Margaret Greenwood Portrait

Margaret Greenwood

Labour - Wirral West

2 APPG memberships (as of 17 Nov 2021)
Adult Education, Liverpool City Region
1 Former APPG membership
Youth Employment
Shadow Minister (Education)
10th Apr 2020 - 15th Oct 2020
Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)
10th Apr 2020 - 15th Oct 2020
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
11th Mar 2018 - 6th Apr 2020
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
9th Oct 2016 - 11th Mar 2018
Environmental Audit Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 19th Dec 2016


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 172 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
Speeches
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill

The Health and Care Bill allows for

“a profession currently regulated to be removed from statutory regulation when the profession …

Written Answers
Wednesday 20th October 2021
Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Driving Tests
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that the safety standards of …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 17th November 2021
Mental health of spinal cord injured people
That this house acknowledges recent research into the mental health requirements and difficulties for people with a spinal cord injury …
Bills
Wednesday 13th July 2016
National Health Service Bill 2016-17
A Bill to re-establish the Secretary of State’s legal duty as to the National Health Service in England and to …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Unite the Union
Address of donor: 128 Theobald's Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN
Amount of donation or …
EDM signed
Monday 15th November 2021
Hillsborough disaster and the National Curriculum
That this House acknowledges that, 32 years after the Hillsborough disaster, criminal trials collapsed in May 2021 and nobody has …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Margaret Greenwood has voted in 283 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Margaret Greenwood Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
Will Quince (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(8 debate interactions)
Nick Gibb (Conservative)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(30 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(15 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(15 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Margaret Greenwood's debates

Wirral West 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 Wirral West signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

We ask Parliament to repeal the High Speed Rail Bills, 2016 and 2019, as MPs voted on misleading environmental, financial and timetable information provided by the Dept of Transport and HS2 Ltd. It fails to address the conditions of the Paris Accord and costs have risen from £56bn to over £100bn.

The Government's manifesto stated “we will make intentional trespass a criminal offence”: an extreme, illiberal & unnecessary attack on ancient freedoms that would threaten walkers, campers, and the wider public. It would further tilt the law in favour of the landowning 1% who own half the country.

A significant number of students will sit their final 2021 examinations. The outcome of which undoubtedly will be their passport, for many of their future life chances and successes. In order for this to be done fairly, it is imperative that the amount of content they are tested on is reduced.

We want the Education Secretary and the Government to step in and review the exam board’s decision on how GCSE and A-Level grades will be calculated and awarded due to the current coronavirus crisis. We want a better solution than just using our previous data to be the basis of our grade.


Latest EDMs signed by Margaret Greenwood

17th November 2021
Margaret Greenwood signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Wednesday 17th November 2021

Mental health of spinal cord injured people

Tabled by: Margaret Greenwood (Labour - Wirral West)
That this house acknowledges recent research into the mental health requirements and difficulties for people with a spinal cord injury that shows 40 per cent had depression and 28 per cent had experienced suicidal thoughts; notes that it is important for newly injured spinal cord injured people to be able …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 8
Conservative: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
15th November 2021
Margaret Greenwood signed this EDM on Monday 15th November 2021

Hillsborough disaster and the National Curriculum

Tabled by: Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
That this House acknowledges that, 32 years after the Hillsborough disaster, criminal trials collapsed in May 2021 and nobody has been held to account for the unlawful killings of 97 innocent people; acknowledges that it took 23 years of campaigning for the truth about the disaster to be finally acknowledged …
36 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 31
Scottish National Party: 2
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Margaret Greenwood's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Margaret Greenwood, 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.


Margaret Greenwood has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Margaret Greenwood has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Margaret Greenwood


A Bill to re-establish the Secretary of State’s legal duty as to the National Health Service in England and to make provision about the other duties of the Secretary of State in that regard; to make provision about the administration and accountability of the National Health Service in England; to repeal section 1 of the National Health Service (Private Finance) Act 1997, sections 38 and 39 of the Immigration Act 2014 and Part 9 of the Health and Social Care Information Act 2012; to make provision about the application of international law in relation to health services in the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 13th July 2016

Margaret Greenwood has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


160 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
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of (a) disabled and (b) non-disabled people have lost their job as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Save our Salons campaign group on support for businesses in the hairdressing and beauty industry.

I regularly engage with businesses in the personal care sector to listen to their concerns and understand the impact of the pandemic, including members of the Save our Salons campaign. In line with the roadmap, hair and beauty businesses will be able to reopen in England no earlier than 12th April, alongside non-essential retail. They will benefit from the package of support announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Budget, including restart grants of up to £18,000.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the ability of local authorities to help tackle the climate emergency at a local level.

BEIS launched the Local Energy programme in 2017 to support local authorities in taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean growth. Almost £20 million has been invested in the programme to date, funding a range of measures designed to build local capacity and capability. This includes creating five Local Energy Hubs across England, which provide Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities with access to expertise to help them develop plans to secure investment in low carbon projects. The programme has also funded the production of an energy strategy for every LEP area, the production of good practice guidance and resources, a finance conference and regional workshops, and the £10 million re-launch of the Rural Community Energy Fund.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what resources his Department is providing to local authorities to help them respond to the climate emergency.

BEIS launched the Local Energy programme in 2017 to support local authorities in taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean growth. Almost £20 million has been invested in the programme to date, funding a range of measures designed to build local capacity and capability. This includes creating five Local Energy Hubs across England, which provide Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities with access to expertise to help themin develop plans to secure investment in low carbon projects. The programme has also funded the production of an energy strategy for every LEP area, the production of good practice guidance and resources, a finance conference and regional workshops, and the £10 million re-launch of the Rural Community Energy Fund.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with local authority leaders on achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The UK was the first major economy to legislate for a net zero target, in line with advice from our independent expert advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, that 2050 was the earliest feasible date for achieving this.

BEIS launched the Local Energy programme in 2017 to support local authorities in taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean growth. Almost £20 million has been invested in the programme to date, funding a range of measures designed to build local capacity and capability. This includes creating five Local Energy Hubs across England, which provide Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities with access to expertise to help them develop plans to secure investment in low carbon projects. The programme has also funded the production of an energy strategy for every LEP area, the production of good practice guidance and resources, a finance conference and regional workshops, and the £10 million re-launch of the Rural Community Energy Fund.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the 1,400 job losses at the Airbus site in Flintshire, North Wales, on the local economy in Wirral.?

The proposed job losses by Airbus in the UK are part of its planned 15,000 global job reductions due to the reduced demand for new aircraft, resulting from the global Covid-19 pandemic with airlines deferring and cancelling orders. This has required Airbus to lower production rates by around 40%. Recovery to pre-Covid-19 levels may take between three and five years.

We are working closely with Airbus to help it through the crisis and into recovery. We appreciate this is a worrying time for workers at Airbus who may be affected and will do all we can to support them through Job Centre Plus in England, and in Wales through the services offered by the ReAct programme.

Airbus and UK aerospace suppliers are benefiting from the Government’s £330 billion Covid-19 business support packages, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Companies are also benefiting from our support for aviation and aerospace through UK Export Finance, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility, and grants for research and development.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with BT on that company’s reorganisation and maintaining jobs.

My department regularly engages with BT, and other relevant industry stakeholders, about a range of topics, including their UK workforce, at both official and ministerial level. We have not had any recent discussions with the Communication Workers Union on the reorganisation of BT, nor has the union requested a meeting with DCMS Ministers regarding this matter.


The Government is committed to boosting job creation in the UK. On 8 July, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Government’s Plan for Jobs which makes up
to £30 billion available, with a clear goal to create, protect, and support jobs.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Communication Workers Union on the reorganisation of BT.

My department regularly engages with BT, and other relevant industry stakeholders, about a range of topics, including their UK workforce, at both official and ministerial level. We have not had any recent discussions with the Communication Workers Union on the reorganisation of BT, nor has the union requested a meeting with DCMS Ministers regarding this matter.


The Government is committed to boosting job creation in the UK. On 8 July, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Government’s Plan for Jobs which makes up
to £30 billion available, with a clear goal to create, protect, and support jobs.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the role of communication workers in maintaining communications services during the covid-19 outbreak.

The UK Government recognises the importance of the telecommunications industry at this critical time in keeping communities and businesses connected. Communications workers, including but not limited to engineers, network operations and call centre staff, have all played, and continue to play an essential part in maintaining the availability of telecommunications networks during the Covid-19 outbreak.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the percentage of children in Wirral eligible to attend school under the current government guidance; and what assessment has he made of the public health implications of that percentage of children attending school.

During this period of national lockdown, schools should allow only vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers to attend. All other pupils and students should not attend and should learn remotely until February half term.

Every school will have a different number of children of critical workers who need to attend. It is important that on site provision is provided for these pupils, and there is no limit to the numbers of these pupils who may attend. Schools should not limit attendance of these groups.

Limiting attendance does not suggest that schools and colleges have become less safe for young people. Instead, limiting attendance is about supporting the reduction of the overall number of social contacts in our communities. Overall social contact across areas and the country is being reduced, rather than individually by each institution.

The new variant appears to affect all ages, but we have not seen any changes in the severity of the disease among any age groups, including children and young people. Most children and young people have no symptoms or very mild illness only. As cases in the community rise, there will be an increase in the number of children with COVID-19, but only very rarely will they require admission to hospital.

Under the national lockdown, the expectation is that everyone should work from home where possible. School leaders are best placed to determine the workforce that is required in school, taking into account the updated guidance for those staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable. The expectation is that those staff not attending school will work from home where possible.

For vulnerable children and young people, the children of critical workers, and their teachers who should still attend school or college, as they did in March to July, the system of protective measures means that any risks are well managed and controlled.

The Department publishes national level data on pupil attendance weekly: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data relating to the current school term will be published on 19 January.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the percentage of children in Wirral eligible to attend school under current Government covid-19 guidance; and what assessment has he made of the risk to teachers and support staff of that number of children attending school.

During this period of national lockdown, schools should allow only vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers to attend. All other pupils and students should not attend and should learn remotely until February half term.

Every school will have a different number of children of critical workers who need to attend. It is important that on site provision is provided for these pupils, and there is no limit to the numbers of these pupils who may attend. Schools should not limit attendance of these groups.

Limiting attendance does not suggest that schools and colleges have become less safe for young people. Instead, limiting attendance is about supporting the reduction of the overall number of social contacts in our communities. Overall social contact across areas and the country is being reduced, rather than individually by each institution.

The new variant appears to affect all ages, but we have not seen any changes in the severity of the disease among any age groups, including children and young people. Most children and young people have no symptoms or very mild illness only. As cases in the community rise, there will be an increase in the number of children with COVID-19, but only very rarely will they require admission to hospital.

Under the national lockdown, the expectation is that everyone should work from home where possible. School leaders are best placed to determine the workforce that is required in school, taking into account the updated guidance for those staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable. The expectation is that those staff not attending school will work from home where possible.

For vulnerable children and young people, the children of critical workers, and their teachers who should still attend school or college, as they did in March to July, the system of protective measures means that any risks are well managed and controlled.

The Department publishes national level data on pupil attendance weekly: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data relating to the current school term will be published on 19 January.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the percentage of children under the age of 12 in Wirral eligible to attend school under the current Government guidance; and what assessment has he made of the public health implications of that percentage of children under the age of 12 attending school.

During this period of national lockdown, schools should allow only vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers to attend. All other pupils and students should not attend and should learn remotely until February half term.

Every school will have a different number of children of critical workers who need to attend. It is important that on site provision is provided for these pupils, and there is no limit to the numbers of these pupils who may attend. Schools should not limit attendance of these groups.

Limiting attendance does not suggest that schools and colleges have become less safe for young people. Instead, limiting attendance is about supporting the reduction of the overall number of social contacts in our communities. Overall social contact across areas and the country is being reduced, rather than individually by each institution.

The new variant appears to affect all ages, but we have not seen any changes in the severity of the disease among any age groups, including children and young people. Most children and young people have no symptoms or very mild illness only. As cases in the community rise, there will be an increase in the number of children with COVID-19, but only very rarely will they require admission to hospital.

Under the national lockdown, the expectation is that everyone should work from home where possible. School leaders are best placed to determine the workforce that is required in school, taking into account the updated guidance for those staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable. The expectation is that those staff not attending school will work from home where possible.

For vulnerable children and young people, the children of critical workers, and their teachers who should still attend school or college, as they did in March to July, the system of protective measures means that any risks are well managed and controlled.

The Department publishes national level data on pupil attendance weekly: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data relating to the current school term will be published on 19 January.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of his policy of including as vulnerable those children and young people who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study on the projected infection rates of covid-19 in areas of deprivation (a) in Wirral and (b) in England.

Following my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new national lockdown, the Department published updated guidance on 8 January for children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision. The Department also published updated guidance on remote education: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950510/School_national_restrictions_guidance.pdf.

In the remote education guidance, the Department set out that some children who have difficulty engaging in remote education may be considered to be vulnerable children and, therefore, eligible to attend school. It is up to the child’s school or local authority to make this decision. The decision would be based on the needs of the child and their family, and a range of other factors, as set out in the guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision#vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

The updated remote education guidance also sets outs that, where pupils continue to experience barriers to digital remote education, we expect schools to work to overcome these barriers. This could include distributing school-owned laptops or supplementing digital provision with different forms of remote education such as printed resources or textbooks. This should be supplemented with other forms of communication to keep pupils and students on track, or answer questions about work.

The Department has also published a good practice guide, which provides advice to teachers and school leaders to support effective delivery of the curriculum remotely: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/remote-education-good-practice/remote-education-good-practice. This is part of our broader package of support for schools, which are able to be accessed through the Get Help with Remote Education page: https://get-help-with-remote-education.education.gov.uk/good-teaching-practice.html.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish earlier than 17 February the information entitled Devices and internet connectivity data: progress update.

The Department has published new data on the delivery of devices as of 12 January 2021. This information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

This includes over 750,000 laptops and tablets that have been delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities by the end of last week.

The Department has also partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

The Department is grateful to EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, and Vodafone. We continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 November 2020 to Question 115702, for what reason his Department has not made an assessment of the effect of school fires on levels of educational attainment; whether his Department plans to start collecting that information; and what assessment he has made of the importance of that information to understanding the wider impact of school fires.

Fires in school buildings are very rare and in the vast majority of cases are confined to the room or object of origin or cause no damage, resulting in minimal or no disruption to education.

Department officials met Zurich Municipal on 14 December 2020. We expect that dialogue to continue early this year, and in due course to be able to gain a better understanding of the impact of fire on schools and pupils, based on the data that underpins the Zurich report, Home Office fire and rescue incident statistics, as well as on the data the Department will continue to collect from its Risk Protection Arrangement.

At present, sprinklers must be fitted in new schools where they are deemed necessary to keep pupils and staff safe. All new school building projects must also comply with building regulations, including on fire safety. The Department is due to launch a full public consultation on Building Bulletin 100 in early 2021, which will consider the implementation of various fire safety measures, including sprinkler systems.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of apprentices employed by companies in which the director has been ineligible for covid-19-related financial support during the outbreak in (a) England, (b) the North West and (c) Wirral.

We do not have data on the number of apprentices employed by companies in which the director has been ineligible for financial support following the COVID-19 outbreak.

The government has introduced a wide range of support to help businesses of all sizes to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and to allow employers to furlough employees who have been unable to continue working, including apprentices, through the Job Retention Scheme.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the tiered levels of covid-19 restrictions for (a) education and (b) childcare.

The Government has made it a national priority that schools and nurseries should continue to operate as normally as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak. This remains the default position for all areas in all local restriction tiers.

On 27 November the Department published a simple and clear contingency framework for the rare circumstances in which schools and/or colleges might need to revise their delivery models for a short period of time to help contain COVID-19 transmission within a community.

Such measures will be implemented in the fewest number of schools required, for the shortest time. Given the considerable benefits to children of continued face to face teaching, the threshold for moving to any restrictions will remain exceptionally high.

Any decision to initiate local restrictions to any schools or nurseries will not be taken lightly and will be made by central government on a case by case basis in the light of local and national circumstances.

The education contingency framework can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-contingency-framework-for-education-and-childcare-settings.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 July 2020 to Question 76046 and the Answer of 8 October 2020 to Question 98997, what recent discussions he has had with school leaders on providing financial support for expenses incurred during the covid-19 outbreak on (a) additional cleaning, (b) signage, (c) supply staff and (d) other anticipated extra costs that are likely to have been incurred since September 2020.

Ministers and officials continue to engage regularly with school leaders and their representatives on a wide range of issues around COVID-19, including discussions in relation to costs faced by schools at this time.

Getting all children and young people back into school for the new academic year has been a national priority. To support schools with this, they have continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in the 2020-21 financial year, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20. As stated in our guidance, schools should use these existing resources when making arrangements for this term. The full guidance on the reopening of schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Health and Safety Executive guidance, Face coverings and face masks at work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, whether that guidance applies to staff in all schools.

The Department has published specific guidance on the use of face coverings in education which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education.

Under national restrictions from 5 November, face coverings should be worn by all adults and pupils in secondary schools in indoor communal areas and outside of classrooms, where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Primary school head teachers have the discretion to require adults to wear face coverings in indoor situations where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering. Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings.

Face coverings are distinct from surgical face masks which are a type of personal protective equipment (PPE). Further guidance on the use of PPE in education and childcare can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of testing, tracing and isolating during the covid-19 outbreak within schools.

Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been. The UK’s daily COVID-19 testing capacity passed the 500,000 mark on 31 October and continues to expand. To support schools further, the Department is also supplying COVID-19 test kits directly to schools for both staff and students who develop symptoms of COVID-19 and face significant barriers to accessing a test through existing routes.

Schools are playing a vital role in supporting the test and trace system. Where someone who has attended tests positive, schools are taking swift action to send home close contacts of the positive case, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious. There is a dedicated advice line to help schools, colleges or early years settings to implement the most appropriate public health measures once a case is confirmed. If, following triage, further expert advice is required the adviser will escalate the school’s call to the Public Health England local health protection team.

The Government is committed to introducing mass asymptomatic testing using new technologies to minimise the risk of infection spread within communities and pilots are already underway for using them in schools and colleges. Establishing this testing capability will enable students to continue their studies safely and assure staff to be able to continue to deliver education and support.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure that teachers are among those prioritised for a covid-19 vaccine when one becomes available.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine(s) the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them.

The JCVI’s current advice is that, once available, the vaccine for COVID-19 should be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80, and health and social workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and risk.

The JCVI have not, as of yet, made any further recommendations on what professions should be prioritised in vaccine roll out.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on teacher workload of the need for teachers to educate pupils both in class and remotely in (a primary, (b) secondary and (c) special schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department is working hard to ensure that children and young people can continue to attend school and college safely, as this is the best place for them to be for their education, development and wellbeing. We recognise that for some pupils and students, remote education will need to be an essential component in the delivery of the school curriculum, alongside on-site teaching. We recognise that schools may need to alter the way in which they deploy their staff and use existing staff more flexibly. It is important that planning builds in the need to avoid increases in unnecessary and unmanageable workload burdens. The Department has not published information on the effect on teacher workload in relation to educating pupils both in class and remotely as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department has published a range of resources to support schools to reduce workload. The workload reduction toolkit, for example, can help schools to identify and address their particular workload challenges: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-workload-reduction-toolkit.

The Department has also provided a remote education support package to help schools and colleges meet the remote education expectations set out in the schools guidance for full opening published in July, and the further education providers autumn term guidance published in August: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools and: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision/what-fe-colleges-and-providers-will-need-to-do-from-the-start-of-the-2020-autumn-term.

The support package includes access to the right technology to deliver remote education, peer to peer training and guidance on how to use this effectively in the short and long term, and practical tools, good practice guidance and school-led webinars to support effective delivery of the curriculum. All of this support can be accessed via the Remote Education Service on GOV.UK. We will continue to work closely with school leaders, teachers, and their representatives to address workload and provide support for schools.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) pupils and (b) teachers absent from (i) primary, (ii) secondary and (iii) special schools in each (A) region and (B) local authority area for the weeks beginning (1) 5 October, (2) 12 October, (3) 2 November and (4) 9 November 2020 for which information is available; and if he will publish weekly breakdowns on a monthly basis.

We collect data on both the open status of schools, the number of schools that have indicated they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment on a daily basis, and the total number of pupils in attendance. This data is published from this collection at a national level as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data is published from 9 September 2020, but prior to 12 October 2020 information on pupils isolating was not collected.

The department intends to publish regional and local authority level data on 15 December. Also, the department intends to publish school workforce attendance data from the new year. This data will be included as part of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’.

The frequency of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’ will be reviewed in the new year.

The department is constantly reviewing the content of its publications. Announcements about future content will be made through the official statistics release page: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education/about/statistics.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) special schools are closed due to the covid-19 outbreak in each (i) region and (ii) local authority area for the weeks beginning (A) 5 October, (B) 12 October, (C) 2 November and (D) 9 November 2020; and if he will publish that weekly information on a monthly basis.

We collect data on both the open status of schools, the number of schools that have indicated they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment on a daily basis, and the total number of pupils in attendance. This data is published from this collection at a national level as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data is published from 9 September 2020, but prior to 12 October 2020 information on pupils isolating was not collected.

The department intends to publish regional and local authority level data on 15 December. Also, the department intends to publish school workforce attendance data from the new year. This data will be included as part of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’.

The frequency of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’ will be reviewed in the new year.

The department is constantly reviewing the content of its publications. Announcements about future content will be made through the official statistics release page: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education/about/statistics.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of school fires on levels of educational attainment.

The Government gives the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff, and to ensuring that the owners of school buildings take the necessary action to protect those buildings.

The Department has not made an assessment of the effect of school fires on levels of educational attainment.

The data held from the Department’s Condition Data Collection indicates that 1665 schools in England have sprinkler systems.

The Department is currently updating Building Bulletin 100 (BB100), the department’s guidance on fire safety design in schools. A revised version of BB100 is expected to be published in 2021, following a full public consultation. The consultation will give full consideration to the implementation of various fire safety measures, including the use of sprinkler systems.

In the meantime, schools are fundamentally safe environments. All schools must comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which means they must have an up to date fire risk assessment, appropriate fire alarms and regular fire drills. This is to ensure they are as safe as possible and well prepared in the event of a fire.

Sprinklers must be fitted in new schools where they are deemed necessary to keep pupils and staff safe. All new school building projects must also comply with building regulations, including on fire safety, and this must be independently checked by Building Control or an Approved Inspector before buildings are occupied.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the Government plans to publish its response to the Review of Building Bulletin 100: design for fire safety in schools consultation.

The Government gives the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff, and to ensuring that the owners of school buildings take the necessary action to protect those buildings.

The Department has not made an assessment of the effect of school fires on levels of educational attainment.

The data held from the Department’s Condition Data Collection indicates that 1665 schools in England have sprinkler systems.

The Department is currently updating Building Bulletin 100 (BB100), the department’s guidance on fire safety design in schools. A revised version of BB100 is expected to be published in 2021, following a full public consultation. The consultation will give full consideration to the implementation of various fire safety measures, including the use of sprinkler systems.

In the meantime, schools are fundamentally safe environments. All schools must comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which means they must have an up to date fire risk assessment, appropriate fire alarms and regular fire drills. This is to ensure they are as safe as possible and well prepared in the event of a fire.

Sprinklers must be fitted in new schools where they are deemed necessary to keep pupils and staff safe. All new school building projects must also comply with building regulations, including on fire safety, and this must be independently checked by Building Control or an Approved Inspector before buildings are occupied.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of schools are fitted with effective sprinkler systems in England.

The Government gives the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff, and to ensuring that the owners of school buildings take the necessary action to protect those buildings.

The Department has not made an assessment of the effect of school fires on levels of educational attainment.

The data held from the Department’s Condition Data Collection indicates that 1665 schools in England have sprinkler systems.

The Department is currently updating Building Bulletin 100 (BB100), the department’s guidance on fire safety design in schools. A revised version of BB100 is expected to be published in 2021, following a full public consultation. The consultation will give full consideration to the implementation of various fire safety measures, including the use of sprinkler systems.

In the meantime, schools are fundamentally safe environments. All schools must comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which means they must have an up to date fire risk assessment, appropriate fire alarms and regular fire drills. This is to ensure they are as safe as possible and well prepared in the event of a fire.

Sprinklers must be fitted in new schools where they are deemed necessary to keep pupils and staff safe. All new school building projects must also comply with building regulations, including on fire safety, and this must be independently checked by Building Control or an Approved Inspector before buildings are occupied.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of schools in England with inadequate fire detection systems.

The Government gives the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff, and to ensuring that the owners of school buildings take the necessary action to protect those buildings.

The Department has not made an assessment of the effect of school fires on levels of educational attainment.

The data held from the Department’s Condition Data Collection indicates that 1665 schools in England have sprinkler systems.

The Department is currently updating Building Bulletin 100 (BB100), the department’s guidance on fire safety design in schools. A revised version of BB100 is expected to be published in 2021, following a full public consultation. The consultation will give full consideration to the implementation of various fire safety measures, including the use of sprinkler systems.

In the meantime, schools are fundamentally safe environments. All schools must comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which means they must have an up to date fire risk assessment, appropriate fire alarms and regular fire drills. This is to ensure they are as safe as possible and well prepared in the event of a fire.

Sprinklers must be fitted in new schools where they are deemed necessary to keep pupils and staff safe. All new school building projects must also comply with building regulations, including on fire safety, and this must be independently checked by Building Control or an Approved Inspector before buildings are occupied.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) pupils and (b) teachers attending (i) primary, (ii) secondary and (iii) special schools in each (A) region and (B) local authority area in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will publish that data on a monthly basis.

We collect data on both the open status of schools and number of schools that have indicated they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment on a daily basis. This data is published from this collection at a national level as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data is published from 9 September 2020, but prior to 12 October 2020 information on pupils isolating was not collected.

The Department intends to publish regional and local authority level data on 15 December. Also, the Department intends to publish school workforce attendance data from the new year. This data will be included as part of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’.

The frequency of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’ will be reviewed in the new year.

The Department is constantly reviewing the content of its publications. Announcements about future content will be made through the official statistics release page: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education/about/statistics

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school children in each region who are (i) clinically vulnerable and (i) clinically extremely vulnerable; and whether he has made a comparative assessment of those numbers between each region.

The information requested is not held centrally.

The annual school workforce census provides data on school staff characteristics, and although we collect sickness absence data, it does not record their health status. The latest school workforce census data can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england#dataBlock-465b74eb-234a-418d-b240-b678afa06e66-tables.

The school census provides data on school pupil characteristics, but this does not record their health status. The latest school census data can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school age children who live in a household with someone who is (i) clinically vulnerable and (ii) clinically extremely vulnerable, by region.

The information requested is not held centrally.

The annual school workforce census provides data on school staff characteristics, and although we collect sickness absence data, it does not record their health status. The latest school workforce census data can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england#dataBlock-465b74eb-234a-418d-b240-b678afa06e66-tables.

The school census provides data on school pupil characteristics, but this does not record their health status. The latest school census data can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school staff in each region who are (i) clinically vulnerable and (i) clinically extremely vulnerable; and whether he has made a comparative assessment of those numbers between each region.

The information requested is not held centrally.

The annual school workforce census provides data on school staff characteristics, and although we collect sickness absence data, it does not record their health status. The latest school workforce census data can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england#dataBlock-465b74eb-234a-418d-b240-b678afa06e66-tables.

The school census provides data on school pupil characteristics, but this does not record their health status. The latest school census data can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school staff who live in a household with someone who is (i) clinically vulnerable and (ii) clinically extremely vulnerable, by region.

The information requested is not held centrally.

The annual school workforce census provides data on school staff characteristics, and although we collect sickness absence data, it does not record their health status. The latest school workforce census data can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england#dataBlock-465b74eb-234a-418d-b240-b678afa06e66-tables.

The school census provides data on school pupil characteristics, but this does not record their health status. The latest school census data can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 21 October 2020 to Question 104751 on Schools: Coronavirus, if he will publish local data on pupil attendance on a monthly basis.

The Department is constantly reviewing the content of its publications. The final decision on the publication of official statistics lies with the head of profession for statistics in the Department. Announcements about future content will be made through the official statistics release page, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education/about/statistics.

The number of primary, secondary and special schools closed as a result of COVID-19 is published regularly. The most recent publication can be found at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 21 October 2020 to Question 104751, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) primary, (b) secondary and (c) special schools that are closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak in the latest period for which information is available.

The Department is constantly reviewing the content of its publications. The final decision on the publication of official statistics lies with the head of profession for statistics in the Department. Announcements about future content will be made through the official statistics release page, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education/about/statistics.

The number of primary, secondary and special schools closed as a result of COVID-19 is published regularly. The most recent publication can be found at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) pupils and (b) teachers attending (i) primary schools, (ii) secondary schools and (iii) special schools in each (A) region and (B) local authority area in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will publish that data on a monthly basis.

The Department will place pupil attendance and school closure statistics for 15 October in the Libraries of both Houses. It should be noted that these statistics are for schools who have submitted a response in the education settings status form only. This data can be viewed in the attached table.

While the official statistics series for this data applies an adjustment for non-responding schools, data at more local levels, including at regional and local authority levels, is based only on the data from responding schools. We are currently looking at the quality of the teacher attendance data with a view to publishing as part of the official statistics series.

16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) pupils and (b) teachers absent from (i) primary schools, (ii) secondary schools and (iii) special schools in each (A) i) region and (B) local authority area in the latest period for which information is available; and if he will publish that data on a monthly basis.

The Department will place pupil attendance and school closure statistics for 15 October in the Libraries of both Houses. It should be noted that these statistics are for schools who have submitted a response in the education settings status form only. This data can be viewed in the attached table.

While the official statistics series for this data applies an adjustment for non-responding schools, data at more local levels, including at regional and local authority levels, is based only on the data from responding schools. We are currently looking at the quality of the teacher attendance data with a view to publishing as part of the official statistics series.

16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) special schools that are currently closed due to covid-19 in each (i) region and (ii) local authority area in the latest period for which information is available; and if he will publish that information on a monthly basis.

The Department will place pupil attendance and school closure statistics for 15 October in the Libraries of both Houses. It should be noted that these statistics are for schools who have submitted a response in the education settings status form only. This data can be viewed in the attached table.

While the official statistics series for this data applies an adjustment for non-responding schools, data at more local levels, including at regional and local authority levels, is based only on the data from responding schools. We are currently looking at the quality of the teacher attendance data with a view to publishing as part of the official statistics series.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 September 2020 to Question 88339 on Schools: Coronavirus, what the total value was of claims made by schools under the exceptional costs programme from March to July 2020, as of 5 October 2020.

The first claims window for the COVID-19 schools fund closed on 21 July. The second window for schools to claim for exceptional costs they faced between March and July will open later in the autumn.

To date, the total value of claims against the published expenditure categories in the fund remains at £104 million. These are: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who were not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements. A further £44 million of claims from schools during the first window fell outside the standard expenditure categories.

Schools have already received payments of £58 million where they have claimed only against the published expenditure categories and within the fund’s cost limits. The Department is assessing all claims outside the published categories and/or in excess of the cost limits, and these will be paid later in the autumn if they are approved.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 July 2020 to Question 76046, what recent discussions he has had with school leaders on providing financial support for expenses incurred following the covid-19 outbreak on (a) additional cleaning, (b) signage (c) supply staff, and (d) other anticipated extra costs that they expect to incur from September 2020.

Ministers and officials continue to engage regularly with school leaders and their representatives on a wide range of issues around COVID-19, including discussions in relation to costs faced by schools at this time.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils who have suffered a family bereavement since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils who have suffered a family bereavement in each local authority area since the start of the covid-19 outbreak .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) schools and (b) colleges in Wirral that are facing difficulties in keeping fully open to students as a result of delays in teachers or their family members getting covid-19 test results.

Keeping close track of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools is a priority to the Government. The Department is currently collecting data from schools on a daily basis, as well as gathering information from local areas and following up with individual settings to confirm that procedures for requiring pupils to isolate are well understood and that necessary decisions are made on the basis of public health advice.

Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been, and we are working to provide further priority access for teachers. The home testing kits supplied to schools and colleges are only for those who develop the symptoms of COVID-19 and face significant barriers to accessing a test. In particular, these tests kits will help symptomatic staff who test negative, and are not close contacts of confirmed cases, to get back to work as soon as they feel well enough.

The Department collects data on the number of schools that have indicated that they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment measures and have attendance data for schools that have done so. We are currently looking at the quality of the data with a view to publishing it as part of the official statistics series. The series includes published data on school openings and attendance, which shows that over 99.9% of state-funded schools were open on 10 September and that attendance in state-funded schools was 88%. More information is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Public Health England (PHE) leads in holding data on infection, incidence and COVID-19 cases overall. PHE have published data on COVID-19 incidents by institution, including educational settings, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-reports (page 16).

17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of schools in England that are facing difficulties in keeping fully open to pupils because of delays in teachers or their family members getting covid-19 test results.

Keeping close track of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools is a priority to the Government. The Department is currently collecting data from schools on a daily basis, as well as gathering information from local areas and following up with individual settings to confirm that procedures for requiring pupils to isolate are well understood and that necessary decisions are made on the basis of public health advice.

Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been, and we are working to provide further priority access for teachers. The home testing kits supplied to schools and colleges are only for those who develop the symptoms of COVID-19 and face significant barriers to accessing a test. In particular, these tests kits will help symptomatic staff who test negative, and are not close contacts of confirmed cases, to get back to work as soon as they feel well enough.

The Department collects data on the number of schools that have indicated that they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment measures and have attendance data for schools that have done so. We are currently looking at the quality of the data with a view to publishing it as part of the official statistics series. The series includes published data on school openings and attendance, which shows that over 99.9% of state-funded schools were open on 10 September and that attendance in state-funded schools was 88%. More information is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Public Health England (PHE) leads in holding data on infection, incidence and COVID-19 cases overall. PHE have published data on COVID-19 incidents by institution, including educational settings, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-reports (page 16).

10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department made available through exceptional costs during the covid-19 outbreak between March and July 2020.

We are providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March and July due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources.

Schools are eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

The first claims window for the COVID-19 schools fund closed on 21 July. There will be a further opportunity in the autumn for schools to claim for exceptional costs that occurred between March and July. This second claims window will be for available for schools who were unable to claim in the summer and will be for the same eligible cost categories.

Schools have claimed £104 million against the standard expenditure categories in the fund, as set out above. Schools have already received payments of £58 million against the standard expenditure categories.

10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the total value is of claims made by schools under the exceptional costs programme from March to July 2020.

We are providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March and July due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources.

Schools are eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

The first claims window for the COVID-19 schools fund closed on 21 July. There will be a further opportunity in the autumn for schools to claim for exceptional costs that occurred between March and July. This second claims window will be for available for schools who were unable to claim in the summer and will be for the same eligible cost categories.

Schools have claimed £104 million against the standard expenditure categories in the fund, as set out above. Schools have already received payments of £58 million against the standard expenditure categories.

10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the scientific evidence on wearing face coverings in communal areas in schools to reduce the risk of transmission of covid-19.

On 21 August 2020, the World Health Organisation published a new statement advising that “children aged 12 and over should wear face coverings under the same conditions as adults, particularly when they cannot guarantee at least a 1 metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.” As a result, the Department has revised its guidance on face coverings in schools and colleges, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education.

The guidance outlines that in areas of national government intervention, in schools where year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and pupils when moving around indoors. This includes corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Nationwide, the Government is not recommending that face coverings are necessary in schools generally because a system of controls provides additional mitigating measures. However, schools have the discretion to require face coverings in indoor communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that it is right in their particular circumstances.

In primary schools where social distancing is not possible in indoor areas outside of classrooms between members of staff or visitors, head teachers have the discretion to decide whether to ask staff or visitors to wear, or agree to them wearing, face coverings in these circumstances. However, children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.

Based on current evidence, and in light of the mitigating measures schools are already putting in place, face coverings will not be necessary in the classroom. Face coverings would have a negative impact on teaching and their use in the classroom should be avoided.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the National Tutoring Programme's aim to reduce the attainment gap that arises as a result of social disadvantage, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on tackling the sources of social disadvantage.

The government is committed to tackling the gap in attainment between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils, especially in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak and the time in school that many pupils have lost.

There are several measures in place to help schools support the academic progress and attainment of their disadvantaged pupils. These include the provision of additional funding through the pupil premium, the inclusion of a disadvantage factor within the national funding formula for schools, and the provision of heavily subsidised tuition and in-school support for disadvantaged pupils through the National Tutoring Programme. While these initiatives use proxy measures of economic disadvantage (notably pupil eligibility for free school meals) to allocate funding and support to schools, school leaders have flexibility to tailor the help that they provide to disadvantaged pupils in order to address the particular needs that arise from their specific social and financial family circumstances.

The measures for which the department is responsible form an important part of a wider cross-government commitment to addressing the effects of social and economic disadvantage and levelling up opportunity across the country. The department’s significant investment in schools and early years goes hand in hand with raising wages and increasing work incentives for the lowest-paid families, and a range of other national and regional actions to improve the infrastructure and promote growth.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the regional distribution of schools with an above national average proportion of pupils living in relative poverty.

The national funding formula for schools includes a deprivation factor that acts as a proxy measure for schools that are most likely to need extra resources to support their pupils in reaching their full potential. This is identified through two indicators - eligibility for free school meals (current eligibility and historic eligibility through the “Ever6” measure, which records pupils who have been registered for benefits-based free school meals at any point in the last six years); and the level of relative deprivation in the postcode where the pupil lives (measured using Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index, or IDACI). IDACI measures the proportion of children in an area living in income-deprived families and provides funding based on the relative socio-economic deprivation of the areas in which their pupils live. By using this measure, we have broadened the scope of deprivation funding beyond just those who are eligible for free school meals and the pupil premium.

The Department applies a “banding” methodology whereby IDACI scores are grouped into seven bands, with each band representing an increase in the expected level of deprivation. The table below shows the proportion of pupils aged 4 to 16 in mainstream schools, in each IDACI band, in different regions, based on the October 2019 census. Band A is the highest level of deprivation, and band F is the lowest (Band G – which is the least deprived and largest band – is not shown because it is not funded):

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the financial costs are, aside from pensions and National Insurance contributions for employees, for schools seeking to take part in the National Tutoring Programme.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) will provide targeted support for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people who need the most help as a result of the disruption to their education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The programme consists of two main parts and is heavily subsidised by the Government. One part is the provision of Academic Mentors. Our most disadvantaged schools will be able to access a full-time Academic Mentor to join their staff to support tutoring. The Government will pay the salary costs in full, with schools only required to pay on-costs, for example, pension contributions.

A second part is support through Tutoring Partners. Schools will be able to access tutoring support from approved organisations to provide small group or individual tutoring. This is subsidised at 75%, meaning schools need only provide 25% of costs which can be met through additional catch-up premium funding provided by the Government.

We are providing a £650 million universal catch-up premium for all schools. This funding can be spent by schools in any way that best meets the needs of their pupils, including to support any additional costs that may occur from participating in the NTP.

In addition, schools will continue to receive their Pupil Premium funding, meaning that schools with a larger proportion of Pupil Premium pupils will receive larger amounts of funding which can also be used to provide tutoring and other support for those that need it the most.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the ability of schools with an above national average proportion of disadvantaged pupils to pay for the costs of the National Tutoring Programme.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) will provide targeted support for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people who need the most help as a result of the disruption to their education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The programme consists of two main parts and is heavily subsidised by the Government. One part is the provision of Academic Mentors. Our most disadvantaged schools will be able to access a full-time Academic Mentor to join their staff to support tutoring. The Government will pay the salary costs in full, with schools only required to pay on-costs, for example, pension contributions.

A second part is support through Tutoring Partners. Schools will be able to access tutoring support from approved organisations to provide small group or individual tutoring. This is subsidised at 75%, meaning schools need only provide 25% of costs which can be met through additional catch-up premium funding provided by the Government.

We are providing a £650 million universal catch-up premium for all schools. This funding can be spent by schools in any way that best meets the needs of their pupils, including to support any additional costs that may occur from participating in the NTP.

In addition, schools will continue to receive their Pupil Premium funding, meaning that schools with a larger proportion of Pupil Premium pupils will receive larger amounts of funding which can also be used to provide tutoring and other support for those that need it the most.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the cost of reducing average primary school class sizes from 27 to the European average of 20.

The majority of funding that schools receive comes from the schools block of the national funding formula (NFF). The NFF ensures that funding is based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics. Next year, every primary school is receiving at least £4,000 per pupil through the national minimum per pupil funding levels.

In 2020 the average primary class has remained stable at 27.0 pupils despite an increase of almost 800,000 pupils since 2010. The number of infant classes containing more than 30 pupils has decreased for the fifth year in a row.

We have not made an estimate of the cost of reducing the average primary school class size as this would require a wide range of assumptions, including how this would impact teachers’ non-contact time and the use of teaching assistants in schools. Any changes to school class structures in maintained schools would also have to adhere to the statutory regulations as set out in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the optimum amount of learning time that pupils should spend on (a) the Internet and (b) screen-based devices daily according to age.

Whilst the Department is continuing to assess the impact of school closure on all children and young people, we have not undertaken any formal assessment of the optimum amount of educational time that pupils should spend on the internet and screen-based devices daily according to age.

We recognise that the issue raised is an important one. The Department has referred schools to the Chief Medical Officers’ commentary on screen-based activity for children and young people’s mental health and psychological wellbeing, published February 2019: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-cmo-commentary-on-screen-time-and-social-media-map-of-reviews.

The Department published guidance on 2 July that sets out what is expected from schools if they are required to provide remote education: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-3-curriculum-behaviour-and-pastoral-support.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of organisations with the level of expertise required to specify assistive technologies for pupils who require such assistance.

The department does not hold data in relation to the number of pupils needing assistive technology to access online material, or on the adequacy of the number of organisations with the level of expertise required to specify it for pupils who require such assistance.

The department trusts schools and local authorities to decide and provide the necessary equipment and assistive technology to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The department has ordered over 200,000 devices and allocated these to local authorities and academy trusts based on estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device through other means, such as a private device or through school. The scheme is an injection of support, alongside many excellent local initiatives, and local authorities and schools are best placed to identify eligible children who do not already have access to a device.

Beyond the device and connectivity support, 40 teachers have come together to develop the brand-new Oak National Academy, launched at the start of the summer term. Oak Academy provides 180 video lessons for free each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from reception through to year 10. Education resources are also available offline. Children are able to draw on support from the BBC which is broadcasting lessons on television, and may choose to access the many hard copy resources offers which have been produced by publishers across the country.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of pupils who require assistive technologies to access online material.

The department does not hold data in relation to the number of pupils needing assistive technology to access online material, or on the adequacy of the number of organisations with the level of expertise required to specify it for pupils who require such assistance.

The department trusts schools and local authorities to decide and provide the necessary equipment and assistive technology to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The department has ordered over 200,000 devices and allocated these to local authorities and academy trusts based on estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device through other means, such as a private device or through school. The scheme is an injection of support, alongside many excellent local initiatives, and local authorities and schools are best placed to identify eligible children who do not already have access to a device.

Beyond the device and connectivity support, 40 teachers have come together to develop the brand-new Oak National Academy, launched at the start of the summer term. Oak Academy provides 180 video lessons for free each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from reception through to year 10. Education resources are also available offline. Children are able to draw on support from the BBC which is broadcasting lessons on television, and may choose to access the many hard copy resources offers which have been produced by publishers across the country.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government’s Guidance for full opening: schools, what assessment he has made of the additional cost to parents of equipment such as pencils and pens identified in the guidance that individual pupils should have when schools open in full.

All pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. On 2 July the Government published guidance to help schools prepare for this. The guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The published guidance provides advice to schools on the sharing and cleaning of resources and equipment. Whilst there is no expectation for parents to fund significant additional equipment, for individual and very frequently used equipment such as pencils and pens, it is recommended that staff and pupils have their own items that are not shared.

For those most in need, the Government have injected around £9 billion into the welfare system to support those on low incomes to cope with the financial impact of COVID-19. This includes increases to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, worth up to £1,040 this financial year, and increasing Local Housing Allowance rates - putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets. This is in addition to the around £5 billion increase to the 2020/21 benefit rates uprating, including around £400 million more on children’s benefits.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools originally chose to be early adopters of the Early Years Foundation Stage reforms when first invited on 20 January 2020; how many of those schools have since decided not to be early adopters; and how many schools will be early adopters in September 2020.

In January, approximately 3,400 schools signed up to participate as early adopters of the Early Years Foundation Stage reforms in the 2020/21 academic year.

On 6 July, the Department wrote to these schools to ask whether they still felt able to participate in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, following which 236 schools confirmed their withdrawal. Following data verification of all early adopter registrations, as of 25 August the final confirmed number of early adopter schools was 2,795.

These early adopter schools will begin to benefit from new, strengthened early years policy and practice from this September, a year ahead of statutory implementation in 2021/22.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government’s Guidance for full opening: schools, how many covid-19 home testing kits will be provided to (a) primary and (b) secondary schools; and by what date those testing kits will be provided.

Anyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19 has access to a test, and is strongly encouraged to get tested. If a child or staff member in any education setting becomes symptomatic, they should be advised to get a test through existing channels.

Between 26 August and 3 September all schools and further education colleges will receive an initial supply of 10 home test kits. These should only be offered to individuals who have developed symptoms while at school or college (or to their parent/carer if under 18) in the exceptional circumstance that they may have barriers to accessing a test elsewhere and that giving them a home test kit directly will therefore significantly increase the likelihood of them getting tested. This will help schools and colleges to take swift action to protect students and staff in the event of a positive test result. Arrangements for ordering additional test kits will be confirmed in due course.

Guidance on the provision of home testing kits is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-home-test-kits-for-schools-and-fe-providers.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of information on new infections provided to schools to aid local decision making.

On 2 July 2020, we published guidance for schools outlining the actions they need to take to prevent and respond to any confirmed case of COVID-19. It also sets out some of the measures they should have in place to plan for any potential local lockdown: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Schools will be supported to respond to any outbreaks within their settings by their local health protection team.

In addition, the Government has published the ‘Contain Framework’. This national framework will support local decision-makers by clarifying their responsibilities and empowering them to take preventative action and make strong decisions locally, supported by mechanisms that safeguard key national assets. The framework can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers.

Information on the number of cases broken down by region and local authority is updated on a daily basis on the COVID-19 dashboard, available here: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/.

The Department has also been working with the Joint Biosecurity Centre to produce and publish a series of Action Cards to support educational settings and provide instructions on what to do in the event of one of more confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Action Cards can be found here: https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/reporting-an-outbreak/resources/Education-Action-Cards/.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government’s Guidance for full opening: schools, what assessment he has made of the effect on teacher workload of the need for schools to regularly monitor and review their preventative and protective covid-19 measures.

The Government is grateful for the continued hard work of school leaders, teachers and support staff in their efforts to ensure that all pupils, in all year groups, are able to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term.

On 2 July the Government published guidance on the full opening of schools, including a Public Health England endorsed system of controls which, when implemented alongside the school’s own risk assessment, will create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. The guidance recognises that schools may need to alter the way in which they deploy their staff, and use existing staff more flexibly in the new term, but is clear that any plans should avoid increases in unnecessary and unmanageable workload burdens.

To help reduce the burden on educational and care settings at the beginning of the outbreak, the Department for Education and its agencies cancelled or paused all but the most essential data collections, services and requests from educational and care settings until the end of June 2020. The Department published a master list on 20 April and promised to review those collections that were paused and extend the pause period if necessary. A review of the list has now taken place and the pause period has been extended to 30 September.

The Department also recently published a report by the Education Development Trust on school-led projects aimed at reducing teacher workload, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reducing-teacher-workload-education-development-trust-report .

The success in participating schools using the workload reduction toolkit is an encouraging example of where schools can identify and address their particular workload challenges. The workload reduction toolkit is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-workload-reduction-toolkit .

The Department has also published a range of resources, including case studies to support remote education and help address staff workload. The case studies can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/case-studies-remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19 .

Over the next few months, the Department will continue to work closely with school leaders, teachers and their representatives to continue to address workload and provide support for schools.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the number of schools who have submitted claims for reimbursement for exceptional costs associated with covid-19 for the period from March to July 2020.

The first opportunity for schools to submit a claim to be reimbursed for specific exceptional costs closed on 21 July. 14,075 schools had submitted a claim by time the claims window closed.

Schools are eligible to claim for costs incurred between March and July in respect of: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements. Schools can claim up to a maximum amount that will depend on its size, and will be no more than £75,000 per school.

A further claims window will be available later this year, to cover any further eligible expenditure that schools have not yet claimed for.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with school leaders on providing financial support for expenses incurred following the covid-19 outbreak on (a) additional cleaning, (b) signage, and (c) any other anticipated extra costs that they expect to incur from September 2020.

The Government has been clear that our plan is for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term and on 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this. The measures set out in this guidance provide a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, including information on cleaning and workforce.

Schools have continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

We do not consider it necessary for schools to make significant adaptations to their site to enable them to welcome all children back to school in the autumn. Following a risk assessment, some schools may determine that small adaptations to their site are required. This will be at the discretion of individual schools, based on their particular circumstances. As such, schools should use their existing resources when making arrangements to welcome all children back.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he will take to ensure that the £1bn ‘catch-up’ funding will be distributed to support students who most need assistance.

Children and young people across the country have experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of COVID-19. That is why the Government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up.

This includes a one-off universal £650 million catch up premium for the 2020/21 academic year to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time. Though funding has been calculated on a per pupil or per place basis, schools should use the sum available to them as a single total from which to prioritise support for pupils according to their need. On 20 July, the Department published further guidance which outlined that, through the catch up premium, a 1,000 pupil secondary school will receive £80,000 and a 200 pupil primary school will receive £16,000. The guidance is clear that schools have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their cohort and circumstances. To support schools to make best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 Support Guide for Schools with evidence based approaches to catch up for all students:

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1.

Although all children have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been hardest hit. That is why, alongside the universal catch up premium, the Government has announced a £350 million National Tutoring Programme to provide additional, targeted support for those children and young people who need the most help. The programme will comprise of two parts in the 2020/21 academic year. For 5 to 16 year olds, the programme will make high quality tuition available to 5 to 16 year olds in state-funded primary and secondary schools from the second half of autumn term 2020. The programme will be highly subsidised, and schools will be able to use their additional catch-up premium funding to pay for the remainder of the cost. For 16 to19 year olds, funding will be available for school sixth forms, colleges and all other 16 to 19 providers to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged students whose studies have been disrupted as a result of COVID-19.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential benefit of a greater use of coursework in the awarding of (a) GCSEs, (b) AS Levels and (c) A Levels in 2021.

This is a matter for the Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. I have asked its Chief Regulator, Sally Collier, to write directly to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on (a) primary school and (b) secondary school budgets.

Schools have continued to receive their budgets as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. This ensures that they are able to continue to pay their staff and meet their other regular financial commitments. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

We are providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover specific unavoidable costs incurred between March and July due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources.

As schools’ costs will vary, we are giving schools the opportunity to claim online for the costs they have incurred due to: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

We have also announced a package of support consisting of a universal catch up premium for schools of £650 million to help them make up for lost teaching time, and a new £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged children and young people.

We recognise that during this period, many publicly funded schools are not able to secure income from private sources that they normally would, for example letting their facilities, providing wrap around childcare or offering catering services. Schools have been able to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for staff delivering and funded by these services, if they are unable to make the necessary savings from their budgets or redeploy these staff.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with school leaders on publishing school performance tables in 2020-21.

The Department continues to talk to head teachers about possible approaches to 2020/21 educational performance data and will confirm details in due course. This engagement includes meetings with teachers and head teachers through the Department’s reference groups, and meetings with teaching and support staff union representatives.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of eligible pupils who did not register for free schools meals and (b) the amount of pupil premium funding unclaimed by schools for those pupils in each financial year since the pupil premium was introduced.

There are currently over 1.4 million pupils eligible for and claiming a nutritious free school meal, saving families around £400 per year.

We do not routinely collect information on the proportion of pupils that would be entitled to a free school meal but do not make a claim.

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

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

With regard to pupil premium funding, it is not ‘claimed’ but is allocated to schools based on the numbers of pupils that are, or have been at any point over the last six years, recorded in the annual census as eligible for free schools meals.

Counting the number of pupils who have claimed free school meals during the past six years has, since 2012-13, acted as a proxy for the level of economic disadvantage experienced by school populations. The pupil premium is not a personal budget for pupils and legally cannot be allocated where a claim for a free school meal has not been made. The pupil premium budget for each year is set based on a forecast of the number of pupils who will be recorded as eligible in the annual census, according to this measure. As pupils who do not claim a free school meal cannot be identified as eligible to attract pupil premium to their school, there is no ‘unclaimed’ (unallocated) pupil premium funding.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many disadvantaged families, children and young people have taken receipt from the Government's scheme of (a) computer devices and (b) 4G wireless routers to engage in remote education and social care services in each region.

The Government is providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in year 10 do not have internet connections, the Government is providing 4G wireless routers.

The Department of Education has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and 50,000 4G wireless routers. Computer devices have been allocated to local authorities and academy trusts based on the Department’s estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify children and young people who need devices and prioritise their needs.

The Department has published information about how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers have been delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts in total, which can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

As of the end of June, over 202,000 laptops and tablets and over 47,000 4G wireless routers have been delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many disadvantaged families, children and young people have been identified as eligible for (a) computer devices and (b) 4G wireless routers under the Government scheme to engage them in remote education and social care services during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in year 10 do not have internet connections, the Government is providing 4G wireless routers.

The Department of Education has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and 50,000 4G wireless routers. Computer devices have been allocated to local authorities and academy trusts based on the Department’s estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify children and young people who need devices and prioritise their needs.

The Department has published information about how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers have been delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts in total, which can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

As of the end of June, over 202,000 laptops and tablets and over 47,000 4G wireless routers have been delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on teacher (a) recruitment and (b) retention.

The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the life-changing role that teachers play in children’s lives and we want to ensure teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession. It is pleasing to note that there has been an eighteen per cent increase in applications for those looking to enter the teaching profession since the COVID-19 outbreak, compared to the equivalent period last year.

We recognise that the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to have a profound impact on teachers and trainees, and we are continuing to work with the sector to understand how we can best support schools during this time.

To support teacher training, the Department has relaxed certain criteria so that courses can be delivered flexibly and innovatively, and we are encouraging all schools to consider how they could play a role in helping to train teachers.

As set out in the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, we have developed a new induction programme to support newly qualified teachers, based on the Early Career Framework (ECF). Further information can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786856/DFE_Teacher_Retention_Strategy_Report.pdf and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/773705/Early-Career_Framework.pdf. This will be launched in the North East, Bradford, Doncaster and Greater Manchester as planned from autumn 2020, ahead of a national rollout the following year. Up to 2,000 new teachers in these areas will benefit from additional training and one-to-one mentor sessions in the first two years after qualifying. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-early-career-teachers/rollout-of-early-career-framework-support-package

In response to the disruption to teacher training courses this academic year, a one-year funded programme will also be available to up to 3,000 early career teachers working in schools outside of the early rollout areas from this autumn, with a focus on those serving disadvantaged communities. High-quality training materials – developed for the ECF reforms – will also be made freely available to all early career teachers and their mentors from this September. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-career-framework-reforms-overview/early-career-framework-reforms-overview#expansion

We are committed to providing teachers with the support they need during this period, and have worked with an expert advisory group on measures to support teacher wellbeing. On 7 June 2020, we announced a range of public commitments, including a new pilot project in partnership with the Education Support Partnership to provide online peer-support and telephone supervision from experts to around 250 school leaders. This is in addition to funding Timewise to provide practical support and resources on flexible working in light of new arrangements for schools responding to coronavirus. Lessons from these pilots will inform our future intervention in this area.

Teacher recruitment and retention will continue to be a core priority for this Government, and we will do all we can to ensure there are great teachers for every child in the country.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of supply teachers that have accessed support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

We expect schools to ensure any employees funded by public money continue to be paid in the usual fashion, from their existing staff budgets, and not to furlough staff, in line with the HMRC guidance to public sector organisations. Therefore, supply teachers directly employed by schools should not need the support of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Where supply teachers are employed via employment agencies, and have had their access to work restricted by COVID-19, their employers, as private businesses, have been able apply to furlough their workers via the CJRS.

The Department does not hold the information on the number of employment agencies that have accessed support for their workers via the CJRS.

HMRC has released estimates of the number, and value, of claims made to the CJRS. This outlines the number of companies, and employees who have been supported by the CJRS by employment sector, including education. However, the statistical release does not provide data on specific job roles within a sector. The HMRC estimates are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-june-2020.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of eligible pupils that did not register for free school meals in each of the financial years since the pupil premium was introduced.

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

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

The latest estimates of the number of pupils who are entitled to receive free school meals but are not claiming them are available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/266339/DFE-RR319.pdf.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of automatic enrolment for free school meals to ensure that all pupils receive their pupil premium allocation.

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

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

The latest estimates of the number of pupils who are entitled to receive free school meals but are not claiming them are available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/266339/DFE-RR319.pdf.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of UK companies importing soya from the Cerrado region in Brazil of local legislation that permits deforestation of up to 80 per cent on (a) biodiversity, (b) South American river systems and (c) the human rights of indigenous communities.

The UK Government recognises the current challenge of deforestation in the Cerrado for the production of agricultural products such as soya. The Cerrado is a critical biome and home to 5% of the planet’s animal and plant species and 30% of Brazil’s biodiversity. The effect of deforestation on biodiversity, South American river systems, and the human rights of indigenous communities in the Cerrado is significant.

We are committed to tackling deforestation and its social and environmental consequences across our global supply chains, including in the Cerrado. 27% of the soya imported into the UK is sourced in Brazil. Much of this is produced in the Amazon Soy Moratorium region, which is considered to have some of the strictest forest protections in the world. The Government has not made an explicit assessment of UK soy imports from the Cerrado on biodiversity, rivers, and indigenous people’s rights, but continues to work closely with the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soya, which it convened in 2018, to ensure the legality and sustainability of imported soya. The problem of deforestation in areas such as the Cerrado can only be comprehensively addressed through international action. That is why, as co-Presidents of COP26, we are working to forge a new alliance between producer and consumer governments to ensure global supply chains are sustainable.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with supermarkets and other high street retailers that sell products associated with (a) legal and (b) illegal deforestation in the Cerrado region of Brazil on their role in combating the climate emergency.

Over the past year, Defra Ministers and senior officials have had numerous discussions with supermarkets and other high street retailers regarding sustainable supply chains and products associated with both legal and illegal deforestation. This included, in November 2020, a ministerial roundtable with industry stakeholders to discuss due diligence legislation for forest risk commodities, and the launch event of the Government’s response to the Global Resource Initiative’s (GRI) recommendations.

The GRI taskforce was established by the Government in 2019 to bring together representatives from industry and civil society to recommend actions to reduce the climate and environmental impacts of UK supply chains. The GRI published its report in March 2020 and the Government outlined its response in November 2020. This response included introducing world-leading due diligence legislation for forest risk commodities and working, as co-Presidents of COP26, to forge a new alliance between governments to ensure global supply chains are sustainable. The UK Government will continue working with industry, the GRI taskforce, and other governments to tackle deforestation in the Cerrado and around the world.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what resources his Department is providing to local authorities to help them (a) manage flood risk and (b) improve their flood mitigation measures.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government provides funding to local government to carry out functions including managing flood risk and coastal erosion, through the local government finance settlement. The Government is committed to reforming the funding framework for local government funding so that it is simpler, more up to date, and more transparent. This will include a review of local government funding for statutory flood and coastal erosion risk management functions, including the way in which it is allocated, to ensure it is fair and matches the needs and resources of local areas – recognising that some places face different risks.

In March of this year the Government committed to a record £5.2 billion to better protect a further 336,000 properties across all areas of England, and in July 2020, the government published a long-term Policy Statement which sets out our ambition to create a nation more resilient to future flood and coastal erosion risk. The Policy Statement outlines five ambitious policies and over 40 supporting actions?which will?accelerate progress to?better protect and better prepare the country against flooding and coastal erosion.

In addition, the Government has committed to invest £200 million to deliver innovative actions which will test new ways to improve resilience to flooding and coastal erosion. 25 areas will benefit from this funding in addition to the four areas we announced in July which will trial and develop ways of planning ahead and making wise investment choices for the decades to come in the face of the long-term uncertainties brought by climate change. The Environment Agency will invite Lead Local Flood Authorities and Coast Protection Authorities to work with local partners on expressions of interest later this year.

The Government is also investing a further £2.9 million which is supporting three regional property flood resilience pathfinder projects to create demonstration centres, engage with businesses, and advice portals, to help people to learn about the benefits of installing resilience measures in their homes.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2020
What steps he is taking to maintain food supplies for vulnerable people during the covid-19 outbreak.

Shielded individuals can opt to receive deliveries of food and essential supplies if they are without a support network of friends and family while self-isolating at home.

We have been working with food retailers, delivery organisations and volunteer groups to help support the non-shielded vulnerable, who are avoiding going to the shops if possible. A range of options are available for those people, including asking for an NHS Volunteer Responder to do their shopping for them – 100,000 people have had help with community tasks like shopping from NHS responders so far. Many charities and community organisations are also providing voluntary shop and drop services, as are neighbours and other community volunteers. If the situation is urgent, local authorities can also offer support and services, and we are working with them to help make sure that they have a range of ways to help those who contact them.

We are also working to help those having difficulty affording food. The Government has announced up to £16 million to provide food for those who are struggling as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The programme will provide millions of meals over the next 12 weeks and be delivered through charities including FareShare and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme). At least 5,000 frontline charities in England will benefit, including refuges, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services. It will cover rural areas as well as cities, targeting those who are struggling to get food.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with UK trade partners on protecting International Labour Organisation standards in future trade agreements.

We share the public’s high regard for worker protections. That’s why, in line with our international obligations – including those under the International Labour Organisation – HM Government will continue to ensure a high level of protection for British labour standards in new trade agreements.

While the detail of free trade agreements are reserved for formal negotiations, HM Government has publicly committed to protecting labour standards in our outline approaches to Free Trade Agreements with the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Britain has been consistently clear in both our mandates and objectives that we will negotiate agreements that maintain our high standards for businesses, workers and consumers.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure the privatisation of NHS services is excluded from future trade agreements.

As we set out in the negotiating objectives for a Free Trade Agreement with the United States of America, published on 2nd March 2020, the NHS will not be on the table. The price the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table. The services the NHS provides will not be on the table.

The United Kingdom’s public services, including the NHS, are already protected by specific exclusions, exceptions and reservations in the trade agreements to which we are a party, and HM Government will continue to make sure that the same rigorous protections are included in future trade agreements.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that the safety standards of HGV driving tests are not lowered as a result of the reversing exercise element being tested separately by a third party.

Consistent with other areas of delegated vocational testing, the Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will ensure there is a meaningful quality checking and auditing process for those organisations which will carry out the assessment of the off road exercises.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the (a) change in the demand for commuter train services that has arisen during the covid-19 outbreak and (b) how that change may affect (i) commuting and (ii) demand for HS2 in the long term.

The Department for Transport has not yet completed modelling the sensitivity of its major project business cases to post-COVID demand. HS2 is a predominantly long-distance service. There is significant uncertainty around how travel patterns will change post-Covid. This will be assessed more fully as part of the Outline Business Case for the Western Leg of Phase 2b, which we expect to be published by early 2022.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the total cost of the HS2 programme.

The full HS2 network is estimated to cost between £72-£98Bn (2019 prices). The numbers include contingency to accommodate unforeseeable cost pressures which may emerge during construction, as is to be expected with all major infrastructure projects. More information on cost can be found in the 6-monthly parliamentary reports.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Volunteering Matters Journey Makers programme, whether volunteers will be tested for covid-19 before being deployed; and what personal protective equipment will be issued to those volunteers.

Volunteers will not be tested for covid-19 before being deployed. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided by the relevant local transport operator where the volunteers are being deployed. PPE provided will be in line with the latest guidance provided by Public Health England.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the (a) duration, (b) content and (c) the training provider for the training for Journey Makers volunteers.

The training and induction for volunteers will be provided by the local volunteer body. This will include the completion of a security awareness course that volunteers will complete prior to their deployment. The site-specific training and relevant health and safety training will be led by the transport operator.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which railway organisation will be responsible for the management of the Journey Makers volunteering programme.

The volunteering programme is being developed in consultation with Rail Delivery Group, Train Operating Companies, Network Rail and the Office of Rail and Road. Volunteering Matters will co-ordinate with local volunteer organisations and coordinate volunteering arrangements to match volunteers with the requirements indicated by these industry groups.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Government plans to publish its review of the special rules for making a claim for social security where a person is terminally ill.

The Department is committed to delivering an improved benefit system for claimants that are nearing the end of their lives and is working across Government to bring forward proposals following the evaluation. I remain committed to implementing the key areas identified in the evaluation; a consensus to change the six-month rule; improving ​consistency with other services used by people nearing the end of their lives; and raising awareness of the support that is available.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she has taken to publish guidance for claims made under the special rules for terminal illness including the fact that a DS1500 form is not required; and what steps she has taken to set out the alternative forms of evidence that will be accepted for such claims.

DS1500 forms have never been a requirement for a claim under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness but remain the quickest and most appropriate route to gather evidence to support entitlement in these cases. Where it is not possible to supply a DS1500 in support of a terminal illness claim we will continue to consider alternative evidence and work flexibly and quickly with the claimant and/or their clinician(s) to make a quick determination. It is important to note that we have always done, and will continue to do, our utmost to process claims under the special rules as quickly as possible, even if a DS1500 either isn’t submitted or cannot be submitted.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people in receipt of (a) the carer element of universal credit, (b) the carer addition and (c) the carer premium.

The available information on the number of households with a carer entitlement on Universal Credit, currently for August 2020, is published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The latest available statistics on the number of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Housing Benefit claimants in receipt of the carer premium, and the number of Pension Credit claimants in receipt of the carer addition are shown in the following table.

Number of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Housing Benefit claimants in receipt of the carer premium and the number of Pension Credit claimants in receipt of the carer addition, Great Britain, Feb 20, May 20 and Aug 20

Benefit

Latest Quarter available

Number of recipients

Jobseeker's Allowance

Feb-20

1,600

Income Support

May-20

200,000

Pension Credit

May-20

134,800

Housing Benefit

Aug-20

152,080

Source: DWP Quarterly Statistical Enquiry 5% data and 100% Work, Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) and DWP Single Housing Benefit Extract

Notes

  1. Figures for Income Support, Pension Credit and Housing Benefit are rounded to the nearest 10 and Jobseeker’s Allowance is rounded to the nearest 100.
  2. JSA figures have been uprated using 5% proportions against 100% Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) totals.

The information requested is not readily available for Employment and Support Allowance claimants and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many families with children received the £20 per week uplift in universal credit standard allowance payments, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 20 March 2020, in (a) Wirral West constituency and (b) the UK, in each month since that uplift was introduced.

The available information on the number of households with children with Universal Credit in payment, by parliamentary constituency, is published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people affected by the decision of the Court of Appeal of 22 June 2020 in the case Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart v. the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in Wirral West constituency.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the disability employment gap.

The latest data show that by Q1 2020, which covers the period up to the end of March 2020, there were 1.4 million more disabled people in work compared to Q1 2014, and the employment rate gap had closed from 33.8 percentage points to 28.6 percentage points in just six years. These data may be viewed here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/labourmarketstatusofdisabledpeoplea08

There will be a period until we have the robust data needed to fully assess any effects of the economic downturn on disabled people’s employment. We will continue to monitor employment of disabled people using the quarterly Labour Force Survey and other relevant sources.

13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Government consultation entitled Health is everyone’s business, published by the Government on 15 July 2019, whether it is her policy that (a) the Lower Earnings Limit for eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay may result in people working when unwell and (b) eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay should be extended to workers earning less than the Lower Earnings Limit.

One of the ideas in last year’s consultation, “Health is everyone’s business”, was to extend Statutory Sick Pay eligibility to those earning below the Lower Earnings Limit. The rationale was that this would provide a stronger link between the employer and employee, make a return to work more likely, and therefore reduce ill-health related job loss.

We received a good response from a range of stakeholders and we are currently reviewing the detailed responses to inform decisions on next steps. A response to the consultation will be published later this year.

13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Government plans to publish its response to its consultation entitled Health is everyone’s business, published July 2019.

A response to the consultation will be published later this year.

13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Budget Statement of 11 March 2020, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of removing the universal credit minimum income floor for self-employed people that are not (a) self-isolating and (b) directly affected by covid-19 but see their income fall as a result of that pandemic.

We are temporarily relaxing the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed UC claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 from 6 April, for the duration of the outbreak. This means a drop in earnings due to sickness or self-isolation or as a result of the economic impact of the outbreak will be reflected in claimants’ awards.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of extending eligibility for statutory sick pay to parents who have to stop work as a result of their children's school being closed.

Statutory Sick Pay is not appropriate for people facing childcare issues rather than health ones. Parents who cannot work because of school closures should explore options with their employer. However, as both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that everyone should be supported to do the right thing.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Health and Care Bill on which body or individual would have responsibility for ensuring any person who needed emergency care would receive it after April 2022.

The Health and Care Bill proposes the establishment of integrated care boards (ICBs) which will take on the commissioning functions and responsibilities of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as well as some of those held by NHS England. Once statutory ICBs are established, they will be responsible for arranging for the provision of emergency care for everyone for whom they are responsible. Regulations will be made to expand ICB core responsibility to ensure that each ICB is responsible for everyone in its area who needs emergency care, to recreate the duty currently on conferred on CCGs.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Health and Care Bill on which body or individual is responsible for providing (a) secondary medical care and (b) ophthalmic services after April 2022.

The Health and Care Bill proposes the establishment of integrated care boards (ICBs) that will take on the commissioning functions and responsibilities of clinical commissioning groups, as well as some of those held by NHS England. Once statutory ICBs are established, they will be responsible for arranging the provision of secondary medical care. For ophthalmic services, the Bill will enable the Secretary of State to directly confer commissioning functions for ophthalmic services on ICBs at an appropriate time. NHS England will have the ability to delegate those functions to, or exercise them jointly with, ICBs.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2021
NHS
What steps he is taking to ensure that the NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all and free at the point of use.

Further to the £33.9 billion settlement for the NHS Long Term Plan, we will be providing an additional £3 billion this year, to ensure all patients have access to the care they need as the National Health Service recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the announcement of the delay until 1 September 2021 of the implementation of the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service, what the new date is by which patients can opt out.

We confirmed on 19 July that data extraction will not now begin until a number of tests have been met. These include creating the technical means to allow general practitioner data that has previously been uploaded to be deleted when someone registers a type 1 opt-out. For that reason, patients will have the ability to opt-in or opt-out and the dataset will always reflect their current preference.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to inform the public on the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service from NHS Digital that will share data from people's medical histories with third parties from 1 July 2021; and what steps people should take to opt out of that service.

NHS Digital is promoting this new data collection through their website, engagement with media, through stakeholder and patient groups and on social media channels. They have sought to raise awareness of the collection and its importance to the health and care system, but also to provide patients with a choice if they do not want their data to be used in this way.

Patients have a right to register a Type 1 Opt-Out directly with their general practitioner (GP) practice, and may also choose to register a National Data Opt-Out, which is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the announcement on General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service from NHS Digital on sharing data on medical histories with third parties, whether individual patients' personal details will be identifiable to third party users.

The General Practice Data for Planning and Research service will not collect patients’ names or exactly where they live. Any other data that could directly identify them, for example NHS number, local patient number, full postcode and date of birth, is pseudonymised by general practitioner (GP) system suppliers on behalf of GP practices using pseudonymisation software. This means that these data items are replaced with unique codes and patients cannot be directly identified in the data which is shared with NHS Digital. The data is also securely encrypted.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Integrated Care Systems (ICS) will be allowed to run deficits when placed on a statutory footing; what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on that matter; whether NHS Trusts will be allowed to run deficits after the financial year 2023-24; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the combined impact of the inability of ICSs to run deficits and the removal of the ability of NHS Trusts to run deficits on the delivery of NHS services.

We are proposing to establish statutory Integrated Care Systems, made up of an Integrated Care Board and Integrated Care Partnership (together referred to as the ICS). We are also proposing that Integrated Care Board working with their partner Foundation Trusts and National Health Service Trusts will need to balance spending across the system.

ICSs will be key bodies for financial accountability and financial governance arrangements will need to reflect that with updated guidance to reflect these changes. It is possible in principle for an NHS Trust within a system to run a deficit, but for the system as a whole to be in financial balance. However, there will continue to be consideration of how efficiently a provider uses its resources and how financially sustainable it will be over the longer term.

The NHS Long Term Plan and the additional associated funding being provided has been set with the ambition that all organisations are in financial balance by 2023/24. NHS Funding beyond 2023/24 is for a future Spending Review.

The Department has published its legislative proposals including for system accountabilities. These were agreed across Government including with HMT and did not involve a direct discussion with the Chancellor.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether all local authorities within an Integrated Care System (ICS) footprint will be on the ICS NHS Board for their area; and what percentage of an ICS NHS Board will be made up of (a) political representatives and (b) officers from local authorities.

The proposed legislation will set out minimum membership of the Integrated Care Board, which will need to include at least one local authority representative. Local areas can, by local agreement, go beyond the legislative minimum requirements in order to address their specific needs. Any further board members should be detailed in the Integrated Care Board’s constitution. The proposed legislation is designed to be flexible, allowing local areas to design structures that work best for them.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of his policy proposals outlined in the White Paper entitled Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, published on 11 February 2021, on the future of the NHS Constitution.

The NHS Constitution aims to safeguard the enduring principles and values of the National Health Service. It also empowers the public, patients and staff to help improve the care provided by setting out existing legal rights and the pledges that the NHS has made towards them. The Constitution brings together these rights in one place, but it does not create or replace them.

Officials are working through policy and legislative changes, including those in the white paper, to identify where and when updates may be required in future to the NHS Constitution and handbook.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the clinical outcomes of patients who have been discharged under the Discharge to Assess model.

The National Health Service has commissioned an independent evaluation of the implementation of the hospital discharge policy which is currently underway. The findings will provide further qualitative insight into the impact of the discharge to assess approach, reviewing 10 systems in various states of maturity. The evaluation is due to report in autumn 2021.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the (a) pay and (b) terms and conditions of NHS staff will vary in accordance with the Integrated Care System area in which those staff work.

The pay and terms and conditions of National Health Service staff are a matter for employers. The NHS uses a number of national pay structures and terms and conditions.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 13 April 2020 to Question 175901, on Health Services and Social Services: Standards, whether private companies will be permitted to undertake roles on Integrated Care System NHS Boards.

The proposed legislation will set out minimum membership of the integrated care board (ICB) and will need to include representatives from National Health Service trusts, primary medical care and local authorities. Local areas can, by local agreement, go beyond the legislative minimum requirements in order to address their specific needs and detail further board members in their constitutions. Private providers of NHS services are not excluded from the ICB, but we expect this to be agreed in the constitution. This would be subject to local agreement and would need to be approved by NHS England. In every case, ICBs will be required to have clear and robust arrangements to declare and manage potential conflicts of interest.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the number of patients readmitted to hospital within 30 days of discharge under the Discharge to Assess model in each year from 2016 by primary discharge code.

The Discharge to Assess model ensures people who are clinically ready and no longer need to be in hospital, are safely supported to return to their place of residence, where possible, for a period of reablement and rehabilitation. Following this an assessment of longer-term needs can take place.

Data is not held centrally on the number of patients who have been discharged using the Discharge to Assess model in pilot schemes since 2016, as these pilots were locally implemented. Data is therefore unavailable on the number of patients who have been readmitted to hospital within 30 days from these pilot schemes.

The Discharge to Assess policy was implemented in March 2020 and as such there were no locations where the policy was not in operation. Data in relation to readmissions since the policy has been in place is not yet available and therefore no comparative assessment has been made.

However, NHS Digital publish data on the emergency readmissions to hospital within 30 days of discharge annually, with the latest publication for 2019 to 2020 available at:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/compendium-emergency-readmissions/current/emergency-readmissions-to-hospital-within-30-days-of-discharge-by-diagnosis

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of patients under the Discharge to Assess model were readmitted within 30 days of discharge since 2016; and if he will make a comparative assessment of that proportion with the proportion of all other patients discharged from acute care and readmitted within 30 days in the same period.

The Discharge to Assess model ensures people who are clinically ready and no longer need to be in hospital, are safely supported to return to their place of residence, where possible, for a period of reablement and rehabilitation. Following this an assessment of longer-term needs can take place.

Data is not held centrally on the number of patients who have been discharged using the Discharge to Assess model in pilot schemes since 2016, as these pilots were locally implemented. Data is therefore unavailable on the number of patients who have been readmitted to hospital within 30 days from these pilot schemes.

The Discharge to Assess policy was implemented in March 2020 and as such there were no locations where the policy was not in operation. Data in relation to readmissions since the policy has been in place is not yet available and therefore no comparative assessment has been made.

However, NHS Digital publish data on the emergency readmissions to hospital within 30 days of discharge annually, with the latest publication for 2019 to 2020 available at:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/compendium-emergency-readmissions/current/emergency-readmissions-to-hospital-within-30-days-of-discharge-by-diagnosis

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will publish the primary diagnosis codes of conditions that patients have who are discharged from acute care under the Discharge to Assess model.

NHS Digital publish data on hospital admitted patient care activity annually. Analysis covering the period since 2020 is not yet available.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of patients who have been discharged using Discharge to Assess model since the passing of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and (b) number of those patients who have been readmitted to hospital within 30 days.

Since the passing of the Coronavirus Act 2020, the number of patients who have been discharged using the Discharge to Assess model is 4 million patients. However, data on the number of patients who have been readmitted to hospital within 30 days is not held centrally.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 174874, what recent estimate he has made of what the (a) maximum percentage is of the NHS budget for England and (b) minimum percentage is of the NHS budget for England that would be shared between all ICSs in England.

We are proposing to establish statutory Integrated Care Systems, made up of an Integrated Care Board and Integrated Care Partnership, together referred to as the ICS. The Integrated Care Board (ICB) will take on the commissioning functions of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as well as some of NHS England’s commissioning functions. NHS England will allocate a single system financial envelope to each ICB using the existing CCG allocation formula.

In 2019-20, through the National Health Service mandate, £123.8 billion was given to NHS England and of that, £89.9 billion was provided to CCGs. This is approximately 73% of NHS England’s funding allocated to CCGs. Under the new arrangements we anticipate this remaining broadly the same percentage, with adjustments made for any additional delegated or transferred functions.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of patients who have been discharged using the Discharge to Assess model in pilot schemes since 2016 and (b) number of those patients who have been readmitted to hospital within 30 days.

Data is not held centrally as these pilots were locally implemented.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Integration and Innovation: Working together to improve health and social care for all White Paper, what assessment he has made of the number of unpaid carers who would be affected each year by the introduction of a legal framework for a Discharge to Assess model (a) in Wirral and (b) in England.

Unpaid carers play a vital role in the care of those for whom they provide care. In 2019-2020, Wirral local authority supported or assessed 970 unpaid carers. There were approximately 7.7 million adult unpaid carers aged sixteen and over in England in 2020. Under the Discharge to Assess model, people who are clinically ready are supported to return to their place of residence, where possible, where an assessment of longer-term needs takes place following recovery. Under this model, approximately 320,000 to 650,000 patients will be discharged home annually requiring minimal support from health and/or social care. All persons leaving hospital should receive a holistic welfare check to determine the level of support they need and should receive information about who they can contact if their condition changes. The crucial role of unpaid carers will be explicitly included in new guidance on hospital discharge.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of whether the powers of local authorities to scrutinise NHS service reconfigurations would be diminished as a result of proposals in the Integration and Innovation White Paper.

Under the proposed changes to the reconfiguration process, local authorities would continue to play an important role in the scrutiny process, taking into account the effect of proposed reconfigurations on service quality and patient safety and systems should continue to aim to resolve reconfiguration issues locally. In cases where this could not be achieved, it would remain possible for local authorities to request that the Secretary of State looks at cases they are not content with.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Integration and Innovation: Working together to improve health and social care for all White Paper, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the introduction of a legal framework for a Discharge to Assess model on the wellbeing of unpaid carers in (a) Wirral and (b) England.

Unpaid carers play a vital role in the care of those for whom they provide care. In 2019-2020, Wirral local authority supported or assessed 970 unpaid carers. There were approximately 7.7 million adult unpaid carers aged sixteen and over in England in 2020. Under the Discharge to Assess model, approximately 320,000-650,000 patients a year will be discharged home requiring minimal support from health and/or social care. The crucial role and rights of unpaid carers will be explicitly included in new guidance on discharge.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all White Paper, published on 11 February 2021, whether ICS Health and Care Partnerships will not be able to include private sector organisations.

The statutory Integrated Care Systems (ICS) National Health Service Boards will not include private providers among the core members set out in statute. Local areas may choose to involve a range of providers, including from the voluntary and independent sector, in their ICS Health and Care Partnerships.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all White Paper, published on 11 February 2021, what type of joint appointments should be enabled; and what assessment he has made of whether those arrangements could potentially lead to a joint appointment of one individual to act as both the executive director or chief executive of an NHS Foundation Trust and the executive director or chief executive in a local authority.

Appointing people to joint roles across two organisations can support aligned decision making, enhance leadership across organisations and improve the delivery of integrated care. In the Health and Care Bill we are proposing to introduce the ability to issue guidance on joint appointments between National Health Service bodies; NHS bodies and local authorities; and NHS bodies and combined authorities. This will ensure that there is a clear set of criteria for organisations to consider when making joint appointments. Ahead of publishing any guidance, NHS England would consult with appropriate organisations.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Integration and Innovation: Working together to improve health and social care for all White Paper, what (a) the maximum percentage is of the NHS budget for England and (b) the minimum percentage is of the NHS budget for England that would be shared between all ICSs in England.

This information is not currently available. NHS England allocate the budget in England for integrated care systems and its own commissioning functions, for example for specialised commissioning. NHS England are currently examining how best to allocate resources to systems for the financial year 2022/23 and will publish these allocations in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support the wellbeing of clinically extremely vulnerable children who are not yet eligible for a covid-19 vaccine.

Our current knowledge suggests that very few children are at highest risk of severe illness due to the virus.

There are a number of options available to support the wellbeing of clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people. The Every Mind Matters website is available to everyone, including children, with advice and practical steps for people to take to support their wellbeing and manage their mental health during this pandemic. In addition, all mental health trusts have established 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent mental health helplines for all ages.

Anyone concerned about their mental health should speak to their general practitioner or existing care team or can access further advice via NHS.UK. Online self-referral options are commonly available for some services including children and young people’s mental health services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that parents and carers of clinically extremely vulnerable children receive clear information about how the needs of their children are being considered as part of the vaccination programme for covid-19.

At present, there is very limited data on vaccination in adolescents, with no data on vaccination in younger children. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advises that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination as part of phase one. The Green Book also sets out that children under 16 years of age, even if they are clinically extremely vulnerable, are at low risk of serious morbidity and mortality and given the absence of safety and efficacy data on the vaccine, are not recommended for vaccination.

Clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with a person with parental responsibility, who should be told about the paucity of safety data for the vaccine in children aged under 16 years old. However, the matter of whether to vaccinate a child should always be ultimately a decision to be made by the physician responsible for the patient.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) mental and (b) physical health of unpaid carers.

The Government recognises the vital role unpaid carers play, especially during this difficult period, and acknowledge the issues raised in Carers UK’s report. That is why we continue to work closely with carer organisations to support them.

During the pandemic, we have:

  • provided funding to Carers UK to extend their support phoneline;
  • provided funding to Carers Trust to make onward grants to provide support to unpaid carers experiencing loneliness during the pandemic;
  • produced a leaflet to help carers identify themselves on discharge from hospital;
  • published guidance specifically for carers and young carers, which includes further information about sources of support including looking after their own health and wellbeing;
  • funded the See, Hear, Respond service, delivered by Barnardo’s to provides rapid support to children, young people and families who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and includes a dedicated young carers hub with helpful resources;
  • ensured unpaid carers can continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they need to self-isolate and recognised time providing emotional support as part of the 35 hours a week Carers Allowance care threshold; and
  • worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance on reopening day services which we know provide important respite to carers and provided funding through the Government’s Infection Control Fund, which can be used to support day services adopt infection control measures.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on prioritising unpaid carers for a covid-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level.  For the first phase, the JCVI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors.

Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should also be offered vaccination in priority group six. This includes unpaid carers.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on supporting unpaid carers of the findings of the Caring Behind Closed Doors: six months report published by Carers UK in October 2020.

The Government recognises the vital role unpaid carers play, especially during this difficult period, and acknowledge the issues raised in Carers UK’s report. That is why we continue to work closely with carer organisations to support them.

During the pandemic, we have:

  • provided funding to Carers UK to extend their support phoneline;
  • provided funding to Carers Trust to make onward grants to provide support to unpaid carers experiencing loneliness during the pandemic;
  • produced a leaflet to help carers identify themselves on discharge from hospital;
  • published guidance specifically for carers and young carers, which includes further information about sources of support including looking after their own health and wellbeing;
  • funded the See, Hear, Respond service, delivered by Barnardo’s to provides rapid support to children, young people and families who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and includes a dedicated young carers hub with helpful resources;
  • ensured unpaid carers can continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they need to self-isolate and recognised time providing emotional support as part of the 35 hours a week Carers Allowance care threshold; and
  • worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to publish guidance on reopening day services which we know provide important respite to carers and provided funding through the Government’s Infection Control Fund, which can be used to support day services adopt infection control measures.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of infectious disease and diagnostics specialists that the UK requires for the next 10 years to enable it to respond effectively to any future pandemics; and what steps he is taking to meet that need.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of Public Health England employees with expertise in infection control have left the service prior to retirement in the last ten years; and what proportion of the Public Health England workforce that represented at the time of their leaving.

The data is not available in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of plans to move initially the Health Protection Agency and subsequently Public Health England to Harlow, including the cost of premises that have been bought, refurbished and maintained.

In the period up to and including the 2019/20 financial year the spend on the Science Hub Programme has been £203.9 million.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of NHS contracts were awarded to private companies in each year from 2012 to 2020; and what the value was of those contracts in each of those years.

Information on the proportion of NHS contracts that were awarded to private companies in each year from 2012 to 2020 is not held centrally.

Data on the amount of NHS spend by NHS Commissioners on private health providers and the value as a percentage of overall NHS spend from 2012 to 2019 (the most recent year for which such information is available is shown in the following table.

NHS Commissioners' spend on non NHS bodies by organisation type

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15
Restated

2015/16
Restated

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

Independent sector providers

5,669

6,467

8,067

8,818

9,007

8,765

9,180

Total NHS revenue expenditure

102,570

106,495

110,551

114,730

117,031

120,650

125,278

Spend on independent sector as a % of total NHS revenue spend

5.5%

6.1%

7.3%

7.7%

7.7%

7.3%

7.3%

1. The numbers above have been collected separately from audited accounts data and may include estimations

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he made of the effect of the transition of functions from the Health Protection Agency to Public Health England on the England's preparedness for infection surveillance and control.

Public Health England (PHE) was established in 2013 as an executive agency of the Department. PHE brought together multiple different bodies including the Health Protection Agency to provide comprehensive national surveillance programmes for both infectious and non-communicable diseases and to strengthen preparedness plans.

The United Kingdom’s infectious disease surveillance system will be further strengthened by the creation of the new National Institute for Health Protection in 2021, which will bring together the expertise of PHE, alongside NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Unit, to ensure the UK has the best capability to monitor and control infectious diseases and respond to health protection incidents.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his oral contribution of 2 December 2020, Official report, column 330, that the Government is increasing the public health grant in 2021, what the magnitude of the increase to the 2021-22 public health grant will represent in relation to the 2020-21 funding of £3.3 billion.

Local authority spending through the public health grant will be maintained, meaning local authorities can continue to invest in prevention and essential frontline health services. Local authority public health grant allocations for 2021-22 will be subject to a detailed financial planning exercise and finalised in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of transmission of covid-19 in (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools for pupils (i) aged 11-16 and (ii) over 16.

Public Health England (PHE) reports on the number of suspected and confirmed clusters and outbreaks linked to educational settings in the weekly surveillance report. PHE also publishes weekly COVID-19 surveillance data for ‘educational-aged cohorts’ alongside the COVID-19 weekly surveillance report. These are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

PHE is undertaking enhanced surveillance of COVID-19 in primary and secondary schools through a number of research studies. More information is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-paediatric-surveillance#covid-19-surveillance-in-schools-in-england

On 4 November the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies considered a paper prepared by the Children’s Task and Finish Group summarising the latest evidence on the role children play in COVID-19 transmission, this included children aged 11-16 and those over 16 years. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tfc-children-and-transmission-4-november-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of average waiting times for child and adolescent mental health services between March and October (a) 2020, (b) 2019, (c) 2018 and (d) 2017.

The information is not collected in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Nov 2020
What steps his Department plans to take to support mental health services during winter 2020-21.

The mental health of everyone is absolutely critical in these unprecedented times. We are working with the National Health Service, Public Health England, social care and others to take an expert look now at what we might anticipate by way of need coming through over the next few weeks and months. We will bring forward our winter plan for mental health and wellbeing in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the number of patients receiving elective NHS treatment in (a) Wirral and (b) England.

The number of patients who completed Referral-To-Treatment pathways between March and June 2020 was down 44% in England on the same period last year. For patients seen at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust and The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, the effect was slightly larger, with a drop of 46% for the period March to June 2020 compared with the same period last year.

On 31 July further guidance was issued to local National Health Service providers and commissioners on outlining the next phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 and concurrent non-COVID-19 activity. The focus is on accelerating the return of non-COVID-19 health services to near-normal levels, including making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This will be done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her Chinese counterpart on the challenges faced by British Nationals wishing to travel to China as a result of entry restrictions.

We understand the difficulties faced by British Nationals wishing to travel to China due to the current restrictions on entry linked to the COVID pandemic. The former Foreign Secretary raised this issue in his last call with his Chinese counterpart on 19 August, including requesting a resumption of direct UK-China flights. Officials continue to discuss this and related issues with the Chinese authorities in London and in Beijing. The Government supports the strengthening of people to people links between the UK and China.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps she has taken to restore people-to-people links between the UK and China.

We understand the difficulties faced by British Nationals wishing to travel to China due to the current restrictions on entry linked to the COVID pandemic. The former Foreign Secretary raised this issue in his last call with his Chinese counterpart on 19 August, including requesting a resumption of direct UK-China flights. Officials continue to discuss this and related issues with the Chinese authorities in London and in Beijing. The Government supports the strengthening of people to people links between the UK and China.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of temporarily reducing VAT to 5 per cent for businesses in the hairdressing and beauty industry.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July 2020 to support the cash flow and viability of about 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

This relief comes at a significant cost to the Exchequer, and there are no plans to extend the scope of the reduced rate. This policy will cost over £7 billion.

The Government has made available a wider package of support worth billions which includes extensions to the furlough scheme; extensions to the COVID-19 loan schemes; grant support; a business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure business properties; mortgage holidays; enhanced Time to Pay for taxes; and VAT deferrals.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of companies in which the director has been ineligible for covid-19-related financial support in (a) England, (b) the North West and (c) Wirral.

The information requested is not available. Company directors who pay themselves a salary through their company’s PAYE scheme may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CJRS has been extended until the end of April 2021 for all parts of the UK, with employees receiving 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. By extending the cut-off date to submit a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC to the period from 20 March to 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee, the CJRS extension should be available to those directors who paid themselves after 19 March 2020.

2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many families with children received the £20 per week uplift in working tax credit basic element payments, announced on 20 March 2020, in (a) Wirral West constituency and (b) the UK, in each month since that uplift was introduced.

The latest available information on the number of families with children receiving Working Tax Credit at the parliamentary constituency level is for April 2020. In April 2020, the number of families with children receiving Working Tax Credit in the Wirral West constituency was 600: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-and-working-tax-credits-statistics-provisional-awards-geographical-analyses-december-2013.

Information on following months is not readily available. The next update to this publication will provide statistics relating to December 2020 and will be available in January 2021.

Final annual information on families with children receiving Working Tax Credits is published once a year and updated each July: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-and-working-tax-credits-statistics-finalised-annual-awards-2018-to-2019.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations in the report entitled, The Full Monty Facing up to the challenge of the coronavirus labour market crisis, published by the Resolution Foundation in June 2020.

As the Chancellor has said, protecting against significant job losses is the most urgent challenge the Government faces as it moves into phase two of the economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Chancellor announced the Plan for Jobs, a package worth up to £30 billion to support, protect and create jobs, with this focus on jobs being welcomed by the Resolution Foundation. This broad package includes measures such as the Kickstart Scheme to create hundreds of thousands of high quality six-month work placements aimed at young people at the highest risk of long-term unemployment, doubling the number of Work Coaches in Jobcentres, the Job Retention Bonus and the Green Homes Grant. The Government considers views from a wide range of organisations, including the Resolution Foundation, and takes account of these as it develops policy.

22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of military personnel deployed away from their usual posting to assist with the covid-19 vaccination programme who do not have adequate childcare in place.

There are currently 600 military personnel deployed to assist with the COVID-19 vaccination programme. However, we do not hold data on the different childcare arrangements put in place by our Service families. This information is assessed at a local level on the basis of a community needs analysis, where local solutions can be provided for local areas of need.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jan 2021
What progress he has made on ensuring that (a) new and (b) existing homes are net zero carbon.

We have proposed an ambitious uplift in the energy efficiency of new homes through the Future Homes Standard. These homes will be ‘zero carbon ready’, with the ability to become fully zero carbon homes as the electricity grid decarbonises, without the need for further costly retrofitting work.

The Government is providing funding (including the green homes grant) and making regulatory changes (including consulting on increased minimum standards for the Private Rented Sector) to improve existing homes. Our forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy will set out further actions.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposals in the Government consultation on Changes to the current planning system on (a) the green belt and (b) biodiversity in (i) England and (ii) Wirral.

In Planning for the Future we put forward for consultation some significant changes to the focus and the processes of planning to secure better outcomes, including improving our precious countryside and environment alongside increasing the supply of land for new, beautiful homes and sustainable places. One key proposal is that local plans would categorise all land as areas for growth, for renewal or for protection. The proposal makes clear that, under the reformed system, local authorities would use the plan-making process to ensure the continued protection and enhancement of Green Belt and biodiversity, in line with our policies in the National Planning Policy Framework. The consultation remains open until 29 October 2020. Following consideration of the consultation responses received, we will publish the Government's response in due course. This will set out any decisions and how we intend to implement them.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposals in the Government’s consultation on Changes to the current planning system on the ability of developers to landbank in England.

We recognise the concerns that some developers are not delivering new sites as quickly as possible, despite planning permission being in place. Our Planning for the Future White Paper has put forward proposals to support build out through planning, including revising national policy to encourage masterplans and design codes for substantial development sites to see a variety of development types by different builders come forward at once. We will be exploring further options to support faster build out as part of the wider package of reforms and look forward to reviewing the consultation responses in full.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the removal of Section 106 commitments on the levels of affordable housing in (a) England, (b) the north of England and (c) Wirral.

It is important that we analyse the consultation feedback thoroughly. We will respond to the consultation in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposals in the Planning for the future consultation, published 6 August 2020, on the protection of the green belt in Wirral.

Planning for the Future proposes significant changes to the focus and processes of planning – to secure better outcomes in terms of land for homes, beauty and environmental quality. One key proposal is that local plans place all land into one of three categories: areas for Growth, Renewal or Protection. The consultation proposal is clear that valued green space and Green Belt would be included in areas for Protection.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that planning policies and decisions should not only protect and enhance the natural environment, but should secure net gains for biodiversity, including wildlife habitat and ecological networks. The reforms we are proposing are designed to support the continuing implementation of this policy by local authorities, in line with our 25 Year Environment Plan and provisions in the Environment Bill.

We also propose to transform how communities engage with plan-making, using new digital tools to make it easier for many more people to understand, engage with and influence development policies and proposals.

After carefully considering all the responses to Planning for the Future, the Government will publish its conclusions.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposals in the Planning for the future consultation, published 6 August 2020 on the (a) maintenance of green spaces in Wirral and (b) conservation of biodiversity in Wirral.

Planning for the Future proposes significant changes to the focus and processes of planning – to secure better outcomes in terms of land for homes, beauty and environmental quality. One key proposal is that local plans place all land into one of three categories: areas for Growth, Renewal or Protection. The consultation proposal is clear that valued green space and Green Belt would be included in areas for Protection.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that planning policies and decisions should not only protect and enhance the natural environment, but should secure net gains for biodiversity, including wildlife habitat and ecological networks. The reforms we are proposing are designed to support the continuing implementation of this policy by local authorities, in line with our 25 Year Environment Plan and provisions in the Environment Bill.

We also propose to transform how communities engage with plan-making, using new digital tools to make it easier for many more people to understand, engage with and influence development policies and proposals.

After carefully considering all the responses to Planning for the Future, the Government will publish its conclusions.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposals in the Planning for the future consultation, published 6 August 2020, on the response to climate change at a local level.

The Planning for the Future White Paper includes proposals to ensure that new homes meet our climate change and environmental objectives, including by ensuring homes delivered under our new planning system do not require future retrofitting. It also proposes to strengthen environmental outcomes: the National Planning Policy Framework will be revised to ensure policies support climate change mitigation and adaptation (including tackling flood risk), as well as creating places which are better-designed and more beautiful. When determining housing need, it is proposed that this will factor in land constraints, taking into account the practical limitations, including flood zones, that some areas might face in planning for the homes they need.

The Government is encouraging feedback from individuals and organisations as part of its assessment of the proposed measures. Throughout the consultation, my department will be engaging with MPs, local politicians, planners, developers, the voluntary sector and communities. The Secretary of State will update the House in due course once the consultation is concluded and proposals are prepared


Government has laid the revised National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England before Parliament on 14 July 2020. This sets out how homes and businesses across the country will be better protected and more resilient in future as part of our plans to tackle the risks of flooding and coastal erosion. We are currently reviewing our policy for building in areas at flood risk; this will seek to ensure that future development will be safe from floods. We will assess whether current protections in national planning policy are enough and consider options for further reform. In terms of local impacts, local authorities need to undertake sustainability appraisal when preparing development plans to understand how their development proposals will help to achieve relevant environmental, economic and social objectives.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposals in the Planning for the future consultation, published 6 August 2020, on the ability of local authorities to mitigate flood risk.

The Planning for the Future White Paper includes proposals to ensure that new homes meet our climate change and environmental objectives, including by ensuring homes delivered under our new planning system do not require future retrofitting. It also proposes to strengthen environmental outcomes: the National Planning Policy Framework will be revised to ensure policies support climate change mitigation and adaptation (including tackling flood risk), as well as creating places which are better-designed and more beautiful. When determining housing need, it is proposed that this will factor in land constraints, taking into account the practical limitations, including flood zones, that some areas might face in planning for the homes they need.

The Government is encouraging feedback from individuals and organisations as part of its assessment of the proposed measures. Throughout the consultation, my department will be engaging with MPs, local politicians, planners, developers, the voluntary sector and communities. The Secretary of State will update the House in due course once the consultation is concluded and proposals are prepared


Government has laid the revised National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England before Parliament on 14 July 2020. This sets out how homes and businesses across the country will be better protected and more resilient in future as part of our plans to tackle the risks of flooding and coastal erosion. We are currently reviewing our policy for building in areas at flood risk; this will seek to ensure that future development will be safe from floods. We will assess whether current protections in national planning policy are enough and consider options for further reform. In terms of local impacts, local authorities need to undertake sustainability appraisal when preparing development plans to understand how their development proposals will help to achieve relevant environmental, economic and social objectives.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposals in the Planning for the future consultation, published 6 August 2020, on flood risk in areas in close proximity to the River Birket.

The Planning for the Future White Paper includes proposals to ensure that new homes meet our climate change and environmental objectives, including by ensuring homes delivered under our new planning system do not require future retrofitting. It also proposes to strengthen environmental outcomes: the National Planning Policy Framework will be revised to ensure policies support climate change mitigation and adaptation (including tackling flood risk), as well as creating places which are better-designed and more beautiful. When determining housing need, it is proposed that this will factor in land constraints, taking into account the practical limitations, including flood zones, that some areas might face in planning for the homes they need.

The Government is encouraging feedback from individuals and organisations as part of its assessment of the proposed measures. Throughout the consultation, my department will be engaging with MPs, local politicians, planners, developers, the voluntary sector and communities. The Secretary of State will update the House in due course once the consultation is concluded and proposals are prepared


Government has laid the revised National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England before Parliament on 14 July 2020. This sets out how homes and businesses across the country will be better protected and more resilient in future as part of our plans to tackle the risks of flooding and coastal erosion. We are currently reviewing our policy for building in areas at flood risk; this will seek to ensure that future development will be safe from floods. We will assess whether current protections in national planning policy are enough and consider options for further reform. In terms of local impacts, local authorities need to undertake sustainability appraisal when preparing development plans to understand how their development proposals will help to achieve relevant environmental, economic and social objectives.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the ability of residents in the Wirral local authority area to receive local Legal Aid Housing Advice.

Legal Aid services are commissioned and delivered through procurement areas, rather than local authority areas. For the housing and debt categories of law (which are contracted together), England and Wales is split into 134 procurement areas. In this instance the Wirral procurement area corresponds with Wirral Borough Council.

In the housing and debt categories, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) aims to have at least one provider in each procurement area. There are currently no legal aid housing providers in the Wirral procurement area. This has been the position since March 2020 and although contracts were recently put out to the market, the LAA received no bids in this area. The LAA will continue to take steps to place services in this area.

There are housing advice services available for residents in Wirral via Civil Legal Aid (CLA), which provides housing and debt legal advice via telephone and email. There are also five legal aid housing and debt providers delivering services through eight offices in the neighbouring procurement area of Liverpool, and it is open to residents of Wirral to access these services. Additionally, there is a Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS) in Birkenhead Court, which provides “on-the-day” emergency advice and advocacy to anyone facing possession proceedings.

Nationally there are currently 12 procurement areas which do not have access to a face-to-face housing and debt legal aid provider. These are listed in the table below, with the corresponding local authorities. The Ministry of Justice does not hold data which would allow us to estimate what proportion of the population in England and Wales live in a local authority area in which there are no housing and debt legal aid providers.

Housing and Debt Procurement Area

Local Authority/Authorities

Bury

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

City of Kingston upon Hull

Hull City Council

Dorset

Dorset County Council

Doncaster

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

East Riding of Yorkshire

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Leicestershire and Rutland

Leicestershire County Council Rutland County Council

North Hertfordshire

East Hertfordshire District Council North Hertfordshire District Council Stevenage Borough Council Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Sandwell

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Shropshire

Shropshire Council Telford and Wrekin Council

Somerset

Bath and North East Somerset Council Somerset County Council

South Tyneside

South Tyneside Council

Wirral

Wirral Borough Council

The LAA regularly monitors capacity and availability of access to services, and takes action where it identifies gaps in services or where demand is greater than the available supply. We have recently concluded a housing and debt tender and will continue to take steps to place services in these areas.

In the meantime, residents in the procurement areas that do not currently have a housing legal aid provider can contact Civil Legal Aid (CLA), which provides housing advice via telephone and email, and/or can obtain advice from a legal aid housing provider in a nearby procurement area.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the population in England and Wales that live in a local authority area in which there are no housing legal aid providers.

Legal Aid services are commissioned and delivered through procurement areas, rather than local authority areas. For the housing and debt categories of law (which are contracted together), England and Wales is split into 134 procurement areas. In this instance the Wirral procurement area corresponds with Wirral Borough Council.

In the housing and debt categories, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) aims to have at least one provider in each procurement area. There are currently no legal aid housing providers in the Wirral procurement area. This has been the position since March 2020 and although contracts were recently put out to the market, the LAA received no bids in this area. The LAA will continue to take steps to place services in this area.

There are housing advice services available for residents in Wirral via Civil Legal Aid (CLA), which provides housing and debt legal advice via telephone and email. There are also five legal aid housing and debt providers delivering services through eight offices in the neighbouring procurement area of Liverpool, and it is open to residents of Wirral to access these services. Additionally, there is a Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS) in Birkenhead Court, which provides “on-the-day” emergency advice and advocacy to anyone facing possession proceedings.

Nationally there are currently 12 procurement areas which do not have access to a face-to-face housing and debt legal aid provider. These are listed in the table below, with the corresponding local authorities. The Ministry of Justice does not hold data which would allow us to estimate what proportion of the population in England and Wales live in a local authority area in which there are no housing and debt legal aid providers.

Housing and Debt Procurement Area

Local Authority/Authorities

Bury

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

City of Kingston upon Hull

Hull City Council

Dorset

Dorset County Council

Doncaster

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

East Riding of Yorkshire

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Leicestershire and Rutland

Leicestershire County Council Rutland County Council

North Hertfordshire

East Hertfordshire District Council North Hertfordshire District Council Stevenage Borough Council Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Sandwell

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Shropshire

Shropshire Council Telford and Wrekin Council

Somerset

Bath and North East Somerset Council Somerset County Council

South Tyneside

South Tyneside Council

Wirral

Wirral Borough Council

The LAA regularly monitors capacity and availability of access to services, and takes action where it identifies gaps in services or where demand is greater than the available supply. We have recently concluded a housing and debt tender and will continue to take steps to place services in these areas.

In the meantime, residents in the procurement areas that do not currently have a housing legal aid provider can contact Civil Legal Aid (CLA), which provides housing advice via telephone and email, and/or can obtain advice from a legal aid housing provider in a nearby procurement area.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of local authority areas in England and Wales in which there are no housing legal aid providers.

Legal Aid services are commissioned and delivered through procurement areas, rather than local authority areas. For the housing and debt categories of law (which are contracted together), England and Wales is split into 134 procurement areas. In this instance the Wirral procurement area corresponds with Wirral Borough Council.

In the housing and debt categories, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) aims to have at least one provider in each procurement area. There are currently no legal aid housing providers in the Wirral procurement area. This has been the position since March 2020 and although contracts were recently put out to the market, the LAA received no bids in this area. The LAA will continue to take steps to place services in this area.

There are housing advice services available for residents in Wirral via Civil Legal Aid (CLA), which provides housing and debt legal advice via telephone and email. There are also five legal aid housing and debt providers delivering services through eight offices in the neighbouring procurement area of Liverpool, and it is open to residents of Wirral to access these services. Additionally, there is a Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS) in Birkenhead Court, which provides “on-the-day” emergency advice and advocacy to anyone facing possession proceedings.

Nationally there are currently 12 procurement areas which do not have access to a face-to-face housing and debt legal aid provider. These are listed in the table below, with the corresponding local authorities. The Ministry of Justice does not hold data which would allow us to estimate what proportion of the population in England and Wales live in a local authority area in which there are no housing and debt legal aid providers.

Housing and Debt Procurement Area

Local Authority/Authorities

Bury

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

City of Kingston upon Hull

Hull City Council

Dorset

Dorset County Council

Doncaster

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

East Riding of Yorkshire

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Leicestershire and Rutland

Leicestershire County Council Rutland County Council

North Hertfordshire

East Hertfordshire District Council North Hertfordshire District Council Stevenage Borough Council Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Sandwell

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Shropshire

Shropshire Council Telford and Wrekin Council

Somerset

Bath and North East Somerset Council Somerset County Council

South Tyneside

South Tyneside Council

Wirral

Wirral Borough Council

The LAA regularly monitors capacity and availability of access to services, and takes action where it identifies gaps in services or where demand is greater than the available supply. We have recently concluded a housing and debt tender and will continue to take steps to place services in these areas.

In the meantime, residents in the procurement areas that do not currently have a housing legal aid provider can contact Civil Legal Aid (CLA), which provides housing advice via telephone and email, and/or can obtain advice from a legal aid housing provider in a nearby procurement area.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the infrastructure that will be required at ports in Northern Ireland under the Northern Ireland protocol.

The Ireland and Northern Ireland Protocol will be delivered by the end of the Transition Period. There will be no new physical customs infrastructure in Northern Ireland and we see no need to build any.


We will be making the necessary adjustments to existing entry points for agrifood goods to provide for proportionate additional controls including some checks to help movements of live animals and agrifood from Great Britain into Northern Ireland. This is in order to respect the pre-existing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit. Our proposals will reduce requirements to the absolute minimum so that the integrity and smooth functioning of the UK internal market is protected, in line with the approach we set out in our May Command Paper.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Apr 2020
What recent discussions he has had with the First Minister of Wales on the covid-19 outbreak.

The First Minister, his ministerial team, and I regularly discuss our governments’ response to the covid-19 outbreak. Last week we both attended meetings between all four administrations, including COBR(M) and a meeting chaired by my Rt. hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to discuss the UK-wide approach to social distancing.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales