Stephen Metcalfe debates involving the Department for Education during the 2019 Parliament

Coronavirus: Education Setting Attendance and Support for Pupils

Stephen Metcalfe Excerpts
Thursday 23rd September 2021

(3 weeks, 3 days ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Department for Education
Alex Burghart Portrait Alex Burghart
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I have heard of TADS on my travels—it is an excellent charity. If she would like to send the details to the Department, I am happy to look into that for her.

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) (Con)
- Hansard - -

We all know that the best place for young people is in school, learning in a classroom. Will my hon. Friend therefore confirm that when the Opposition next make a call for schools to close, he and the Secretary of State will do all they can to resist those siren calls and keep our kids in school?

Alex Burghart Portrait Alex Burghart
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Be in no doubt that we want children to be in school and learning in school. It is the best place for them to be for their education, their mental health and their futures. We will do all that we can to keep them where they are.

Oral Answers to Questions

Stephen Metcalfe Excerpts
Monday 6th September 2021

(1 month, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Department for Education
Vicky Ford Portrait Vicky Ford
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We have increased the high needs budget by a record £2.3 billion, which is over a third over the past three years. We are also making good progress with the special educational needs and disability review, which has inevitably been a bit frustrated by the pandemic and changed the issues we are looking at, but we absolutely want all pupils to have access to the education they deserve. That is why our recovery funding has also been extra tilted towards those in specialist settings.

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) (Con)
- Hansard - -

T9. As my right hon. Friend knows, maths makes an invaluable contribution to our economy and our way of being, whether that is in computing, encryption, artificial intelligence or even the development of the covid vaccine. The London Mathematical Society has been raising awareness of maths through its “Protect Pure Maths” campaign. Will he tell the House what he is doing to encourage more people to study maths at university and to support the Government’s science, technology, engineering and maths agenda? (903313)

Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We have seen a real revolution in maths over the last 10 years, with maths being the most popular subject to take at A-level. This has been supported not just by changes in the curriculum, in terms of how people are learning maths, but by the introduction of new specialist maths schools that are making sure that young people have the opportunity to excel in mathematics, which is so vital.

Covid-19: Impact on Attendance in Education Settings

Stephen Metcalfe Excerpts
Wednesday 30th June 2021

(3 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Department for Education
Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

At every stage, the Government have been one of the first to act in order to keep this country safe; this was one of the first countries in Europe to impose travel restrictions on India as a result of the delta variant. The new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Transport Secretary and the Prime Minister take that responsibility incredibly seriously.

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) (Con)
- Hansard - -

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s comments. I have recently finished a 10-day period of self-isolation following someone in my office testing positive for covid. However, the flatmate of that person was able to go about their daily life in a normal way, using the Government’s daily testing trial. As we learn to live with covid, surely it is time to move quickly to a more nuanced approach that does not endlessly interrupt children’s education, as it cannot be right to have learning continuously disrupted by unnecessary self-isolation.

Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

There is nothing that I can really disagree with my hon. Friend about, so I had better just sit down, hadn’t I?

Oral Answers to Questions

Stephen Metcalfe Excerpts
Monday 26th April 2021

(5 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Department for Education
Nick Gibb Portrait Nick Gibb
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I share my hon. Friend’s concern about this issue, and I pay tribute to him for his work on this matter and that of the APPG. We aim to attract and retain high-skilled, talented individuals, including men, into teaching through effective pay structures and financial incentives, and we have set out plans to increase starting salaries nationally to £30,000. We also intend to retain male teachers in primary schools by offering world-class support and development through the early career framework reforms.

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

Parents and students alike are concerned about the impact the pandemic has had on students’ learning, particularly for those in years 10 and 12, who will face exams next summer. Will my right hon. Friend therefore update the House on what steps he is taking to support those students to ensure that they meet their full potential and get the results they deserve? (914794)

Nick Gibb Portrait Nick Gibb
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We have invested £1.7 billion to help pupils get back on track, including through tutoring. We will continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic on all students, including those due to take their exams in 2022, to ensure that students in this cohort can receive a fair grade. We have appointed Sir Kevan Collins as recovery commissioner, and he is advising on further measures to ensure that all students catch up on the education that they have lost.

Education: Return in January

Stephen Metcalfe Excerpts
Wednesday 30th December 2020

(9 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Department for Education
Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We all recognise that this has been an incredibly challenging year for all students. We have seen the impact on our own children and, of course, on children in our constituencies. As those who have been involved in education recognise, exams are the fairest and best form of assessment. We recognise that this is a unique year that has presented unique challenges. That is why we have taken the unusual and unique steps of ensuring that the generosity of grading is similar to and mirrors that of children who took exams in the previous year, and of taking action to make sure that there is advance notice of the areas that children will be tested on to make sure that they are in the best possible position to succeed and do the best they possibly can in those exams.

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

I thank my right hon. Friend for his statement and for adopting a pragmatic approach to the changing situation. I also thank all schools locally, many of which have been open and welcoming students throughout the pandemic. If all schools and students are not going to return as expected, however, I am concerned that students, particularly those from less well-off backgrounds, will miss out on their education. Can he confirm what extra support he and the Government will give to move to quality remote learning and maintain it for as long as it is needed?

Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend will be aware that I want to see all children in schools at all times, if possible. As he highlights, however, there will be certain areas of the country where additional action needs to be taken that will lead to the temporary closure of schools. That has happened across the country all the way through the pandemic, but we will probably see a little more of it over the coming term than we saw in the previous term. That is part of the reason why we made the announcement of the distribution of 1 million laptops to support remote learning in schools, and that is why we have made and continue to make increased investment in the Oak National Academy to support online learning and to make sure that there is a whole suite of lessons for every subject and every year group to support schools. It is an important resource for them to be able teach their children. That support will continue, as well as the covid catch-up fund of £1 billion, which has been made available to schools and colleges.

Education Settings: Wider Opening

Stephen Metcalfe Excerpts
Tuesday 9th June 2020

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Department for Education
Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We aim to get all the computers that we have purchased out by the end of June, and we are on course to be able to do that. We also recognise the importance of supporting children through not just online learning, but additional learning that we can provide for them through schools. We are making sure that we have also supported schools to be able to have Microsoft Teams and Google platforms in order to help them deliver more learning online and, for physical learning, we are ensuring that they can deliver by sending resources to pupils directly as well.

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

Attending school supports not only children’s education, but their wellbeing. Returning to normal routine will be immensely beneficial. Will my right hon. Friend therefore also look at reintroducing the vital school fruit and vegetable scheme as soon as possible for schools such as Lee Chapel Primary School to ensure that the most vulnerable children get access to fresh, nutritious food?

Gavin Williamson Portrait Gavin Williamson
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend makes the important point that getting children back into routine is vital, and getting as many children as we can back into the classroom is a top priority for all of us. The fruit and vegetable scheme is led by the Department of Health and Social Care, but I will be in contact with it to have discussions, and I will get back to my hon. Friend on the matter.

Oral Answers to Questions

Stephen Metcalfe Excerpts
Monday 2nd March 2020

(1 year, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Department for Education
Mark Fletcher Portrait Mark Fletcher (Bolsover) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

3. What steps he is taking to ensure further education colleges are able to deliver skills required for the future. [901008]

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) (Con)
- Hansard - -

11. What steps he is taking to ensure further education colleges are able to deliver skills required for the future. [901016]

Alexander Stafford Portrait Alexander Stafford (Rother Valley) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

16. What steps he is taking to ensure further education colleges are able to deliver skills required for the future. [901021]

--- Later in debate ---
Gillian Keegan Portrait Gillian Keegan
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

2 Mar 2020, 2:47 p.m.

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend, and I know that he will do everything possible to increase opportunities for young people in Bolsover. Of course, every area needs good provision that meets the needs of local employers and learners. He will be aware that, in addition to the RNN group, there are two general colleges that recruit students from the Bolsover area: Chesterfield College and West Nottinghamshire College, both of which supply a bus for students travelling from Bolsover. There are also a number of independent training providers in the surrounding areas that offer a wide range of high quality apprenticeships.

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe
- Hansard - -

2 Mar 2020, 2:48 p.m.

As the Government envoy for engineering, may I welcome last week’s announcement of over £14 million to improve college leadership? Does my hon. Friend agree that quality leadership is a vital part of ensuring that colleges are able to deliver the engineering skills our economy will need in the future?

Gillian Keegan Portrait Gillian Keegan
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

2 Mar 2020, 2:48 p.m.

I should like to start by paying tribute to the leadership that my hon. Friend has shown in championing the cause of apprenticeships in his role as a national apprenticeship ambassador, a role that I held myself. On the issue that he has raised, strong leadership and governance are critical to the success of colleges, and this funding will help colleges to invest in current and future leaders. South Essex College, which has campuses around the south Essex area, is just one example of how good leadership can deliver for local businesses and for young people, including many of my hon. Friend’s own constituents.