Justin Tomlinson Portrait

Justin Tomlinson

Conservative - North Swindon

Justin Tomlinson is not a member of any APPGs
4 Former APPG memberships
Consumer Protection, Learning Disability, Sport, Video Games
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Apr 2019 - 16th Sep 2021
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jul 2018 - 4th Apr 2019
Work and Pensions Committee
4th Jun 2018 - 26th Nov 2018
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)
8th May 2015 - 17th Jul 2016
Consolidation Bills (Joint Committee)
6th Dec 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
6th Dec 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Public Accounts Committee
12th Nov 2012 - 8th Sep 2014


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 29th June 2022
Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 267 Conservative No votes vs 1 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 175 Noes - 271
Speeches
Tuesday 7th June 2022
Children’s Education Recovery and Childcare Costs
It is a pleasure to speak in this debate. We all have a calling as MPs, and I was driven …
Written Answers
Wednesday 15th June 2022
Schools: Academic Year
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of setting …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 19th June 2013
Graduated Driving Licence Scheme Bill 2013-14
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 19th April 2022
8. Miscellaneous
From 30 March 2022, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. This post carries a part-time salary, first paid on 30 …
Supported Legislation
Public Sector Exit Payments (Limitation) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Justin Tomlinson has voted in 473 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Justin Tomlinson 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
Vicky Foxcroft (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
(9 debate interactions)
Debbie Abrahams (Labour)
(8 debate interactions)
Chloe Smith (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Work and Pensions
(207 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(14 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(2 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Justin Tomlinson's debates

North Swindon 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).

Justin Tomlinson has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Justin Tomlinson

Justin Tomlinson has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Justin Tomlinson, 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.


Justin Tomlinson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Justin Tomlinson has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Justin Tomlinson


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 make provision for a graduated driving licence scheme; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th June 2013

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 make provision regarding local authority powers to require developers to deposit funds in the form of a bond to be used if the local area is not maintained properly; and for connected purposes;


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 27th October 2010

33 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
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government is planning any further national schemes like the Year of Engineering in 2018 to encourage more young people into STEM careers.

Through UKRI, BEIS currently funds a variety of national programmes open to young people in all parts of the UK, to encourage them to take up the study of STEM subjects and to consider STEM careers.

These include the STEM Ambassadors programme, a nationwide network of over 30,000 volunteers representing over 7,000 employers, who engage with young people to increase their interest in STEM subjects and to raise awareness of the range of careers that science qualifications offer. BEIS also supports the CREST Awards, the UK’s largest national award scheme for project work in STEM subjects is based on enquiry-based learning principles which encourage motivation and engagement.

Programmes such as this are critical to inspiring more young people from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects and take up relevant careers. UKRI is currently reviewing these youth engagement programmes and their impacts to ensure that they remain effective in encouraging moreyoung people into research and innovation careers.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the proposal by The Independent Game Developers’ Association to introduce a Video Games Investment Fund.

The government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s games sector. As part of a wider package of support for the creative industries, the government has announced an £8 million expansion of the UK Games Fund. The UK Games Fund will provide valuable support to early stage games development businesses and talented graduates throughout the UK.

We are not seeking to take forward a proposal for a new Video Games Investment Fund. We welcome continued discussions with the games industry on how best to support a thriving UK games sector.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has to increase the effectiveness of the National Citizen Service through working alongside (a) trust organisers and (b) local authorities.

Following the recent Spending Review, officials are working closely with the National Citizen Service Trust (NCS Trust) and across Whitehall to increase the effectiveness of the funding provided by this government to support young people.

My officials will continue to provide support and oversight to the management team at the NCS Trust, setting ambitious delivery targets and working closely with other Departments to explore new opportunities and align the programme with the changing needs of young people and of the youth sector.

DCMS and the Trust will ensure that the programme is maintaining a strong, diverse supply chain. The Trust works with over 120 network partners nationwide and its programme delivery is highly localised. It aims to strengthen this network of providers moving forward, focusing its commissioning on localised and place-based delivery, co-creation, and partnership.

NCS Trust works closely with a range of local authorities providing engaging and inspiring initiatives, including:

  • Changemakers: community action groups that take place in every local authority, offering young people the opportunity to create real, positive change.

  • Skills Booster: programme that delivers off-the-shelf personal development packages in schools and colleges, available to all local authority youth teams

DCMS and the Trust will continue to focus on the twelve Opportunity Areas and leverage data analytics to enhance opportunities for young people in every local authority area.

The Government will continue to support the National Citizen Service Trust over the next three years, when it is expected to engage with more than 100,000 young people each year.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government can take to protect the exclusivity window that cinemas have for new film releases.

The Government recognises the important cultural and economic value of cinemas, which is why we are pleased to have supported the sector during the pandemic with £33.8 million of Culture Recovery Fund awards and our generous package of pan-economy measures.

In film distribution, an exclusivity window is the period of time for which a film is only available in cinemas before it is released more widely, such as on a video-on-demand service. The Government encourages industry to work together on the agreements regarding exclusivity windows and does not intend to intervene.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of setting different school term times for different regions in order to spread the demand for school holidays and thereby reduce holiday costs for parents and school staff.

The department does not have any plans to propose changes to term dates. School holidays are not determined at national level, they are agreed locally by trusts, schools, and local authorities (depending on school type). We believe that they are best placed to set school term and holiday dates in the interests of the pupils at their schools and their parents.

If schools do decide to change their term dates, they are required to act reasonably, giving parents notice and considering the impact on those affected. This includes pupils, teachers, the local community, parents’ work commitments and childcare options for both parents and teachers.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of encouraging schools to use their powers to alter term dates in order to spread the demand for school holidays and reduce holiday costs for parents and school staff.

The department does not have any plans to propose changes to term dates. School holidays are not determined at national level, they are agreed locally by trusts, schools, and local authorities (depending on school type). We believe that they are best placed to set school term and holiday dates in the interests of the pupils at their schools and their parents.

If schools do decide to change their term dates, they are required to act reasonably, giving parents notice and considering the impact on those affected. This includes pupils, teachers, the local community, parents’ work commitments and childcare options for both parents and teachers.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the accreditation system introduced by The Independent Game Developers’ Association in ensuring that universities and colleges can provide graduates with skills relevant to the game development sector.

Driving up quality of higher education (HE) provision is a key priority for this government, and we are working with Office for Students to ensure all students receive high quality outcomes and are supported to progress to high skilled employment or further study through their HE course.

We expect higher and further education providers to ensure their courses at level 4 to 7 support students to progress into the workplace. Professional standards and progression frameworks like those developed by The Independent Game Developers’ Association can help providers design and deliver courses and work experience and ensure students can progress in professions. Assessment of the benefit of these standards is a matter for the provider.

As part of our technical education reforms, we want to make sure that the majority of technical qualifications at level 3 and below are based on employer-led occupational standards.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of concerns highlighted by The Independent Game Developers’ Association on the impact of removing funding for BTECs for young people on people wishing to pursue a career in the video games industry.

In July 2021 the department published the response to the second stage consultation in its review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reforms-to-post-16-qualifications-at-level-3-in-england. The consultation outlines the types of qualifications that we plan to fund in the future.

This will include some applied general type qualifications, for example BTECs, as part of mixed programmes alongside A levels where there is a need and they meet quality and other criteria. We will also fund high-quality alternative qualifications as a whole study programme in areas not well served by A levels and where they do not overlap with a T Level.

The department has made no decisions on the individual qualifications. We will shortly publish a provisional list of qualifications that will have public funding approval withdrawn as they duplicate the content and purpose of wave one and two T Levels. Qualifications that do not overlap with T Levels will be replaced by high quality reformed technical qualifications in future.

The updated impact assessment published alongside the response to the second stage consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-post-16-qualifications-at-level-3-in-england. The assessment looked at the potential impact of the review on students, but it did not look specifically at those looking to pursue a career in the video games industry.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to (a) encourage the growth of new Grammar Streams and (b) facilitate the expansion of existing Grammar Streams within schools.

Setting and streaming by ability is common in secondary schools. We believe that teachers are best placed to decide the approach in their own schools. It is therefore a matter for the school in question whether to test pupils on entry for ability and place them in a grammar stream, or to otherwise stream pupils by ability.

The census data we collect from schools does not include information on whether children are streamed by ability.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is planning to take to increase the number of foreign-language teachers available in (a) the South West and (b) England.

The 2020/21 academic year saw an increase of more than 5,000 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in state-funded secondary schools across the whole of England, including the south-west. This equates to a 2.5% growth on the year before, the largest observed in the last 10 years, and has resulted in the largest qualified teacher workforce since 2015/16.

To support the recruitment of modern foreign language (MFL) teachers, the department has raised the languages bursary to £15,000 for the 2022/23 academic year to incentivise candidates to train to teach MFL. All MFL trainee teachers on tuition fee-funded initial teacher training routes are also able to apply for a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to support their living costs. Additional student finance is also available depending on individual circumstances, such as the Childcare Grant.

The department has also now launched our early career framework reforms, as part of the department’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy. These reforms provide a funded entitlement for all early career teachers trained in England to access high quality professional development at the start of their career.

To support international recruitment across several subjects including MFL, the department is also piloting a new Support Overseas Teachers acclimatisation service in 2022. It is designed to provide newly recruited overseas trained teachers moving to England with pre-arrival training and support during the first term, to ensure they make a successful transition to teaching in England, with the intention of improving retention.

In line with the government’s Professional Qualifications bill, in 2022 the department will review how we recognise the qualifications of overseas teachers with qualified teacher status (QTS). This includes foreign-languages teachers and aims to ensure that overseas teachers with the right overseas qualifications can be awarded QTS, meaning they can work unrestricted in English schools.

The department is also launching a new international teaching qualification called iQTS, with a pilot beginning in September 2022. iQTS will allow teachers to train to English standards overseas, meaning a greater global pool of employable teachers trained to our domestic standards.

In addition, the department continues to develop policies to increase the supply of specialist MFL teachers by focusing on new interventions. This covers a broad range of areas, including growing awareness and experience of teaching among undergraduates.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to review the performance of students in mathematics compared to their performance in English and science in schools.

The government has no current plans to review the performance of students in mathematics compared to their performance in English and science in schools.

The department’s secondary school accountability measures are designed to encourage schools to teach a broad and balanced curriculum, with a strong academic core, and to incentivise schools to focus on improving the attainment of all pupils. School performance tables include information on pupil entries and attainment across a range of subjects and qualifications, compared to national and local authority averages.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of vocational educational opportunities in Swindon.

We are investing £3.8 billion in further education and skills, to ensure people can access high-quality training and education that leads to good jobs, addresses skills gaps, boosts productivity and supports levelling up.

We are introducing T Levels, boosting access to high quality technical education for thousands of 16-19 year olds. Young people in Swindon are now benefitting from these new qualifications, as New College Swindon began teaching T Levels in Digital, Education & Childcare, Health and Science from September last year.

The department is also committed to supporting more people to benefit from the high-quality training that apprenticeships offer, including those at the start of their career or those looking to retrain. Funding for apprenticeships will grow to £2.7 billion by financial year 2024-25, delivering the first increase to employer-led apprenticeships funding since financial year 2019-20. We are also investing over £550 million by financial year 2024-25 to make sure adults can upskill to reach their potential, delivering on the National Skills Fund commitment.

The Free Courses for Jobs offer, launched in April 2021, gives adults the chance to access their first level 3 qualification for free. We have also recently announced that from April, any adult in England earning under the National Living Wage annually (£18,525) or unemployed, will also be able to access these qualifications for free, regardless of their prior qualification level. New Swindon College is amongst many training providers who have been allocated funding to deliver this offer.

Complementing this, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with an employer. Skills Bootcamps are now available in areas across the country as well as online, covering digital, technical, construction, logistics (HGV driving), and green skills. In Swindon, Skills Bootcamps in HGV driving are currently available. We continue to expand Skills Bootcamps further, and more courses will become available across England over the next few months.

We are also launching Multiply, a new £560 million programme to help people improve their basic numeracy skills through free digital training, flexible courses and tutoring. Launching in Spring 2022, the Multiply programme is in addition to the England-wide statutory entitlement for numeracy and will give people who don’t have at least a GCSE Grace C/4 or equivalent in maths, access to free new flexible courses to improve their maths skills. This will include a new website with bitesize training and online tutorials, as well as flexible courses.

Apprenticeships have long been a growth area for New College Swindon and in September 2021, the college opened the Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology, with a mission to be a high-quality employer-led training facility delivering high level technical and digital skills training for young people and to those already in employment.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of people in (a) apprenticeships and (b) vocational educations in (i) Swindon and (b) England.

The latest published apprenticeship starts data covers the 2020/21 academic year and was published in November 2021 in the apprenticeships and traineeships statistics publication: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships-and-traineeships/2020-21.

Apprenticeship participation for Swindon between academic years 2018/19 and 2020/21 is contained in the below table:

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Participation

3,030

2,920

2,720

More data on apprenticeship participation by region can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/fast-track/7cb8ccbd-43d2-4909-822d-6cac2fae30eb

Apprenticeship participation for England between 2018/19 and 2020/21 is contained in the below table:

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

England - Participation

742,400

719,000

713,000

More information on apprenticeship participation can be explored here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/8b98defb-9b2b-4edd-89a5-4177bbf27fed

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that regional school commissioners encourage multi-academy trusts to follow the national curriculum.

Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based, which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental, and physical development of pupils, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

Academies and free schools have greater freedom and autonomy in how they operate for areas such as the curriculum. They are expected to teach a curriculum that is comparable in breadth and ambition to the national curriculum, and many choose to teach the full national curriculum to achieve this.

The curriculum at an academy or free school is the responsibility of the academy trust. The curriculum provided in each academy to pupils up to the age of 16 is set out in their academy and free school funding agreement, which provides the framework for an academy or free school to operate in. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academy-and-free-school-funding-agreements.

If autonomous academies or multi academy trusts wish to deliver the national curriculum in their schools, they can do so. Academies may use their freedoms to develop their own curricula, tailored to meet the particular needs of their pupils, local area, or the particular ethos of the school.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide the overall cost to the public purse for regional schools commissioners since their inception.

The annual workforce budgets for the National Schools Commissioner, Regional Schools Commissioners and wider Regional Delivery Directorate (RDD) that support them in their roles is set annually through the internal departmental business planning process. Funding is allocated proportionately amongst commissioners according to the size of region, delivery challenges and staffing requirements. However, the directorate works flexibly and collaboratively to ensure priorities are delivered in an effective and efficient manner.

Since the financial year 2014-15, the overall cost for the National Schools Commissioner, Regional Schools Commissioners and the regional teams that support them is £197.65 million.

Workforce budget spend for Regional Schools Commissioners and RSC regions

Financial Year

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22 [1]

£ million

£4.10

£4.75

£26.35

£31.55

£32.31

£32.07

£34.67

£32.15

[1] forecast as at November 2021.

With regard to the costs set out above, the costs for the National Schools Commissioner, Regional Schools Commissioners and their teams were £4.1 million in financial year 2014-15 and £4.75 million in 2015-16. This was funded from existing departmental resources.

As a result of structural changes within the Department for Education in 2016-17, the Academies Regional Delivery Group (ARDG) was created, which amalgamated the National Schools Commissioner and Regional Schools Commissioners with complementary regional and other functions. Workforce costs for ARDG and its successor, RDD, are therefore not comparable with predecessor structures and organisation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the annual budget is for regional schools commissioners; and how that budget is allocated among commissioners.

The annual workforce budgets for the National Schools Commissioner, Regional Schools Commissioners and wider Regional Delivery Directorate (RDD) that support them in their roles is set annually through the internal departmental business planning process. Funding is allocated proportionately amongst commissioners according to the size of region, delivery challenges and staffing requirements. However, the directorate works flexibly and collaboratively to ensure priorities are delivered in an effective and efficient manner.

Since the financial year 2014-15, the overall cost for the National Schools Commissioner, Regional Schools Commissioners and the regional teams that support them is £197.65 million.

Workforce budget spend for Regional Schools Commissioners and RSC regions

Financial Year

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22 [1]

£ million

£4.10

£4.75

£26.35

£31.55

£32.31

£32.07

£34.67

£32.15

[1] forecast as at November 2021.

With regard to the costs set out above, the costs for the National Schools Commissioner, Regional Schools Commissioners and their teams were £4.1 million in financial year 2014-15 and £4.75 million in 2015-16. This was funded from existing departmental resources.

As a result of structural changes within the Department for Education in 2016-17, the Academies Regional Delivery Group (ARDG) was created, which amalgamated the National Schools Commissioner and Regional Schools Commissioners with complementary regional and other functions. Workforce costs for ARDG and its successor, RDD, are therefore not comparable with predecessor structures and organisation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on how many occasions regional schools commissioners have made interventions in each year since their inception in 2014.

Regional Schools Commissioners (RSC) take key operational decisions delegated to them by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and will intervene in schools in the following circumstances:

  • Maintained schools that have been judged inadequate by Ofsted are required to become sponsored academies to receive additional support to secure rapid and sustainable improvement from a strong sponsor. In these circumstances the RSC issues the academy order, matches the school with a suitable sponsor, and agrees at which point the funding agreement can be signed.
  • To commission high quality support for under-performing academies and free schools to improve them quickly.

The below table sets out how many sponsored academies have been opened because of an academy order being issued to a local authority-maintained school having been judged inadequate. It also shows how many academies and free schools have been judged inadequate between academic years 2014/15 and 2021/22 and therefore the number of academies and free schools that have been eligible for intervention over this period. The department’s policy on intervening in inadequate academies is set out in the published schools causing concern guidance.

Source: Get Information About Schools, and Ofsted Official Statistics 2014/15 to 2021/22

Academic Year

Number of sponsored academies that have been opened due to intervention

Number of inadequate academies

2014/2015

/

92

2015/2016

2

71

2016/2017

98

131

2017/2018

139

89

2018/2019

151

92

2019/2020

90

57

2020/2021

96

5

2021/2022

10

0

Total

586

537

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who holds regional schools commissioners accountable for their performance.

Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs) are Senior Civil Servants who act on behalf of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and are held to account by the National Schools Commissioner. Their performance is managed through the normal and existing service arrangements for Senior Civil Servants. The department publishes annual reports relating to school and academies performance, within which the work of RSCs is included, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dfe-annual-reports.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to encourage uptake in school sports and physical activities.

The cross-government School Sport and Activity Action Plan (July 2019) aims to ensure that sport and physical activity are an integral part of both the school day and after school activities so that all children can take part in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The government has confirmed its intention to publish an update to the action plan shortly.

In October 2021 the government announced that it will invest nearly £30 million per year to open up school sport facilities in England, as well as to improve the teaching of physical education (PE) at primary school. More detail will be confirmed on this additional investment in due course.

Through the primary PE and sport premium, the government has invested over £1.6 billion of ringfenced funding to primary schools to improve PE and sport since 2013.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress the Government is making on encouraging more girls into STEM careers.

The department recognises the demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills is growing, which is why ensuring that anyone, regardless of their background, can pursue a career in a STEM occupation is a key priority for this government.

We are pleased to see that since 2010, there has been a 26% proportional increase in the number of STEM A level entries from girls in England. In 2020, girls made up just over half of science A level entries (in biology, chemistry and physics), and there was an increase in the number of female students taking both mathematics and further mathematics, by 4.2% and 4.8% respectively. We recognise, however, that there is still some way to go to address the gender gap in physics and the mathematical subjects.

In order to address this, and encourage more young people into STEM subjects and careers, the government is funding informal learning programmes to inspire young people in schools. For example, the STEM Ambassadors scheme is a nationwide network of over 37,000 volunteers representing over 7,000 employers, who provide engaging extracurricular activities for young people to increase their interest in STEM subjects and to raise awareness of the range of careers that STEM qualifications offer. STEM Ambassadors are relatable role models - 57% are under 35, 45% are female and 15% are from UK minority ethnic backgrounds.

Secondary schools are expected to provide pupils with at least one meaningful interaction with employers per pupil per year, with a particular focus on STEM employers. These interactions open young people’s eyes to a range of different career possibilities and challenge stereotypes, as well as helping to prepare them for the workplace. Furthermore, the Careers and Enterprise Company, working with STEM Learning, have launched a series of STEM toolkits to support teachers to link careers to the STEM curriculum.

In September 2020, we began the phased rollout of T Levels - new technical courses for 16-19 year olds which are equivalent to three A levels. A number of T Level subjects now being taught are related to STEM, such as Construction, Digital, Healthcare and Science. T Levels in Engineering and Manufacturing will be taught from September 2022. The content of these courses is designed by relevant employers and other industry experts, ensuring that students leave their course with the skills most needed by STEM employers. We want as many students as possible to be able to take advantage of T Levels – and to challenge any stereotypes which may hold young people back from applying. Our T Level ambassadors showcase a wide range of voices.

Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to receive high quality training and begin a successful career in STEM. There are over 340 employer-designed apprenticeship standards in STEM, including Cyber Security Technician at level 3 and Civil Engineer (degree) at level 6. In the 2020/21 academic year 24% of all apprenticeship starts were in STEM and it is encouraging to see that female representation in STEM apprenticeships is increasing. We are continuing to promote apprenticeships in schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge programme and working with our Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network of influential employers to promote best practices in encouraging and retaining more women in STEM apprenticeships.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to educate young people on crypto currencies.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. Pupils receive financial education through the national curriculum for mathematics and citizenship which, for secondary school-aged pupils, includes compulsory content covering the functions and uses of money, financial products and services, and the need to understand financial risk.

Schools have flexibility over how they design their curricula, and can tailor it to the needs of their pupils. The Money and Pensions Service published financial education guidance for primary and secondary schools in England during Talk Money Week (8-12 November 2021), an annual event that encourages people of all ages to talk about money. I provided a supportive foreword for the guidance, which was developed in consultation with financial education experts and is designed to support school leaders and education decision makers to enhance the financial education currently delivered in their schools. The guidance includes links to quality assured resources for schools, including specific content and activities on cryptocurrencies. It also sets out the knowledge and skills pupils need to protect their personal data, critically evaluate online content and identify scams. The guidance is available to view here: https://maps.org.uk/2021/11/11/financial-education-guidance-for-primary-and-secondary-schools-in-england/.

There are also other opportunities across the national curriculum to teach pupils about cryptocurrencies. For example, the computing curriculum teaches the fundamental knowledge and skills that support pupils to make well-informed choices about technology. It covers the principles of e-safety at all key stages, with progression in the content to reflect the different and escalating risks that young people face. The computing curriculum is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-computing-programmes-of-study.

The department will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty's Treasury, to support the teaching of financial education to children and young people, including novel financial products.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to (a) encourage more academies to adopt school uniforms and (b) make school uniforms more affordable.

The department sets out in statutory guidance that it strongly encourages schools to have a uniform and recognises the valuable role that uniforms can play in promoting the ethos of a school, setting an appropriate tone for education and providing a sense of belonging and identity.

It is for the governing body of a school (or the academy trust, in the case of academies) to decide whether there should be a school uniform, and if so, what it should be.

The government published statutory guidance on the cost of school uniforms on 19 November 2021, to ensure the cost of school uniforms is reasonable and secures the best value for money for parents. The department’s guidance states that schools should keep the use of branded items to a minimum and should ensure that their supplier arrangements give the highest priority to cost and value for money. The guidance also requires schools to ensure that second-hand uniforms are available for parents to acquire.

The department’s statutory guidance on the cost of school uniform can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-school-uniforms/cost-of-school-uniforms.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to expand access to (a) electric charging stations, (b) compressed hydrogen and (c) bio-fuels at fuelling stations across the UK.

Government and industry have supported the installation of over 28,000  publicly available charging devices including more than 5,100 rapid devices – one of the largest networks of rapids in Europe. The Government will provide over £1.3 billion over the next four years to support the continued roll-out of chargepoints on motorways and major A roads, in homes and businesses and on-street. Government’s forthcoming EV Infrastructure Strategy will define our vision for the continued roll-out of a world-leading charging infrastructure network across the UK. The strategy will be published soon.

The UK is well placed to lead on hydrogen powered transport, and government is supporting the use of hydrogen cars, vans, buses and lorries through our £23m Hydrogen for Transport programme. As of December 2021, there are fourteen publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK providing hydrogen for road vehicles, with just over 350 hydrogen vehicles operating on UK roads. Additional refuelling infrastructure will be deployed as part of our plans to demonstrate at scale hydrogen fuel cell trucks on UK roads.

One of the benefits of biofuels is that they can be deployed using existing infrastructure. The Department has supported the supply of liquid biofuels at fuelling stations across the UK through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation which has been successful for 13 years in promoting a market for biofuels. The recent introduction of E10 in September 2021 now means that up to 10% bioethanol is blended into petrol while diesel is also blended with up to 7% biodiesel, a grade known as B7.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps have been taken to speed up the processing of driving licence applications and renewals.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The large majority of applicants renewing an existing licence will be able to continue driving while their application is being processed, providing the driver can meet specific criteria. More information can be found online here.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on tackling the delays in processing driving licence applications and renewals.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The large majority of applicants renewing an existing licence will be able to continue driving while their application is being processed, providing the driver can meet specific criteria. More information can be found online here.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has undertaken an assessment of the number of international travellers expected to travel to and from the UK over the Christmas period 2021-22 and the consequent demand that is expected to be placed on the private covid-19 testing market.

The Government undertakes regular analysis to monitor estimated passenger demand, including for the Christmas period 2021-22. The Government is also in regular contact with private testing providers about demand and capacity. Based on this engagement, the Department for Health and Social Care is confident that the private testing market has capacity to deliver the necessary tests.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that consumers have accurate information to make informed decisions when purchasing covid-19 testing services; and what measures the Government plan to implement to protect consumers from potential scammers operating in the covid-19 testing market.

In order to help consumers chose a reputable private provider for testing services, we have provided guidance which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing

We also monitor issues raised by the public and reports from other key regulatory and oversight bodies. If we become aware that a provider is not meeting the required minimum standards and it is not corrected, we can remove their listing from GOV.UK. Where a private provider’s activities pose a potential risk to public safety, we will refer them to the appropriate enforcement body, depending on the infringement. Where necessary we will support regulatory bodies undertaking further investigation of a provider and support any legal actions or interventions.

Consumers who have been a victim of fraud can make a report directly to Action Fraud, Citizens Advice and the police. Any report received directly to UK Health Security Agency will be reviewed and intelligence will be shared with the appropriate authority.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Competitions and Market Authority publication entitled Advice on PCR travel tests, published 10 September, what plans he has to implement the recommendations.

We are considering and already implementing many of the Competitions and Market Authority’s recommendations. We have established a test validation and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service accreditation process, which ensures that providers meet minimum standards before they are able to enter the market. We also continually monitor the pricing situation for travel testing, carrying out daily price checks on listings in addition to regular audits and reviews.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the impact on Ireland's competitiveness of its higher rate of video games tax relief at 32 per cent; and whether he has plans to accept the recommendation of The Independent Game Developers’ Association to increase the rate of video games tax relief in the UK.

The Government recognises the valuable economic and cultural contribution of the video games industry. The Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) has supported £4.4 billion of UK expenditure on 1,640 games since its introduction in 2014.

The Government regularly receives proposals for changes to tax reliefs. When considering changes, the Government must ensure they provide support to businesses in a fair way and that taxpayer money is effectively targeted. An uplift in the rate of VGTR is not currently under consideration. However, the Government keeps all tax reliefs under review.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to protect older and more vulnerable people from rogue traders.

The Government recognises the serious risks presented by scams and fraud and the huge financial and emotional impact they can have on victims. This is why the Home Office is working with other departments, law enforcement and the private sector to better protect the public and businesses from fraud, reduce the impact on victims, and ensure fraudsters have no space to operate.

This includes the development of a new Fraud Action Plan, the relaunch of the Joint Fraud Taskforce and publication of charters with the retail banking, telecommunications and accountancy sectors. As part of the Police Uplift Programme to recruit an additional 20,000 officers by 2023, we have prioritised more investigators in the City of London Police to fulfil their role as a world class fraud specialist force.

We have also channelled additional resource into the Regional Organised Crime Unit network to work on a host of serious and organised crime threats including fraud. The Government is also reviewing asset recovery powers to ensure the architects of such scams cannot profit from their crimes and intends to bring forward legislation on crypto assets when parliamentary time allows.

We continue to encourage the public to report fraud to Action Fraud and to forward any suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and suspicious texts to 7726, free of charge.

This information is being used by the City of London Police alongside crime reports to identify, disrupt and stop fraudsters. Any contact with rogue traders should also be reported to Trading Standards at

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to protect older and more vulnerable people from online scams.

The Government recognises the serious risks presented by scams and fraud and the huge financial and emotional impact they can have on victims. This is why the Home Office is working with other departments, law enforcement and the private sector to better protect the public and businesses from fraud, reduce the impact on victims, and ensure fraudsters have no space to operate.

This includes the development of a new Fraud Action Plan, the relaunch of the Joint Fraud Taskforce and publication of charters with the retail banking, telecommunications and accountancy sectors. As part of the Police Uplift Programme to recruit an additional 20,000 officers by 2023, we have prioritised more investigators in the City of London Police to fulfil their role as a world class fraud specialist force.

We have also channelled additional resource into the Regional Organised Crime Unit network to work on a host of serious and organised crime threats including fraud. The Government is also reviewing asset recovery powers to ensure the architects of such scams cannot profit from their crimes and intends to bring forward legislation on crypto assets when parliamentary time allows.

We continue to encourage the public to report fraud to Action Fraud and to forward any suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and suspicious texts to 7726, free of charge.

This information is being used by the City of London Police alongside crime reports to identify, disrupt and stop fraudsters. Any contact with rogue traders should also be reported to Trading Standards at

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government is developing plans to protect investors from potential crypto currency scams.

The Government recognises the serious risks presented by scams and fraud and the huge financial and emotional impact they can have on victims. This is why the Home Office is working with other departments, law enforcement and the private sector to better protect the public and businesses from fraud, reduce the impact on victims, and ensure fraudsters have no space to operate.

This includes the development of a new Fraud Action Plan, the relaunch of the Joint Fraud Taskforce and publication of charters with the retail banking, telecommunications and accountancy sectors. As part of the Police Uplift Programme to recruit an additional 20,000 officers by 2023, we have prioritised more investigators in the City of London Police to fulfil their role as a world class fraud specialist force.

We have also channelled additional resource into the Regional Organised Crime Unit network to work on a host of serious and organised crime threats including fraud. The Government is also reviewing asset recovery powers to ensure the architects of such scams cannot profit from their crimes and intends to bring forward legislation on crypto assets when parliamentary time allows.

We continue to encourage the public to report fraud to Action Fraud and to forward any suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and suspicious texts to 7726, free of charge.

This information is being used by the City of London Police alongside crime reports to identify, disrupt and stop fraudsters. Any contact with rogue traders should also be reported to Trading Standards at

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)