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Written Question
Apprentices: Standards
21 May 2021

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the recent decision to replace the mandatory qualification for the laboratory technician apprenticeship with a requirement for theoretical knowledge, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that standards for apprenticeships are consistent across the science sector.

Answered by Gillian Keegan

This is a matter for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. I have asked its Chief Executive, Jennifer Coupland, to write to the honourable member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


Written Question
Apprentices: Standards
21 May 2021

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the recent decision to replace the mandatory qualification for the laboratory technician apprenticeship with a requirement for theoretical knowledge, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) that apprenticeship delivers sufficient scientific knowledge and skills for apprentices and (b) the career progression of apprentices is not adversely affected by that decision.

Answered by Gillian Keegan

This is a matter for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. I have asked its Chief Executive, Jennifer Coupland, to write to the honourable member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


Written Question
T-levels: Work Experience
26 Feb 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure the supply of T-level industry placements in the science sector.

Answered by Anne Milton

It is important that employers from all industries are supported to deliver industry placements. We believe employers will benefit from offering industry placements, but recognise that this is a big change given the scale needed. We have already worked with a number of employers, including those from the science sector, to identify the main barriers and challenges to delivering industry placements. We also learnt more about these and the type of support that employers need from the industry placements pilot evaluation. As a result, we have invested £5 million into the National Apprenticeship Service to raise awareness and promote industry placements through their employer networks. This will include creating a streamlined ‘matchmaking’ service putting employers in touch with providers in their area.

We are also considering what additional support employers require on a route by route basis to effectively plan and implement industry placements. Equally, we recognise that different placement models might be needed to accommodate different industries, students and locations. We have been carrying out extensive stakeholder engagement across different challenging industries, including employers from the science sector, to ensure industry placement policy generates placements that are meaningful, reflective of current industry practice and meet the needs of employers.


Written Question
T-levels: Science
26 Feb 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether students will be able to progress from a science T-level to a laboratory technician apprenticeship incorporating a level 4 qualification.

Answered by Anne Milton

With additional teaching hours and a meaningful industry placement, we are confident that T levels will give students the knowledge and skills needed to get a skilled job, either immediately or after higher technical education (for example an appropriate level 4 apprenticeship where it is offered by an employer). The outline content for the Science T level has been developed by a panel of employers and other experts (including GlaxoSmithKline and the Royal Society of Chemistry), who have defined the skills needed to give students the best chance of progressing to a relevant job or higher level study, including a laboratory technician apprenticeship.

T levels in Science, Healthcare Science and Health will roll out from September 2021. We recently launched the expression of interest process for providers wishing to deliver T levels in 2021.


Written Question
Technicians: Recruitment
29 Jan 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to increase the supply of laboratory scientist technicians.

Answered by Anne Milton

The government wants to encourage more students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and training at all stages from primary school to higher education, which will equip people with the skills needed for such roles. We are investing an additional £406 million in skills, including maths and digital. This includes the Advanced Maths Premium and an £84 million programme to improve the teaching of computing.

It is crucial we encourage more young people to consider STEM careers, including careers such as laboratory scientist technicians. We have committed to improving STEM careers advice in schools in the government’s careers strategy which ensures that STEM encounters, such as with employers and apprenticeships, are built into school career programmes by updating school and college statutory guidance.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy also funds a number of programmes that aim to inspire more young people to study science subjects, such as the STEM Ambassadors programme, and the CREST awards, which engage students in STEM-related projects.

T levels will also provide alternative routes into laboratory and science technical careers. T levels will be a new gold-standard in technical education, providing a distinctive and rigorous alternative to A levels and apprenticeships. T level panels of employers are defining the outline content for the new programmes and we recently announced that T levels in the Health and Science route, which includes Laboratory Sciences, will be taught by selected providers from 2021.

Apprenticeships are available in the sector across a range of levels including Laboratory scientist (degree); Laboratory scientist Level 5; and Laboratory technician Level 3. These standards are being developed by employer groups, including groups in the health and science sector such as Pfizer, GSK, Astra Zeneca, Sterling Pharma Solutions, 3M. A full list of standards is available on the Institute for Apprenticeships’ website at https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/.

To stimulate apprenticeships growth across all sectors, we are first and foremost ensuring that apprenticeships are a quality product recognised by individuals and employers – setting individuals on a path to a to great career and providing employers with the home-grown skills they need to grow their businesses and increase productivity.

We are also currently carrying out a review of higher technical education, looking at how level 4 and 5 classroom based technical education meets the needs of learners and employers. This forms part of our commitment to support routes to higher-earning technical roles and address the skills needs of the economy. Our ambition is to reform higher level technical education so that it delivers the skills employers and the economy need and offers attractive routes to higher earning technical roles. We also intend to establish a system of employer-led national standards for higher technical education.


Written Question
Supply Teachers: Chemistry
28 Jan 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many specialist chemistry supply teachers are available in each region of England.

Answered by Nick Gibb

The information requested is not held centrally.

The Department collects information on teacher numbers from the School Workforce Census but does not hold information on the available number of supply teachers in specialist subject areas.


Written Question
Teachers: South East
2 Mar 2015

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many primary school teachers in each parliamentary constituency in the South East of England have a science degree.

Answered by David Laws

The following table provides the headcount number and percentage of all regular teachers[1] in service in primary schools in each constituency in the South East with a degree in a science subject in November 2013. This is the latest information available.

Name of constituency

Number of teachers with science degree[2]

Number of teachers with a qualification recorded[3]

Percentage with a science qualification

Confidence interval[4]

Percentage of teachers with qualification recorded

Aldershot

33

435

7.6

+/-

2.5

98.6

Arundel and South Downs

33

383

8.6

+/-

2.8

95.8

Ashford

61

551

11.1

+/-

2.6

97.7

Aylesbury

58

538

10.8

+/-

2.6

98.0

Banbury

44

555

7.9

+/-

2.2

95.5

Basildon and Billericay

20

379

5.3

+/-

2.3

92.7

Basingstoke

39

507

7.7

+/-

2.3

98.4

Beaconsfield

42

465

9.0

+/-

2.6

96.9

Bexhill and Battle

27

376

7.2

+/-

2.6

94.7

Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

21

338

6.2

+/-

2.6

97.1

Bracknell

44

525

8.4

+/-

2.4

96.7

Braintree

32

411

7.8

+/-

2.6

95.8

Brentwood and Ongar

22

354

6.2

+/-

2.5

90.8

Brighton, Kempton

25

373

6.7

+/-

2.5

94.7

Brighton, Pavilion

31

376

8.2

+/-

2.8

90.2

Buckingham

52

508

10.2

+/-

2.6

98.6

Canterbury

39

376

10.4

+/-

3.1

94.5

Castle Point

16

329

4.9

+/-

2.3

92.9

Chatham and Aylesford

32

457

7.0

+/-

2.3

95.4

Chelmsford

30

452

6.6

+/-

2.3

96.4

Chesham and Amersham

49

429

11.4

+/-

3.0

98.8

Chichester

43

436

9.9

+/-

2.8

96.7

Clacton

17

245

6.9

+/-

3.2

92.8

Colchester

31

476

6.5

+/-

2.2

94.8

Crawley

32

507

6.3

+/-

2.1

96.9

Dartford

33

488

6.8

+/-

2.2

95.7

Dover

50

424

11.8

+/-

3.1

98.4

East Hampshire

33

402

8.2

+/-

2.7

99.3

East Surrey

37

423

8.7

+/-

2.7

98.4

East Worthing and Shoreham

35

457

7.7

+/-

2.4

99.3

Eastbourne

29

362

8.0

+/-

2.8

95.0

Eastleigh

29

404

7.2

+/-

2.5

99.3

Epping Forest

18

338

5.3

+/-

2.4

86.9

Epsom and Ewell[5]

31

424

7.3

+/-

2.5

96.6

Esher and Walton

47

418

11.2

+/-

3.0

96.5

Fareham

33

389

8.5

+/-

2.8

99.2

Faversham and Mid Kent

26

404

6.4

+/-

2.4

96.9

Folkestone and Hythe

49

499

9.8

+/-

2.6

96.1

Gillingham and Rainham

26

398

6.5

+/-

2.4

94.3

Gosport

32

406

7.9

+/-

2.6

98.3

Gravesham

29

473

6.1

+/-

2.2

96.9

Guildford

29

388

7.5

+/-

2.6

93.9

Harlow

27

401

6.7

+/-

2.5

92.4

Harwich and North Essex

28

385

7.3

+/-

2.6

93.7

Hastings and Rye

33

412

8.0

+/-

2.6

97.2

Havant

37

386

9.6

+/-

2.9

97.2

Henley

40

459

8.7

+/-

2.6

95.0

Horsham

38

470

8.1

+/-

2.5

97.3

Hove

37

369

10.0

+/-

3.1

95.1

Isle of Wight

47

455

10.3

+/-

2.8

88.3

Lewes

28

312

9.0

+/-

3.2

96.0

Maidenhead

42

443

9.5

+/-

2.7

96.5

Maidstone and The Weald

32

425

7.5

+/-

2.5

96.6

Maldon

23

327

7.0

+/-

2.8

90.8

Meon Valley

24

337

7.1

+/-

2.7

99.7

Mid Sussex

40

484

8.3

+/-

2.5

98.4

Milton Keynes North

57

675

8.4

+/-

2.1

96.7

Milton Keynes South

59

702

8.4

+/-

2.1

97.6

Mole Valley

41

355

11.5

+/-

3.3

94.9

New Forest East

40

362

11.0

+/-

3.2

98.4

New Forest West

22

295

7.5

+/-

3.0

98.7

Newbury

48

524

9.2

+/-

2.5

97.4

North East Hampshire

40

451

8.9

+/-

2.6

99.8

North Thanet

32

414

7.7

+/-

2.6

97.6

North West Hampshire

40

441

9.1

+/-

2.7

97.6

Oxford East

37

471

7.9

+/-

2.4

94.4

Oxford West and Abingdon

43

399

10.8

+/-

3.0

95.0

Portsmouth North

39

456

8.6

+/-

2.6

98.9

Portsmouth South

25

394

6.3

+/-

2.4

98.7

Rayleigh and Wickford

25

383

6.5

+/-

2.5

92.5

Reading East

30

427

7.0

+/-

2.4

95.1

Reading West

48

504

9.5

+/-

2.6

93.0

Reigate

48

418

11.5

+/-

3.1

97.2

Rochester and Strood

41

507

8.1

+/-

2.4

92.5

Rochford and Southend East

35

445

7.9

+/-

2.5

93.1

Romsey and Southampton North

31

335

9.3

+/-

3.1

98.8

Runnymede and Weybridge

28

393

7.1

+/-

2.5

95.6

Saffron Walden

33

459

7.2

+/-

2.4

91.3

Sevenoaks

45

423

10.6

+/-

2.9

95.7

Sittingbourne and Sheppey

40

527

7.6

+/-

2.3

94.6

Slough

61

705

8.7

+/-

2.1

90.2

South Basildon and East Thurrock

23

472

4.9

+/-

1.9

94.6

South Thanet

27

395

6.8

+/-

2.5

94.0

South West Surrey

53

451

11.8

+/-

3.0

97.8

Southend West

21

358

5.9

+/-

2.4

91.1

Spelthorne

46

394

11.7

+/-

3.2

95.9

Surrey Heath

31

414

7.5

+/-

2.5

94.3

Thurrock

34

527

6.5

+/-

2.1

91.2

Tonbridge and Malling

49

492

10.0

+/-

2.6

96.9

Tunbridge Wells

24

454

5.3

+/-

2.1

96.8

Wantage

47

508

9.3

+/-

2.5

93.7

Wealden

34

400

8.5

+/-

2.7

95.7

Winchester

38

413

9.2

+/-

2.8

98.1

Windsor

33

344

9.6

+/-

3.1

93.7

Witham

29

355

8.2

+/-

2.8

94.2

Witney

38

486

7.8

+/-

2.4

96.6

Woking

47

452

10.4

+/-

2.8

95.6

Wokingham

59

493

12.0

+/-

2.9

98.0

Worthing West

40

401

10.0

+/-

2.9

98.5

Wycombe

47

487

9.7

+/-

2.6

97.2

Total South East

3,623

43,304

8.4

+/-

0.3

95.7

Total England

18,795

227,513

8.3

+/-

0.1

95.5

Source: School Workforce Census

[1] Includes qualified and unqualified teachers.

[2] Includes teachers with a first or higher science degree but excluding those with a science PGCE where no record of a science degree exists and those with a BEd in sciences.

[3] Those recorded with a qualification in any subject (the total in the sample from which the rate is calculated).

[4] The range within which we can be 95% confident that the true value exists.

[5] Excludes cases where the school is situated in the London region.