d934-c0b5-4de2-81df-75eec0e9bbbb.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the proportion of children persistently absent from school whose families are in contact with local authority social services in each of the last five years.

The Department does not hold the information in the format requested, but absence rates for children in need of support from social services are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/outcomes-for-children-in-need-including-children-looked-after-by-local-authorities-in-england/2022.

This data relates to children in need, children on a child protection plan and children looked after by local authorities in England.

Persistent absence rates for these children at 31 March between 2016/17 and 2021/22 are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/fast-track/bd25d934-c0b5-4de2-81df-75eec0e9bbbb.

17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate of the number of children that will take up the additional free hours of childcare announced in the Spring Budget 2023 in 2026-27, broken down by age.

In the 2023 Spring Budget, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy.

By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion a year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This announcement represents the largest ever investment in childcare in England.

In future, working parents will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare a week, for 38 weeks a year, from the point their child is 9 months to when their child starts school. This offer will be rolled out in full from September 2025. The department is ensuring a phased implementation of the expansion to the 30 hours offer to allow the market to develop the necessary capacity, and we will work closely with the sector to develop plans to grow, develop and support the workforce.

Eligibility estimates for the free early education entitlements are explained in the methodology of the ‘Education provision: children under 5 years of age’ under ‘Data Quality’. This can be accessed here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/methodology/education-provision-children-under-5-years-of-age-methodology.

Further details will be provided in due course.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate of the number of children that will take up the additional free hours of childcare announced in the Spring Budget 2023 in 2025-26, broken down by age.

In the 2023 Spring Budget, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy.

By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion a year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This announcement represents the largest ever investment in childcare in England.

In future, working parents will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare a week, for 38 weeks a year, from the point their child is 9 months to when their child starts school. This offer will be rolled out in full from September 2025. The department is ensuring a phased implementation of the expansion to the 30 hours offer to allow the market to develop the necessary capacity, and we will work closely with the sector to develop plans to grow, develop and support the workforce.

Eligibility estimates for the free early education entitlements are explained in the methodology of the ‘Education provision: children under 5 years of age’ under ‘Data Quality’. This can be accessed here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/methodology/education-provision-children-under-5-years-of-age-methodology.

Further details will be provided in due course.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 4.152 of the Spring Budget 2023, HC1183, published on 15 March 2023, if she will list the local authorities that will receive funding through the Staying Close programme by March 2025; and how much funding she expects each local authority to receive.

The third round of applications for Staying Close funding closed on the 22 February 2023. The department will publish details of the awarded local authorities in due course, along with the amounts they will receive once all required evaluation and clearance processes have been completed. Details of how the additional funding announced on 15 March 2023 will be allocated will also be shared shortly.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate of the number of (a) schools and (b) local authorities that will take part in the wraparound pathfinder scheme to support the expansion of school-based childcare provision either side of the school day in (a) 2024-25 and (b) 2025-26.

To improve the availability of wraparound childcare, the government has announced an investment of £289 million in a national pathfinder scheme in England to support local authorities to work with primary schools to set up and deliver wraparound childcare before and after school.

Schools and local areas will be able to access the funding from September 2024 across two academic years, with some trailblazer local authorities rolling out the programme earlier. The funding period will run until April 2026, by which point the department expects most primary schools will be able to deliver their own before and after school provision that is self-financing, and sustainable in the longer term.

The department is working with schools, private providers, and local authorities to ensure that this programme is designed to meet the needs of parents, and we will provide further information about the pathfinder scheme as it becomes available.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to publish further details on the wraparound pathfinder scheme to support the expansion of school-based childcare provision either side of the school day.

To improve the availability of wraparound childcare, the government has announced an investment of £289 million in a national pathfinder scheme in England to support local authorities to work with primary schools to set up and deliver wraparound childcare before and after school.

Schools and local areas will be able to access the funding from September 2024 across two academic years, with some trailblazer local authorities rolling out the programme earlier. The funding period will run until April 2026, by which point the department expects most primary schools will be able to deliver their own before and after school provision that is self-financing, and sustainable in the longer term.

The department is working with schools, private providers, and local authorities to ensure that this programme is designed to meet the needs of parents, and we will provide further information about the pathfinder scheme as it becomes available.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the expanded free childcare hours offer announced in the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, what assessment she has made of the total number of (a) early years settings and (b) early years staff needed to deliver that offer.

The department regularly surveys a representative sample of over 10,000 early years providers to gain insights into how they run their provision and the challenges they face. This includes data on staff recruitment and retention. We also regularly survey over 6,000 parents to understand their usage of childcare.

The data collected through these surveys is used to inform the department’s methodology and the uplift required to meet the pressures providers face, and to evaluate the impact this will have on early years settings, early years staff, and on the sufficiency of childcare. We will share further details of this in due course.

The childcare and early years provider survey is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/childcare-and-early-years-provider-survey/2022. The childcare and early years parents survey is accessible at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-and-early-years-survey-of-parents-2021.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of measures set out in the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, on the ability of childcare providers to recruit staff; and what recent modelling has her Department undertaken of trends in staff (a) recruitment and (b) retention in that sector.

The department regularly surveys a representative sample of over 10,000 early years providers to gain insights into how they run their provision and the challenges they face. This includes data on staff recruitment and retention. We also regularly survey over 6,000 parents to understand their usage of childcare.

The data collected through these surveys is used to inform the department’s methodology and the uplift required to meet the pressures providers face, and to evaluate the impact this will have on early years settings, early years staff, and on the sufficiency of childcare. We will share further details of this in due course.

The childcare and early years provider survey is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/childcare-and-early-years-provider-survey/2022. The childcare and early years parents survey is accessible at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-and-early-years-survey-of-parents-2021.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the expanded free childcare hours offer announced in the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183 published on 15 March 2023, whether her Department has undertaken modelling of the number of children included in that offer whose parents or guardians are likely to take up the offer in each of (a) 2024 and (b) 2025, broken down by age.

In the 2023 Spring Budget, the government announced a number of transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children and the economy.

By 2027/28, the government will expect to be spending in excess of £8 billion a year on free hours and early education, helping working families with their childcare costs. This announcement represents the largest ever investment in childcare in England.

In future, working parents will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare a week, for 38 weeks a year, from the point their child is 9 months to when their child starts school. This offer will be rolled out in full from September 2025. The department is ensuring a phased implementation of the expansion to the 30 hours offer to allow the market to develop the necessary capacity, and we will work closely with the sector to develop plans to grow, develop and support the workforce.

Eligibility estimates for the free early education entitlements are explained in the methodology of the ‘Education provision: children under 5 years of age’ under ‘Data Quality’. This can be accessed here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/methodology/education-provision-children-under-5-years-of-age-methodology.

Further details will be provided in due course.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the the free childcare hours announced in the Spring Budget 2023, HC 1183, published on 15 March 2023, what estimate her Department has made of (a) the average hourly rate per child aged 3 and 4 years old that will be payable to childcare providers under that scheme and (b) the average hourly cost to providers of providing that childcare.

At the 2023 Spring Budget, my right hon Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the hourly rates for the entitlements will be substantially uplifted. This is on top of additional investments announced at the 2021 Spending Review.

The department will provide £204 million of additional funding from September 2023, increasing to £288 million by 2024/25, for local authorities to further increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers, with further uplifts to follow each year. This will include an average 30% increase in the 2 year old rate from September 2023 and means that the average hourly rate for 2 year olds will rise from the current £6 per hour in 2023/24 to around £8 per hour. The average 3 and 4 year-old rate will rise in line with inflation to over £5.50 per hour from September 2023, with further uplifts beyond this.

This funding is in addition to the £4.1 billion that the government will provide by 2027/28 to facilitate the expansion of the new free hours offer. Under this offer all eligible working parents in England will, by September 2025, be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week, for 38 weeks of the year, from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school.

Average hourly rates for the 2023/24 financial year, not including the uplifts from September 2023 announced in the 2023 Spring Budget, were published on 16 December 2022 and are reproduced in the table below.

Entitlement:

2023 to 2024 (£)

3 and 4-year-old Universal Hours entitlement - average hourly funding rate

£5.31

3 and 4-year-old Additional Hours entitlement - average hourly funding rate

£5.23

3 and 4-year-old entitlements - combined average hourly funding rate

£5.29

2-year-old entitlement - average hourly funding rate

£6.00

The ‘Providers’ Finances: Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers 2021’ shows that the mean unit cost for all providers was £4.51 per child in 2021, with the median unit cost being £3.21 per child. This was a 12% increase in mean unit costs and 16% increase in median unit costs from 2019, representing an average 6% and 8% year-on-year increase. More recent data is not yet available.

Notes on the average hourly funding rates:

1. 1 Part Time Equivalent (PTE) is equivalent to 15 hours of childcare.

2. National average hourly funding rates are subject to change when allocations are updated to make use of Jan 2023 PTEs and Jan 2024 PTEs, i.e., if these have different PTE distributions between local authorities.

3. For 2023-24, the 3- and 4-year-old entitlement average funding rate is made up from a Universal Hours average of £5.31 and an Additional Hours average of £5.23. Both these entitlements are funded on the same Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF) funding rates at LA-level, but they have different PTE distributions between LAs, e.g., Universal Hours has a higher proportion of total PTEs in London LAs, which leads to different national averages. These figures are based on indicative allocations.

Note on provider finances data:

1. Unit cost is defined as the average cost per child per hour for all children of all ages in the setting, derived as the total weekly cost divided by an estimate of the total number of child hours per week.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate her Department has made of the average hourly rate per child for a two-year old provided to childcare providers; and what estimate her Department has made of the average hourly costs to providers.

At the 2023 Spring Budget, my right hon Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the hourly rates for the entitlements will be substantially uplifted. This is on top of additional investments announced at the 2021 Spending Review.

The department will provide £204 million of additional funding from September 2023, increasing to £288 million by 2024/25, for local authorities to further increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers, with further uplifts to follow each year. This will include an average 30% increase in the 2 year old rate from September 2023 and means that the average hourly rate for 2 year olds will rise from the current £6 per hour in 2023/24 to around £8 per hour. The average 3 and 4 year-old rate will rise in line with inflation to over £5.50 per hour from September 2023, with further uplifts beyond this.

This funding is in addition to the £4.1 billion that the government will provide by 2027/28 to facilitate the expansion of the new free hours offer. Under this offer all eligible working parents in England will, by September 2025, be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week, for 38 weeks of the year, from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school.

Average hourly rates for the 2023/24 financial year, not including the uplifts from September 2023 announced in the 2023 Spring Budget, were published on 16 December 2022 and are reproduced in the table below.

Entitlement:

2023 to 2024 (£)

3 and 4-year-old Universal Hours entitlement - average hourly funding rate

£5.31

3 and 4-year-old Additional Hours entitlement - average hourly funding rate

£5.23

3 and 4-year-old entitlements - combined average hourly funding rate

£5.29

2-year-old entitlement - average hourly funding rate

£6.00

The ‘Providers’ Finances: Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers 2021’ shows that the mean unit cost for all providers was £4.51 per child in 2021, with the median unit cost being £3.21 per child. This was a 12% increase in mean unit costs and 16% increase in median unit costs from 2019, representing an average 6% and 8% year-on-year increase. More recent data is not yet available.

Notes on the average hourly funding rates:

1. 1 Part Time Equivalent (PTE) is equivalent to 15 hours of childcare.

2. National average hourly funding rates are subject to change when allocations are updated to make use of Jan 2023 PTEs and Jan 2024 PTEs, i.e., if these have different PTE distributions between local authorities.

3. For 2023-24, the 3- and 4-year-old entitlement average funding rate is made up from a Universal Hours average of £5.31 and an Additional Hours average of £5.23. Both these entitlements are funded on the same Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF) funding rates at LA-level, but they have different PTE distributions between LAs, e.g., Universal Hours has a higher proportion of total PTEs in London LAs, which leads to different national averages. These figures are based on indicative allocations.

Note on provider finances data:

1. Unit cost is defined as the average cost per child per hour for all children of all ages in the setting, derived as the total weekly cost divided by an estimate of the total number of child hours per week.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the (a) availability and (b) affordability of childcare for the parents of (i) seriously ill and (ii) disabled children.

The department knows that childcare is a key concern for parents, including those parents of seriously ill and disabled children, and that families and early years providers across the country are facing financial pressures. This is why the department has spent more than £20 billion over the past five years to support families with the cost of childcare.

The department does not hold specific data regarding availability and affordability of childcare for parents of children who are seriously ill and/or disabled. The department assesses the availability and affordability of childcare for parents more generally.

The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children. Ofsted data currently shows that the number of places offered by providers on the Early Years Register has remained broadly stable since August 2015. Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. The department has regular contact with each local authority in England. If a local authority raises concerns about sufficiency issues, the department will support them with any specific requirements.

This Government has doubled the entitlement for working parents of three and four-year-olds to 30 hours and introduced 15 free hours a week for disadvantaged two-year-olds. This offer extends to two-year-old children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and/or with an Education Health and Care plan are eligible for the 15 hours free childcare entitlement for two-year-olds. On top of this, working parents on Universal Credit may be eligible for help with up to 85% of their childcare costs through Universal Credit to support with the costs of childcare.

In Early Years, local authorities are required to establish a Special Educational Neel Inclusion Fund (SENIF) to provide additional top up funding to providers to improve outcomes for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). Funding for the SENIF can come from both the early years and high needs funding blocks of the dedicated schools grant. The National Funding Formula contains an additional needs element to take account of the number of three and four-year-old children with additional needs in an area.

The Disability Access Fund is now worth £800 per eligible child per year, increased from £615 last year. For the 2023/24 financial year, it will again be increased to at least £828 per eligible child per year. The Disability Access Fund was introduced to support disabled children’s access to the entitlements for three and four-year-olds. Providers receive at least £828 per eligible child per year from the 2023/24 financial year. The funds can be used to support providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or helping with building capacity, be that for the child in question, or for the benefit of children attending the setting.

The department will work with local authorities, providers, and stakeholders to establish whether changes to the SENIF and other associated elements of the wider current early years funding system are needed, to ensure early years SEND funding arrangements are appropriate and well-targeted to improve outcomes for all pre-school children with SEND, and to support the introduction of a national framework for bands and tariffs.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an estimate of the number and proportion of single young fathers who have not taken up the Government childcare support to which they are entitled in each year since 2017.

The department does not collect data on the characteristics of parents who do not take up the free early education entitlements.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that young fathers are made aware of (a) family hubs and (b) other family support services that are available to them.

The government is investing £300 million to transform Start for Life and Family Hub services in 75 upper-tier local authorities across England with high levels of deprivation. In August 2022, the government published the Family Hubs and Start for Life programme guide, including a Family Hub Model Framework. Further details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/family-hubs-and-start-for-life-programme-local-authority-guide.

On 9 February 2023, the government announced the names of local authorities which have been successful in their bid to become trailblazers, leading the way on ambitious programme delivery and supporting other areas with their expertise. Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-families-to-benefit-from-local-support-in-rollout-of-family-hubs.

The Family Hub Model Framework includes criteria around the outreach model, which sets out that local authorities should actively engage with seldom heard families and groups, including fathers and male carers, and focus on overcoming any stigma associated with accessing services. Family hubs created through the Family Hubs and Start for Life programme will also provide universal parenting support services for under 2s to assist new and expectant parents who want and need it, including carers, fathers and co-parents.

In December 2022, the department published the results of behavioural insights research on increasing the uptake of family hub services. The results are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/behavioural-insights-increasing-uptake-of-family-hub-services. One of the projects considered how behavioural science could be used to develop and evaluate effective messaging to promote a ‘New Fathers Support Group’. The research has generated important lessons for local authorities more broadly and findings from the research will be disseminated through the National Centre for Family Hubs.

Parents and carers, including young fathers will be able to get information on other family support services via local ‘Family Information Services’ established by local authorities under Section 12 of the Childcare Act 2006. Through the Family Hubs - Growing Up Well project, the government is developing digital solutions that will solve practical problems which local areas face in delivering effective family hub networks. This includes improving how professionals connect families to support and how families access and navigate services themselves within their local family hub network.

In addition to funding for Family Hubs and Start for Life, all upper-tier local authorities also benefit from the government’s increased investment in the Supporting Families programme. As part of the Autumn 2021 Spending Review, £200 million of additional investment was announced to expand the programme. This is around a 40% cash terms uplift in funding for the programme by the 2024/25 financial year, taking total planned investment across the next three years to £695 million. Supporting Families encourages services to work together to provide co-ordinated whole family support to families facing multiple challenges. 520,000 families have already benefited from help, reporting improvements with the problems that led to them joining the programme. The investment is projected to help a further 300,000 families.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of (a) training and (b) guidance provided to (i) social workers and (ii) midwives to support young fathers.

Over the current spending review period, the department will continue to invest more than £50 million every year on recruiting, training, and developing child and family social workers to ensure the workforce has the capacity, skills, and knowledge to support and protect vulnerable children.

Social workers have access to specialist training as needed, for example early years and parenting and Approved Mental Health Professional training, to ensure they are able to adequately support people, including young fathers.

It is the responsibility for individual NHS Trusts to invest in post-registration training for midwives, ensuring that their staff are trained and competent to carry out their role. Care of the partner and families is referenced throughout the standards of proficiency for midwives, published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. This can be accessed here: https://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/standards/standards-of-proficiency-for-midwives.pdf.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
7th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she plans to confirm which local areas have been selected for the families first for children pathfinder scheme.

The Families First for Children pathfinder will work with up to 12 local areas to co-design and deliver end to end service reform, implementing new Family Help services, child protection arrangements and support for kinship care. This will deliver the department’s future vision for how we want to work with children and families in a select number of areas

The department will start to work with early adopters in spring 2023. In September 2023, we will launch the first wave of Pathfinders, working with three local areas and up to nine more local areas in the second year. Further information on the selection of the local areas will be available shortly.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
7th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the (a) adequacy of children’s social services departments’ budgets and (b) impact of the Stable Home, Built on Love strategy on those budgets.

Local authorities spent £11.9 billion on children and young people’s services in the 2021/22 financial year. This spend has increased by 32% from £9 billion in 2015/16.

In the 2023/24 financial year, councils will have access to £59.7 billion core spending power for their services, including children’s services. This is a 9.4% increase in cash terms on 2022/23 and includes an additional £1.3 billion, as set out in the Autumn Statement, into the Social Care Grant, further to that agreed at Spending Review 2021. This means £3.85 billion will be distributed via the Social Care Grant, available for adults’ and children’s social care in 2023/24.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has announced £200 million of additional investment to implement the reforms and build the evidence for future roll-out as set out in ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’.

The department will assess any new burdens that would impact local authorities due to the reforms and will continue to work closely with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and HM Treasury ahead of the next Spending Review.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2022 to Question 37614 on Schools: Buildings, which schools in Worcester constituency had at least one construction element in condition grade (a) C and (b) D, when that data was collated; and which of those schools (i) have received funding and (ii) are expected to receive funding in the next two years from the School Rebuilding Programme.

The Condition Data Collection (CDC) is one of the largest and most comprehensive data collection programmes in the UK’s public sector. It collected data on the building condition of government funded schools in England. It provides a robust evidence base to enable the Department to target capital funding for maintaining and rebuilding school buildings.

The key, high level findings of the CDC programme were published in May 2021 in the ‘Condition of School Buildings Survey: Key Findings’ report. This is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/989912/Condition_of_School_Buildings_Survey_CDC1_-_key_findings_report.pdf.

Individual CDC reports have been shared with every school and their responsible body to use alongside their existing condition surveys to plan maintenance schedules and investment plans. The Department plans to publish detailed school level CDC data. The Department is still preparing the data and will publish it as soon as possible.

Well maintained, safe school buildings are a priority for the Department. Our funding is directed both to maintaining the condition of the school estate and rebuilding schools. The Department has allocated over £13 billion for improving the condition of schools since 2015, including £1.8 billion committed this financial year.

The ten year School Rebuilding Programme (SRP) is condition led. 400 of the 500 available places on the programme have been provisionally allocated. A list of these schools and the methodology used to select them is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

The following table shows the constituencies specified that have schools or colleges selected for SRP:

Parliamentary constituency

Schools selected for SRP

Keighley

Ilkley Grammar School, announced July 2022

Sedgefield

Sugar Hill Primary School, announced July 2021 Woodham Academy, announced July 2021 Ferryhill Station Primary School, announced July 2022

South Swindon

Lawn Manor Academy, announced December 2022 Wroughton Infant School, announced December 2022

Warrington South

Penketh High School, announced July 2022

Wycombe

St Michael's Catholic School, announced December 2022

York Outer

Hempland Primary School, announced July 2021

Norwich North

Firside Junior School, announced July 2021 Angel Road Infant School, announced December 2022

Stroud

Thomas Keble School, announced February 2021

The 239 schools announced in December 2022 will enter delivery at a rate of approximately 50 per year, over a five year period from 2023. The Department is currently undertaking due diligence on these schools prior to scheduling them, with schools prioritised according to the condition of their buildings, readiness to proceed, and efficiency of delivery. The scope and funding for each project will be confirmed following detailed feasibility studies and condition surveys of buildings.

Where a school identifies significant safety issues with a building, that cannot be managed within local resources, the Department considers additional support on a case-by-case basis. This includes applications for Urgent Capital Support (UCS) from eligible institutions. Schools eligible for Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) can apply for UCS where there are urgent health and safety issues that threaten school closure and cannot wait until the next CIF bidding round.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2022 to Question 37614 on Schools: Buildings, which schools in Thurrock constituency had at least one construction element in condition grade (a) C and (b) D, when that data was collated; and which of those schools (i) have received funding and (ii) are expected to receive funding in the next two years from the School Rebuilding Programme.

The Condition Data Collection (CDC) is one of the largest and most comprehensive data collection programmes in the UK’s public sector. It collected data on the building condition of government funded schools in England. It provides a robust evidence base to enable the Department to target capital funding for maintaining and rebuilding school buildings.

The key, high level findings of the CDC programme were published in May 2021 in the ‘Condition of School Buildings Survey: Key Findings’ report. This is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/989912/Condition_of_School_Buildings_Survey_CDC1_-_key_findings_report.pdf.

Individual CDC reports have been shared with every school and their responsible body to use alongside their existing condition surveys to plan maintenance schedules and investment plans. The Department plans to publish detailed school level CDC data. The Department is still preparing the data and will publish it as soon as possible.

Well maintained, safe school buildings are a priority for the Department. Our funding is directed both to maintaining the condition of the school estate and rebuilding schools. The Department has allocated over £13 billion for improving the condition of schools since 2015, including £1.8 billion committed this financial year.

The ten year School Rebuilding Programme (SRP) is condition led. 400 of the 500 available places on the programme have been provisionally allocated. A list of these schools and the methodology used to select them is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

The following table shows the constituencies specified that have schools or colleges selected for SRP:

Parliamentary constituency

Schools selected for SRP

Keighley

Ilkley Grammar School, announced July 2022

Sedgefield

Sugar Hill Primary School, announced July 2021 Woodham Academy, announced July 2021 Ferryhill Station Primary School, announced July 2022

South Swindon

Lawn Manor Academy, announced December 2022 Wroughton Infant School, announced December 2022

Warrington South

Penketh High School, announced July 2022

Wycombe

St Michael's Catholic School, announced December 2022

York Outer

Hempland Primary School, announced July 2021

Norwich North

Firside Junior School, announced July 2021 Angel Road Infant School, announced December 2022

Stroud

Thomas Keble School, announced February 2021

The 239 schools announced in December 2022 will enter delivery at a rate of approximately 50 per year, over a five year period from 2023. The Department is currently undertaking due diligence on these schools prior to scheduling them, with schools prioritised according to the condition of their buildings, readiness to proceed, and efficiency of delivery. The scope and funding for each project will be confirmed following detailed feasibility studies and condition surveys of buildings.

Where a school identifies significant safety issues with a building, that cannot be managed within local resources, the Department considers additional support on a case-by-case basis. This includes applications for Urgent Capital Support (UCS) from eligible institutions. Schools eligible for Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) can apply for UCS where there are urgent health and safety issues that threaten school closure and cannot wait until the next CIF bidding round.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2022 to Question 37614 on Schools: Buildings, which schools in Telford constituency had at least one construction element in condition grade (a) C and (b) D, when that data was collated; and which of those schools (i) have received funding and (ii) are expected to receive funding in the next two years from the School Rebuilding Programme.

The Condition Data Collection (CDC) is one of the largest and most comprehensive data collection programmes in the UK’s public sector. It collected data on the building condition of government funded schools in England. It provides a robust evidence base to enable the Department to target capital funding for maintaining and rebuilding school buildings.

The key, high level findings of the CDC programme were published in May 2021 in the ‘Condition of School Buildings Survey: Key Findings’ report. This is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/989912/Condition_of_School_Buildings_Survey_CDC1_-_key_findings_report.pdf.

Individual CDC reports have been shared with every school and their responsible body to use alongside their existing condition surveys to plan maintenance schedules and investment plans. The Department plans to publish detailed school level CDC data. The Department is still preparing the data and will publish it as soon as possible.

Well maintained, safe school buildings are a priority for the Department. Our funding is directed both to maintaining the condition of the school estate and rebuilding schools. The Department has allocated over £13 billion for improving the condition of schools since 2015, including £1.8 billion committed this financial year.

The ten year School Rebuilding Programme (SRP) is condition led. 400 of the 500 available places on the programme have been provisionally allocated. A list of these schools and the methodology used to select them is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

The following table shows the constituencies specified that have schools or colleges selected for SRP:

Parliamentary constituency

Schools selected for SRP

Keighley

Ilkley Grammar School, announced July 2022

Sedgefield

Sugar Hill Primary School, announced July 2021 Woodham Academy, announced July 2021 Ferryhill Station Primary School, announced July 2022

South Swindon

Lawn Manor Academy, announced December 2022 Wroughton Infant School, announced December 2022

Warrington South

Penketh High School, announced July 2022

Wycombe

St Michael's Catholic School, announced December 2022

York Outer

Hempland Primary School, announced July 2021

Norwich North

Firside Junior School, announced July 2021 Angel Road Infant School, announced December 2022

Stroud

Thomas Keble School, announced February 2021

The 239 schools announced in December 2022 will enter delivery at a rate of approximately 50 per year, over a five year period from 2023. The Department is currently undertaking due diligence on these schools prior to scheduling them, with schools prioritised according to the condition of their buildings, readiness to proceed, and efficiency of delivery. The scope and funding for each project will be confirmed following detailed feasibility studies and condition surveys of buildings.

Where a school identifies significant safety issues with a building, that cannot be managed within local resources, the Department considers additional support on a case-by-case basis. This includes applications for Urgent Capital Support (UCS) from eligible institutions. Schools eligible for Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) can apply for UCS where there are urgent health and safety issues that threaten school closure and cannot wait until the next CIF bidding round.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2022 to Question 37614 on Schools: Buildings, which schools in Stroud constituency had at least one construction element in condition grade (a) C and (b) D, when that data was collated; and which of those schools (i) have received funding and (ii) are expected to receive funding in the next two years from the School Rebuilding Programme.

The Condition Data Collection (CDC) is one of the largest and most comprehensive data collection programmes in the UK’s public sector. It collected data on the building condition of government funded schools in England. It provides a robust evidence base to enable the Department to target capital funding for maintaining and rebuilding school buildings.

The key, high level findings of the CDC programme were published in May 2021 in the ‘Condition of School Buildings Survey: Key Findings’ report. This is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/989912/Condition_of_School_Buildings_Survey_CDC1_-_key_findings_report.pdf.

Individual CDC reports have been shared with every school and their responsible body to use alongside their existing condition surveys to plan maintenance schedules and investment plans. The Department plans to publish detailed school level CDC data. The Department is still preparing the data and will publish it as soon as possible.

Well maintained, safe school buildings are a priority for the Department. Our funding is directed both to maintaining the condition of the school estate and rebuilding schools. The Department has allocated over £13 billion for improving the condition of schools since 2015, including £1.8 billion committed this financial year.

The ten year School Rebuilding Programme (SRP) is condition led. 400 of the 500 available places on the programme have been provisionally allocated. A list of these schools and the methodology used to select them is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

The following table shows the constituencies specified that have schools or colleges selected for SRP:

Parliamentary constituency

Schools selected for SRP

Keighley

Ilkley Grammar School, announced July 2022

Sedgefield

Sugar Hill Primary School, announced July 2021 Woodham Academy, announced July 2021 Ferryhill Station Primary School, announced July 2022

South Swindon

Lawn Manor Academy, announced December 2022 Wroughton Infant School, announced December 2022

Warrington South

Penketh High School, announced July 2022

Wycombe

St Michael's Catholic School, announced December 2022

York Outer

Hempland Primary School, announced July 2021

Norwich North

Firside Junior School, announced July 2021 Angel Road Infant School, announced December 2022

Stroud

Thomas Keble School, announced February 2021

The 239 schools announced in December 2022 will enter delivery at a rate of approximately 50 per year, over a five year period from 2023. The Department is currently undertaking due diligence on these schools prior to scheduling them, with schools prioritised according to the condition of their buildings, readiness to proceed, and efficiency of delivery. The scope and funding for each project will be confirmed following detailed feasibility studies and condition surveys of buildings.

Where a school identifies significant safety issues with a building, that cannot be managed within local resources, the Department considers additional support on a case-by-case basis. This includes applications for Urgent Capital Support (UCS) from eligible institutions. Schools eligible for Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) can apply for UCS where there are urgent health and safety issues that threaten school closure and cannot wait until the next CIF bidding round.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2022 to Question 37614 on Schools: Buildings, which schools in Stoke-on-Trent Central constituency had at least one construction element in condition grade (a) C and (b) D, when that data was collated; and which of those schools (i) have received funding and (ii) are expected to receive funding in the next two years from the School Rebuilding Programme.

The Condition Data Collection (CDC) is one of the largest and most comprehensive data collection programmes in the UK’s public sector. It collected data on the building condition of government funded schools in England. It provides a robust evidence base to enable the Department to target capital funding for maintaining and rebuilding school buildings.

The key, high level findings of the CDC programme were published in May 2021 in the ‘Condition of School Buildings Survey: Key Findings’ report. This is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/989912/Condition_of_School_Buildings_Survey_CDC1_-_key_findings_report.pdf.

Individual CDC reports have been shared with every school and their responsible body to use alongside their existing condition surveys to plan maintenance schedules and investment plans. The Department plans to publish detailed school level CDC data. The Department is still preparing the data and will publish it as soon as possible.

Well maintained, safe school buildings are a priority for the Department. Our funding is directed both to maintaining the condition of the school estate and rebuilding schools. The Department has allocated over £13 billion for improving the condition of schools since 2015, including £1.8 billion committed this financial year.

The ten year School Rebuilding Programme (SRP) is condition led. 400 of the 500 available places on the programme have been provisionally allocated. A list of these schools and the methodology used to select them is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-schools-in-the-programme.

The following table shows the constituencies specified that have schools or colleges selected for SRP:

Parliamentary constituency

Schools selected for SRP

Keighley

Ilkley Grammar School, announced July 2022

Sedgefield

Sugar Hill Primary School, announced July 2021 Woodham Academy, announced July 2021 Ferryhill Station Primary School, announced July 2022

South Swindon

Lawn Manor Academy, announced December 2022 Wroughton Infant School, announced December 2022

Warrington South

Penketh High School, announced July 2022

Wycombe

St Michael's Catholic School, announced December 2022

York Outer

Hempland Primary School, announced July 2021

Norwich North

Firside Junior School, announced July 2021 Angel Road Infant School, announced December 2022

Stroud

Thomas Keble School, announced February 2021

The 239 schools announced in December 2022 will enter delivery at a rate of approximately 50 per year, over a five year period from 2023. The Department is currently undertaking due diligence on these schools prior to scheduling them, with schools prioritised according to the condition of their buildings, readiness to proceed, and efficiency of delivery. The scope and funding for each project will be confirmed following detailed feasibility studies and condition surveys of buildings.

Where a school identifies significant safety issues with a building, that cannot be managed within local resources, the Department considers additional support on a case-by-case basis. This includes applications for Urgent Capital Support (UCS) from eligible institutions. Schools eligible for Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) can apply for UCS where there are urgent health and safety issues that threaten school closure and cannot wait until the next CIF bidding round.