Tip: To match a phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate"

Written Question
GCE A-level and GCSE: Assessments
2 Mar 2021

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish further information on the criteria for (a) GCSE and (b) A-level assessments in England in summer 2021.

Answered by Nick Gibb

Given the ongoing disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department announced in January 2021 that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead as planned this summer. To make sure our approach was developed with the sector, the Department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation in January on how to award grades in 2021 so they are robust and fair. We received over 100,000 responses from students, parents, teachers, school leaders and other stakeholders. There was widespread support for our approach.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, confirmed in his statement on 25 February that students will receive grades determined by their teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught. Fairness to young people is fundamental to the department and Ofqual’s decision making. We want to ensure all young people have the confidence that, despite exams not going ahead, they will receive a grade that reflects their ability and enables them to progress.

Full details on alternative arrangements to exams can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/teacher-assessed-grades-for-students.


Written Question
Higher Education: Admissions
2 Mar 2021

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) students, (b) schools and (c) universities with the application process to study higher education courses from autumn 2021.

Answered by Michelle Donelan

The government is working closely with partners across the education sector, including universities and schools, to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the disruption it has caused to young people’s education, including for those who will be applying to university for the 2021 admissions cycle.

For students applying to enter university in 2021, the UCAS deadline for most courses was pushed back to 29 January 2021. We recognise that this is a difficult time for young people, and it is vital that students applying to university in 2021 had this extra time to carefully consider their applications and make the best choices for their future. 415,470 people in England applied to full-time undergraduate courses by this deadline, up 11% from the equivalent January deadline for 2020.

We encourage universities to be flexible when making offers to individual students and we continue to work closely with the sector to ensure that students are not further disadvantaged by the COVID-19 outbreak.

We will continue to make every effort to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s education, so that they are well placed to progress to the next stage of their lives, wherever they live and whatever choices they make.


Written Question
Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes
22 Oct 2020

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to extend free school meal vouchers in England to include the October 2020 half term.

Answered by Vicky Ford

The free school meal (FSM) provision has supported children to access a healthy, nutritious meal to help them learn, concentrate and achieve, while they are at school, for more than a century. This provision is ingrained in the fabric of everyday school life. Now that our schools are fully open, this support has returned as normal. Provision for FSM is ordinarily term time only and there is no requirement for schools to continue this provision during school holidays. Therefore the National Voucher scheme has closed.

School leaders have worked incredibly hard during the COVID-19 outbreak and it is not reasonable to also ask them to provide food when they are closed for the holidays. However, we recognise the current challenges, and that is why we have significantly strengthened the welfare safety net. The government has injected more than £9 billion into the welfare system, including an increase to Universal Credit of up to £1,040 (£20 a week) for this financial year, and putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets through increases to the Local Housing Allowance. These are in addition to income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters.

These welfare measures sit alongside our extensive support package, including income protection schemes which have so far protected 12 million jobs and people, at a cost of almost £53 billion. Further to this, we provided an extra £63 million for local authorities to provide discretionary financial help to those in need.


Written Question
Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes
22 Oct 2020

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to extend the free school meal voucher program into 2021.

Answered by Vicky Ford

The free school meal (FSM) provision has supported children to access a healthy, nutritious meal to help them learn, concentrate and achieve, while they are at school, for more than a century. This provision is ingrained in the fabric of everyday school life. Now that our schools are fully open, this support has returned as normal. Provision for FSM is ordinarily term time only and there is no requirement for schools to continue this provision during school holidays. Therefore the National Voucher scheme has closed.

School leaders have worked incredibly hard during the COVID-19 outbreak and it is not reasonable to also ask them to provide food when they are closed for the holidays. However, we recognise the current challenges, and that is why we have significantly strengthened the welfare safety net. The government has injected more than £9 billion into the welfare system, including an increase to Universal Credit of up to £1,040 (£20 a week) for this financial year, and putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets through increases to the Local Housing Allowance. These are in addition to income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters.

These welfare measures sit alongside our extensive support package, including income protection schemes which have so far protected 12 million jobs and people, at a cost of almost £53 billion. Further to this, we provided an extra £63 million for local authorities to provide discretionary financial help to those in need.


Written Question
Secondary Education: Sanitary Protection
23 Sep 2020

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to make the free period product scheme compulsory for secondary schools in England.

Answered by Vicky Ford

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.


Written Question
Educational Institutions: Sanitary Protection
23 Sep 2020

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, in the event of an eligible institution not using all of its allocated funding under the period product scheme, whether the remaining funds will roll over for use in 2021.

Answered by Vicky Ford

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.


Written Question
Pupils: Sanitary Protection
23 Sep 2020

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding has been made available under the free period products scheme for schools in 2020 to date.

Answered by Vicky Ford

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.


Written Question
Educational Institutions: Sanitary Protection
23 Sep 2020

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the amount his Department will spend under the free period products scheme by the end of 2020.

Answered by Vicky Ford

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.


Written Question
Educational Institutions: Sanitary Protection
23 Sep 2020

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding will be made available for the free period products scheme in 2021.

Answered by Vicky Ford

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.


Written Question
Educational Institutions: Sanitary Protection
15 Sep 2020

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many eligible institutions have (a) registered for and (b) ordered free period products under his Department's free period product scheme since that scheme was launched in January 2020.

Answered by Vicky Ford

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. This is an important step to ensure that menstruation does not present a barrier to learning and that no-one is held back from reaching their potential.

The scheme remained in operation during partial school closures, and schools and colleges were still able to order a range of period products through the online portal and distribute them to students.

All eligible schools and colleges were automatically registered for the scheme and were sent a welcome email in January. There have since been further email campaigns to all eligible schools and colleges, encouraging them to engage with the scheme.

Our delivery partner, phs Group, reported that since the scheme launched, almost 40% of eligible organisations have placed orders for period products.


Written Question
Qualifications: Coronavirus
22 Jun 2020

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

What discussions he has had with Ofqual on the arrangements for awarding GCSE, AS and A level grades for the 2019-20 academic year.

Answered by Nick Gibb

I meet the Ofqual Chief Regulator regularly as do our officials. Given the current unprecedented circumstances, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has also issued a direction to Ofqual to help shape its work in developing calculated grades for students in place of exam results, ensuring outcomes are as fair as possible.


Written Question
Supply Teachers
24 Oct 2019

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to review agency fees in relation to supply teachers.

Answered by Nick Gibb

There are no current plans to review agency fees in relation to supply teachers, as these remain to be determined between schools and agencies.

The Department has launched a new deal in conjunction with the Crown Commercial Service to support schools with getting value for money when hiring agency supply teachers and other temporary staff. Agencies on the deal must be open and consistent with schools and staff about the rates they charge, conduct that is expected, rigorous background screening checks and adhere to strict controls around the charging of temporary-to-permanent fees.

The Department continues to recommend schools to use suppliers that offer the best rates and value for money for their agency staffing needs.

Information on the guidance included in the deal is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deal-for-schools-hiring-supply-teachers-and-agency-workers.


Written Question
Supply Teachers
23 Oct 2019

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of a school’s budget was spent on supply teachers in (a) The London Borough of Hounslow, (b) Greater London and (c) England in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Answered by Nick Gibb

The Department publishes the income and expenditure, including on supply teachers, annually for local authority maintained schools and for academies.

Published schools’ Consistent Financial Reporting and Academies’ Accounting Returns are available at the following link: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/.


Written Question
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Education
22 Mar 2019

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he's taken to support access to schooling for children with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

We are clear that all pupils with medical conditions are properly supported in school so that they can play a full and active role in school life, remain healthy, achieve their academic potential and have the same opportunities as any other child.

In September 2014, we introduced the duty to require governing bodies to make arrangements to support their pupils with medical conditions and provided statutory guidance that outlines schools’ responsibilities in this area, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-pupils-at-school-with-medical-conditions--3.

Schools also have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments and not to discriminate against disabled children, including those with long-term health conditions, in relation to their access to education and associated services. Schools must make reasonable adjustments to their practices, procedures and policies to ensure that they are not putting those with long-term health problems at a substantial disadvantage.



Written Question
Pre-school Education: Admissions
20 Feb 2019

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the review on allowing schools to admit summer-born children to reception class at the age of five will be published.

Answered by Nick Gibb

The Department is concerned that some summer born children may be missing the reception year at school. The Department remains committed to amending school admissions policy so that summer born children can be admitted to a reception class aged 5, where parents believe this to be in the best interests of their child. The Department is continuing to review the implications of any changes.

It is encouraging that many admission authorities are now more responsive to requests for delayed entry to the reception year. Data from a survey of local authorities, published by the Department in May 2018, indicated that requests to delay entry are agreed in around 75% of cases. This data is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/707417/Delayed_school_admissions_for_summer-born_pupils.pdf.