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Written Question
Immigration: Fees and Charges
13 Jan 2022

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 October 2021 to Question 57193 on Immigration: Fees and Charges, when the revised policy on overseas fee waivers will be published.

Answered by Kevin Foster

The overseas fee waiver policy is being revised to include an assessment of affordability for specified applications on the human rights route.

The revised policy and related application system is currently being developed and is expected to be published shortly.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to allow children eligible for the covid-19 vaccine to use walk-in and mass vaccination centres.

Answered by Maggie Throup

Children aged 12 to 15 years old are receiving COVID-19 vaccination in schools through the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) and in wider community settings. The National Health Service is supporting the in-school offer to increase the scale and pace of delivery, including targeting communications to parents, young people to improve uptake.

An increasing number of ‘out of school’ sites have been offering vaccinations for those aged 12 to 15 years old, including general practitioner practices and community pharmacies. Letters have been sent to parents and guardians of children aged 12 to 15 years old, offering the option to book the vaccine online or by calling 119. Appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15 years old are also available via the National Booking Service.

On 13 December 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote to local health systems on offering 12 to 15 year olds a second dose of the vaccine. This included preparations for the winter break in ‘out of school’ settings and a spring term offer from 10 January 2022.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to accelerate the covid-19 vaccination programme in schools.

Answered by Maggie Throup

Children aged 12 to 15 years old are receiving COVID-19 vaccination in schools through the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) and in wider community settings. The National Health Service is supporting the in-school offer to increase the scale and pace of delivery, including targeting communications to parents, young people to improve uptake.

An increasing number of ‘out of school’ sites have been offering vaccinations for those aged 12 to 15 years old, including general practitioner practices and community pharmacies. Letters have been sent to parents and guardians of children aged 12 to 15 years old, offering the option to book the vaccine online or by calling 119. Appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15 years old are also available via the National Booking Service.

On 13 December 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote to local health systems on offering 12 to 15 year olds a second dose of the vaccine. This included preparations for the winter break in ‘out of school’ settings and a spring term offer from 10 January 2022.


Written Question
Immigration: Afghanistan
23 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2021 to Question 81078 on the revised policy on overseas fee waivers, whether any urgent applications have been granted a fee waiver since the policy was suspended pending revision.

Answered by Kevin Foster

Some urgent applications have been granted. The data on this is locally held, unverified and therefore not suitable for publication.


Written Question
Terrorism: Northern Ireland
9 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many times he has met with victim groups as part of his consultation on the plans announced in the White Paper, Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland's Past.

Answered by Conor Burns

I refer the hon Gentleman to the answer provided on 30 November (UIN 79422).


Written Question
Drugs: Northern Ireland
9 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what progress the Government has made on establishing an agreement with the EU to facilitate the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Answered by Conor Burns

We have been in ongoing technical talks with the EU. There has been some potential convergence on the medicines issue but agreement has not been reached. Any acceptable solution needs to ensure that medicines are available at the same time and on the same basis across the whole of the UK. Continued supply of medicines to Northern Ireland is paramount.


Written Question
Northern Ireland Government
9 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many of the commitments made in the New Decade, New Approach agreement have been fully implemented.

Answered by Conor Burns

The UK Government has delivered 11 of the commitments it signed up to in the New Decade, New Approach deal. We have released over £700 million of the £2 billion of funding agreed in the deal, delivered a series of events marking the centenary of Northern Ireland, and introduced institutional reforms via the Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill. We continue to drive progress on our outstanding commitments as a matter of priority.


Written Question
Travel: Coronavirus
3 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will update the NHS App to enable children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old to provide evidence of their vaccination status for the purposes of international travel.

Answered by Maggie Throup

We are looking at ways to provide fully vaccinated 12 to 15 year olds with a travel NHS COVID Pass, which will be available shortly. Further information will be made available in due course, including details of the existing digital or non-digital NHS COVID Pass routes that will initially be available to this group.


Written Question
Schools: Repairs and Maintenance
1 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools involved in Phase 1 of the School Rebuilding Programme have had construction work formally begin.

Answered by Robin Walker

The first 100 schools were announced earlier this year on gov.uk, along with the methodology for selection. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-first-50-schools and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme-second-set-of-50-schools. The projects are all progressing through either the feasibility stage or the procurement, design and planning stage. Construction has started at 7 schools.


Written Question
Free Schools
1 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many new schools have opened since July 2019; and how many of those have been free schools.

Answered by Robin Walker

The government’s free schools programme has delivered hundreds of new schools and provided thousands of high-quality new school places across the country.

Since July 2019, a total of 392 new state-funded schools have opened (including sponsored and converted academies), of which 169 are new free schools. These include mainstream, special and alternative provision, and 16-19 free schools. These schools will create more than 86,000 places at capacity.

Information about all schools in England is publicly available at: https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk.


Written Question
School Meals
1 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average cost of (a) one school meal and (b) a year's worth of school meals was in each of the last ten years.

Answered by Will Quince

The department does not set a price for school meals whether paid for or free.

School governing boards are responsible for the provision of both free and paid for meals and it is for them to decide on the price depending on local circumstances. The department knows that many factors influence the costs of school meals including, for example, catering arrangements, food prices and existing numbers of pupils taking up school meals.

Through the schools national funding formula, the department allocates £460 of funding to local authorities for each of the pupils in their area eligible for free school meals. Local authorities then distribute this money to schools through their local funding formula, which must include additional funding for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as those eligible for free school meals. This allocation will increase to £470 per eligible pupil as part of the overall increase to the core schools budget for the 2022-23 financial year.

It is then for schools to decide how to use their budget, including how much to allocate to pay for benefits-based free school meals.


Written Question
Academies: Finance
1 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's estimate was of the level of cash reserves held by multi-academy trusts as of 25 November 2021.

Answered by Robin Walker

It is prudent financial planning for academy trusts to build reserves. Even trusts with strong balance sheets and adequate reserves can find themselves in a vulnerable position if they have insufficient cash assets. Academy trusts are accountable for, and transparent about, their reserves. As part of their short and long term financial planning, they must have a policy for holding reserves set out alongside financial data in their published annual accounts. These are clear requirements of the Academy Trust Handbook, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academy-trust-handbook.

The department publishes the Sector Annual Report and Accounts (SARA), which consolidates all academy accounts into one document. The last published report includes data on surpluses by academy trust size (page 25, figure 11b), available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/968362/SARA_Academies_Sector_Annual_Report_and_Accounts_201819_-_accessible.pdf.

The report for the 2019/20 academic year will be published in December 2021 and will include updated data on surpluses.

The National Audit Office’s recently published report on the financial sustainability of schools in England contains information about surpluses in all academy trusts (both single and multi-academy trusts), available here: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Financial-sustainability-of-schools-in-England.pdf. This reports that the net position across all academy trusts in the 2019/20 academic year was a cumulative surplus of £3.1 billion.

Data for the 2019/20 academic year on the financial position of individual academy trusts, including their surplus position, is available in academy trusts individual accounts and the schools financial benchmarking website, available here: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/.


Written Question
Immigration: Afghanistan
30 Nov 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2021 to Question 51783 on the revised policy on overseas fee waivers, how many urgent applications have been granted a fee waiver since the policy was suspended pending revision.

Answered by Kevin Foster

Home Office Migration Statistics do not currently capture the number of applications for overseas fee waivers received or placed on hold since the previous policy was suspended and the new route has not been officially launched.


Written Question
Schools: Discipline
30 Nov 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much and what proportion of the £10 million funding for Behaviour Hubs has been allocated to schools as of 24 November 2021.

Answered by Robin Walker

Since April 2021, the £10 million behaviour hubs programme has supported 22 lead schools and two multi-academy trusts (MATs), who have been working with 34 partner schools and two MATs. A second cohort of 41 partner schools and two MATs have been recruited and their induction took place in September 2021.

Of the £10 million funding, around 70% is being used to fund teachers’ and senior leaders’ time to engage with the programme and implement action plans. The remainder is being used to contract behaviour and programme delivery experts to develop and deliver specialist training and resources for schools.


Written Question
Schools: Discipline
30 Nov 2021

Questioner: Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have been supported by the Behaviour Hubs programme as of 24 November 2021.

Answered by Robin Walker

Since April 2021, the £10 million behaviour hubs programme has supported 22 lead schools and two multi-academy trusts (MATs), who have been working with 34 partner schools and two MATs. A second cohort of 41 partner schools and two MATs have been recruited and their induction took place in September 2021.

Of the £10 million funding, around 70% is being used to fund teachers’ and senior leaders’ time to engage with the programme and implement action plans. The remainder is being used to contract behaviour and programme delivery experts to develop and deliver specialist training and resources for schools.