Robin Walker Portrait

Robin Walker

Conservative - Worcester

First elected: 6th May 2010


2 APPG memberships (as of 24 Jan 2024)
Students, Youth Employment
4 Former APPG memberships
Argentina, China, Credit Unions, Trade out of Poverty
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
25th Oct 2022 - 22nd Jan 2024
Minister of State (Education)
16th Sep 2021 - 6th Jul 2022
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
13th Feb 2020 - 16th Sep 2021
Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill
28th Jun 2021 - 6th Jul 2021
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
16th Dec 2019 - 13th Feb 2020
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Scotland Office) (jointly with the Northern Ireland Office)
26th Jul 2019 - 16th Dec 2019
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Exiting the European Union)
17th Jul 2016 - 26th Jul 2019
Administration Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 28th Nov 2016
Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
5th Nov 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
2nd Dec 2012 - 4th Nov 2013
Committees on Arms Export Controls
2nd Dec 2012 - 4th Nov 2013
Welsh Affairs Committee
27th Jun 2011 - 3rd Dec 2012


Department Event
Monday 11th March 2024
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
11 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th March 2024
12:30
Liaison Committee (Commons) - Oral evidence
Subject: Work of the Prime Minister
26 Mar 2024, 12:30 p.m.
At 1:00pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Prime Minister
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Department Event
Monday 29th April 2024
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
29 Apr 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Reform)
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 51 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 81
Speeches
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Independent School Fees: VAT
I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton South (Andrew Lewer) on securing this important debate. I speak in …
Written Answers
Tuesday 13th February 2024
Hearing Impairment: Teachers
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of (a) support …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 30th May 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: The Football Association
Address of donor: Stadium, Wembley HA9 0WS
Amount of donation or nature and value …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 30th January 2024
Autism (early identification) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to make provision about the training of teachers in relation to the early identification of autism; and for …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Robin Walker has voted in 792 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Robin Walker voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
18 Oct 2022 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Robin Walker voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 113 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 110
6 Jun 2023 - Committee on Standards - View Vote Context
Robin Walker voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 28 Conservative Aye votes vs 32 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 40
4 Dec 2023 - Victims and Prisoners Bill - View Vote Context
Robin Walker voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 238 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 246 Noes - 242
View All Robin Walker 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
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(27 debate interactions)
Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)
(16 debate interactions)
Stephen Farry (Alliance)
(15 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Northern Ireland Office
(350 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(246 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(57 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(45 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Robin Walker's debates

Worcester 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

Teaching Assistants are an extremely important part of the running of schools in England, but are not currently recognised as this by our government when reflecting on the wage.

We want suicide spoken about in schools in a safe and age-appropriate way. Speaking about suicide saves lives
The Dept for Education are conducting a review of the RSHE curriculum; this petition calls on the DfE to include suicide prevention within the statutory guidelines of the new curriculum.

The Government should create an emergency fund to deal with the massive waiting lists for autism & ADHD assessments for children AND adults. This would provide resources for local health services deal with current waiting lists and new patients.

The Government should commission a review of how Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments are managed by the NHS, including through Shared Care Agreements, and increase funding to reduce waiting times.

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

Require schools to make Friday a day off school, meaning there will be 3 days that children will get to stay off every week.


Latest EDMs signed by Robin Walker

Robin Walker has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Robin Walker, 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.


Robin Walker has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Robin Walker has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Robin Walker has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


26 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
1 Other Department Questions
23rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of including measures on supporting providers of (a) radio and (b) other audio services on digital platforms in the forthcoming Media Bill.

The Government has today published Command Paper CP 822, which contains a draft Media Bill.

The draft Bill contains measures which will ensure that UK radio remains available to listeners via their smart speakers over the coming years, while providing scope for innovative collaboration and partnerships between stations and the smart speaker platforms.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of (a) support and (b) funding for training teachers of the deaf; and what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the availability of teachers of the deaf in each local authority.

It is the responsibility of local authorities, schools and further education settings to commission appropriately qualified staff to support the education of children and young people in their area.

To offer the mandatory qualification in sensory impairment (MQSI), providers must be approved by the Secretary of State for Education. The department’s aim is to ensure a steady supply of teachers of children with visual, hearing and multi-sensory impairments in both specialist and mainstream settings. There are currently six providers of the MQSI, with a seventh from September 2024. The department does not have published data on the number of teachers that have completed the MQSI.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) has also developed a sensory impairment apprenticeship and expect it to be available from 2025. This will open a paid, work-based route into teaching children and young people with sensory impairments by enabling people to undertake high-quality apprenticeships.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many teachers have completed the mandatory qualification in sensory impairment (MQSI) in the last five years; and what estimate she has made of how many teachers will complete this qualification in the next two years.

It is the responsibility of local authorities, schools and further education settings to commission appropriately qualified staff to support the education of children and young people in their area.

To offer the mandatory qualification in sensory impairment (MQSI), providers must be approved by the Secretary of State for Education. The department’s aim is to ensure a steady supply of teachers of children with visual, hearing and multi-sensory impairments in both specialist and mainstream settings. There are currently six providers of the MQSI, with a seventh from September 2024. The department does not have published data on the number of teachers that have completed the MQSI.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) has also developed a sensory impairment apprenticeship and expect it to be available from 2025. This will open a paid, work-based route into teaching children and young people with sensory impairments by enabling people to undertake high-quality apprenticeships.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the (a) economic impact and (b) effectiveness of private tuition funded by the national tutoring programme; and what information her Department holds on the potential impact of this funding on tuition in (i) mathematics and (ii) English.

The department is investing over £1 billion in tutoring via its flagship National Tutoring Programme. This has seen nearly five million tutoring courses commence since the programme started in November 2020, including over two million in each of the last two academic years. Primary, secondary and special schools are continuing to offer tutoring, with 346,000 courses having started in the first five weeks of the current academic year.

There is extensive evidence that tutoring is one of the most effective ways to accelerate academic progress. The Education Endowment Foundation has found that, on average, pupils who receive small group tutoring may make four months additional progress. The department’s external evaluation of year two of the National Tutoring Programme, carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research, shows that School Led Tutoring has had a positive impact on pupil attainment at both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential implications for her Department's policies of benefit to cost ratios of the National Tutoring Programme Programme in (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools.

The department is investing over £1 billion in tutoring via its flagship National Tutoring Programme. This has seen nearly five million tutoring courses commence since the programme started in November 2020, including over two million in each of the last two academic years. Primary, secondary and special schools are continuing to offer tutoring, with 346,000 courses having started in the first five weeks of the current academic year.

There is extensive evidence that tutoring is one of the most effective ways to accelerate academic progress. The Education Endowment Foundation has found that, on average, pupils who receive small group tutoring may make four months additional progress. The department’s external evaluation of year two of the National Tutoring Programme, carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research, shows that School Led Tutoring has had a positive impact on pupil attainment at both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance her Department provides schools on protecting children with allergies; and if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring schools to have access to adrenaline injections for pupil safety.

In 2014, the government introduced a new duty on schools to support pupils with all medical conditions and published the ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’ statutory guidance for schools and others. This guidance does not specify which medical conditions should be supported in schools. Instead, it focuses on how to meet the needs of each individual child and how their medical condition affects school life.

Schools also have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to their practices, procedures, and policies to ensure that they are not putting those with certain long-term health problems at a substantial disadvantage.

Under the Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2017, all schools can buy adrenaline auto-injector (AAI) devices without a prescription, for emergency use in children who are at risk of anaphylaxis, but their own device is not available or not working. The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance on using emergency AAIs in schools, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/using-emergency-adrenaline-auto-injectors-in-schools.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has an expected timeline for implementing the National Plan for Music Education.

In June 2022, the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport published the ‘national plan for music education - the power of music to change lives’. The plan sets out the Government’s priorities for music education up to 2030 and how it aims to achieve them. This plan can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-power-of-music-to-change-lives-a-national-plan-for-music-education.

The Department is on track in delivering all of the commitments within the plan. Since publication, the Department established a monitoring board made up of experts in music, school music teaching, curriculum design, music education beyond schools, music charities and the music industry. The board will support the implementation of the plan, ensuring that the commitments set out in the plan are fulfilled.

As part of the plan, the Department set an expectation for all state funded schools to teach music to pupils from 5 to 14 year olds for at least one hour a week.

The Department’s national network of music hubs will continue to provide support to schools in England, with £79 million per annum funding for the music hubs programme up to 2025, and £25 million capital for new instruments from September 2024.

In the plan, the Department also announced its intention to invite applications for the role of music hub lead organisations, and to transition to fewer music hub areas across England, covering larger geographical areas but working in greater partnerships with schools, other music education providers and the music industry. Arts Council England are leading this process, and following a two stage consultation earlier this year, they launched their investment programme, seeking applications in October with the intention of newly competed music Hub lead organisations being in place for September 2024. This will include all Music Hubs identifying and working with a small number of lead schools, as set out in the plan.

In June, the Department also launched a competition to identify a national partner to deliver the Music Progression Fund, also announced in the plan. The intention is to support up to 1,000 disadvantaged pupils to learn how to play an instrument or learn how to sing to a high standard, over a sustained period. The Department is currently considering grant applications, and more details will be published in due course.

The next phase is to establish national music hub centres of excellence for inclusion, continuing professional development, music technology and pathways to industry. The intention remains to appoint the centres by late 2024, with additional funding to provide specialist support to all music hubs across England.

Finally, the Department will also be working with the monitoring board to establish an impact framework for the plan. This will set out how to monitor and measure the plan’s success, quantitatively and qualitatively, learning from the monitoring arrangements for the original plan.

The Department will also publish a progress report in 2025.

11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has undertaken an evaluation of the first ten years of the National Plan for Music Education.

The original national plan for music education was published in 2011 in response to a review of music education in England, commissioned by the Government. The ten year plan set out what every pupil should expect at each stage of their education, and how music education providers would work together, as music education hubs, to ensure all pupils could participate and progress.

In terms of evaluation, to inform the refreshed national plan published in June 2022, the Department launched a Call for Evidence in February 2020 which received over 5,000 responses from parents, teachers, students and 275 responses from young people. The Department published a Call for Evidence report in August 2021, setting out wide ranging findings on music education.

Following this, the Government appointed an expert panel to advise on the development of the new national plan, which included experts representing schools, music hubs and the music industry. As part of this work, the Department also reviewed a range of research, reflecting on the ten years since the publication of the original plan, and proposed approaches for the future.

11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress her Department has made establishing new music hubs; and whether she has an expected timeline for when they will become active.

In June 2022, the Department for Education and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published the ‘national plan for music education: the power of music to change lives’. This plan is accessible at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-power-of-music-to-change-lives-a-national-plan-for-music-education. The plan sets out the Government’s priorities up to 2030 for music education for pupils, including plans to strengthen the success of music hubs.

In the plan, the Department also announced its intention to invite applications for the role of music hub lead organisations, and to transition to fewer music hub areas across England, covering larger geographical areas but working in greater partnerships with schools, other music education providers and the music industry. Arts Council England are leading this process and following a two stage consultation earlier this year, they launched their investment programme, seeking applications in October with the intention of newly competed music Hub lead organisations being in place for September 2024. This will include all Music Hubs identifying and working with a small number of lead schools in this time frame, as set out in the plan.

11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many mobile classrooms have been provided to schools as a result of (a) identified and (b) suspected reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete.

This Government has taken more proactive action on RAAC than any other in the UK.

It is the responsibility of those who run schools – academy trusts, Local Authorities, and voluntary aided school bodies – who work with their schools on a day to day basis, to manage the maintenance of their schools. These responsible bodies may deploy temporary buildings for a wide range of reasons, not all of which will relate to building or refurbishment works. In addition, most building and refurbishment works within schools and colleges do not involve RAAC and will not require the involvement of the Department. The Department does not therefore hold information on the number of schools using temporary classrooms.

Where schools need to vacate buildings due to RAAC, they use a range of different types of accommodation including accommodation on and off site. On site accommodation can include semi rigid structures and temporary classrooms. Where this is the case, the Department is working with three contractors to accelerate the installation of temporary units in particular. The Department has not, therefore, produced central estimates of the number of temporary classrooms required, however, we can confirm that we have secured significant capacity to meet current needs, and can increase this if necessary. Our focus is on working closely with individual settings to make sure they have workable plans for their individual circumstances and context. Based on the experience where RAAC assessed as critical was found, the Department expects the vast majority will be able to continue to provide face to face teaching with either minimal or no disruption.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of SEND support for childcare and the early years on provision in Worcestershire.

Ensuring children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) receive the right support when they need it is a priority, including those children and young people in Worcestershire.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) re-inspected Worcestershire SEND services on their 12 areas of significant weakness between 1 and 3 November 2021 (letter published 14 December 2021). The inspectors assessed each area of weakness and concluded that the Council had made sufficient progress in addressing eight of the significant weaknesses. Worcestershire Children First produced an Accelerated Progress Plan to address the remaining four areas of significant weakness.

The department is committed to supporting and monitoring progress of the identified areas for improvement and have put in place regular monitoring and challenge meetings with SEND advisers from the department and NHS England.

We are also supporting local authorities through the ongoing delivery of new special and alternative provision (AP) free schools. On 2 March 2023, the department announced a successful bid from Worcestershire County Council to build a new special school that caters for the needs of pupils with autism spectrum disorder in Malvern.

This announcement followed an application that evidenced need for school places for children and involved engagement and support from stakeholders including education providers, health partners, parents and carers and local MPs who have been consistently calling for more provision in the local area.

The new special free school will provide 120 full time places for pupils aged 5-19 with autism, who are able to engage with a mainstream curriculum with extra support and who would also benefit from a specific environment and staff dedicated to a holistic approach.

A final decision on who will run the new school will rest with my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

In addition, on 2 March 2023, the department published the SEND and AP Improvement Plan in response to the Green Paper of March 2022. The Improvement Plan sets out how a new, single, national SEND and AP system should deliver consistent, clear, and early support for children and young people with SEND. These new standards aim to make consistent the provision that should be made available across the country for every child and young person with SEND. There will also be new local SEND and AP Partnerships, strengthened accountability and dashboards, and reforms to funding.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
23rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of when the independent evaluation of the national roll out of the early career framework will be published.

The Department published interim results as part of the independent evaluation of the national roll out of the Early Career Framework in May 2022. This can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-career-framework-induction-evaluation.

The Department will be publishing the latest findings shortly.

23rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made for the number of people who start an apprenticeship but fail to complete it due to the requirements to provide certification for functional skills.

The information requested is not held. The department cannot reliably identify if learners that fail to complete an apprenticeship do so because of a failure to meet minimum requirements for certification in English and maths.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will take steps to ensure that schools have more notice of future rounds of PE and sport premium funding.

The Department is currently considering arrangements for the primary PE and Sport premium for the 2023/24 academic year and beyond and will confirm the position as early as possible.

29th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children have been out of school for a year or more due to not being able to find a setting to meet their needs in (a) England and (b) Worcestershire.

Local Authorities hold the duty under section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to identify children of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise. Between 6 October and 4 November this year, the Department requested Local Authoritoes aggregate data on Elective Home Education and Children Missing Education to improve its understanding of these cohorts. This data is currently being analysed and will be published in due course.

It is also the responsibility of Local Authorities to ensure there are sufficient school places for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The Children and Families Act 2014 requires Local Authorities to keep the provision for children and young people with SEND under review, including its sufficiency, working with parents, young people, and schools.

In March 2022, the Department announced High Needs Provision Capital Allocations (HNPCA) amounting to over £1.4 billion of new investment. This funding is to support Local Authorities to deliver new places for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years and improve existing provision for children and young people with SEND or who require alternative provision. Worcestershire received a total of just over £10.7 million through the HNPCA. Prior to that, the Local Authority received just over £1.5 million through its 2021/22 HNPCA funding, announced in April 2021.

29th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure the viability of upper tier authorities charged with supporting the needs of high needs pupils.

Following the additional funding increases announced in the Chancellor’s recent Autumn Statement, local authorities’ high needs funding will be rising to £10.1 billion in 2023/24, an increase of over 50% from the 2019/20 allocations. This extra funding will help local authorities and schools with the increasing costs of supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The department recognises that a number of local authorities have struggled to manage their high needs systems sustainably in recent years, and have accrued Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) deficits as a result. Following investment through the Spending Review 2021, the department is running three programmes aimed at helping local authorities with the financial sustainability of their high needs systems., Support and intervention is tailored to the severity of the problems authorities are facing. Those with the highest percentage DSG deficits have been invited to the Safety Valve intervention programme. Those with substantial, but less severe deficits, have been invited to join the Delivering Better Value (DBV) programme. Other local authorities are being contacted by the Education and Skills Funding Association.

In 2020, the government also introduced a statutory override which separates local authorities’ DSG deficits from their wider financial position. The statutory override was put in place for a period of three years, up to March 2023, and meant that local authorities’ DSG deficits could be separated from their wider accounts.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities understand that a decision on the DSG statutory override needs to be communicated to the sector as soon as possible to provide certainty for the next – and future - financial years. An announcement will be made shortly.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
29th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress his Department has made on the delivery of measures proposed by the Right Support, Right Place, Right Time Green Paper.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) green paper consultation closed on 22 July 2022. The department is currently reviewing the feedback received and using this, along with continued engagement with the SEND system, to inform the next stage of delivering improvements for children, young people and their families.

The department is committed to publishing a full response to the green paper in an Improvement Plan in early 2023.

Ahead of the Improvement Plan being published, we are taking forward two additional measures to support children with SEND. The first is an investment of £21 million into training 400 more educational psychologists, who play a critical role in the educational support available to children with SEND. The second is the extension of a training programme for up to 150 more schools, for teachers to use assistive technology to better support their pupils with SEND.

These measures will continue to support the system in delivering change and continue to improve the outcomes and experiences of children and young people with SEND and those who need AP.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
29th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of investing in greater specialist training for the identification of additional needs amongst the early years workforce.

The government is investing up to £180 million in early years COVID-19 recovery. This is a package of training, qualifications and targeted support for the early years sector to support the learning and development of the youngest and most disadvantaged children. This includes a focus on child development, communication and language, early maths and personal, social and emotional development.

The early years Professional Development Programme has already provided 1,300 early years professionals with such training and up to 10,000 more staff will be trained in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years. We will also train up to 5,000 early years staff and childminders to become qualified Special Educational Needs Coordinators.

In addition, we have invested £17 million in the Nuffield Early Language Intervention, improving the language skills of an estimated 90,000 children in reception classes. This proven, evidence-based programme targets children needing extra support with their speech and language development and is proven to help them make around 3 months of additional progress. Two thirds of primary schools (over 11,000) signed up, and the majority of those had Free School Meal rates above the national average.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
29th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of parents took up the childcare offer (a) for two-year-olds, (b) of 15 hours for three- and four-year-olds and (c) of 30 hours for three- and four-year-olds, in each of the last five years.

Data relating to government-funded early education and childcare is published in the annual Education provision: children under 5 years of age statistical release: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-provision-children-under-5.

The figures requested for (a) and (b) can be found at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/c630228b-c8d7-4fbf-9467-08dacc5b2c16.

The number of children registered for (c) can be found at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/c212be1a-6230-457c-9468-08dacc5b2c16.

Three to four-year-olds whose parents (or the sole parent in a lone parent household) work at least sixteen hours a week at national minimum wage or living wage, but earn under £100,000 per year, are eligible for this extended offer of thirty hours of childcare. Based on the department’s analyses of data from various surveys, an estimated four in five eligible children took up the offer in the most recent year.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
29th Nov 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what data his Department holds on the take up of tax-free childcare in each of the last five years; and what steps he is taking to increase its take up.

The figures for open and used accounts for Tax-Free Childcare are published in Official Statistics. The latest release in November 2022 relates to figures up to September 2022 and are provided in the table below.

Number of: (1000s)

Financial Year

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

Children with Open Accounts*

314

537

768

901

1,093

Children with Used Accounts*

72

203

396

462

647

Families with Open Accounts

272

449

615

697

816

Families with Used Accounts

57

160

315

374

512

* This refers to the number of children for whom accounts are open/used. A used account is one where a payment has been made to a childcare provider within the financial year. An open account is one where a family has met the eligibility criteria and may or may not have made a payment. This shows that in 2021-22 approximately 512,000 families used Tax-Free Childcare for 647,000 children

The Government is committed to supporting families with their childcare costs, including through Tax-Free Childcare (TFC). In July this year, we launched a £1.2 million communications campaign to help parents to access childcare support. This includes adverts through a variety of media channels, online, radio, television, newspaper and billboards. Additionally, we have worked with childcare providers at local levels to help parents better understand the support that is available to them.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
29th Nov 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the effectiveness of the tax-free childcare offer.

HM Treasury and the Department for Education work closely together on all childcare policy, including Tax-Free Childcare. Take-up of Tax-Free Childcare is on a steady upward trajectory: at the end of June 2022 (the most recent data) an estimated 391,000 families used Tax-Free Childcare for 468,000 children.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2023 to Question 136690 on Dinitrophenol, what information her Department holds on any previous legal uses of 2,4-dinitrophenol, including when they ceased.

No specific research has been commissioned by the Home Office to investigate ways in which 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) has been used legitimately in Great Britain in the past.

From discussions with stakeholders and from open-source research on DNP, the Home Office is aware that DNP had historically been legally used as a treatment for weight-loss before being declared unfit for human consumption in 19381. Information available online also suggests that DNP has had industrial uses as a fertiliser before the Agriculture (Poisonous Substances) Act 1952 was introduced to regulate its use2. Media reporting on DNP has also listed previous industrial uses in pesticides and industrial dyes, though the Home Office has no further information on the use of DNP for these purposes.

In 2022, responses to the public consultation on amendments to the Poisons Act did not indicate that any members of the public who responded to the consultation used DNP for any legitimate purposes.

1Public Health England, 2013 - PHE supports FSA warnings over deadly weight loss supplement - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

2Agriculture (Poisonous Substances) Act 2952 - Agriculture (Poisonous Substances) Act 1952 (legislation.gov.uk)

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any legitimate uses of 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) were identified during her Department's consultation on adding DNP to the poisons list.

Between December 2021 – March 2022, the Home Office ran a public consultation on potential amendments to the Poisons Act 1972. The consultation proposed a number of measures, including a proposal to add 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) and its derivatives including sodium dinitrophenolate as a regulated poison under the Act. Responses were submitted through an online survey on gov.uk, by email and by post.

In total 128 responses were collected in the consultation. Of these responses, zero responses were received indicating the use of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) or derivatives including sodium dinitrophenolate. As no responses were received indicating members of the public were using DNP for legitimate purposes, it was considered proportionate to proceed with regulating DNP as a poison under the Poisons Act.

The Government response to the public consultation can be found at Annex A of the Impact Assessment for the Control of Explosives Precursors and Poisons Regulations 2023, available online here: The Control of Explosives Precursors and Poisons Regulations 2023 (legislation.gov.uk).

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will bring forward proposals to permit childminding businesses to be run from social rented properties.

The department does not hold this data. Social tenants are not prevented from running a business from their home under current housing legislation, but some tenancy agreements may include terms preventing them from doing so. We would expect landlords not to withhold permission unreasonably.

10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what data his Department holds on the number and proportion of (a) local authorities and (b) other registered social landlords that prohibit residents from operating as a childminder in their home.

The department does not hold this data. Social tenants are not prevented from running a business from their home under current housing legislation, but some tenancy agreements may include terms preventing them from doing so. We would expect landlords not to withhold permission unreasonably.