Stephen Morgan Portrait

Stephen Morgan

Labour - Portsmouth South

Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

(since December 2021)
Shadow Minister (Defence)
16th Jan 2020 - 4th Dec 2021
Armed Forces Bill Select Committee
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Shadow Minister for Local Government (Communities)
17th Jul 2019 - 10th Apr 2020
Public Accounts Committee
20th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Department Event
Monday 23rd May 2022
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
23 May 2022, 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.
Department Event
Monday 4th July 2022
09:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
4 Jul 2022, 9:30 a.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.
Division Votes
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Achieving Economic Growth
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 176 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 312
Speeches
Monday 16th May 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
T6. It is clear that the Government’s approach to levelling up is a postcode lottery based on their own political …
Written Answers
Friday 20th May 2022
Swimming Pools
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 19th April 2022
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: HM Government of Gibraltar
Address of donor: No.6 Convent Place, 150 Strand, London WC2R 1JA
Estimate of …
EDM signed
Monday 28th March 2022
P&O Ferries and DP World
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Stephen Morgan has voted in 435 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Stephen Morgan 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
Johnny Mercer (Conservative)
(19 debate interactions)
Kevan Jones (Labour)
(12 debate interactions)
James Heappey (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(82 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(16 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(14 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Stephen Morgan's debates

Portsmouth South 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).

Petitions with most Portsmouth South signatures
Stephen Morgan has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Stephen Morgan

23rd March 2022
Stephen Morgan signed this EDM on Monday 28th March 2022

P&O Ferries and DP World

Tabled by: Karl Turner (Labour - Kingston upon Hull East)
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice or consultation with their trade unions, the RMT and Nautilus; demands the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers; condemns their replacement with agency workers earning as little as £1.80 per …
125 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 94
Scottish National Party: 12
Liberal Democrat: 7
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
23rd September 2021
Stephen Morgan signed this EDM on Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall

Tabled by: Afzal Khan (Labour - Manchester, Gorton)
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; notes that this memorial now includes over 150,000 hand-painted hearts to symbolise all those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic; praises the work of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 97
Scottish National Party: 16
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Conservative: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
View All Stephen Morgan's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Stephen Morgan, 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.


Stephen Morgan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Stephen Morgan

Monday 1st March 2021

Stephen Morgan has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Stephen Morgan has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


1069 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
18 Other Department Questions
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what data his Department holds on the number of councils providing business rates relief to childcare providers in England as of 26 April 2022.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 29 March 2022 to Question 143776, on Gazprom: Local Government, whether he plans to change regulations in respect of procurement and contract tender for energy supply deals for local authorities, such as Gazprom.

The Cabinet Office’s Procurement Policy Notice 01/2022 confirmed DLUHC are considering an amendment through secondary legislation to address the issue that section 17 of the Local Government Act 1988 presents. Following requests from a number of local authorities to the Secretary of State, we recognise the desire for the Government to support local authorities who wish to cease their contracts with Russian suppliers. We therefore confirm we are progressing the development of a statutory instrument and are engaging interested councils accordingly.






Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2022 to Question 131061, on Buildings: Insulation, whether he has plans to bring forward proposals in the Building Safety Bill to ensure that leaseholders who are buy-to-let landlords do not pay remediation costs to remove and replace (a) unsafe cladding and (b) non-cladding related fire safety defects, such as defective fire doors, firebreaks and balconies.

We are clear that building owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders, and leaseholders living in their own medium and high-rise buildings should not have to pay to remediate historic cladding defects that are no fault of their own. We will explore whether this support should extend to other leaseholders, such as buy-to-let landlords. We are also bringing forth statutory protections in the Building Safety Bill to ensure leaseholders are protected.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he plans to support local councils that seek to terminate any energy contracts they hold with Gazprom; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is exploring what options are possible to assist local authorities who are reconsidering their contracts


This includes secondary legislation, as set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0122-contracts-with-suppliers-from-russia-and-belarus

My officials are engaging with local authorities as part of this process, including officers at Portsmouth City Council

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether participation in the Government's Homes for Ukraine scheme will prevent eligible people from claiming the single person occupancy council tax discount.

The Government is clear that the entitlement to the council tax single person discount should not be impacted by an individual's participation in the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans his Department has to support (a) Maritime UK Solent and (b) other regional maritime clusters in the UK as part of the levelling up agenda.

The recently published Levelling Up White Paper outlines the roles of the public and private sector in supporting coastal communities; for example, port and maritime specialisms in the Solent. The transition to net zero presents a real opportunity to support communities impacted by climate change and drive levelling up across the country.

Given the joint Cities and Local Growth Unit between the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, there are regular discussions between the two departments on how government as a whole can best to support our maritime clusters and coastal communities.

One example of our commitment to unlocking the growth of our coastal economies and communities is with the announcement of eight Freeports from eight regions of England and a commitment to establishing one in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as soon as possible. These will be national hubs for international trade, innovation and commerce, regenerating communities across the UK, including coastal areas.

And we are already taking steps to support industrial maritime projects in coastal communities, for example with the £33m worth of funding for the Humber’s Zero Carbon Initiative. Alongside support for the East Coast Cluster, this is a collaboration between the Humber and Teesside to capture emissions and store them safely, which has the potential to remove around 50% of total UK industrial emissions.

In particular, Maritime UK Solent will bring together the Solent’s maritime strengths and champion the region as a globally significant maritime cluster, built upon the region’s natural assets. The Solent Freeport in Hampshire will capitalise on the area’s existing maritime strengths to unlock investment, create thousands of new jobs, and help attract new businesses in high growth sectors.

Support for offshore wind is also creating major opportunities in coastal communities around the UK. In the last year, we have been able to announce circa £1.6 billion of investment to develop major port infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities for our offshore wind sector, which could create and safeguard up to 4,100 jobs. We estimate that up to 60,000 direct and indirect jobs could be supported by the offshore wind sector by 2030.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans his Department has to support industrial maritime projects in coastal communities as part of levelling up the UK.

The recently published Levelling Up White Paper outlines the roles of the public and private sector in supporting coastal communities; for example, port and maritime specialisms in the Solent. The transition to net zero presents a real opportunity to support communities impacted by climate change and drive levelling up across the country.

Given the joint Cities and Local Growth Unit between the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, there are regular discussions between the two departments on how government as a whole can best to support our maritime clusters and coastal communities.

One example of our commitment to unlocking the growth of our coastal economies and communities is with the announcement of eight Freeports from eight regions of England and a commitment to establishing one in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as soon as possible. These will be national hubs for international trade, innovation and commerce, regenerating communities across the UK, including coastal areas.

And we are already taking steps to support industrial maritime projects in coastal communities, for example with the £33m worth of funding for the Humber’s Zero Carbon Initiative. Alongside support for the East Coast Cluster, this is a collaboration between the Humber and Teesside to capture emissions and store them safely, which has the potential to remove around 50% of total UK industrial emissions.

In particular, Maritime UK Solent will bring together the Solent’s maritime strengths and champion the region as a globally significant maritime cluster, built upon the region’s natural assets. The Solent Freeport in Hampshire will capitalise on the area’s existing maritime strengths to unlock investment, create thousands of new jobs, and help attract new businesses in high growth sectors.

Support for offshore wind is also creating major opportunities in coastal communities around the UK. In the last year, we have been able to announce circa £1.6 billion of investment to develop major port infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities for our offshore wind sector, which could create and safeguard up to 4,100 jobs. We estimate that up to 60,000 direct and indirect jobs could be supported by the offshore wind sector by 2030.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans his Department has to support industrial maritime projects in coastal communities.

The recently published Levelling Up White Paper outlines the roles of the public and private sector in supporting coastal communities; for example, port and maritime specialisms in the Solent. The transition to net zero presents a real opportunity to support communities impacted by climate change and drive levelling up across the country.

Given the joint Cities and Local Growth Unit between the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, there are regular discussions between the two departments on how government as a whole can best to support our maritime clusters and coastal communities.

One example of our commitment to unlocking the growth of our coastal economies and communities is with the announcement of eight Freeports from eight regions of England and a commitment to establishing one in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as soon as possible. These will be national hubs for international trade, innovation and commerce, regenerating communities across the UK, including coastal areas.

And we are already taking steps to support industrial maritime projects in coastal communities, for example with the £33m worth of funding for the Humber’s Zero Carbon Initiative. Alongside support for the East Coast Cluster, this is a collaboration between the Humber and Teesside to capture emissions and store them safely, which has the potential to remove around 50% of total UK industrial emissions.

In particular, Maritime UK Solent will bring together the Solent’s maritime strengths and champion the region as a globally significant maritime cluster, built upon the region’s natural assets. The Solent Freeport in Hampshire will capitalise on the area’s existing maritime strengths to unlock investment, create thousands of new jobs, and help attract new businesses in high growth sectors.

Support for offshore wind is also creating major opportunities in coastal communities around the UK. In the last year, we have been able to announce circa £1.6 billion of investment to develop major port infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities for our offshore wind sector, which could create and safeguard up to 4,100 jobs. We estimate that up to 60,000 direct and indirect jobs could be supported by the offshore wind sector by 2030.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what discussions officials in his Department have had with officials in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on maritime decarbonisation and job creation.

The recently published Levelling Up White Paper outlines the roles of the public and private sector in supporting coastal communities; for example, port and maritime specialisms in the Solent. The transition to net zero presents a real opportunity to support communities impacted by climate change and drive levelling up across the country.

Given the joint Cities and Local Growth Unit between the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, there are regular discussions between the two departments on how government as a whole can best to support our maritime clusters and coastal communities.

One example of our commitment to unlocking the growth of our coastal economies and communities is with the announcement of eight Freeports from eight regions of England and a commitment to establishing one in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as soon as possible. These will be national hubs for international trade, innovation and commerce, regenerating communities across the UK, including coastal areas.

And we are already taking steps to support industrial maritime projects in coastal communities, for example with the £33m worth of funding for the Humber’s Zero Carbon Initiative. Alongside support for the East Coast Cluster, this is a collaboration between the Humber and Teesside to capture emissions and store them safely, which has the potential to remove around 50% of total UK industrial emissions.

In particular, Maritime UK Solent will bring together the Solent’s maritime strengths and champion the region as a globally significant maritime cluster, built upon the region’s natural assets. The Solent Freeport in Hampshire will capitalise on the area’s existing maritime strengths to unlock investment, create thousands of new jobs, and help attract new businesses in high growth sectors.

Support for offshore wind is also creating major opportunities in coastal communities around the UK. In the last year, we have been able to announce circa £1.6 billion of investment to develop major port infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities for our offshore wind sector, which could create and safeguard up to 4,100 jobs. We estimate that up to 60,000 direct and indirect jobs could be supported by the offshore wind sector by 2030.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department made an assessment of the contribution of highly skilled maritime jobs to coastal communities as part of developing the Levelling Up White Paper.

The recently published Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper considers the importance of different sectors for different communities, including coastal communities, for example, port and maritime specialisms in the Solent. Additionally, the transition to a Net Zero economy will support highly-skilled employment opportunities in coastal areas, for example, through the transition to a Net Zero North Sea, as highlighted by the Green Jobs Taskforce Report.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the letter from the Minister for Housing to the hon. Member for Portsmouth South of 16 June 2021, when the Minister plans to meet with the hon. Member to discuss housing and planning targets as committed to in that letter.

If the Hon Member wishes to understand the standard methodology he is more than welcome to an official level meeting and should contact my office to arrange.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of refunding the cost of waking watches to residents prior to the introduction of the Building Safety Fund.

We have announced an additional £27 million, on top of the existing £35 million already being provided, to pay for the installation of fire alarm systems in all buildings with a waking watch regardless of height or the reason for the waking watch being in place.

Waking watch measures should only be used in the most exceptional circumstances and for the shortest period possible. The installation of common alarms systems is an  approach supported by current industry led guidance that will keep residents safe and end the misuse of costly waking watch measures, which are usually paid for by leaseholders.

Funding is available for the installation of alarms where waking watches are in place at the time of the fund launch.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what recent steps he has taken to mobilise long-term climate finance of a further US$100 billion a year by 2020, as agreed at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

Throughout the UK’s COP26 and G7 Presidencies, we have made significant progress. The $100bn Delivery Plan, which the COP President has asked Germany and Canada to lead, shows that the goal to mobilise $100 billion per year for developing countries will be met by 2023 at the latest, continuing on a rising trajectory through to 2025. In the five years to 2025, $500bn will be mobilised. This is significant progress, driven by ambitious new climate finance commitments that have been made in recent months.

We have also prioritised the issue of fiscal space and debt sustainability, for example in engagements with the IMF, World Bank and climate vulnerable countries. We welcome the progress that has been made. The IMF has implemented an historic $650bn allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to boost global liquidity and provide fiscal space. G7 Leaders have also agreed to consider options for voluntary SDR channelling of $100bn to further support developing and vulnerable countries. The G20 and Paris Club agreed to a further final extension of the Debt-Service Suspension Initiative in April and have continued implementation of the Common Framework for Debt Treatments.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
25th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what recent assessment he has made of the levels of climate finance debt borne by the poorest countries.

Throughout the UK’s COP26 and G7 Presidencies, we have made significant progress. The $100bn Delivery Plan, which the COP President has asked Germany and Canada to lead, shows that the goal to mobilise $100 billion per year for developing countries will be met by 2023 at the latest, continuing on a rising trajectory through to 2025. In the five years to 2025, $500bn will be mobilised. This is significant progress, driven by ambitious new climate finance commitments that have been made in recent months.

We have also prioritised the issue of fiscal space and debt sustainability, for example in engagements with the IMF, World Bank and climate vulnerable countries. We welcome the progress that has been made. The IMF has implemented an historic $650bn allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to boost global liquidity and provide fiscal space. G7 Leaders have also agreed to consider options for voluntary SDR channelling of $100bn to further support developing and vulnerable countries. The G20 and Paris Club agreed to a further final extension of the Debt-Service Suspension Initiative in April and have continued implementation of the Common Framework for Debt Treatments.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what support he is providing to the UK’s coastal communities.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to question UIN 58764 on 25 October.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many applications to the Building Safety Fund he has received for buildings in Portsmouth South constituency; and how many of those have received a decision as at 16 September 2021.

As of 16 September, 20 buildings in the Portsmouth South constituency have been registered to the Building Safety Fund. Of which, 7 have been notified as eligible for funding.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the comments of the Prime Minister reported in an article entitled Boris Johnson pledges ban on gay conversion therapy, published by BBC News on 20 July 2020, what plans her Department has to publish the study on conversion therapy undertaken in 2020.

We have undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. We will consider the findings alongside the responses to the consultation on our conversion therapy proposals that we will launch in September.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department plans to launch an open competition for a replacement lease service when the lease through Corporate Travel Management of the A321 aircraft in Global Britain livery, registered G-XATW, expires in two years or at the end of its potential extension period of five years.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, non-scheduled air travel is necessary at times for undertaking Government and Royal Household official visits. This may be to the timing and flexibility needed, for security reasons, or due to the location being visited. It can also provide better value for money in the cases of larger delegations (which can include journalists).

The Government has procured a single A321 aircraft for use by Ministers and senior members of the Royal Family. The aircraft was procured through an existing Crown Commercial Framework (RM6016 PSTVS Lot 4) in order to achieve a timely, beneficial and cost-effective solution for the government. Early market engagement concluded that a wet lease was able to offer the best balance between value for money, availability and operational flexibility.

The Cabinet Office ran a competition through the Framework and the winning supplier then offered three best options to meet the requirement. Based on this, cost estimates for the procurement of the aircraft were considered against a range of options and it was assessed that an initial term of 2 years, with the opportunity for annual extensions to the full life of the contract, offered the best balance between value for money and flexibility.

The decision to procure an aircraft was based on a range of factors including guaranteed availability; a biosecure aircraft; UK branding; and an aircraft with a transatlantic range. Before the contract is extended beyond the initial 2 years, an assessment will be made on the most cost-effective option that will range from extending the contract to launching an open competition for a new contract.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what information his Department holds on the number of veterans employed on zero hours contracts.

The Government does not hold this data centrally. We are committed to ensuring that veterans have the best possible opportunities to secure rewarding and sustainable employment after their service and have taken a number of steps to support this. These include making it easier for veterans to join the Civil Service, introducing a National Insurance contribution holiday for employers of veterans and establishing a network of dedicated Armed Forces champions in JobCentre plus.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government has conducted an equalities impact assessment of Voter ID proposals for LGBTQ+ people and those who do not have access to formal identification that reflects their gender identity.

An Equality Impact Assessment, which includes information on voter identification, was published alongside the Elections Bill:

https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3020/publications

We continue to work with local authorities, the Electoral Commission, charities and civil society organisations to make sure that reforms, including the provision of the free, locally issued Voter Card, are delivered in a way that is inclusive for all voters.

Everyone who is eligible to vote will continue to have the opportunity to do so.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on SMEs and their ability to export internationally outside of the EU.

On 13 April, the Office for National Statistics released the latest statistics on EU-UK trade which show a welcome growth in the value of trade with the EU, with goods exports close to the average 2020 level.

The vast majority of traders and hauliers have adapted well, and our focus now is on making sure that any business that is still facing challenges gets the support they need. We are continuing to monitor and assess the situation, including any potential change in trade patterns.

We have made an additional £20m available to support SMEs with new requirements when trading with the EU. More info can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-20-million-sme-brexit-support-fund

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the closure of the Help for Heroes recovery centres in (a) Yorkshire, (b) Devon and (c) Essex on the adequacy of support available to veterans; and what steps his Department is taking to maintain services for veterans during a period of falling charity income.

The MoD is continuing to work closely with Help for Heroes to transfer management responsibilities for the Personnel Recovery Centres whilst Help for Heroes’ introduce a new community based support model. Remote services will continue to be offered to veterans and the Government is continuing to monitor the situation, to ensure veterans can continue to access the support they need, whether via the NHS or the charitable sector.

This Government has provided unprecedented support to the service charity sector throughout the pandemic. As well as being able to access broader charity sector support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the sector has benefitted from a £6million COVID Impact Fund. In addition to the £10million per annum that the Government provides to the sector through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, in this year’s budget, the Trust has been allocated a further £10million to deliver charitable projects supporting veterans mental health needs.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if his Department will take steps to clarify that weddings with six guests can take place from 8 March 2021 in public-facing communications.

Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships was published on 22 March and can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships#wedding-and-civil-partnership-ceremony-venues

We recognise that any restrictions on wedding venues may be disappointing for those planning such events, but we have to take necessary steps to limit transmission of COVID-19. This includes the closure of some settings and restrictions on social contact, including wedding and civil partnership ceremonies. By their very nature, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are events that bring families and friends together, making them particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate the sacrifices people have had to make across the COVID-19 pandemic and we do not wish to keep any restrictions in place longer than we need to.

In the COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021, the Government has set out the gradual and cautious approach to reopening in England, guided by science and the data, including the staged return of weddings and civil partnerships, as well as sporting events.

In order to inform the pace and sequencing of the roadmap, the Government commissioned advice and modelling from SAGE and its sub-groups. Scientific evidence supporting the government response to coronavirus is regularly published here - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/scientific-evidence-supporting-the-government-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much funding the Government allocated to veteran’s mental health in 2020-21; and how much it plans to allocate in 2021-22.

The Government is committed to providing the necessary support for our Veterans. The vast majority of veterans currently access mental health services available to the general population. For veteran specific mental health services, in 2020-2021 NHS England provided £16.5m, which will be increased to £17.8m for 2021-2022, alongside the launch of the new High Intensity Service across England and Op Courage pathway for accessing all veterans’ mental health services within NHS England.

Service charities are supported by the Government through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, which benefits from £10m annually, and in both years an additional £10m has been allocated to support veterans’ mental health needs. During 2020, the COVID-19 Impact Fund has provided nearly £6m in grants to over 100 Armed Forces charities across the United Kingdom. Of the charities awarded funding, 68% of grants sampled supported members of the Armed Forces and veterans’ community for mental health and crisis support, and 77% for easing isolation and loneliness.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the scientific basis was for the decision to allow children's playgrounds to remain open while closing outdoor sports courts during the 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

Throughout the pandemic, we have consistently adapted our response as we have learnt more about the virus and how best to tackle it. Decisions on when to lift restrictions, and in which order, seek to strike a balance between the epidemiological evidence and advice, the impact lockdown is having on people’s health (including mental health and disproportionate impacts on certain groups), wellbeing, and the economy. Scientific evidence supporting the government response to coronavirus is regularly published here - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/scientific-evidence-supporting-the-government-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

On 22 February the Government published its 'COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021'

roadmap to recovery. The roadmap outlines four steps for cautiously easing restrictions across England. The first measures of Step 1 took place on the 8th March. Schools breaking up for the Easter holidays will provide an opportunity for further, limited relaxation particularly in outdoor settings where there is less risk. Therefore from 29 March, outdoor sports and leisure facilities will reopen and organised sport (for adults and children) will resume.

The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of our country.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions his Department had with (a) Hutchinson Port Holdings, (b) the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell prior to the award of funding from the Port Infrastructure Fund on 15 December 2020.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions within Government are not normally disclosed. Cabinet Office officials are in regular contact with ports across the UK as part of their regular engagement. This includes all ports which applied to the fund. This contact is ongoing. There were no discussions between Cabinet Office officials or ministers and the Rt Hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell regarding the Port Infrastructure Fund.

The Port Infrastructure Fund (PIF) team worked with an independent eligibility and assessment team, with specialist experience and technical expertise in rail, air and maritime port infrastructure design and build to assess the funding applications. The Fund Allocation Authority (FAA), which is made up of representatives from across the relevant government departments such as HMRC, Defra and Border Force, subsequently made decisions about allocations based on the recommendations of the PIF Team.

The Fund received 53 applications from a range of sea ports, rail facilities and airports. Of the 53 ports that applied to the fund, 41 were successful in their application and a total of £200M has been provisionally allocated. 12 ports were not considered eligible or were unsuccessful at assessment phase.

It is a commercial decision for ports as to whether to provide these facilities. In normal circumstances, ports would be expected to fund such facilities themselves. However - in recognition of the unique circumstances of EU Exit, and the tight timescales for putting infrastructure in place - Government has made £470m of funding available to support border readiness.

Ports will need to fund the remaining 34% themselves. As the maximum amount of funding available was £200 million, a 66% award was applied across all applications ensuring all successful bids received a fair and proportionate level of taxpayer funded support.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he had with Hutchison Port Holdings prior to the award of funds to that company through the Port Infrastructure Fund on 15 December 2020.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions within Government are not normally disclosed. Cabinet Office officials are in regular contact with ports across the UK as part of their regular engagement. This includes all ports which applied to the fund. This contact is ongoing. There were no discussions between Cabinet Office officials or ministers and the Rt Hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell regarding the Port Infrastructure Fund.

The Port Infrastructure Fund (PIF) team worked with an independent eligibility and assessment team, with specialist experience and technical expertise in rail, air and maritime port infrastructure design and build to assess the funding applications. The Fund Allocation Authority (FAA), which is made up of representatives from across the relevant government departments such as HMRC, Defra and Border Force, subsequently made decisions about allocations based on the recommendations of the PIF Team.

The Fund received 53 applications from a range of sea ports, rail facilities and airports. Of the 53 ports that applied to the fund, 41 were successful in their application and a total of £200M has been provisionally allocated. 12 ports were not considered eligible or were unsuccessful at assessment phase.

It is a commercial decision for ports as to whether to provide these facilities. In normal circumstances, ports would be expected to fund such facilities themselves. However - in recognition of the unique circumstances of EU Exit, and the tight timescales for putting infrastructure in place - Government has made £470m of funding available to support border readiness.

Ports will need to fund the remaining 34% themselves. As the maximum amount of funding available was £200 million, a 66% award was applied across all applications ensuring all successful bids received a fair and proportionate level of taxpayer funded support.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he had with the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell prior to the award of funds through the Port Infrastructure Fund on 15 December 2020.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions within Government are not normally disclosed. Cabinet Office officials are in regular contact with ports across the UK as part of their regular engagement. This includes all ports which applied to the fund. This contact is ongoing. There were no discussions between Cabinet Office officials or ministers and the Rt Hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell regarding the Port Infrastructure Fund.

The Port Infrastructure Fund (PIF) team worked with an independent eligibility and assessment team, with specialist experience and technical expertise in rail, air and maritime port infrastructure design and build to assess the funding applications. The Fund Allocation Authority (FAA), which is made up of representatives from across the relevant government departments such as HMRC, Defra and Border Force, subsequently made decisions about allocations based on the recommendations of the PIF Team.

The Fund received 53 applications from a range of sea ports, rail facilities and airports. Of the 53 ports that applied to the fund, 41 were successful in their application and a total of £200M has been provisionally allocated. 12 ports were not considered eligible or were unsuccessful at assessment phase.

It is a commercial decision for ports as to whether to provide these facilities. In normal circumstances, ports would be expected to fund such facilities themselves. However - in recognition of the unique circumstances of EU Exit, and the tight timescales for putting infrastructure in place - Government has made £470m of funding available to support border readiness.

Ports will need to fund the remaining 34% themselves. As the maximum amount of funding available was £200 million, a 66% award was applied across all applications ensuring all successful bids received a fair and proportionate level of taxpayer funded support.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he had with The Bristol Port Company Limited prior to the award of funds through the Port Infrastructure Fund on 15 December 2020.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions within Government are not normally disclosed. Cabinet Office officials are in regular contact with ports across the UK as part of their regular engagement. This includes all ports which applied to the fund. This contact is ongoing. There were no discussions between Cabinet Office officials or ministers and the Rt Hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell regarding the Port Infrastructure Fund.

The Port Infrastructure Fund (PIF) team worked with an independent eligibility and assessment team, with specialist experience and technical expertise in rail, air and maritime port infrastructure design and build to assess the funding applications. The Fund Allocation Authority (FAA), which is made up of representatives from across the relevant government departments such as HMRC, Defra and Border Force, subsequently made decisions about allocations based on the recommendations of the PIF Team.

The Fund received 53 applications from a range of sea ports, rail facilities and airports. Of the 53 ports that applied to the fund, 41 were successful in their application and a total of £200M has been provisionally allocated. 12 ports were not considered eligible or were unsuccessful at assessment phase.

It is a commercial decision for ports as to whether to provide these facilities. In normal circumstances, ports would be expected to fund such facilities themselves. However - in recognition of the unique circumstances of EU Exit, and the tight timescales for putting infrastructure in place - Government has made £470m of funding available to support border readiness.

Ports will need to fund the remaining 34% themselves. As the maximum amount of funding available was £200 million, a 66% award was applied across all applications ensuring all successful bids received a fair and proportionate level of taxpayer funded support.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to meet the funding shortfall faced by Portsmouth International Port following the Port Infrastructure Fund award on 16 December 2020; and if he will make a statement.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions within Government are not normally disclosed. Cabinet Office officials are in regular contact with ports across the UK as part of their regular engagement. This includes all ports which applied to the fund. This contact is ongoing. There were no discussions between Cabinet Office officials or ministers and the Rt Hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell regarding the Port Infrastructure Fund.

The Port Infrastructure Fund (PIF) team worked with an independent eligibility and assessment team, with specialist experience and technical expertise in rail, air and maritime port infrastructure design and build to assess the funding applications. The Fund Allocation Authority (FAA), which is made up of representatives from across the relevant government departments such as HMRC, Defra and Border Force, subsequently made decisions about allocations based on the recommendations of the PIF Team.

The Fund received 53 applications from a range of sea ports, rail facilities and airports. Of the 53 ports that applied to the fund, 41 were successful in their application and a total of £200M has been provisionally allocated. 12 ports were not considered eligible or were unsuccessful at assessment phase.

It is a commercial decision for ports as to whether to provide these facilities. In normal circumstances, ports would be expected to fund such facilities themselves. However - in recognition of the unique circumstances of EU Exit, and the tight timescales for putting infrastructure in place - Government has made £470m of funding available to support border readiness.

Ports will need to fund the remaining 34% themselves. As the maximum amount of funding available was £200 million, a 66% award was applied across all applications ensuring all successful bids received a fair and proportionate level of taxpayer funded support.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans his Department has to mark remembrance of those who have lost their lives due to the covid-19 outbreak.

As we have set out previously, the Government's immediate focus is on protecting the lives and livelihoods of the nation, but there is nonetheless the need to mourn those who have died, and to mark and remember this period as one of immense struggle. We will set out the Government’s proposed approach to this important matter in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what date the National Space Council last met; when the council plans next to meet; and whether he plans to publish the agendas and minutes of those meetings.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ107708 on 03 November.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking in response to representations from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum on the provision of central Government funding for completion of Operation Transmission; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQs 106475 and 106474 on 28 October 2020.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with the Chief Coroner on the recording of veteran suicide.

Ministers have regular conversations with interdepartmental colleagues on a range of topics, including the Government’s ongoing commitment to make it as easy as possible to access the clinical and welfare support available to veterans and their families. The Chief Coroner has given coroners clearer guidance so that deaths, including suicide, are recorded more consistently.

The Government continues to invest in mental health support and training whilst individuals are serving in the Armed Forces, as well as significant research to understand and tackle the risks and causes of suicide amongst those who have served. This includes a study commissioned by the MOD to investigate causes of death, including suicide, amongst all those who served in the UK Armed Forces between 2001 and 2014, covering combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2019, we extended this study to include all those who served after 2014, now and into the future. This will be complemented by a new Manchester University study, funded jointly by the MOD and NHS (England), looking at risk factors in the year leading up to a veteran taking their own life. Combined, these studies will provide increasingly robust data, in order to better understand ‘at risk’ groups and support better targeted interventions.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, who will act as National Security Adviser in the interim period between the departure of the previous National Security Adviser and the start date of the new post holder in the Autumn.

I refer the hon. Member to the Urgent Question responded to by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 30 June 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what criteria the Government uses to determine what work is essential during the covid-19 outbreak.

The position as outlined on gov.uk is that everyone who can work from home should do so.

When that is not possible, people should go into work provided they are not symptomatic, isolating or shielding. Relevant guidance including from Public Health England should be followed.

The Government has placed restrictions on the operations of certain businesses as part of the strategy of enhanced social distancing. Separate guidance has been published on this and is also available on gov.uk.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has been contacted by Aquind Limited or its representatives on his decision not to approve the project; and if he will make a statement.

An application for judicial review has been made on behalf of Aquind Limited in respect of the Secretary of State’s decision of 20 January 2022 to refuse development consent for the AQUIND Interconnector. The Government will not make any further statement on this matter as it is an ongoing legal process.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of the spread of the Omicron variant in December 2021 on trends in the level of sales for the hospitality sector; and what plans he has to support local hospitality businesses in Portsmouth.

In recognition of the impact that the spread of the Omicron variant had on hospitality businesses during December, the Government announced further support for businesses in recognition of the impact that the spread of the Omicron variant had on hospitality. The Government is providing one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sectors in England plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for Local Authorities to support other businesses.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have also provided businesses with an unprecedented support package of £400 billion, including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the job retention scheme. This includes a total of over £26 billion in business grants.

In July 2021, the Department launched the first-ever hospitality strategy to support the reopening, recovery and resilience of England’s pubs, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. We have also launched the Hospitality Sector Council to oversee the delivery of the strategy, including working with the sector to make hospitality a career option of choice and looking at the labour and skills shortages.

I and officials in the Department continue to engage regularly with the hospitality sector to understand their needs and issues, including monitoring trading conditions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to support hospitality sector businesses in light of recent trends of rising costs for business owners.

To support all businesses across the UK economy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have provided businesses with an unprecedented support package of £400 billion, including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the job retention scheme. This includes a total of over £26 billion in business grants. The Government announced on 21 December that additional support will be available for businesses in recognition of the impact that the spread of the Omicron variant had on hospitality during one of their busiest months. The Government is providing one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for Local Authorities to support other businesses – a lifeline for many small hospitality businesses.

In July 2021, the Department launched the first-ever hospitality strategy to support the reopening, recovery and resilience of England’s pubs, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. We have also launched the Hospitality Sector Council to oversee the delivery of the strategy.

I and officials in the Department continues to speak regularly with the hospitality sector to understand their needs and issues, includes trading conditions and represent these across Government.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what due diligence his Department has undertaken on the Aquind project company and its owners and directors.

The protection of infrastructure and critical services is a key priority for the Government, and new projects are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Foreign investment in critical national infrastructure undergoes the highest level of scrutiny.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has undertaken a national security assessment in relation to the proposed Aquind energy interconnector project.

The Government carries out rigorous checks and assessments to ensure the protection of infrastructure and critical services through a broad range of mitigations, including legislative and regulatory powers. Foreign involvement in critical national infrastructure undergoes the highest levels of scrutiny.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2021 to Question 904619 on financial crimes, what related due diligence his Department has undertaken specifically on (a) the proposed Aquind Interconnector Project and (b) its owners, following the publication of the Pandora Papers.

The Department ensures protection of infrastructure and critical services through a broad range of mitigations, including legislative and regulatory powers. Foreign involvement in critical national infrastructure undergoes the highest levels of scrutiny.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what due diligence his Department has carried out on the proposed Aquind Interconnector project and its owners, with particular reference to illicit finance and funds reported in the Pandora Papers; and whether his Department has made an assessment of whether any of those funds were used in political donations to Government ministers.

Foreign involvement in critical national infrastructure undergoes the highest levels of scrutiny.

This Government is committed to making the UK a hostile place for illicit finance and economic crime.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timeframe is for a decision on the proposed AQUIND interconnector project.

On 21 October 2021, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State extended the statutory deadline for taking the decision on the AQUIND interconnector application for development consent to 21 January 2022. A statement announcing the new deadline was made to the House of Commons and House of Lords on 21 October 2021 in accordance with section 107(7) of the Planning Act 2008.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support he is providing to stakeholders to increase the UK’s green shipbuilding capabilities.

The Department is supporting the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, as well as a range of research and innovation programmes to develop technologies that will have spill-over benefits in various markets, including the shipbuilding sector.

The Department is also supporting several green shipping projects, including hydrogen ferry trials in Orkney and a hydrogen refuelling port on Teesside. Innovate UK is also facilitating the delivery of the Department for Transport’s £20 million Clean Maritime Demonstration Programme to bring forward green propulsion solutions for the maritime sector.

In addition, the Department is working closely with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to ensure that UK shipyards are aware of the organisation’s funded programmes and facilities, so that they have the opportunity to access these.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what criteria were used to determine that the proposed AQUIND interconnector would be made a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

A direction under Section 35 of the Planning Act 2008 was granted for the UK elements of the proposed AQUIND Interconnector on 30 July 2018. This directed that the project should be treated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project for which development consent is required. The Section 35 Direction sets out the reasoning for the decision. That document is publicly available on gov.uk and can be found using the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/742186/Section35DirectionAquindInterconnector.pdf.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of national covid-19 lockdown’s on the pub and brewery sector; what plans he has to support the recovery of that sector from those lockdowns; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has brought forward a substantial package of financial support for the hospitality sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £65 billion plan to provide support for jobs and businesses (including the hospitality sector), with extensions to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, self-employed support, business grants, loans and VAT cuts – bringing total fiscal support to over £352 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish his decision on the Aquind Interconnector project.

Following the close of the examination in respect of the application for development consent for the Aquind Interconnector project on 8 March 2021, the examining authority is currently writing its report for my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State which will contain its conclusions and recommendation on the project. Once he has received the report, which is expected no later than the 8 June 2021, the Secretary of State will have three months to take his decision to grant or refuse development consent.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on job losses in the wedding industry in which 80 per cent of workers are women.

I meet regularly with the industry-led Weddings Taskforce, established to represent all parts of the UK Weddings sector, to understand the impact of COVID-19 on wedding businesses and jobs in the sector.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of financial support available to hairdressers during the covid-19 outbreak.

I understand these are extremely challenging circumstances for businesses. That is why we have put in place one of the most generous packages of business support in the world, worth £285 billion. This includes a business rates holiday, various loan schemes and the extended furlough scheme. Closed businesses such as hairdressers can also receive a grant of up to £3,000 per month and a one-off payment of up to a maximum £9,000. Government continues to keep under review all the measures needed to control the virus, as well as the appropriate business support.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that independent bookshops receive the support they need to help them to reopen in areas under tier 3 covid-19 restrictions.

The Government has published clear COVID-Secure guidance which outlines the measures which need to be put in place for shops to open safely in all tiers. We continue to review this guidance as the situation evolves.

Following the introduction of national restrictions, independent book shops must close. All shops can continue to offer click and collect, and delivery services which will help businesses keep trading.

The Government continues to offer a comprehensive support package for small businesses which independent bookshops can access, including  one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring, an extension to the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme to the end of April 2021, extension to the existing Loan Schemes to the end of March 2021, and cash grants of up to £1,500 per 2-week closure period, for businesses which are closed during local or national restrictions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing urgent support to independent book shops that have not been able to re-open after the first and second covid-19 lockdowns to ensure their survival.

The Government continues to offer a comprehensive support package for small businesses which independent bookshops can access, including the extension to the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme to the end of April 2021, extension to the existing Loan Schemes to the end of March 2021, and cash grants of up to £1,500 per 2-week closure period, for businesses which are closed during local or national restrictions.

Independent book shops can continue benefitting from 100% business rates relief for the financial year 2020/21.

Following the introduction of new national restrictions, independent book shops can continue to offer click and collect, and delivery services which will help businesses keep trading.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the contribution of local independent book shops to local knowledge and culture within communities; and what steps he is taking to support that contribution during and after the imposition of tier 3 local covid alert level restrictions.

Independent retailers, including book shops, play a valuable role in our communities.

The Government continues to offer a comprehensive support package for small businesses which independent bookshops can access, including the extension to the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme to the end of April 2021, extension to the existing Loan Schemes to the end of March 2021, and cash grants of up to £3,000 per month for businesses which are closed.

Following the introduction of new national restrictions, independent book shops can continue to offer click and collect, and delivery services which will help businesses keep trading.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the number of suitably qualified and experienced personnel (SQEP) in the UK space sector.

The UK Space Agency is working closely with organisations across the sector to understand their varied requirements for SQEP. We are undertaking a nationwide Space Skills Survey to map the current learning landscape and identify gaps in provision of support. A Space Skills Advisory Panel, including expertise from across government, academia and industry, will then prioritise new training opportunities to ensure we can deliver a skilled and enthusiastic workforce for the space sector.

The UKSA has worked with the Space Engineering Trailblazer group to develop a new apprenticeship standard at level 4, and continues to work with industry to finalise the standards for a level 6 apprenticeship in Space Systems Engineering. Work also continues with other Trailblazer Groups to address other space skills issues such as data applications.

The UKSA also continues to raise awareness in the student body of the career opportunities presented by the space sector. This is delivered through country-wide careers engagements as well as through the Space Placements in Industry (SPIN) scheme. This successful scheme provides small grants to enable SMEs in particular to employ university students for short placements within their business, providing both meaningful work experience and developing skills in the interns to improve their employability. This year we received a record number of applications for the programme which was able to proceed with many projects being offered remotely, a threefold increase over previous years.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on what date he plans to publish the national space strategy.

We are committed to making the UK a world leader in space and other high-tech industries. The UK’s first comprehensive national space strategy is therefore being developed under the direction of the National Space Council.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what general programmes and themes he plans to include in the national space strategy.

We are committed to making the UK world leader in space, building on our excellence in science to deliver solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges. Our UK Space Strategy will help the UK lead the way in this fast-growing, high-technology sector, levelling up our economy, strengthening our global influence and keeping people safe, including through a dedicated space innovation programme.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a lead authority to monitor the implementation of the national space strategy.

We are committed to making the UK a world leader in space and will put in place the right structures and governance to ensure our strategy’s success, overseen by the new National Space Council.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policy on future UK space capability of the Athena paper entitled A new Approach to Space.

The Government is committed to making the UK a global leader in space. As we develop the UK’s first comprehensive national space strategy, we are working closely with partners across the sector to realise our shared ambition for the UK’s world-class space industry.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the new customs regulations with Belgium after the end of the transition period on vaccine imports from Pfizer after that company’s relocation of its cold storage facility from Havant to Belgium.

For security reasons, the Government cannot divulge how the vaccine will travel across borders. A number of scenarios have been investigated and we have put in place robust contingency plans to ensure that vaccine freight will continue unimpeded.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the outcome of the US presidential election on the commitments to the Paris Climate Accord of 2015.

The UK welcomes President-elect Biden’s commitment to re-join the Paris Agreement and to put the US on a path to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

As the incoming Presidency of the G7 and COP26, we look forward to working with the new US administration to address the urgent challenge of climate change and to encourage countries across the world to increase their climate ambition.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of China’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

China’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 is welcome and significant as part of wider global efforts to limit climate change. We look forward to hearing more details on how the target will be translated into a long-term strategy and implemented in the short-term through China’s 14th Five Year Plan and NDC. We will continue to work with China on areas of mutual interest as we approach COP26 and CBD COP15, the UN biodiversity conference, which China is hosting next year.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing additional support and guidance to independent book shops during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown period.

Independent retailers,?including book shops, play a valuable role in our communities, acting as hubs for local people and having a positive impact on the communities they serve.

Book shops are able to benefit from additional financial measures announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, including the extension to the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme, extension to the existing Loan Schemes to January 2021 with the ability to top-up Bounce Back Loans, and cash grants of up to £3,000 per month for businesses which are closed.

All shops can continue to offer home delivery and click and collect services to customers during the November lockdown.

The Government have previously published COVID-Secure guidance for retailers and have published guidance on the New National Restrictions. All shops can continue to offer home delivery and click and collect services to customers during the national restrictions in place in November.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of enabling hospitality venues to offer takeaway alcohol during the November 2020 national lockdown to ensure their commercial survival.

During the new national restrictions in place from 5 November, pubs and bars are permitted to sell alcohol through delivery or via click and collect where remote ordering has been utilised.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of interruptions to (a) scrutiny of and (b) consultation on the Aquind Interconnector project as a result of the covid-19 outbreak on public confidence in that project.

The Planning Inspectorate is responsible for the conduct of examinations into applications for development consent for nationally significant infrastructure projects. The examination of the application for the proposed Aquind Interconnector project is being carried out by The Planning Inspectorate in accordance with Government advice for dealing with such matters during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Planning Inspectorate is mindful of the need to ensure fairness and open access to all parties throughout the examination process.

The Planning Inspectorate’s report on the development consent application for the Aquind Interconnector will be carefully considered once it is submitted to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of compulsory purchases in the Portsmouth area by Aquind Interconnector on (a) the wellbeing of local homeowners and (b) public confidence in (i) local democracy and (ii) Portsmouth city council.

The Planning Inspectorate is currently examining the application for development consent for the proposed Aquind Interconnector project. The application seeks authorisation for the compulsory acquisition of land and rights over land in connection with the project and those matters will be considered during the examination of the application.

The Planning Inspectorate’s report on the development consent application for the Aquind Interconnector, including any compulsory acquisition matters that have been raised, will be carefully considered once it is submitted to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives from Aquind Interconnector on running a route for cables through open country west of the A3 road area from Portsdown Hill to Hambledon Road, along the B2150.

The application for development consent for the proposed Aquind Interconnector has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and is currently being examined by them. Neither my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State, who has recused himself from any part in the decision-making process, nor his Ministers have had any discussions with representatives of Aquind Limited, the developer of the Aquind Interconnector, about route options for the proposed Interconnector.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the current proposed route of the Aquind Interconnector on the welfare of allotment holders in Portsmouth.

The Planning Inspectorate is currently examining the application for development consent for the proposed Aquind Interconnector. The Examining Authority will examine all relevant issues before submitting its report to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

As the decision to grant or refuse consent to an application for development consent is quasi-judicial, it would not be appropriate for my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State, who has recused himself from any part in the decision-making process, or his Ministers to comment further on any aspect of this live development consent application or to meet with any interested party to discuss it.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will meet the South Downs National Park Authority to discuss the environmental implications of the Aquind Interconnector.

The Planning Inspectorate is currently examining the application for development consent for the proposed Aquind Interconnector. The Examining Authority will examine all relevant issues before submitting its report to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

As the decision to grant or refuse consent to an application for development consent is quasi-judicial, it would not be appropriate for my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State, who has recused himself from any part in the decision-making process, or his Ministers to comment further on any aspect of this live development consent application or to meet with any interested party to discuss it.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business,Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to provide support to (a) local authorities and (b) Local Resilience Forums for the allocation of undistributed funding to businesses in Hampshire that are facing financial difficulties as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has put forward a package of support for businesses in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. As part of this, as at 21 June, local authorities in Hampshire had paid out over £225 million to over 18,000 business premises under the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund.

On 1 May, the Government announced the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund to support businesses previously out of scope of the existing grant funding schemes. In Hampshire, a further £12 million has been made available to support local businesses through this additional fund.

The Government is working closely with all local authorities to ensure grant funding reaches businesses as quickly and efficiently as possible. As part of this, we have provided detailed guidance and FAQs, regular briefings, and one-to-one support from the Department, as well as a communications toolkit.

Once the schemes have closed, any unallocated funds will be subject to a reconciliation exercise with the Government. We will also provide additional funding to local authorities to meet the administrative costs of delivering this policy.

We are keeping in close contact with local authorities to understand how the schemes are rolling out.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps is he taking to ensure that British Airways does not misuse the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by terminating staff contracts and subsequently rehiring a new workforce with inferior pay and conditions.

During this difficult time, employers should act responsibly and only use the Job Retention Scheme to protect jobs. We would urge employers not to use the Job Retention Scheme to make someone redundant on less favourable terms than they would otherwise have received.

Terms and conditions of employment are for negotiation and agreement between employers and employees (or their representatives). Provided they do not discriminate unlawfully, for example on grounds of race, sex or disability, employers are free to offer the terms and conditions of employment which best suit their business needs.

Once agreed, however, they form a legally binding contract of employment. While it is always open to either party to seek to renegotiate the terms of the contract, if the employer changes any of the terms without the employee’s agreement, the employee may be entitled to seek legal redress.

Any redundancy process should be fair and reasonable, with appropriate equalities considerations. Employees can appeal to their employer if they feel they have been unfairly selected or they may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the potential economic effects of employees who have accrued large amounts of holiday while furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme utilising that entitlement immediately on the lifting of covid-19 lockdown measures.

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks annual leave, which should be paid as if workers were still at work and working. Annual leave continues to accrue as long as the worker maintains their employment relationship with their employer, which is the case whilst an employee is on a period of furlough through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Workers on furlough are able to take annual leave, and employers are able to require them to do so. This will prevent large build-ups that would need to be used at the end of the lockdown measures.

The Government has been clear that employment rights remain unchanged under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Therefore, as holiday rights are unaffected by the scheme, no assessment has been made.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that building sites adhere to social distancing regulations during the covid-19 outbreak.

The health and safety of construction workers is a priority for the Government. To help ensure that it is safe for construction workers to operate in their workplace, the Government has worked with Public Health England (PHE) to develop sector-specific guidance on social distancing, and has also worked with the Construction Leadership Council to develop Site Operating Procedures (SOP), which provide practical advice to those seeking to implement the guidance.

The Health and Safety Executive has the powers to take enforcement action if a site is not consistently implementing the measures set out by PHE.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that construction work in urban areas does not increase respiratory risks to shielded people in those areas.

Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Government has emphasised that people’s health is the top priority. We have been clear that construction work can continue in England if it is undertaken in a manner consistent with the guidelines issued by Public Health England. We have also published bespoke guidance to help those who work in outdoor environments, including construction workers, to understand how to work safely at this time.

The Health and Safety Executive has set out that dust from construction work does not usually pose a health risk to members of the public if the exposure is low and the duration is short. If high exposure and longer duration is likely, controls have been adopted to protect the workforce on a construction site; these are also likely to reduce the risk to members of the public. These controls include the use of low-dust products, as well as the use of water suppression or exhaust ventilation.

The Government is not aware of specific instances of brick dust affecting the respiratory functioning of people located near to construction sites during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what reports he has received of brick dust affecting the respiratory functioning of people located near to construction sites during the covid-19 outbreak.

Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Government has emphasised that people’s health is the top priority. We have been clear that construction work can continue in England if it is undertaken in a manner consistent with the guidelines issued by Public Health England. We have also published bespoke guidance to help those who work in outdoor environments, including construction workers, to understand how to work safely at this time.

The Health and Safety Executive has set out that dust from construction work does not usually pose a health risk to members of the public if the exposure is low and the duration is short. If high exposure and longer duration is likely, controls have been adopted to protect the workforce on a construction site; these are also likely to reduce the risk to members of the public. These controls include the use of low-dust products, as well as the use of water suppression or exhaust ventilation.

The Government is not aware of specific instances of brick dust affecting the respiratory functioning of people located near to construction sites during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to engage with the retail sector on the ability of that sector to transition back to business as normal once the covid-19 lockdown measures are eased.

We are in regular contact with a wide range of representatives of the retail sector.

I host a weekly call with non-food retailers and business representative organisations covering a range of subjects including operational challenges faced by the sector as we transition to a new normal.

The most recent call took place on 7th May and the next one is scheduled for 14th May.

Government is grateful to retailers and representative organisations who are engaging constructively with Government on how retailers can safely operate as restrictions begin to ease.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions has he had with representatives from the British Retail Consortium on the potential risks of easing of the lockdown.

Ministers and officials have regular engagement with a large number of businesses, representative organisations and trade unions across all sectors including the British Retail Consortium, in advance of easing the lockdown.

As this work is complex and multifaceted, we are working with industry, business representative organisations, unions, Public Health England, and the Health and Safety Executive to consider what might be needed to adapt workplaces to further improve the safety of these places and thereby minimise the risk of transmission as much as possible.

I host a weekly call with non-food retailers and business representative organisations including the British Retail Consortium with the most recent call taking place on 30th April. The next one is scheduled for 7th May.

We welcome the publication of jointly agreed advice by the British Retail Consortium and the Union for Shop Distributive and Allied Workers on the recommended implementation of social distancing practices for non-food retail stores.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that discussions are held with representatives of the retail sector in advance of easing the lockdown.

Ministers and officials have regular engagement with a large number of businesses, representative organisations and trade unions across all sectors including the British Retail Consortium, in advance of easing the lockdown.

As this work is complex and multifaceted, we are working with industry, business representative organisations, unions, Public Health England, and the Health and Safety Executive to consider what might be needed to adapt workplaces to further improve the safety of these places and thereby minimise the risk of transmission as much as possible.

I host a weekly call with non-food retailers and business representative organisations including the British Retail Consortium with the most recent call taking place on 30th April. The next one is scheduled for 7th May.

We welcome the publication of jointly agreed advice by the British Retail Consortium and the Union for Shop Distributive and Allied Workers on the recommended implementation of social distancing practices for non-food retail stores.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of rules on staff who have been furloughed in line with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme prohibiting the use of social media on the ability of those businesses to retain a customer base after the covid-19 outbreak.

The scheme is designed to help employers who are unable to operate or have no work for an employee to do because of coronavirus and those who otherwise would have been made unemployed. There is flexibility in that staff can be rotated and rolled on and off furlough, so long as each period on furlough is for a minimum of 3 weeks.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that businesses uphold workers' rights during the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government is working to minimise any social and economic disruption as a result of Covid-19.

We would urge employers to take socially responsible decisions and listen to the concerns of their workforce. Employers and employees should come to a pragmatic agreement about these arrangements.

While most employers act responsibly, a small number fail to respect their workers employment rights. Labour market enforcement bodies continue to respond to complaints from workers either received directly or through the online form on gov.uk.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what processes are in place for the Government to monitor compliance of supermarkets with covid-19 legislation.

Everyone must comply with the rules issued by Government in relation to Coronavirus, in order to protect both themselves and others.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 are the regulations in England that cover enforcement of violations of the Government’s rules on social distancing (Scotland and Wales have their own legislation).

In England, Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports that supermarkets are not implementing Government policy (a) restricting shopping to essential goods and (b) on social distancing within shops during the covid-19 outbreak.

Government is clear that people should only leave the house for four reasons, which includes shopping for food and other essentials if they have to. Government have not published a list of goods it deems essential nor asked supermarkets to reduce the range of products they sell.

We have set out the general principles and measures for how social distancing can be implemented in the workplace, including staggering processes which would enable staff to continue to operate both effectively and where possible at a safe distance from one another.

We have also set out tailored advice for different scenarios as an example of how social distancing and other measures that might be implemented by employers in England to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade.

Everyone must comply with the rules issued by the?Government in relation to coronavirus, in order to protect both themselves and others. In England, Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations with police support if appropriate.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether non-customer facing workers who do not have the facilities to work from home are able to continue to work at their workplace during the covid-19 outbreak.

Government advice is clear. If at all possible, people should work at home and where they cannot, employers should ensure that the work environment is a safe one and follow all relevant public health guidance.

Businesses and employees can get advice on individual employment issues by visiting the Acas website at www.acas.org.uk. Businesses can also ring the BEIS Business Support Line, 0300 456 3565, for further advice on support for business.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of recording whether a women who is making a claim at employment tribunal for the purpose of (a) her Department being able to provide more support and (b) workplace equality is pregnant.

Cases of pregnancy and maternity discrimination are recorded. When submitting an Employment Tribunal Claim Form (ET1), a claimant is required to specify the details of the case. This involves stating whether they have been discriminated against, including on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity.

There are a number of sources of support for pregnant women seeking to take a claim to an employment tribunal.

Acas (Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service) provides free and impartial information and advice to employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. It produces advice and guidance on discrimination, bullying and harassment and has specific content covering pregnancy and maternity.

In addition, anyone who believes that they may have suffered from discrimination or had their human rights infringed can access the EASS helpline, which offers bespoke advice to clients to help them understand their rights and the resolution options that are open to them.

Legal aid is available for legal advice and representation for cases alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation under the Equality Act 2010, or a previous discrimination enactment, which can arise in a variety of contexts – for example, consumer, education or employment matters. Legal aid for cases of this type must usually first be sought through the Civil Legal Advice (CLA) telephone gateway, before being referred onwards for face-to-face advice.

The Government is determined to do more to promote workplace equality. That is why we committed to introduce measures in an Employment Bill to extend redundancy protections to better prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2020 to Question 3877 on Fireworks: Animal Welfare, what the time frame is for the Office for Product Safety and Standards' review on the effect on humans and animals of the use of fireworks.

The work that the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is conducting to develop an evidence base is ongoing. It is continuing to assess new and emerging data and will report in due course.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to help safeguard pregnant women from (a) workplace discrimination and (b) unfair dismissal.

The Government recognises the importance of tackling pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

The Government’s manifesto committed to reform the law so that women returning from maternity leave receive additional protection from redundancy.

We will extend the redundancy protection period for six months once a new mother has returned to work and provide similar protections for those parents taking adoption leave and shared parental leave. This will be part of an Employment Rights Bill to deliver the greatest reform of workers’ rights in over 20 years.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the effect of fireworks used in public displays on levels of climate change.

The UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory publishes an annual assessment of greenhouse gas emissions by source and removals. Fireworks are listed under the Waste Incineration sector (5C) according to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Common Reporting Format sector classifications.

Greenhouse gas emissions from fireworks used in public displays are not included in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory as they have been judged not to be a significant source of greenhouse gases in the UK. It is estimated that 10-20 thousand tonnes of fireworks are typically used in the UK each year. Even assuming the fireworks are entirely made of carbon and entirely oxidised, the greenhouse gas emissions from this level of activity would be less than 100kt CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents). This is below the threshold of significance for including a source of greenhouse gas emissions in the inventory. The threshold was set by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as being both less than 500kt CO2e and 0.05% of the total national greenhouse gas emissions (which is 236kt CO2e for the UK).

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to reduce the effect on the environment of fireworks used in public displays.

The Government understands concerns about the potential impact caused by fireworks on individuals, animals and the environment. This is why the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is developing a fact-based evidence base on the key issues that have been raised around fireworks. This includes looking at data on noise and disturbance, anti-social behaviour, non-compliance, environmental impact, and the impact on humans and animals. This will build a full picture of the data around fireworks in order to identify whether further action is appropriate.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to limit the noise level of fireworks to 90 dB for the welfare of animals.

The Government understands concerns about the potential impact caused by fireworks on individuals, animals and the environment. This is why the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is developing a fact-based evidence base on the key issues that have been raised around fireworks. This includes looking at data on noise and disturbance, anti-social behaviour, non-compliance, environmental impact, and the impact on humans and animals. This will build a full picture of the data around fireworks in order to identify whether further action is appropriate.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to encourage suppliers to stock fireworks with a noise level of less than 90 dB for public display.

We understand concerns about the potential impact caused by fireworks on individuals, animals and the environment. We also receive representations from a wide range of stakeholders, including members of the public, organisations and charities, with diverse views on what the issues are and what action they would like to see. This is why the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is developing a fact-based evidence base on the key issues that have been raised around fireworks. Officials in OPSS have also been in contact with Government Departments including Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Devolved Administrations as part of this work. Therefore, the review includes looking at data on noise and disturbance, anti-social behaviour, non-compliance, environmental impact, and the impact on humans and animals. This will build a full picture of the data around fireworks in order to identify whether further action is appropriate.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the effect of the use of fireworks on animal welfare.

We understand concerns about the potential impact caused by fireworks on individuals, animals and the environment. We also receive representations from a wide range of stakeholders, including members of the public, organisations and charities, with diverse views on what the issues are and what action they would like to see. This is why the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is developing a fact-based evidence base on the key issues that have been raised around fireworks. Officials in OPSS have also been in contact with Government Departments including Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Devolved Administrations as part of this work. Therefore, the review includes looking at data on noise and disturbance, anti-social behaviour, non-compliance, environmental impact, and the impact on humans and animals. This will build a full picture of the data around fireworks in order to identify whether further action is appropriate.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making provision of swimming pools a statutory requirement for local authorities.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools and that swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy. The responsibility of providing this access lies at Local Authority level, and the government continues to encourage Local Authorities to invest in swimming facilities.

The Local Government Finance Settlement makes available £54.1 billion in 2022/23 for local government in England, an increase of up to £3.7 billion on 2021/22. The majority of this funding is un-ringfenced in recognition of local authorities being best placed to understand local priorities, such as leisure and cultural services. Swimming and leisure services are not currently statutory requirements for local authorities, however we continue to work with partners to consider whether this should continue to be the case.

Sport England has invested £25,027,478 in swimming and diving projects since January 2017, which includes £15,724,500 to Swim England. This is in addition to the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund which supported the reopening of local authority swimming pools throughout the country after the pandemic, with 1,176 separate pools supported across 701 sites.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings of the November 2021 survey of UK swim schools undertaken by the Swimming Teachers’ Association; and what steps she plans to take to increase (a) national swimming teacher provision and (b) reduce waiting lists for swimming lessons at swim schools.

The Government recognises the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools. Swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy as well as being a crucial life skill in terms of water safety.

The Government has provided a range of support for swimming pools during the pandemic. The £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund supported the reopening of local authority swimming pools throughout the country.

Sport England continues to invest in access to swimming, awarding £9,112,544 in grassroots swimming and diving since 2019, including £6,230,502 directly to Swim England. This supports Swim England’s work to develop the swimming workforce, including the Institute of Swimming which delivers training for swimming teachers.

Swim England are running a Recruitment Academy to help tackle the issue of teacher shortages across the sector, offering an end-to-end service which seeks, recruits and trains swimming teachers. There are currently 48 academies in progress with over 200 learners going through the programme.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what measures the Online Safety Bill contains to ensure that legal but harmful online content cannot be accessed through Virtual Private Networks.

Under the Online Safety Bill, tech companies will have to put in place proportionate and effective systems and processes to protect children from harmful content.

Legislation will not require the removal of legal but harmful content accessed by adults. The biggest tech companies will be held to account for the consistent enforcement of their terms and conditions.

The onus will be on companies to ensure that their systems are sufficiently effective. Ofcom will be able to take robust enforcement action against companies that fail to fulfil their duties to keep children safe.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the security of the technology underpinning the proposals for verification for accessing adult content in the Online Safety Bill.

Age verification technologies are well established and are widely used across a number of sectors, including online gambling. They are proven to be able to verify a user’s age whilst protecting both their privacy and data. This government takes the issue of data privacy and security extremely seriously and that is why safeguards for users’ privacy are included in the Online Safety Bill. Furthermore, the Data Protection Act 2018 sets high standards of data protection and security and includes strong sanctions for malpractice. This will apply to age verification technologies. Both services in-scope of online safety regulation and age verification providers must comply with data protection laws or face enforcement action from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Many third party age verification solutions provide an anonymised yes/no answer to the question of whether a user is over 18. This can remove the need for a service to process a user’s personal data.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress has been made on implementing the recommendations of the Fan led Review of Football Governance; and if she will make a statement.

The final findings and recommendations of the Fan Led Review were published on 24 November 2021. The Government is working at pace to consider the recommendations, including those made on enhancing the existing owners’ and directors’ test, and to determine the most effective way to deliver an independent regulator.

The Secretary of State committed to Parliament on 3 March to bring forward our response as soon as possible. We will issue a formal response in the coming weeks.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she plans to increase the number of swimming pools with public access in (a) Portsmouth, (b) the South East and (c) England.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools and that swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy.

There are an estimated 4291 publicly accessible swimming pools in England, with 855 in the South East and 14 in Portsmouth.

Sport England have awarded £25,753,616 to swimming and diving projects since January 2017, which includes £16,149,002 of funding directly to Swim England. The responsibility of providing access to swimming pools lies at Local Authority level, and the government continues to encourage Local Authorities to invest in swimming facilities.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate she had made of the number of swimming pools with public access in (a) Portsmouth, (b) the South East and (c) England.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools and that swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy.

There are an estimated 4291 publicly accessible swimming pools in England, with 855 in the South East and 14 in Portsmouth.

Sport England have awarded £25,753,616 to swimming and diving projects since January 2017, which includes £16,149,002 of funding directly to Swim England. The responsibility of providing access to swimming pools lies at Local Authority level, and the government continues to encourage Local Authorities to invest in swimming facilities.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the role local newspapers play in keeping residents informed on local planning decisions, including those who either (a) don’t use or (b) have access to the internet.

The government recognises the importance of local newspapers to communities and the continued need to reach out to people who cannot, or prefer not to, digitally access information. The government is also mindful of the potential impact that any changes to the existing publicity requirements for statutory notices, including planning notices, might have on transparency and local democracy, as well as the potential effect on the sustainability of the local newspaper industry.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the research commissioned by her Department from Plum Consulting, entitled Research into recent dynamics of the press sector in the UK and globally, published in May 2020, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings of that research on the impact of the decline of local press on the scrutiny of democratic functions.

Newspapers play an invaluable role in the fabric of our society. They remain uniquely placed to undertake the investigative journalism and scrutiny of public institutions, including local councils and our courts, that is vital to helping ensure a healthy democracy both nationally and at a local level.

The government commissioned Plum Consulting’s research to better understand the link between newspapers and democratic engagement, alongside wider sector trends, in doing so supporting policy development to ensure the sustainability of the sector. The findings of the research confirm the importance of a free press to our democracy, drawing a direct correlation between local newspaper provision and electoral turnout. It also provided a snapshot of which areas have strong or poor coverage from local newspapers.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when her Department plans to announce awards from the third tranche round of the Culture Recovery Fund.

To date, a total of £1.2bn has been distributed through the Culture Recovery Fund, supporting around 5000 individual organisations and sites across England.

We will announce the organisations that will receive funding from the third round of the CRF in due course following the completion of Arm’s-Length Bodies’ application processes. Arm’s-Length Bodies have published target time-frames within which they hope to inform applicants.

It is important that, in spending taxpayers money, we do our due diligence to ensure it is being spent correctly.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what proportion of funds from Round 1 of the Culture Recovery Fund have been dispersed.

As of 8/7/21, 89% by value of all Round 1 CRF awards (from the loans, resource grants and capital grants) have been paid to date.

Payments through the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) are typically made in multiple tranches. Final payment is typically made at the very end of the grant period, once activities and costs have been reported.

In both rounds of the CRF revenue grants programme, DCMS has been able to give recipients the flexibility to extend the grant period. For CRF1 awardees, they have been able to extend until 30 June 2021, and for CRF2 awardees until 31 December 2021.

As such, a significant number of CRF 1 awardees have only very recently concluded the grant period.

In addition to the above, payment schedules can be impacted by a number of factors, such as the provision of bank details and activity reports from applicants, as well as assurance processes undertaken by distributing arms-length bodies, in order to ensure best use of tax-payers’ money.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the clinical evidence is for the decision to not to allow amateur choral singing groups of more than six people to meet.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I can assure you that everyone across the Government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets. This was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. As set out in the roadmap, we hope to remove all legal limits on social contact at step 4. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the clinical evidence was for the decision to lift the covid-19 social distancing restrictions on choral singing groups from 17 May 2021.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I can assure you that everyone across the Government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets. This was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. As set out in the roadmap, we hope to remove all legal limits on social contact at step 4. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the provisions in the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement on tariff-free movement of equipment for TV and film production, what plans he has to facilitate the movement of live music and production equipment across the EU.

This Government understands that the cultural and creative sectors rely on the ability to move people across borders quickly, simply, and with minimal cost and administration.

Being outside the European Union does not change this. It does, however, mean practical changes on both sides of the Channel that will require understanding and adaptation. UK professionals are of course still able to tour and work in the EU, and vice versa.

Since 1 January 2021, customs processes apply to all movements of commercial and non-commercials goods between Great Britain and the EU. Both parties’ include similar legislative provisions on the customs procedures governing the temporary admission of goods, which would include musical instruments and professional equipment and reflects practice set out in relevant international conventions, including the ATA and Istanbul Conventions. Where musicians or other professionals move equipment to the EU temporarily, which means they intend to return this equipment to the UK afterwards, there are several options to avoid payment of import duties in the EU and on return to the UK, including via the use of ATA Carnets and the Temporary Admission procedure.

A carnet is not required for musicians with accompanied instruments or equipment (carried or taken with the individual in personal baggage or a vehicle) travelling between Great Britain and The EU.

The management of EU import and export procedures is the responsibility of the customs authorities of the Member States. It is important that businesses and individuals confirm the processes in advance of their journey.

We are working urgently across government and in collaboration with the music and wider creative industries, including through the touring working group, to help address these issues so that touring in Europe can resume with ease as soon as it is safe to do so.

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking with local authorities throughout the country to facilitate the reopening of parkrun events in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

Government has prioritised the safe return of sport including team sports, contact combat sports and organised sports participation events. Organised outdoor sport, such as Parkrun, is exempt from legal gathering limits and can take place with any number of participants, as long as undertaken in line with published COVID-secure guidance. As such, Parkrun has been able to take place since 29 March as part of Step 1 of the government’s response to the Covid-19 Roadmap.

We are aware of issues at local levels around this, which is why I met with ParkRun on the 21 March to discuss the issues regarding their return. I am committed to supporting them to return as soon as possible.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what restrictions he plans to place on third party access to the data infrastructure contained in the proposed AQUIND subsea interconnector; and if he will make a statement.

The AQUIND subsea interconnector project is in the early planning stage. DCMS works with industry to manage the development of the UK’s submarine cable network including assessing and mitigating the physical, personnel, and cyber risks involved.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if his Department will publish guidance on when busking and street performances can begin safely as covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Indoor and outdoor performance events with a socially distanced audience are permitted from Step 3 of the Government’s Roadmap (not before 17 May). Busking is permitted from Step 3.

Busking may involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific performance or activity, and may risk audiences gathering in an uncontrolled environment.

We will continue to work with stakeholders on reopening the live music sector, in line with the timetable set out in the Roadmap.

26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many registrations his Department has received to the Film & TV Production Restart Scheme to date; how many claims have been made; and how much has been paid out on those claims.

The Government’s Film & TV Production Restart Scheme was launched on 16 October 2020 to provide support for production companies across the UK who would otherwise have been unable to film due to the lack of insurance covering covid-related risks.

There are now over 200 production companies registered to receive support from the scheme in the event of delay or disruption due to coronavirus. This means that the scheme is protecting over 22,000 jobs and over £780 million of production spend in the UK.

So far, over 50 claims have been made and these are being assessed. The scheme has now paid out on the initial claims.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the £10 million grant to National League clubs in steps 4-6 in supporting them through and beyond this lockdown period.

On 27th January 2021, the government confirmed that Steps 3-6 of the National League System will receive up to £10 million of grant support from the Sports Winter Survival Package. This is designed to protect the immediate future of approximately 850 clubs over the winter period. This support is being distributed at pace by the Football Foundation and is available with immediate effect.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of clubs in steps 4-6 of the National League on (a) mental wellbeing, (b) community projects, (c) economic prosperity and (d) other aspects of the local community.

Football clubs at all levels make a significant contribution to their local communities. National League clubs have demonstrated this more than ever throughout the pandemic, from delivering care packages for the vulnerable through to raising money for front-line charities, they are at the heart of their communities.

The Government therefore confirmed that Steps 3-6 of the National League System will receive up to £10 million of grant support from the Sports Winter Survival Package. This is being distributed at pace by the Football Foundation. This funding is designed to protect the immediate future of approximately 850 clubs over the winter period.

We also understand the importance of spectators to these clubs and have shown our commitment to getting fans back into stadia when infection rates are reduced. The Prime Minister is due to set out a roadmap to recovery in the week commencing 22 February.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what level of restrictions will be lifted for clubs in steps 4-6 in the National League to allow fan attendance after the covid-19 lockdown period.

Football clubs at all levels make a significant contribution to their local communities. National League clubs have demonstrated this more than ever throughout the pandemic, from delivering care packages for the vulnerable through to raising money for front-line charities, they are at the heart of their communities.

The Government therefore confirmed that Steps 3-6 of the National League System will receive up to £10 million of grant support from the Sports Winter Survival Package. This is being distributed at pace by the Football Foundation. This funding is designed to protect the immediate future of approximately 850 clubs over the winter period.

We also understand the importance of spectators to these clubs and have shown our commitment to getting fans back into stadia when infection rates are reduced. The Prime Minister is due to set out a roadmap to recovery in the week commencing 22 February.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to publish its online Media Literacy Strategy.

As set out in the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper Consultation, the Government is developing an Online Media Literacy Strategy which will be published in Spring 2021. The Strategy will explore the existing media literacy landscape and ensure a coordinated and strategic approach to media literacy education for children, young people, and adults.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which groups his Department (a) has consulted and (b) plans to consult to help determine the list of harms which will accompany the Online Safety Bill.

We have engaged with a broad range of stakeholders throughout the policy development process for the new online safety legislation, including with industry, civil society, academia and parliamentarians. This will continue to inform the scope of the regulatory framework, including categorisation of companies and harms they must address. We will continue to engage with a broad range of stakeholders as we develop online safety legislation.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations he has received on the use of (a) size and (b) risk as contributing factors in the categorisation of companies in the forthcoming Online Safety Bill; and if he will make a statement.

We have engaged with a broad range of stakeholders throughout the policy development process for the new online safety legislation, including with industry, civil society, academia and parliamentarians. This will continue to inform the scope of the regulatory framework, including categorisation of companies and harms they must address. We will continue to engage with a broad range of stakeholders as we develop online safety legislation.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) effect on transparency and local democracy of the statutory requirement to publicise planning applications in local newspapers and (b) potential effect on local newspaper revenue of discontinuing that requirement.

Local planning authorities are required to publicise certain types of planning applications in local newspapers as set out in Article 15 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

We are mindful of the potential impact that any changes to the requirements might have on transparency and local democracy, as well as the potential effect on local newspaper revenue. Indeed the independent Cairncross Review into the future of journalism found that statutory notices, including planning notices, provide an important strand of revenue for many local publishers and that their withdrawal would do serious damage to parts of the sector.

Proposals to reform publicity requirements are being considered through the “Planning for the Future” White Paper which aims to make it simpler, quicker and more accessible for local people to engage with the planning system using digital tools. We recognise the importance of local newspapers to communities and the continued need to reach out to people who cannot digitally access information. MHCLG is considering consultation responses and will publish a response in due course, and the impact on transparency and local democracy, as well as on local newspaper revenue will be considered before any decisions are taken.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the perpetuation of negative stereotypes about people with Down syndrome in broadcast media on the qualify of life of those people.

The Government recognises the editorial and operational independence of broadcasters but believes the broadcasting sector should reflect and represent all parts of society.

Ofcom, as the UK’s independent TV and radio regulator, sets rules in its Broadcasting Code to ensure broadcasters provide adequate protection to members of the public from the inclusion of harmful and offensive material in programmes. Ofcom can investigate and determine whether a breach of the Code has occurred, for example if the broadcast of negative stereotypes of people with Down’s syndrome is so severe that there is the potential for harm to be caused to viewers.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the level of (a) structural and (b) institutional racism within professional football.

Racism or any form of discrimination has no place in football or society.

The Government welcomed the launch of the Football Association’s ‘Football Leadership Diversity Code’ to ensure English football better represents our modern and diverse society.

There is still more to do, however, and the Government continues to liaise closely with the football authorities to tackle this issue.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing additional support and guidance to (a) gyms, (b) bowling alleys, (c) dance studios and (d) other sports facilities to ensure that people of all ages are able to have access to the services they need to maintain physical and mental wellbeing during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown period in England.

Sports and physical activity providers and facilities are at the heart of our communities, and play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. On 22 October, the Government announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres. In addition, Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has also provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.

We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a specific job support scheme for the live events supply chain for the duration of the lockdown restrictions affecting that sector.

We appreciate the important role that the events and music industries play in the UK’s economy, and that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to these sectors.

We have not made any assessments around the development of a specific job support scheme for the live events supply chain. As you are aware, the Chancellor has announced the Winter Economy Plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months, once the existing Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme come to end. From November, the Jobs Support Scheme will provide further support to returning workers, while the extended Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will aid the self-employed who are currently actively trading but are facing reduced demand.

We are also offering businesses who face a drop in demand for their services and possible cash flow issues generous terms for the repayment of deferred taxes and government-backed loans. We will give all businesses that borrowed under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme the option to repay their loan over a period of up to ten years. This will reduce their average monthly repayments on the loan by almost half. We also intend to allow CBILS lenders to extend the term of a loan up to ten years, providing additional flexibility for UK-based SMEs who may otherwise be unable to repay their loans.

In addition, the Secretary of State announced an unprecedented £1.57 billion support package for the cultural sector which will benefit the live music sector by providing support to music venues and many other cultural organisations to stay open and continue operating.

We continue to engage with the sector to discuss the on-going challenges facing the industry.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of taking account of the outcomes of the fan-led review of governance when making decisions on the provision of financial support to football clubs.

Football clubs are the heart of local communities, they have unique social value and many with a great history. It is vital they are protected.

The Government is focusing its support on those in the sector most in need as a result of the decision not to readmit spectators to stadia from 1 October. We are working through the details and will set that support in due course.

In parallel, we also continue work on the fan-led review of football governance and are currently considering deciding the scope and structure of the review. Whilst any thorough review could not be concluded in advance of consideration of financial need as a result of a delay to the return of fans, I am clear that the governance and financing of football are intrinsically linked, and will have that in mind as both strands progress.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make it his policy to introduce restrictions on financial support for football club owners that have been deemed to be profligate with their funds.

Football clubs form the bedrock of local communities. It is vital they are protected.

We have worked closely with football throughout the pandemic including getting the Premier League and English Football League back behind closed doors but we have been clear that we expect the game - where it can at the top tiers - to support itself. The Government will then focus our support on those in the sector most in need as a result of the October 1 decision.

We are working through the details and will set that support in the coming days.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of enabling the Sports Ground Safety Authority and respective external Safety Advisory Groups for each English Football League and National League club to make health and safety risk assessments in relation to enabling the return of fan-attended fixtures.

On 22 September it was announced that all sports pilot events currently ongoing would be paused with immediate effect, due to the sharp upward trajectory of Covid-19 cases nationally. A?s set out in our Roadmap, sports events pilots, and the full return of fans to stadia would only ever take place when it was safe to do so.

The Government will continue to work closely with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) and a whole range of sports to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to his statement at the daily press conference on 17 June, that all but five countries worldwide broadcast the restart of the Premier League on 17 June 2020, which five countries did not air the restart of the Premier League.

We understand from the Premier League that broadcast rights to their matches have been sold around the world, with only five countries not covered as of 17 June - Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea, the Philippines and Turkmenistan.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will classify people working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors as critical workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

The guidance published on GOV.UK specifies that ‘charity workers delivering key frontline services’ can be classified as critical workers during the covid-19 outbreak. However, the guidance also states that if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to prevent library closures.

Local authorities in England have a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. It is for individual local authorities to decide how best to provide a public library service that meets local needs within their available resources. The net expenditure on the library service by local authorities in England increased in 2018/19 from 2017/18.

DCMS works across central and local government to encourage investment in libraries to ensure they can continue to support the delivery of local and national priorities and needs. The DCMS funded Libraries Taskforce was established, by DCMS and the Local Government Association, to devise and implement the “Libraries Deliver” strategy which is helping support and reinvigorate the public library service in England. It has worked with sector partners to advocate for libraries and to share and promote good practice to help libraries better serve their communities.

In October 2019 DCMS also announced the £250 million Cultural Investment Fund, of which over £125 million will be invested in regional museums and libraries over five years from 2020/21. The funds will be used to upgrade buildings and technology so public libraries across England are better placed to respond to the changing ways people are using them.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of research by Swim England that suggests three in five primary school children will not be able to swim 25 metres by the 2025-26 academic year.

The department recognises that children have missed out on opportunities to learn to swim and be taught how to be safe in and around water due to COVID-19 restrictions as highlighted in the report published by Swim England.

To help address this, the department is working closely with Swim England and other swimming and water safety organisations to provide support to schools and pool operators to restart school swimming lessons, including comprehensive guidance, webinars, and direct advice.

Additionally, through the Opening Schools Facilities programme, the department is supporting schools with swimming pools to be able to open their facilities beyond their normal hours, to give young people more opportunities to learn to swim.

The department is currently procuring a national delivery partner for the next academic year, to allocate funding and offer advice and guidance to schools, including on how they can use their swimming pools and other facilities to provide an increase in the local offer of swimming and other physical activity and extracurricular sports.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of similarities between elements of the 11+ practice examination paper and this year's key stage 2 Standard Assessment Test; and if he will make a statement.

The test development process used by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) is rigorous, with teachers and experts commenting on the materials throughout the three-year development process. These reviewers are selected to be broadly nationally representative, in terms of geography and school type, to minimise bias. The 2022 key stage 2 reading test went through these processes and the expert reviewers considered all materials appropriate and fair.

STA cannot entirely mitigate against pupils having already read certain texts, or against them being used by other organisations developing materials for schools, though checks are undertaken throughout the process. There are many resources and practice papers in the public domain, and it would be impractical and expensive to monitor them all. When it is identified late in the development process that a text has been used elsewhere, STA must also consider whether setting aside the text would be an appropriate use of public money. Although STA makes use of specifically written texts where possible, particularly for non-fiction, fiction texts can come across as contrived and the use of high-quality texts by published authors is essential.

STA are confident that the 2022 reading test was appropriate and accessible for all pupils.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children have an Education Health and Care plan by local authority for the period in which the latest figures are available.

The department collects figures on education, health and care (EHC) plans workload from local authorities annually. This data is published at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans. The most recent figures were published on 12 May 2022 and the number of children and young people with an EHC plan by local authority can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/51d6175e-670a-4d52-a023-2b11d363d01b.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what staff attendance levels were in his Department’s offices in England for each month this year.

The department operates from 12 locations, spread across the country. The total number of operational desks is 4,525.

Site

Desks (as at 6 May 2022)

London

1,425*

Sheffield

790

Coventry

1,113

Darlington

272

Manchester

500

Nottingham

164

Bristol

95

Watford

24

Newcastle

36

Cambridge

42

Croydon

40

Leeds

24

Totals

4,525

*Desk capacity for London has since been reduced to 1,100, which reflects the capacity at the site for department staff once planned tenants occupy the building.

There are 8,009 full time equivalent (FTE) employed by the department. This includes a number of remote workers who regularly attend other ‘work settings’ as part of their role, for example schools, colleges and learning providers.

Site

FTE (as at 6 May 2022)

London

2,268

Sheffield

1,489

Coventry

1,257

Darlington

768

Manchester

1,249

Nottingham

343

Bristol

299

Watford

23

Newcastle

120

Cambridge

35

Croydon

48

Leeds

110

Totals

8,009

The department has introduced a policy of hybrid working to capture the benefits of both remote working and office attendance.

Since January 2022, attendance numbers have steadily increased, as staff have settled into hybrid working patterns. The vast majority of staff are now regularly attending their designated office.

The current average daily occupancy, across all 12 offices, is circa 60 to 70%. This is similar to pre-pandemic occupancy levels.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many members of staff are based in each of his Department’s offices in England as of 10 May 2022.

The department operates from 12 locations, spread across the country. The total number of operational desks is 4,525.

Site

Desks (as at 6 May 2022)

London

1,425*

Sheffield

790

Coventry

1,113

Darlington

272

Manchester

500

Nottingham

164

Bristol

95

Watford

24

Newcastle

36

Cambridge

42

Croydon

40

Leeds

24

Totals

4,525

*Desk capacity for London has since been reduced to 1,100, which reflects the capacity at the site for department staff once planned tenants occupy the building.

There are 8,009 full time equivalent (FTE) employed by the department. This includes a number of remote workers who regularly attend other ‘work settings’ as part of their role, for example schools, colleges and learning providers.

Site

FTE (as at 6 May 2022)

London

2,268

Sheffield

1,489

Coventry

1,257

Darlington

768

Manchester

1,249

Nottingham

343

Bristol

299

Watford

23

Newcastle

120

Cambridge

35

Croydon

48

Leeds

110

Totals

8,009

The department has introduced a policy of hybrid working to capture the benefits of both remote working and office attendance.

Since January 2022, attendance numbers have steadily increased, as staff have settled into hybrid working patterns. The vast majority of staff are now regularly attending their designated office.

The current average daily occupancy, across all 12 offices, is circa 60 to 70%. This is similar to pre-pandemic occupancy levels.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the average proximity of children with Education, Health and Care plans to their school in each local authority.

The information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.


Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his Department holds on the distance children with Education Health and Care plans have to travel to attend their educational settings.

The information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.


Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the affordability of school swimming and water safety lessons in context of potential increases in pool hire costs as a result of rising energy prices.

The department recognises that children have missed out on opportunities to learn to swim due to COVID-19 restrictions. To mitigate the impact of this, through the Oak National Academy, the government has provided new virtual water safety lessons to ensure that despite pool closures pupils had some access to water safety tuition. The department is working closely with Swim England and other swimming and water safety organisations to support pupils returning safely to swimming and promote water safety education. Sport England’s annual Active Lives Children and Young People’s Survey reports that in the 2020/21 academic year, 76% of children in year 7 were able to swim at least 25 meters, this represents no change in comparison to the 2019/20 academic year.

During phase 2 of the Opening School Facilities programme (March 2021 to March 2022), 115 schools used funding to extend their swimming offer with many using funding to assist with cleaning and water testing, and minor investments such as extending lifeguard time or providing CPD for school staff to train as lifeguards.

On 2 October 2021, the government confirmed nearly £30 million a year for improving and opening up school sports facilities and improving the teaching of Physical Education at primary school. This further funding provides scope to provide funding, advice, and guidance to schools to make better use of their pools.

The government continues to monitor the cost pressures that schools are facing. Future increases in funding have been frontloaded to rapidly get money to schools so that in the 2022/23 academic year alone core schools funding will increase by £4 billion compared to the 2021/22 academic year.

The department recognises the impact rising energy prices may have. Ofgem and the government are in regular contact with business groups and suppliers to understand the challenges they face and explore ways to protect consumers and businesses.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) extent and (b) impact of swimming pool closures on school swimming and water safety attainment levels.

The department recognises that children have missed out on opportunities to learn to swim due to COVID-19 restrictions. To mitigate the impact of this, through the Oak National Academy, the government has provided new virtual water safety lessons to ensure that despite pool closures pupils had some access to water safety tuition. The department is working closely with Swim England and other swimming and water safety organisations to support pupils returning safely to swimming and promote water safety education. Sport England’s annual Active Lives Children and Young People’s Survey reports that in the 2020/21 academic year, 76% of children in year 7 were able to swim at least 25 meters, this represents no change in comparison to the 2019/20 academic year.

During phase 2 of the Opening School Facilities programme (March 2021 to March 2022), 115 schools used funding to extend their swimming offer with many using funding to assist with cleaning and water testing, and minor investments such as extending lifeguard time or providing CPD for school staff to train as lifeguards.

On 2 October 2021, the government confirmed nearly £30 million a year for improving and opening up school sports facilities and improving the teaching of Physical Education at primary school. This further funding provides scope to provide funding, advice, and guidance to schools to make better use of their pools.

The government continues to monitor the cost pressures that schools are facing. Future increases in funding have been frontloaded to rapidly get money to schools so that in the 2022/23 academic year alone core schools funding will increase by £4 billion compared to the 2021/22 academic year.

The department recognises the impact rising energy prices may have. Ofgem and the government are in regular contact with business groups and suppliers to understand the challenges they face and explore ways to protect consumers and businesses.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase (a) recruitment and (b) retention rates among childcare providers in England.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his Department holds on the current provision and take-up of extra-curricular activities and before and after-school clubs in schools.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings in the Child Poverty Action Group and Children North East report, The Cost of the School Day in England: pupils’ perspectives; and what plans his Department has to reduce school-related costs, including curriculum-related costs, school trips and learning resources.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his Department holds on curriculum-related costs for children at (a) primary and (b) secondary settings.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of curriculum-related costs on children at (a) primary and (b) secondary settings.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish a breakdown of academy trust revenue reserves for 2020-21 by region.

The department has published information about academy trust revenue reserves for the 2020/21 academic year at a national level here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academy-trust-revenue-reserves-2020-to-2021. This analyses data is available on the Schools Financial Benchmarking website: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/, which shows the revenue reserves at trust level as reported in academy trusts’ Academy Accounts Return (AAR) for 2020/21. This can be found under ‘AAR 2020/21’ at: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

Information on trust revenue reserves will be published at a regional level in the 2020/21 Sector Annual Report and Accounts, which will be published in autumn 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish a breakdown of academy trust revenue reserves for 2020-21 by trust.

The department has published information about academy trust revenue reserves for the 2020/21 academic year at a national level here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academy-trust-revenue-reserves-2020-to-2021. This analyses data is available on the Schools Financial Benchmarking website: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/, which shows the revenue reserves at trust level as reported in academy trusts’ Academy Accounts Return (AAR) for 2020/21. This can be found under ‘AAR 2020/21’ at: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

Information on trust revenue reserves will be published at a regional level in the 2020/21 Sector Annual Report and Accounts, which will be published in autumn 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date his Department informed Randstad of the decision to end its contract with that organisation for the delivery of National Tutoring Programme.

The initial term of Randstad’s contract expires on 31 August 2022, and the department has chosen not to exercise the option to extend it for another year. We announced this on 31 March. The decision not to extend Randstad’s contract will not result in any further costs. The final cost of delivering this year’s programme will be confirmed once the current contract ends.

The department is launching a competitive procurement process in April to appoint one or more delivery partner for the National Tutoring Programme in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years. All tender documents will be published through the usual commercial channels. The delivery partner(s) will be responsible for quality assurance, recruiting and deploying academic mentors and offering training. This new approach for our delivery partner(s) is in line with wider reforms to the programme, including providing all funding directly to schools, which will make the programme simpler and more flexible.

The department expects to appoint the delivery partner(s) for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years in June. We will also publish full guidance for schools in the summer term. This will set the parameters around how the funding should be used and provide advice on how schools can make best use of their funding to develop an effective tutoring offer for their pupils.

Up to 13 March 2022, the department estimates that at least 1,198,239 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the National Tutoring Programme since its launch in November 2020. An estimated 311,000 starts were made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

Up to 10th March 2022, the department estimates that 674,941 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through school led tutoring on NTP in the 2021/22 academic year. A further 128,776 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through tuition partners and 83,805 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through academic mentors.

The latest figures on starts made were published on 31 March, as detailed above. The department will be publishing more information about the programme in the future.

We regularly review the programme to ensure improvement. Based on lessons learnt from the current programme and the feedback from schools, we have made changes to the programme for next year and this was communicated on 31 March 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date he decided to end his Department’s contract with Randstad for the delivery of National Tutoring Programme.

The initial term of Randstad’s contract expires on 31 August 2022, and the department has chosen not to exercise the option to extend it for another year. We announced this on 31 March. The decision not to extend Randstad’s contract will not result in any further costs. The final cost of delivering this year’s programme will be confirmed once the current contract ends.

The department is launching a competitive procurement process in April to appoint one or more delivery partner for the National Tutoring Programme in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years. All tender documents will be published through the usual commercial channels. The delivery partner(s) will be responsible for quality assurance, recruiting and deploying academic mentors and offering training. This new approach for our delivery partner(s) is in line with wider reforms to the programme, including providing all funding directly to schools, which will make the programme simpler and more flexible.

The department expects to appoint the delivery partner(s) for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years in June. We will also publish full guidance for schools in the summer term. This will set the parameters around how the funding should be used and provide advice on how schools can make best use of their funding to develop an effective tutoring offer for their pupils.

Up to 13 March 2022, the department estimates that at least 1,198,239 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the National Tutoring Programme since its launch in November 2020. An estimated 311,000 starts were made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

Up to 10th March 2022, the department estimates that 674,941 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through school led tutoring on NTP in the 2021/22 academic year. A further 128,776 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through tuition partners and 83,805 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through academic mentors.

The latest figures on starts made were published on 31 March, as detailed above. The department will be publishing more information about the programme in the future.

We regularly review the programme to ensure improvement. Based on lessons learnt from the current programme and the feedback from schools, we have made changes to the programme for next year and this was communicated on 31 March 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will publish data on the absence rate from National Tutoring Programme sessions during the academic year 2021-2022.

The initial term of Randstad’s contract expires on 31 August 2022, and the department has chosen not to exercise the option to extend it for another year. We announced this on 31 March. The decision not to extend Randstad’s contract will not result in any further costs. The final cost of delivering this year’s programme will be confirmed once the current contract ends.

The department is launching a competitive procurement process in April to appoint one or more delivery partner for the National Tutoring Programme in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years. All tender documents will be published through the usual commercial channels. The delivery partner(s) will be responsible for quality assurance, recruiting and deploying academic mentors and offering training. This new approach for our delivery partner(s) is in line with wider reforms to the programme, including providing all funding directly to schools, which will make the programme simpler and more flexible.

The department expects to appoint the delivery partner(s) for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years in June. We will also publish full guidance for schools in the summer term. This will set the parameters around how the funding should be used and provide advice on how schools can make best use of their funding to develop an effective tutoring offer for their pupils.

Up to 13 March 2022, the department estimates that at least 1,198,239 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the National Tutoring Programme since its launch in November 2020. An estimated 311,000 starts were made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

Up to 10th March 2022, the department estimates that 674,941 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through school led tutoring on NTP in the 2021/22 academic year. A further 128,776 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through tuition partners and 83,805 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through academic mentors.

The latest figures on starts made were published on 31 March, as detailed above. The department will be publishing more information about the programme in the future.

We regularly review the programme to ensure improvement. Based on lessons learnt from the current programme and the feedback from schools, we have made changes to the programme for next year and this was communicated on 31 March 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many National Tutoring Programme sessions have been cancelled during the academic year 2021-2022.

The initial term of Randstad’s contract expires on 31 August 2022, and the department has chosen not to exercise the option to extend it for another year. We announced this on 31 March. The decision not to extend Randstad’s contract will not result in any further costs. The final cost of delivering this year’s programme will be confirmed once the current contract ends.

The department is launching a competitive procurement process in April to appoint one or more delivery partner for the National Tutoring Programme in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years. All tender documents will be published through the usual commercial channels. The delivery partner(s) will be responsible for quality assurance, recruiting and deploying academic mentors and offering training. This new approach for our delivery partner(s) is in line with wider reforms to the programme, including providing all funding directly to schools, which will make the programme simpler and more flexible.

The department expects to appoint the delivery partner(s) for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years in June. We will also publish full guidance for schools in the summer term. This will set the parameters around how the funding should be used and provide advice on how schools can make best use of their funding to develop an effective tutoring offer for their pupils.

Up to 13 March 2022, the department estimates that at least 1,198,239 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the National Tutoring Programme since its launch in November 2020. An estimated 311,000 starts were made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

Up to 10th March 2022, the department estimates that 674,941 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through school led tutoring on NTP in the 2021/22 academic year. A further 128,776 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through tuition partners and 83,805 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through academic mentors.

The latest figures on starts made were published on 31 March, as detailed above. The department will be publishing more information about the programme in the future.

We regularly review the programme to ensure improvement. Based on lessons learnt from the current programme and the feedback from schools, we have made changes to the programme for next year and this was communicated on 31 March 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will publish data on the number of courses completed through the National Tutoring Programme since its inception.

The initial term of Randstad’s contract expires on 31 August 2022, and the department has chosen not to exercise the option to extend it for another year. We announced this on 31 March. The decision not to extend Randstad’s contract will not result in any further costs. The final cost of delivering this year’s programme will be confirmed once the current contract ends.

The department is launching a competitive procurement process in April to appoint one or more delivery partner for the National Tutoring Programme in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years. All tender documents will be published through the usual commercial channels. The delivery partner(s) will be responsible for quality assurance, recruiting and deploying academic mentors and offering training. This new approach for our delivery partner(s) is in line with wider reforms to the programme, including providing all funding directly to schools, which will make the programme simpler and more flexible.

The department expects to appoint the delivery partner(s) for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years in June. We will also publish full guidance for schools in the summer term. This will set the parameters around how the funding should be used and provide advice on how schools can make best use of their funding to develop an effective tutoring offer for their pupils.

Up to 13 March 2022, the department estimates that at least 1,198,239 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the National Tutoring Programme since its launch in November 2020. An estimated 311,000 starts were made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

Up to 10th March 2022, the department estimates that 674,941 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through school led tutoring on NTP in the 2021/22 academic year. A further 128,776 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through tuition partners and 83,805 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through academic mentors.

The latest figures on starts made were published on 31 March, as detailed above. The department will be publishing more information about the programme in the future.

We regularly review the programme to ensure improvement. Based on lessons learnt from the current programme and the feedback from schools, we have made changes to the programme for next year and this was communicated on 31 March 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish all (a) tender documents and (b) supporting information in respect of the procurement of a new provider for the National Tutoring Programme.

The initial term of Randstad’s contract expires on 31 August 2022, and the department has chosen not to exercise the option to extend it for another year. We announced this on 31 March. The decision not to extend Randstad’s contract will not result in any further costs. The final cost of delivering this year’s programme will be confirmed once the current contract ends.

The department is launching a competitive procurement process in April to appoint one or more delivery partner for the National Tutoring Programme in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years. All tender documents will be published through the usual commercial channels. The delivery partner(s) will be responsible for quality assurance, recruiting and deploying academic mentors and offering training. This new approach for our delivery partner(s) is in line with wider reforms to the programme, including providing all funding directly to schools, which will make the programme simpler and more flexible.

The department expects to appoint the delivery partner(s) for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years in June. We will also publish full guidance for schools in the summer term. This will set the parameters around how the funding should be used and provide advice on how schools can make best use of their funding to develop an effective tutoring offer for their pupils.

Up to 13 March 2022, the department estimates that at least 1,198,239 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the National Tutoring Programme since its launch in November 2020. An estimated 311,000 starts were made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

Up to 10th March 2022, the department estimates that 674,941 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through school led tutoring on NTP in the 2021/22 academic year. A further 128,776 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through tuition partners and 83,805 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through academic mentors.

The latest figures on starts made were published on 31 March, as detailed above. The department will be publishing more information about the programme in the future.

We regularly review the programme to ensure improvement. Based on lessons learnt from the current programme and the feedback from schools, we have made changes to the programme for next year and this was communicated on 31 March 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what procurement process his Department plans to undertake for the appointment of the new provider of the National Tutoring Programme.

The initial term of Randstad’s contract expires on 31 August 2022, and the department has chosen not to exercise the option to extend it for another year. We announced this on 31 March. The decision not to extend Randstad’s contract will not result in any further costs. The final cost of delivering this year’s programme will be confirmed once the current contract ends.

The department is launching a competitive procurement process in April to appoint one or more delivery partner for the National Tutoring Programme in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years. All tender documents will be published through the usual commercial channels. The delivery partner(s) will be responsible for quality assurance, recruiting and deploying academic mentors and offering training. This new approach for our delivery partner(s) is in line with wider reforms to the programme, including providing all funding directly to schools, which will make the programme simpler and more flexible.

The department expects to appoint the delivery partner(s) for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years in June. We will also publish full guidance for schools in the summer term. This will set the parameters around how the funding should be used and provide advice on how schools can make best use of their funding to develop an effective tutoring offer for their pupils.

Up to 13 March 2022, the department estimates that at least 1,198,239 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the National Tutoring Programme since its launch in November 2020. An estimated 311,000 starts were made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

Up to 10th March 2022, the department estimates that 674,941 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through school led tutoring on NTP in the 2021/22 academic year. A further 128,776 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through tuition partners and 83,805 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through academic mentors.

The latest figures on starts made were published on 31 March, as detailed above. The department will be publishing more information about the programme in the future.

We regularly review the programme to ensure improvement. Based on lessons learnt from the current programme and the feedback from schools, we have made changes to the programme for next year and this was communicated on 31 March 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the impact on the public purse of the cancellation of his Department's contract with Randstad for the delivery of the National Tutoring Programme.

The initial term of Randstad’s contract expires on 31 August 2022, and the department has chosen not to exercise the option to extend it for another year. We announced this on 31 March. The decision not to extend Randstad’s contract will not result in any further costs. The final cost of delivering this year’s programme will be confirmed once the current contract ends.

The department is launching a competitive procurement process in April to appoint one or more delivery partner for the National Tutoring Programme in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years. All tender documents will be published through the usual commercial channels. The delivery partner(s) will be responsible for quality assurance, recruiting and deploying academic mentors and offering training. This new approach for our delivery partner(s) is in line with wider reforms to the programme, including providing all funding directly to schools, which will make the programme simpler and more flexible.

The department expects to appoint the delivery partner(s) for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years in June. We will also publish full guidance for schools in the summer term. This will set the parameters around how the funding should be used and provide advice on how schools can make best use of their funding to develop an effective tutoring offer for their pupils.

Up to 13 March 2022, the department estimates that at least 1,198,239 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the National Tutoring Programme since its launch in November 2020. An estimated 311,000 starts were made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through the programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

Up to 10th March 2022, the department estimates that 674,941 starts had been made by pupils on courses of tuition provided through school led tutoring on NTP in the 2021/22 academic year. A further 128,776 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through tuition partners and 83,805 starts were made by pupils on courses provided through academic mentors.

The latest figures on starts made were published on 31 March, as detailed above. The department will be publishing more information about the programme in the future.

We regularly review the programme to ensure improvement. Based on lessons learnt from the current programme and the feedback from schools, we have made changes to the programme for next year and this was communicated on 31 March 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to allocate additional financial resources to local authorities to support the foundation of multi-academy trusts.

The department is committing up to £86 million in trust capacity funding over the next three years, focused particularly on Education Investment Areas including Portsmouth. Applications are open for the Trust Capacity Fund 2022/2023 to help trusts, and local authority maintained schools forming trusts, to develop their capacity to grow. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-to-the-trust-capacity-fund.

The Schools White Paper 2022 announced that local authorities will be able to establish new multi-academy trusts where too few strong trusts exist. Further details will be announced in due course.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will confirm that he will not bring forward legislative proposals to compel schools to join multi-academy trusts.

The schools white paper set out a clear ambition for all schools to have joined, or be in the process of joining, strong trusts by 2030. Strong trusts act as a family of schools, enabling collaboration and the sharing of expertise.

The policies the department sets out will remove the barriers preventing schools from benefiting from the support of a strong trust. This will ensure that all parts can contribute to building a single, coherent system.

The department will engage with the sector on how best to achieve a fully trust-led system, where every school can benefit from the support of a strong multi-academy trust.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to ensure that access to Oak National Academy's online content remains zero rated so that pupils can access remote education without facing extra data charges.

As part of the department establishing a new arms-length curriculum body incorporating Oak National Academy, the department will continue working with Oak National Academy’s team to ensure that content remains free to access.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Schools White Paper, what estimate he has made of the number of schools that undertake the Parent Pledge.

The department’s Parent Pledge announced in the Schools White Paper aims to ensure that all children receive the right support in the right place, at the right time, based on their need.

Parents can be confident that every child who is behind in English and maths will receive the evidence-based, targeted support they need to help them get back on track. This can take the form of additional one-to-one maths tuition, or more time with their teacher practising their reading. This still means access to high-quality teaching and a strong curriculum for all children.

The very best schools and trusts in the system already do this as a matter of course. However, for many schools, this will be an important and significant shift. The department’s intention is to lock in this best practice in all schools so that all pupils benefit. Ofsted’s recently strengthened inspection framework, with its emphasis on how schools help all pupils to succeed, will ensure that there is strong accountability for delivering this in all schools.

By Autumn 2021, primary pupils were on average around 0.8 months behind where the department would expect them to be in reading and around 1.9 months behind in maths. There is some recovery since the Summer term, where pupils were 0.9 months behind in reading and 2.8 months behind in maths. Secondary pupils in KS3 were on average 2.4 months behind in reading, with some further losses since the Summer where pupils were on average 1.8 months behind.

Since Spring 2021, evidence suggests primary pupils have recovered around two thirds of progress lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic in reading and around half of progress lost in maths.

The department will support schools to deliver against the pledge. As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the department has already invested nearly £5 billion, including £3 billion in targeted support to help those children worst affected by COVID-19, with a commitment to deliver up to 100 million tutoring hours for 5 to 19-year-olds.

New guidance developed by the Standards and Testing Agency, working with Ofsted and the sector, will support schools to determine who is behind, and decide how curriculum, teaching, and targeted support can best be used to respond to this. Additionally, new guidance on reporting progress to parents will support schools in keeping parents informed and engaged, bringing reporting practice up to the standard of the best schools and trusts.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of schools that offer a 32.5 hour week.

The department’s review of time in schools found that the average mainstream school day is 6 hours and 30 minutes, which equates to a 32.5 hour week. The review is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-time-in-school-and-16-to-19-settings. This data draws on the COVID-19 School Snapshot Panel Findings from the July 2021 survey, which found that 14% of schools reported delivering a school week of less than 32 hours, available to view here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1027725/School_Snapshot_Panel_July_Wave_Report.pdf.

On 28 March 2022, the government announced in the Schools White Paper, 'Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child', an expectation that all state-funded mainstream schools should deliver a school week of at least 32.5 hours by September 2023. The White Paper is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opportunity-for-all-strong-schools-with-great-teachers-for-your-child. More information can be found in the information note that was published alongside the White Paper: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/length-of-the-school-week-minimum-expectation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support children not meeting expected standards of literacy.

The department is committed to raising literacy standards by following the evidence.

The evidence for systematic phonics is very secure. For example, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have carried out a comprehensive review of robust studies on the impact of phonics and they found that systematic phonics is the most effective approach for teaching pupils to decode, including older pupils struggling with decoding, when embedded in a rich literacy environment.

The national curriculum is explicit that learning to decode words is just one element of becoming a fluent reader. This is based on the Simple View of Reading (explained in more detail in the July 2021 Reading Framework), which describes reading as the product of both decoding and language comprehension. This can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-reading-framework-teaching-the-foundations-of-literacy.

The Schools White Paper builds on the department’s record of supporting the improvement of literacy standards over the past decade, including the introduction of the Phonics Screening Check; the English Hubs Programme; the publication of the reading framework; and the validation of phonics programmes. The English Hubs are currently delivering intensive support to over 1,000 partner schools and will continue to support schools to drive up literacy standards, including driving improvements in the quality of reading education for those not meeting expected standards in literacy. The full White Paper can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opportunity-for-all-strong-schools-with-great-teachers-for-your-child.

The department will also make it easier for schools to access the best evidence of 'what works' by re-endowing the EEF with at least £100 million, developing and scaling literacy and numeracy interventions with over £55 million via our Accelerator Fund, and introducing a menu of recommended evidence-based approaches linked to the Pupil Premium.

In addition, from Autumn 2022, the National Professional Qualification for Leading Literacy will be available. This qualification has been designed to develop teachers’ expertise in leading the development of pupils’ language, reading, and writing in all key stages and is aimed at teachers and leaders who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading literacy across a school, year group, key stage, or phase. The content framework which underpins this qualification was published in October 2021 and can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-professional-qualifications-npqs-reforms/national-professional-qualifications-npqs-reforms. Further details around eligibility and funding for this qualification will be announced in due course.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on (a) phonics and (b) reading of the recent research report published in the Review of Education, Reading wars or reconciliation: A critical examination of robust research evidence, curriculum policy and teachers' practices for teaching phonics and reading; and if he will make a statement.

The department is committed to raising literacy standards by following the evidence.

The evidence for systematic phonics is very secure. For example, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have carried out a comprehensive review of robust studies on the impact of phonics and they found that systematic phonics is the most effective approach for teaching pupils to decode, including older pupils struggling with decoding, when embedded in a rich literacy environment.

The national curriculum is explicit that learning to decode words is just one element of becoming a fluent reader. This is based on the Simple View of Reading (explained in more detail in the July 2021 Reading Framework), which describes reading as the product of both decoding and language comprehension. This can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-reading-framework-teaching-the-foundations-of-literacy.

The Schools White Paper builds on the department’s record of supporting the improvement of literacy standards over the past decade, including the introduction of the Phonics Screening Check; the English Hubs Programme; the publication of the reading framework; and the validation of phonics programmes. The English Hubs are currently delivering intensive support to over 1,000 partner schools and will continue to support schools to drive up literacy standards, including driving improvements in the quality of reading education for those not meeting expected standards in literacy. The full White Paper can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opportunity-for-all-strong-schools-with-great-teachers-for-your-child.

The department will also make it easier for schools to access the best evidence of 'what works' by re-endowing the EEF with at least £100 million, developing and scaling literacy and numeracy interventions with over £55 million via our Accelerator Fund, and introducing a menu of recommended evidence-based approaches linked to the Pupil Premium.

In addition, from Autumn 2022, the National Professional Qualification for Leading Literacy will be available. This qualification has been designed to develop teachers’ expertise in leading the development of pupils’ language, reading, and writing in all key stages and is aimed at teachers and leaders who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading literacy across a school, year group, key stage, or phase. The content framework which underpins this qualification was published in October 2021 and can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-professional-qualifications-npqs-reforms/national-professional-qualifications-npqs-reforms. Further details around eligibility and funding for this qualification will be announced in due course.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the implications for its policies of the publication entitled, Reaching the unseen children: Practical strategies for closing stubborn attainment gaps in disadvantaged groups; and whether he plans to take steps in response to that publication.

Enabling every child, irrespective of their background, to realise their potential at school has been at the centre of this government’s education policy since 2010. The government continues to provide schools with additional funding through the pupil premium to raise the attainment of all disadvantaged pupils, which will rise to over £2.6 billion in the 2022/23 academic year.

The department knows that disadvantaged pupils have experienced greater loss in their education as a result of the pandemic, which is why we are targeting additional recovery funding towards disadvantaged pupils. This includes a time-limited recovery premium worth over £1.3 billion for state funded schools over the 2021/22 – 2023/24 academic years. Building on the pupil premium, the recovery premium helps schools to deliver evidence-based approaches to support education recovery for disadvantaged pupils.

It is for school leaders to decide how to use their funding, based on the evidence of what works alongside their professional judgement. We have published guidance for school leaders on using pupil premium, which includes the ‘menu of approaches’ to help them to do this, and is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium#online-statements.

From the start of the 2022/23 academic year, schools must ensure their funding is spent in line with the menu. It is based on evidence of effective practice to ensure that spending is focussed on raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Child of the North research published in 2022.

The department takes an evidenced based approach and continues to incorporate the most up to date and robust research when developing policy. The department has noted the publication of the Child of the North Report and its recommendations.

As the government’s Levelling Up White Paper and recent Schools White Paper outline, the department is committed to levelling up education standards and increasing capacity in the parts of the country that need this most.

The government’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP) Green Paper, published on Tuesday 29 March, sets out its vision for a single, national SEND and AP system that will introduce new standards in the quality of support given to children across education, health and care.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his Answer of 22 March 2022 to Question 141972, what steps he has taken to ensure that his Department learns lessons from the initial call for volunteers to re-enter the teaching profession; and if he will make a statement.

The department is extremely grateful to all the teachers who responded to the campaign. Each one is making a difference to the education of the pupils they are teaching and makes a valuable contribution to our aim of maintaining face-to-face education in schools.

As a result of this campaign, the department has further improved our engagement with the supply sector and we maintain regular contact with a wide range of stakeholders including trade unions, supply agencies and trade bodies, to monitor the supply market.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2022 to Question 141972 on Teachers: Re-employment, what provisions are included in his Department's contracts to ensure that he is (a) informed on progress of ministerial and departmental initiatives and (b) able to oversee operational delivery.

Supply agencies are independent private organisations and were not directly contracted by the department for the campaign. As a result, they were not required to provide performance data in relation to this campaign.

As part of our engagement with the supply sector we have maintained regular contact with a wide range of stakeholders including trade unions, supply agencies and trade bodies, to monitor the supply market.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the average distance children with SEND have to travel to attend their setting.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Most pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) attend mainstream education (54% of pupils with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) and 89% of pupils with an EHCP or SEND support).

Local authorities must provide free home to school transport for children of compulsory school age who attend their nearest suitable school and would be unable to walk there because it is beyond walking distance (2 miles for children under 8 and 3 miles for children aged 8 and over). They must also provide this if it is because of their SEND, or because the nature of the route means it would be unsafe to do so.

Where a child has an EHCP, the school named in the plan will normally be their nearest suitable school for transport purposes.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will list all schools taking part in the Behaviour Hubs programme.

The 22 lead schools and 2 lead multi-academy trusts (MATs) taking part in the behaviour hubs programme are published on the behaviour hubs website at: https://behaviourhubs.co.uk/current-lead-schools-mats/.

Recruitment for a further 28 lead schools and 8 MATs has now concluded, and an announcement regarding successful applicants will be made before the end of April 2022.

All partner schools self-refer to the behaviour hubs programme. To date, we have received 471 applications to be partner schools or partner MATs. There are currently no plans for the department to formally release the names of partner schools on the programme.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria his Department applied when selecting the lead schools on the Behaviour hub programme.

As the Behaviour Hubs programme has not yet been operational for a full year, the department are unable to comment on its impact. The effectiveness of the programme is being thoroughly evaluated, and an interim report will be published in 2023, followed by a final report in 2025. Early feedback from the schools being supported has been very positive, noting the quality and inclusivity of the advice they are receiving.

All partner schools self-refer to the Behaviour Hubs programme. To date, the department has received 471 applications to be partner schools or partner multi-academy trusts.

All partner schools are required to attend a mandatory module on special educational needs and disabilities in their first term. This covers statutory responsibilities, barriers facing, and support strategies for pupils with SEND and how to ensure policies and practices are fully inclusive.

All lead schools have to meet a strict eligibility criteria to apply for the programme. All schools are required to be Ofsted rated Outstanding, Good with Outstanding behaviour and attitudes, or Good with an exceptional application. Primary school applicants are also required to have above average reading, writing, and maths attainment. Secondary school applicants need to be above average for Progress and Attainment 8, with 2018/19 Ebacc entries of at least 45%. All schools submit a written application, undergo a series of due diligence checks, and an online assessment process. This includes focus groups with pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, and carers as well as an unseen activity and an interview with senior leaders. Where a school did not meet all criteria, they were still able to apply and be considered alongside an exceptional application.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what training his Department providing to ensure Behaviour Hub partner schools staff are trained in behaviour management for pupils with SEND.

As the Behaviour Hubs programme has not yet been operational for a full year, the department are unable to comment on its impact. The effectiveness of the programme is being thoroughly evaluated, and an interim report will be published in 2023, followed by a final report in 2025. Early feedback from the schools being supported has been very positive, noting the quality and inclusivity of the advice they are receiving.

All partner schools self-refer to the Behaviour Hubs programme. To date, the department has received 471 applications to be partner schools or partner multi-academy trusts.

All partner schools are required to attend a mandatory module on special educational needs and disabilities in their first term. This covers statutory responsibilities, barriers facing, and support strategies for pupils with SEND and how to ensure policies and practices are fully inclusive.

All lead schools have to meet a strict eligibility criteria to apply for the programme. All schools are required to be Ofsted rated Outstanding, Good with Outstanding behaviour and attitudes, or Good with an exceptional application. Primary school applicants are also required to have above average reading, writing, and maths attainment. Secondary school applicants need to be above average for Progress and Attainment 8, with 2018/19 Ebacc entries of at least 45%. All schools submit a written application, undergo a series of due diligence checks, and an online assessment process. This includes focus groups with pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, and carers as well as an unseen activity and an interview with senior leaders. Where a school did not meet all criteria, they were still able to apply and be considered alongside an exceptional application.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what evidence his Department holds on relevant schools self-referring to the Behaviour Hubs programme.

As the Behaviour Hubs programme has not yet been operational for a full year, the department are unable to comment on its impact. The effectiveness of the programme is being thoroughly evaluated, and an interim report will be published in 2023, followed by a final report in 2025. Early feedback from the schools being supported has been very positive, noting the quality and inclusivity of the advice they are receiving.

All partner schools self-refer to the Behaviour Hubs programme. To date, the department has received 471 applications to be partner schools or partner multi-academy trusts.

All partner schools are required to attend a mandatory module on special educational needs and disabilities in their first term. This covers statutory responsibilities, barriers facing, and support strategies for pupils with SEND and how to ensure policies and practices are fully inclusive.

All lead schools have to meet a strict eligibility criteria to apply for the programme. All schools are required to be Ofsted rated Outstanding, Good with Outstanding behaviour and attitudes, or Good with an exceptional application. Primary school applicants are also required to have above average reading, writing, and maths attainment. Secondary school applicants need to be above average for Progress and Attainment 8, with 2018/19 Ebacc entries of at least 45%. All schools submit a written application, undergo a series of due diligence checks, and an online assessment process. This includes focus groups with pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, and carers as well as an unseen activity and an interview with senior leaders. Where a school did not meet all criteria, they were still able to apply and be considered alongside an exceptional application.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria his Department uses to assess the success of Behaviour Hubs.

As the Behaviour Hubs programme has not yet been operational for a full year, the department are unable to comment on its impact. The effectiveness of the programme is being thoroughly evaluated, and an interim report will be published in 2023, followed by a final report in 2025. Early feedback from the schools being supported has been very positive, noting the quality and inclusivity of the advice they are receiving.

All partner schools self-refer to the Behaviour Hubs programme. To date, the department has received 471 applications to be partner schools or partner multi-academy trusts.

All partner schools are required to attend a mandatory module on special educational needs and disabilities in their first term. This covers statutory responsibilities, barriers facing, and support strategies for pupils with SEND and how to ensure policies and practices are fully inclusive.

All lead schools have to meet a strict eligibility criteria to apply for the programme. All schools are required to be Ofsted rated Outstanding, Good with Outstanding behaviour and attitudes, or Good with an exceptional application. Primary school applicants are also required to have above average reading, writing, and maths attainment. Secondary school applicants need to be above average for Progress and Attainment 8, with 2018/19 Ebacc entries of at least 45%. All schools submit a written application, undergo a series of due diligence checks, and an online assessment process. This includes focus groups with pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, and carers as well as an unseen activity and an interview with senior leaders. Where a school did not meet all criteria, they were still able to apply and be considered alongside an exceptional application.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the evidence his Department holds on the impact of Behaviour Hubs programme on educational provision since that programme began.

As the Behaviour Hubs programme has not yet been operational for a full year, the department are unable to comment on its impact. The effectiveness of the programme is being thoroughly evaluated, and an interim report will be published in 2023, followed by a final report in 2025. Early feedback from the schools being supported has been very positive, noting the quality and inclusivity of the advice they are receiving.

All partner schools self-refer to the Behaviour Hubs programme. To date, the department has received 471 applications to be partner schools or partner multi-academy trusts.

All partner schools are required to attend a mandatory module on special educational needs and disabilities in their first term. This covers statutory responsibilities, barriers facing, and support strategies for pupils with SEND and how to ensure policies and practices are fully inclusive.

All lead schools have to meet a strict eligibility criteria to apply for the programme. All schools are required to be Ofsted rated Outstanding, Good with Outstanding behaviour and attitudes, or Good with an exceptional application. Primary school applicants are also required to have above average reading, writing, and maths attainment. Secondary school applicants need to be above average for Progress and Attainment 8, with 2018/19 Ebacc entries of at least 45%. All schools submit a written application, undergo a series of due diligence checks, and an online assessment process. This includes focus groups with pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, and carers as well as an unseen activity and an interview with senior leaders. Where a school did not meet all criteria, they were still able to apply and be considered alongside an exceptional application.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to inform music education hubs of the amount of grant funding they will be receiving for the financial year 2022-23; and if he will make a statement.

The government remains committed to continued support for music education. Following the Spending Review settlement, the department announced that we will continue to invest around £115 million per annum in cultural education over the next three years, through our music, arts and heritage programmes including music hubs, working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council England and others.

Our partner organisations, including Arts Council England, the fundholder for music education hubs, will be updated shortly to confirm funding allocations for financial year 2022/23 following the outcome of the department’s business planning.

For financial year 2021/22 the department provided £79 million for the music education hubs programme. The department’s grant constitutes around 40% of income on average, with remaining income primarily being provided from parental and school contributions.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the financial sustainability of music education hubs which are awaiting grant funding for the financial year 2022-23.

The government remains committed to continued support for music education. Following the Spending Review settlement, the department announced that we will continue to invest around £115 million per annum in cultural education over the next three years, through our music, arts and heritage programmes including music hubs, working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council England and others.

Our partner organisations, including Arts Council England, the fundholder for music education hubs, will be updated shortly to confirm funding allocations for financial year 2022/23 following the outcome of the department’s business planning.

For financial year 2021/22 the department provided £79 million for the music education hubs programme. The department’s grant constitutes around 40% of income on average, with remaining income primarily being provided from parental and school contributions.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to distribute its annual funding grants for Music Education Hubs for the financial year 2022-23; and if he will make a statement.

The government remains committed to continued support for music education. Following the Spending Review settlement, the department announced that we will continue to invest around £115 million per annum in cultural education over the next three years, through our music, arts and heritage programmes including music hubs, working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council England and others.

Our partner organisations, including Arts Council England, the fundholder for music education hubs, will be updated shortly to confirm funding allocations for financial year 2022/23 following the outcome of the department’s business planning.

For financial year 2021/22 the department provided £79 million for the music education hubs programme. The department’s grant constitutes around 40% of income on average, with remaining income primarily being provided from parental and school contributions.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the impact on local authorities of the mandatory legal duty to provide early help.

Under the Children Act 1989, local authorities are required to provide services for children in need for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting their welfare. The statutory guidance, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ is clear that local areas should have a comprehensive range of effective, evidence-based services in place to address needs early. The ‘Local Government Finance Settlement’ made available £54.1 billion for the 2022/23 financial year for local government in England, an increase of up to £3.7 billion, over 4.5% in real terms, on the 2021/22 financial year.

This significant investment includes over £630 million additional funding for the social care grant, bringing the total grant to £2.4 billion. In addition, local authorities will have access to a one-off Services Grant in the 2022/23 financial year which is worth over £800 million that can be used for all services, including children’s social care.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the Government's timeframe is for implementing the recommendations of the forthcoming investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into children’s residential care.

In March 2021, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a market study examining the lack of availability and increasing costs in children’s social care provision, including children’s homes and fostering agencies. The CMA examined concerns around high prices paid by local authorities, and the inadequate supply of appropriate placements for children. Its interim report was published on 22 October 2021. Its full report, including recommendations, was published on 10 March 2022 here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childrens-social-care-market-study-final-report.

The department welcomes the report and is carefully considering the CMA’s recommendations. At this point, the department is unable to comment on timeframes for implementation of the recommendations, until it has fully considered the findings contained in the final report. The department commits to responding to the report within 90 days.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the report by Action for Children, Too Little Too Late, published in March 2022.

The ‘Too Little, Too Late’ report recommends an increase in funding for a range of early intervention services.

In the Budget and Spending Review 2021, we announced a £500 million package for families. This includes £300 million to transform ‘Start for Life’ services and create a network of family hubs in half of the council areas in England, and a £200 million uplift to the Supporting Families Programme.

The additional Supporting Families funding represents around a 40% real-terms uplift for the programme by the 2024/25 financial year, taking total planned investment across the next 3 years to £695 million. This funding will help up to 300,000 more families facing multiple, interconnected issues to access effective support and improve their life outcomes. It will also begin to reduce the pressure on reactive, statutory services as the system starts to rebalance away from intervening at crisis point.

The report’s recommendations on a legal duty for Early Help, and additional data collection on Early Help, will be considered as part of our response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to local authorities to improve the (a) collection and (b) storage of children’s services data.

Local authorities record and store children’s services data in digital case management systems procured from the market. The department’s upcoming Children’s Social Care Digital Programme is working with local authorities and case management system suppliers to develop soon to be published guidance. The guidance is aiming to support local authority planning, procurement, and implementation of case management systems.

We are also working across government to observe how data and technology can be used to enable better multi-agency information sharing in safeguarding. This includes an investigation study on the feasibility of adopting a consistent child identifier.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to collect data from local authorities on early help provision.

The department does not currently collect data on the type of support provided in early help. The Supporting Families programme is testing ways of collecting needs and outcomes data on early help.

The department will also consider any relevant recommendations from the independent review of children’s social care. Learning from both will inform any next steps.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to publish the Special educational needs and disabilities review.

The outcome of the special educational needs and disabilities review will be published as a Green Paper for full public consultation by the end of March.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of National Tutoring Programme sessions have been cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice this academic year in the tuition partnership pillar.

The department has published participation figures for the first term of this academic year which estimates that just over 300,000 tuition courses had been started since September. The department will be releasing more information about the programme in future.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of National Tutoring Programme sessions have been cancelled with more than 24 hours’ notice this academic year in the tuition partnership pillar.

The department has published participation figures for the first term of this academic year which estimates that just over 300,000 tuition courses had been started since September. The department will be releasing more information about the programme in future.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the attendance rate has been for the tuition partner pillar of the National Tutoring Partnership in each academic year that the scheme has been running.

The department has published participation figures for the first term of this academic year which estimates that just over 300,000 tuition courses had been started since September. The department will be releasing more information about the programme in future.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to increase funding for Universal Infant Free School Meals in line with inflation.

The department spends around £600 million per year ensuring around 1.3 million infants enjoy a free, healthy, and nutritious meal at lunchtime following the introduction of the universal infant free school meal policy in 2014. The per meal rate of £2.34 per child was increased in the 2020/21 financial year. The funding rate for the 2022/23 financial year will be published with the funding allocations in June.

The department holds regular meetings with other government departments and with food industry representatives, covering a variety of issues including public sector food supplies. Schools are responsible for the provision of school meals and may enter individual contracts with suppliers and caterers to meet this duty. We are confident that schools will continue providing pupils with nutritious school meals as required by the school food standards.

We routinely consider contingency arrangements and expect schools and catering companies supplying them to do the same.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made representations to Ministerial colleagues in the Treasury on the potential merits of increasing funding for universal infant free school meals in the context of the rising cost of food and labour.

The department spends around £600 million per year ensuring around 1.3 million infants enjoy a free, healthy, and nutritious meal at lunchtime following the introduction of the universal infant free school meal policy in 2014. The per meal rate of £2.34 per child was increased in the 2020/21 financial year. The funding rate for the 2022/23 financial year will be published with the funding allocations in June.

The department holds regular meetings with other government departments and with food industry representatives, covering a variety of issues including public sector food supplies. Schools are responsible for the provision of school meals and may enter individual contracts with suppliers and caterers to meet this duty. We are confident that schools will continue providing pupils with nutritious school meals as required by the school food standards.

We routinely consider contingency arrangements and expect schools and catering companies supplying them to do the same.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of (a) rising inflation, (b) rising cost of labour and (c) recruitment challenges on funding for the school food industry; and if he will make a statement.

The department spends around £600 million per year ensuring around 1.3 million infants enjoy a free, healthy, and nutritious meal at lunchtime following the introduction of the universal infant free school meal policy in 2014. The per meal rate of £2.34 per child was increased in the 2020/21 financial year. The funding rate for the 2022/23 financial year will be published with the funding allocations in June.

The department holds regular meetings with other government departments and with food industry representatives, covering a variety of issues including public sector food supplies. Schools are responsible for the provision of school meals and may enter individual contracts with suppliers and caterers to meet this duty. We are confident that schools will continue providing pupils with nutritious school meals as required by the school food standards.

We routinely consider contingency arrangements and expect schools and catering companies supplying them to do the same.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has had discussions with Ministerial colleagues in the Treasury on the potential merits of increasing the funding rate for universal infant free school meals to the rate allocated for free school meals.

The department spends around £600 million per year ensuring around 1.3 million infants enjoy a free, healthy, and nutritious meal at lunchtime following the introduction of the universal infant free school meal policy in 2014. The per meal rate of £2.34 per child was increased in the 2020/21 financial year. The funding rate for the 2022/23 financial year will be published with the funding allocations in June.

The department holds regular meetings with other government departments and with food industry representatives, covering a variety of issues including public sector food supplies. Schools are responsible for the provision of school meals and may enter individual contracts with suppliers and caterers to meet this duty. We are confident that schools will continue providing pupils with nutritious school meals as required by the school food standards.

We routinely consider contingency arrangements and expect schools and catering companies supplying them to do the same.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government’s contract with Randstad for the National Tutoring Programme, whether his Department has requested a termination estimate.

The delivery and performance of the National Tutoring Programme is monitored closely through ongoing performance reviews, governance boards and senior level meetings.

The department is unable to provide detailed information regarding the contract with Randstad as it is commercially sensitive. We continue to review the delivery of the programme and will set out our future plans in due course.

A full independent evaluation of the programme will be published in summer 2023.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government’s contract with Randstad for the National Tutoring Programme, what assessment he has made of the maximum payment for the termination of that contract.

The delivery and performance of the National Tutoring Programme is monitored closely through ongoing performance reviews, governance boards and senior level meetings.

The department is unable to provide detailed information regarding the contract with Randstad as it is commercially sensitive. We continue to review the delivery of the programme and will set out our future plans in due course.

A full independent evaluation of the programme will be published in summer 2023.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government’s contract with Randstad for the National Tutoring Programme, whether his Department has procured a benchmark review using a third party organisation to establish whether the services delivered as part of that contract are of good value.

The delivery and performance of the National Tutoring Programme is monitored closely through ongoing performance reviews, governance boards and senior level meetings.

The department is unable to provide detailed information regarding the contract with Randstad as it is commercially sensitive. We continue to review the delivery of the programme and will set out our future plans in due course.

A full independent evaluation of the programme will be published in summer 2023.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has agreed a rectification plan with Randstad as part of the contract for the National Tutoring Programme.

The delivery and performance of the National Tutoring Programme is monitored closely through ongoing performance reviews, governance boards and senior level meetings.

The department is unable to provide detailed information regarding the contract with Randstad as it is commercially sensitive. We continue to review the delivery of the programme and will set out our future plans in due course.

A full independent evaluation of the programme will be published in summer 2023.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many service points Randstad has accrued over the 2 month period under the contract for the National Tutoring Programme.

The delivery and performance of the National Tutoring Programme is monitored closely through ongoing performance reviews, governance boards and senior level meetings.

The department is unable to provide detailed information regarding the contract with Randstad as it is commercially sensitive. We continue to review the delivery of the programme and will set out our future plans in due course.

A full independent evaluation of the programme will be published in summer 2023.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he intends to update the dataset entitled Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (a) before 1 April 2022 and (b) on or after 1 April 2022.

The intention is to continue to publish data whilst collection of attendance data continues via the education settings status form. We have committed to reviewing the education settings status form data collection at Easter. This data collection is used to update the 'Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic' official statistics publication, found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Upcoming releases of this data will be announced on a publication-by-publication basis. The next publication of this data set is due on 8 March 2022. Further dates will be announced in due course at: https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has issued guidance to (a) schools, (b) colleges, and (c) other educational contexts on how to most effectively use remaining stocks of unused lateral flow test kits in those places; and if he will make a statement.

We are moving to a different phase in managing COVID-19, where we learn to live with the virus. From 21 February 2022, staff, children and young people in mainstream education and childcare are no longer asked to test twice per week. Staff, secondary school aged pupils and above in special schools, alternative provision, specialist special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) units within schools and colleges, and open and secure children’s homes, are advised to continue with twice weekly testing.

In mainstream education providers with a specialist SEND unit or further education (FE) equivalent, pupils in year 7 and above, and staff within the unit, should continue to be encouraged to test twice per week. These pupils are more likely to be vulnerable and at a higher risk of poor clinical outcomes because of COVID-19. Providers should supply them with test kits from their existing stocks to enable them to do this. The ordering process for SEND and alternative provision will not be changing.

Updated guidance on asymptomatic testing for education providers has been published, and requests that mainstream providers that have unused and unopened test kit boxes, should retain these for the time being. This stock of self-test kits is to ensure that mainstream providers can commence outbreak testing quickly, if required. We have consistently communicated that orders should only be placed if stock has run out, so we do not expect providers to have a large stock of test kits. The department continues to work closely with the UK Health Security Agency and will be considering how any remaining test kit stocks should be treated. Further details will be made available in due course.

The education ordering channel remains open for providers to obtain test kits if needed, in line with any testing measures agreed by Directors of Public Health or Health Protection Teams, in the event of an outbreak. Providers should not distribute test kits for any staff or pupils who wish to continue regular testing, but advise them to get tests from GOV.UK and local pharmacies.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of unused lateral flow test kit in (a) schools, (b) colleges and (c) other educational contexts as of 22 February 2022; and if he will make a statement.

We are moving to a different phase in managing COVID-19, where we learn to live with the virus. From 21 February 2022, staff, children and young people in mainstream education and childcare are no longer asked to test twice per week. Staff, secondary school aged pupils and above in special schools, alternative provision, specialist special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) units within schools and colleges, and open and secure children’s homes, are advised to continue with twice weekly testing.

In mainstream education providers with a specialist SEND unit or further education (FE) equivalent, pupils in year 7 and above, and staff within the unit, should continue to be encouraged to test twice per week. These pupils are more likely to be vulnerable and at a higher risk of poor clinical outcomes because of COVID-19. Providers should supply them with test kits from their existing stocks to enable them to do this. The ordering process for SEND and alternative provision will not be changing.

Updated guidance on asymptomatic testing for education providers has been published, and requests that mainstream providers that have unused and unopened test kit boxes, should retain these for the time being. This stock of self-test kits is to ensure that mainstream providers can commence outbreak testing quickly, if required. We have consistently communicated that orders should only be placed if stock has run out, so we do not expect providers to have a large stock of test kits. The department continues to work closely with the UK Health Security Agency and will be considering how any remaining test kit stocks should be treated. Further details will be made available in due course.

The education ordering channel remains open for providers to obtain test kits if needed, in line with any testing measures agreed by Directors of Public Health or Health Protection Teams, in the event of an outbreak. Providers should not distribute test kits for any staff or pupils who wish to continue regular testing, but advise them to get tests from GOV.UK and local pharmacies.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, until what date funding through the Coronavirus Workforce Fund will be available to schools and colleges; and if he will make a statement.

The COVID-19 workforce fund will provide financial support to eligible schools and colleges for costs incurred due to staff absences from 22 November 2021 until 8 April 2022.

Following an extension from February half term until Easter, the fund is planned to end on 8 April. The claims portal will open in the spring for absence costs incurred across the current duration of the fund.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the level of (a) speaking and (b) understanding language ability of children starting secondary school in September 2021 compared to those who started secondary school in the years before the covid-19 outbreak.

The department does not have a current assessment of the number of children entering secondary school with speech and language difficulties or delay. We will have updated data on communication and language development later this year.

The department commissioned Renaissance Learning and the Education Policy Institute to collect data from a sample of schools to provide a baseline assessment of education lost and catch-up needs for year 3 to 9 pupils in schools in England and to monitor progress over the course of the 2020-21 academic year and the Autumn term 2021. The latest findings from this research, published 29 October 2021, include data from the 2020-21 summer term and a summary of all previous findings. Complete findings from the 2020-21 academic year can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupils-progress-in-the-2020-to-2021-academic-year-interim-report.

Latest evidence suggests that pupils are showing some degree of recovery in reading. By summer 2021, primary pupils were on average around 0.9 months behind in reading and secondary pupils were on average around 1.8 months behind compared to where they would otherwise have been in a typical year. This is an improvement since the second half of the spring term 2021, where primary pupils were 2.3 months behind, and secondary pupils were around 2.6 months behind.

That is why the department is investing nearly £5 billion on measures to support further recovery such as the National Tutoring Programme, teacher development, and the recovery premium to support teachers to implement evidence-based interventions to address education gaps. This is in addition to a strong core funding settlement which will see core schools funding rise by £4.7 billion by financial year 2024/25 compared to existing plans.

The department is investing in early years education recovery to address concerns around lost education. Improving training for early years practitioners is one of the key levers for driving up quality in early education providers, and language development is key to this. That is why we are investing £180 million of recovery support in the early years sector.

This includes £153 million for evidence-based professional development for early years practitioners, including through new programmes focusing on key areas such as speech and language development for the youngest children. It also includes up to £10 million for a second phase of the Early Years Professional Development Programme in academic year 2021/22, targeted to support early years staff to work with disadvantaged children. It also includes up to £17 million for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI). NELI is a proven programme aimed at the reception aged children needing extra support with their speech and language development and is proven to help children make around three months of additional progress. Two thirds of primary schools have signed up, the majority of these being schools with the highest levels of disadvantage, reaching an estimated 90,000 children.

As part of the department’s recovery strategy, we will also be significantly increasing the numbers of qualified level 3 special educational needs coordinators, to support better early identification and support of special educational needs and disabilities.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of whether children are behind with their speaking and understanding of language as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what support his Department is putting in place to meet those needs.

The department does not have a current assessment of the number of children entering secondary school with speech and language difficulties or delay. We will have updated data on communication and language development later this year.

The department commissioned Renaissance Learning and the Education Policy Institute to collect data from a sample of schools to provide a baseline assessment of education lost and catch-up needs for year 3 to 9 pupils in schools in England and to monitor progress over the course of the 2020-21 academic year and the Autumn term 2021. The latest findings from this research, published 29 October 2021, include data from the 2020-21 summer term and a summary of all previous findings. Complete findings from the 2020-21 academic year can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupils-progress-in-the-2020-to-2021-academic-year-interim-report.

Latest evidence suggests that pupils are showing some degree of recovery in reading. By summer 2021, primary pupils were on average around 0.9 months behind in reading and secondary pupils were on average around 1.8 months behind compared to where they would otherwise have been in a typical year. This is an improvement since the second half of the spring term 2021, where primary pupils were 2.3 months behind, and secondary pupils were around 2.6 months behind.

That is why the department is investing nearly £5 billion on measures to support further recovery such as the National Tutoring Programme, teacher development, and the recovery premium to support teachers to implement evidence-based interventions to address education gaps. This is in addition to a strong core funding settlement which will see core schools funding rise by £4.7 billion by financial year 2024/25 compared to existing plans.

The department is investing in early years education recovery to address concerns around lost education. Improving training for early years practitioners is one of the key levers for driving up quality in early education providers, and language development is key to this. That is why we are investing £180 million of recovery support in the early years sector.

This includes £153 million for evidence-based professional development for early years practitioners, including through new programmes focusing on key areas such as speech and language development for the youngest children. It also includes up to £10 million for a second phase of the Early Years Professional Development Programme in academic year 2021/22, targeted to support early years staff to work with disadvantaged children. It also includes up to £17 million for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI). NELI is a proven programme aimed at the reception aged children needing extra support with their speech and language development and is proven to help children make around three months of additional progress. Two thirds of primary schools have signed up, the majority of these being schools with the highest levels of disadvantage, reaching an estimated 90,000 children.

As part of the department’s recovery strategy, we will also be significantly increasing the numbers of qualified level 3 special educational needs coordinators, to support better early identification and support of special educational needs and disabilities.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that supporting children’s spoken language development is part of the forthcoming schools White Paper.

The schools white paper will set out the department’s long-term vision for schools with a focus on achieving world-class numeracy and literacy, of which oral language development is integral. Too many children and young people still move to the next phase of education or employment without the fundamental standards in literacy and numeracy they need to reach their full potential. Too many of these are from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.

We will achieve this by ensuring we have excellent teachers, trained in the very best literacy and numeracy approaches, in all areas of the country. We will support our teachers to deliver high standards for all pupils in every classroom, including supporting behaviour and attendance. This will work alongside targeted support for those furthest behind due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Underpinning this, we will ensure a stronger school system, with every school able to access the support they need to improve. The schools white paper will consider the links between early years and primary education as critical stages to children’s development in oracy and spoken language.

We expect to publish the schools white paper in early 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure that education recovery includes a focus on speaking and understanding language.

Overall direct investment announced for education recovery is almost £5 billion. The £1.8 billion provides for over £800 million for extra time for 16–19-year-olds and £1 billion direct funding to schools to extend the recovery premium.

The department understands that the early years are the most crucial point of child development. Attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development. Therefore, as part of education recovery funding, the department is investing £180 million of recovery support in the early years sector. This includes £153 million for evidence-based professional development for early years practitioners, including through new programmes focusing on key areas such as speech and language development for the youngest children; up to £10 million for a second phase of the Early Years Professional Development Programme in the 2021/22 academic year targeted to support early years staff in settings to work with disadvantaged children; and up to £17 million for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI).

NELI is a proven programme aimed at the reception aged children needing extra support with their speech and language development and is proven to help children make around three months of additional progress. Two thirds of primary schools have signed up, the majority of these being schools with the highest levels of disadvantage, reaching an estimated 90,000 children.

Building on the pupil premium, the recovery premium is helping schools to deliver evidence-based approaches to support education recovery for disadvantaged pupils aged 5-16. In October 2021 as part of the department’s broader spending review settlement the department announced an extension to the recovery premium worth £1 billion for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years.

Schools are expected to spend this premium on evidence-based approaches to supporting pupils, addressing education recovery related needs of disadvantaged pupils. This can include immediate steps such as assessing and addressing needs once pupils return to class, or longer-term strategic improvement such as improving teaching quality. Also, if schools judge that additional support is needed for speaking and understanding of language is required, they can dedicate resource to this, in the same way that they can for interventions for other parts of the curriculum.

In line with the Education Endowment Foundation’s pupil premium guide, activities should include those that support the quality of teaching, such as staff professional development or Speech and Language Therapists; provide targeted academic support, such as tutoring; and tackle non-academic barriers to success in school, such as attendance, behavior, and social and emotional support. Further information on this guide can be found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/guidance-for-teachers/using-pupil-premium.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to children with difficulties in speaking and understanding as part of the roll out of the £1.8 billion Education Recovery Package announced in the Spending Review 2021.

Overall direct investment announced for education recovery is almost £5 billion. The £1.8 billion provides for over £800 million for extra time for 16–19-year-olds and £1 billion direct funding to schools to extend the recovery premium.

The department understands that the early years are the most crucial point of child development. Attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development. Therefore, as part of education recovery funding, the department is investing £180 million of recovery support in the early years sector. This includes £153 million for evidence-based professional development for early years practitioners, including through new programmes focusing on key areas such as speech and language development for the youngest children; up to £10 million for a second phase of the Early Years Professional Development Programme in the 2021/22 academic year targeted to support early years staff in settings to work with disadvantaged children; and up to £17 million for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI).

NELI is a proven programme aimed at the reception aged children needing extra support with their speech and language development and is proven to help children make around three months of additional progress. Two thirds of primary schools have signed up, the majority of these being schools with the highest levels of disadvantage, reaching an estimated 90,000 children.

Building on the pupil premium, the recovery premium is helping schools to deliver evidence-based approaches to support education recovery for disadvantaged pupils aged 5-16. In October 2021 as part of the department’s broader spending review settlement the department announced an extension to the recovery premium worth £1 billion for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years.

Schools are expected to spend this premium on evidence-based approaches to supporting pupils, addressing education recovery related needs of disadvantaged pupils. This can include immediate steps such as assessing and addressing needs once pupils return to class, or longer-term strategic improvement such as improving teaching quality. Also, if schools judge that additional support is needed for speaking and understanding of language is required, they can dedicate resource to this, in the same way that they can for interventions for other parts of the curriculum.

In line with the Education Endowment Foundation’s pupil premium guide, activities should include those that support the quality of teaching, such as staff professional development or Speech and Language Therapists; provide targeted academic support, such as tutoring; and tackle non-academic barriers to success in school, such as attendance, behavior, and social and emotional support. Further information on this guide can be found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/guidance-for-teachers/using-pupil-premium.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will undertake a full consultation on its draft Sustainability and Climate Change strategy for the education and children’s services systems.

Since the department’s draft Sustainability and Climate Change strategy for the education and children’s services systems was launched in November 2021, a user group of sector representatives and a group of young people, reflecting a diverse range of voices, backgrounds, and experiences, have met monthly to feedback on the draft strategy from those networks and organisations they represent. Working groups, of stakeholders and experts, on each action area within the strategy have also met to discuss the proposals in detail and feed in via representatives on the user group.

We are working closely with these groups and with delivery partners across government to refine and build on the strategy ahead of publication of a final version in April 2022.

The department is also engaging with a wide range of stakeholders through bilateral meetings and topic specific workshops. We have furthermore launched a feedback survey and have invited all interested parties to submit views to the department’s sustainability mailbox at dfe.sustainability@education.gov.uk.

Our engagement process has been designed to ensure we engage meaningfully with a wide range of stakeholders in a variety of different ways to ensure we have maximum impact and can focus on strategic delivery as soon as possible.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many complaints his Department has received in relation to work undertaken as part of the Priority School Rebuilding Programme since that programme began.

The Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) is rebuilding and/or refurbishing school buildings in the very worst condition across the country at 537 schools. A list of these is available at GOV.UK. Contractors for the programme were procured through Department for Education construction frameworks. Information about this is available on GOV.UK.

We do not have a central record of any complaints made relating to PSBP. Any complaints and feedback received are treated seriously and acted on accordingly.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Priority School Building programme, if he will publish the (a) nature of the work undertaken in each setting, (b) contractors used to complete that work and (c) total cost to the public purse of those works.

The Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) is rebuilding and/or refurbishing school buildings in the very worst condition across the country at 537 schools. A list of these is available at GOV.UK. Contractors for the programme were procured through Department for Education construction frameworks. Information about this is available on GOV.UK.

We do not have a central record of any complaints made relating to PSBP. Any complaints and feedback received are treated seriously and acted on accordingly.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many 4G wireless routers his Department has purchased for educational settings that have not been distributed.

The department has now delivered 101,955 4G wireless routers to schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities, to enable disadvantaged children and young people to access remote education and essential social care services during the COVID-19 outbreak. All routers that we have purchased have been delivered.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department will publish its consultation on prioritised schools for the School Rebuilding Programme.

The department consulted over the summer and early autumn 2021 on the approach to prioritising schools for remaining places in the programme. On 3 February 2022 we published the response to the consultation. The response can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/prioritising-schools-for-the-school-rebuilding-programme.

Responsible bodies can now nominate schools for the next round and guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme. We announced the first 100 schools in the programme in 2021, as part of a commitment to 500 projects over the next decade.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the number of children with special educational needs and disabilities who are not in schools that adequately meet their needs; and for what reasons those pupils are not in suitable schools.

The information requested is not held. However, the department publishes data on the number of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and education health and care plans (EHCPs) awaiting provision once a year. Our last published figure in May 2021 for the number of children with SEND who have an EHCP who are not in schools and are awaiting provision was 1,460. We have recently announced an additional £2.6 billion over the next three years for school places for children and young people with SEND, more than tripling current capital funding levels to over £900 million by 2024-25.

We are conducting a review of the SEND system and will publish proposals for public consultation as a green paper in the first three months of this year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent reports that support staff in SEND education settings are being asked to take on roles outside of their core competences.

We know that special schools and alternative provision (AP) settings are often more impacted by staff absences, and less able to manage these absences using their existing staff and resource. The department has set a lower threshold for these settings to access the COVID-19 workforce fund, which provides financial support to eligible schools and colleges where needed. This fund has been extended until spring half term to cover the cost of term-time staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

This fund can be used by schools to employ supply staff to manage absences, increase the hours of part-time teaching or education support staff, or make amendments to support staff terms and conditions so they can take on additional responsibilities. Any changes should be discussed with the employee first, and schools should consider workload and wellbeing.

All schools, including special schools, benefit from the full range of measures the government has put in place to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, minimise disruption to education and limit absences. These include regular testing and continuing the booster rollout for adults and vaccinations for secondary age pupils. Special schools were also able to apply for our funded air cleaning units earlier than other settings, with the first 1,000 units reserved for special educational needs and disabilities and AP settings, enabling them to reduce airborne contaminants in poorly ventilated spaces where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of staff shortages on support staff in SEND education settings.

We know that special schools and alternative provision (AP) settings are often more impacted by staff absences, and less able to manage these absences using their existing staff and resource. The department has set a lower threshold for these settings to access the COVID-19 workforce fund, which provides financial support to eligible schools and colleges where needed. This fund has been extended until spring half term to cover the cost of term-time staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

This fund can be used by schools to employ supply staff to manage absences, increase the hours of part-time teaching or education support staff, or make amendments to support staff terms and conditions so they can take on additional responsibilities. Any changes should be discussed with the employee first, and schools should consider workload and wellbeing.

All schools, including special schools, benefit from the full range of measures the government has put in place to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, minimise disruption to education and limit absences. These include regular testing and continuing the booster rollout for adults and vaccinations for secondary age pupils. Special schools were also able to apply for our funded air cleaning units earlier than other settings, with the first 1,000 units reserved for special educational needs and disabilities and AP settings, enabling them to reduce airborne contaminants in poorly ventilated spaces where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to mitigate support staff having to take on work that should be done by teachers in SEND education settings, in response to staff shortages resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

We know that special schools and alternative provision (AP) settings are often more impacted by staff absences, and less able to manage these absences using their existing staff and resource. The department has set a lower threshold for these settings to access the COVID-19 workforce fund, which provides financial support to eligible schools and colleges where needed. This fund has been extended until spring half term to cover the cost of term-time staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

This fund can be used by schools to employ supply staff to manage absences, increase the hours of part-time teaching or education support staff, or make amendments to support staff terms and conditions so they can take on additional responsibilities. Any changes should be discussed with the employee first, and schools should consider workload and wellbeing.

All schools, including special schools, benefit from the full range of measures the government has put in place to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, minimise disruption to education and limit absences. These include regular testing and continuing the booster rollout for adults and vaccinations for secondary age pupils. Special schools were also able to apply for our funded air cleaning units earlier than other settings, with the first 1,000 units reserved for special educational needs and disabilities and AP settings, enabling them to reduce airborne contaminants in poorly ventilated spaces where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of staff absences on pupils who require one-to-one assistance in SEND education settings.

We know that special schools and alternative provision (AP) settings are often more impacted by staff absences, and less able to manage these absences using their existing staff and resource. The department has set a lower threshold for these settings to access the COVID-19 workforce fund, which provides financial support to eligible schools and colleges where needed. This fund has been extended until spring half term to cover the cost of term-time staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

This fund can be used by schools to employ supply staff to manage absences, increase the hours of part-time teaching or education support staff, or make amendments to support staff terms and conditions so they can take on additional responsibilities. Any changes should be discussed with the employee first, and schools should consider workload and wellbeing.

All schools, including special schools, benefit from the full range of measures the government has put in place to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, minimise disruption to education and limit absences. These include regular testing and continuing the booster rollout for adults and vaccinations for secondary age pupils. Special schools were also able to apply for our funded air cleaning units earlier than other settings, with the first 1,000 units reserved for special educational needs and disabilities and AP settings, enabling them to reduce airborne contaminants in poorly ventilated spaces where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, in the context of the spread of the Omicron variant of covid-19, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support provided to SEND schools for (a) compensating support staff for overtime worked and (b) ensuring provision of training.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, schools have continued to receive their core funding regardless of any periods of reduced attendance. Schools have the flexibility to make their own decisions on how to prioritise their spending to invest in a range of resources and activities that will best support their staff and pupils. Schools will be able to use their existing budgets to help with the costs associated with COVID-19 related absences.

The department re-introduced the COVID-19 workforce fund in the autumn term to provide financial support to eligible schools and colleges. The fund has been extended until spring half-term to cover the cost of term-time staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

We recognise that special schools, alternative provision, and special post-16 institutions are often more impacted by staff absences and are less able to manage these absences using their existing staff and resources than mainstream schools and colleges. That is why we have set a lower threshold for special schools, alternative provision and special post-16 institutions for short-term teacher absences. We have also been more flexible in our criteria for support staff claims in special schools and alternative provision in recognition of this critical role in these providers in particular.

As well as covering funding for schools to employ supply staff to manage absences, the fund can also be used to increase hours of part-time teaching or education support staff, or to make amendments to support staff terms and conditions to enable them to take on additional responsibilities. Schools should give due consideration to workload and wellbeing and discuss any changes with the employee first.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's portal to purchase air filtration units for education and childcare settings, if he will define the suitable standard of specification for their use in education settings.

All air cleaning units provided by the department have met an approved technical specification, including units available to purchase via the marketplace. The department’s technical specification used to assess the units was developed through a rigorous consultation with industry wide experts in both air cleaning and ventilation from academia, professional bodies, and industry, including chartered engineers, scientists and several government departments. Through this consultation we have developed a specification specific to education.

The specification included a wide range of factors appropriate to an education environment to determine overall suitability. This included clean air delivery rates, noise levels, filtration capability, technical certification, ease of use and maintenance, warranty, and strength of evidence for manufacturer claims. The primary considerations were around the standard of filtration which is high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration technology; the minimum standard was specified to HEPA H13/ISO35H, which is a medical grade of filter which helps to remove airborne contaminants, including viruses such as SARS‑CoV‑2. HEPA technology is a mature technology and removes the risk of any less well tested technology being implemented into classrooms. Acoustic performance was also a major consideration due to the units needing to go into a classroom environment. All these criteria formed part of our technical specification used to assess and select units that meet our high specification and are suitable for teaching environments.

Any procurement that we undertake must comply with the Public Contract Regulations (2015). The procurement of air cleaning devices was undertaken using the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Framework (RM6157) which can be accessed by central government departments including the Department for Education and the wider public sector. We have selected a range of products which meet our high specification criteria to provide education and childcare settings with high quality air cleaning units.

The department has published details of the contract for air cleaning units provided to SEND and alternative provision settings, including the technical specification for these units, which can be found here: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/d2955fc4-b281-45dd-9203-5c37df79dfda. The department will publish details of further contracts for air cleaning units, which will include the technical specification criteria, on contracts finder in line with the government’s transparency agenda.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number and proportion of classrooms in England that have no mechanical ventilation.

The department does not hold data on the number and proportions of classrooms in England that have no mechanical ventilation.

Maintaining adequate ventilation remains the responsibility of individual providers. The law says employers, including education and childcare providers, must make sure there is an adequate supply of fresh air in enclosed areas of the workplace. This has not changed during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Health and Safety Executive provides more information on this here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation/index.htm. Providers are expected to plan and prioritise any necessary remedial works within existing budgets. For more substantial capital works, education providers and those responsible for buildings have access to funding to improve the condition of buildings through different routes depending on their size and type.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. We have always said that where a provider is in operation it is important to ensure that it is well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the total cost to schools as a proportion of the public funding they receive of rehiring retired and ex-teachers to cover for teacher absences due to covid-19.

Schools have continued to receive their budgets in full throughout the COVID-19 outbreak regardless of periods of full or partial closure.

In addition, the department has re-introduced the COVID-19 workforce fund to provide financial support to eligible schools and colleges for additional staff absence costs incurred from 22 November until the February spring half term in 2022. The fund is available to support schools and colleges facing the greatest staffing and funding pressures to continue to deliver face-to-face, high quality education to all pupils.

School funding remains one of the department’s key priorities, which is why this government continues to deliver year on year, real terms per pupil increases to school funding with the total core school budget increasing to £56.8 billion by 2024-25.

In 2022-23 alone core schools funding will increase by £4 billion compared to 2021-22, a 5% real terms per pupil boost. This will help schools rise to the challenges of COVID-19, increase teacher pay, and meet the cost of the Health and Social Care Levy, while continuing their work to raise attainment.

Local authority and school expenditure is published annually, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year, and is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/la-and-school-expenditure.

Please note that this publication does not include academies.

School level data (including academies) is available at the schools financial benchmarking website, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year for local authority maintained schools and the 2019/20 academic year for academies (to be updated to the 2020/21 academic year in spring 2022): https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the total amount of funding schools will have pay to supply agencies to bring retired and ex-teachers back to teaching to cover for covid-19-absences in (a) January, (b) February and (c) March 2022.

Schools have continued to receive their budgets in full throughout the COVID-19 outbreak regardless of periods of full or partial closure.

In addition, the department has re-introduced the COVID-19 workforce fund to provide financial support to eligible schools and colleges for additional staff absence costs incurred from 22 November until the February spring half term in 2022. The fund is available to support schools and colleges facing the greatest staffing and funding pressures to continue to deliver face-to-face, high quality education to all pupils.

School funding remains one of the department’s key priorities, which is why this government continues to deliver year on year, real terms per pupil increases to school funding with the total core school budget increasing to £56.8 billion by 2024-25.

In 2022-23 alone core schools funding will increase by £4 billion compared to 2021-22, a 5% real terms per pupil boost. This will help schools rise to the challenges of COVID-19, increase teacher pay, and meet the cost of the Health and Social Care Levy, while continuing their work to raise attainment.

Local authority and school expenditure is published annually, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year, and is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/la-and-school-expenditure.

Please note that this publication does not include academies.

School level data (including academies) is available at the schools financial benchmarking website, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year for local authority maintained schools and the 2019/20 academic year for academies (to be updated to the 2020/21 academic year in spring 2022): https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much schools have paid to supply agencies to bring retired and ex-teachers back to teaching to cover for covid-19-related absences in (a) November 2021 and (b) December 2021.

Schools have continued to receive their budgets in full throughout the COVID-19 outbreak regardless of periods of full or partial closure.

In addition, the department has re-introduced the COVID-19 workforce fund to provide financial support to eligible schools and colleges for additional staff absence costs incurred from 22 November until the February spring half term in 2022. The fund is available to support schools and colleges facing the greatest staffing and funding pressures to continue to deliver face-to-face, high quality education to all pupils.

School funding remains one of the department’s key priorities, which is why this government continues to deliver year on year, real terms per pupil increases to school funding with the total core school budget increasing to £56.8 billion by 2024-25.

In 2022-23 alone core schools funding will increase by £4 billion compared to 2021-22, a 5% real terms per pupil boost. This will help schools rise to the challenges of COVID-19, increase teacher pay, and meet the cost of the Health and Social Care Levy, while continuing their work to raise attainment.

Local authority and school expenditure is published annually, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year, and is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/la-and-school-expenditure.

Please note that this publication does not include academies.

School level data (including academies) is available at the schools financial benchmarking website, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year for local authority maintained schools and the 2019/20 academic year for academies (to be updated to the 2020/21 academic year in spring 2022): https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the total amount spent by schools as a proportion of they public funding receive on additional staff from supply agencies in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

Local authority and school expenditure is published annually, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year, and is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/la-and-school-expenditure. Please note that this publication does not include academies.

School level data (including academies) is available at the Schools Financial Benchmarking website, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year for local authority maintained schools and the 2019-20 academic year for academies (to be updated to the 2020-21 academic year in spring 2022): https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

Available data on expenditure in schools on agency supply teaching staff is set out below.

Table 1: Schools in England expenditure on agency supply teaching staff, £million and percentage of total expenditure

2018-19 to 2020-211

2018-19

2019-20

2020-212

Local authority maintained schools (£ million)

£425.8

£410.7

£274.6

% of total expenditure

1.8%

1.7%

1.2%

Academies3 (£ million)

£373.1

£333.2

.

% of total expenditure

1.5%

1.2%

.

Source: local authority maintained schools - Consistent Financial Reporting. Academies - academy account returns.

1 Local authority maintained schools by financial year, academies by academic year.

2 Information for academies for the academic year 2020-21 will be available in spring 2022.

3 Includes expenditure by academies and central expenditure by multi academy trusts.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the total amount of funding paid to supply agencies from schools was in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

Local authority and school expenditure is published annually, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year, and is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/la-and-school-expenditure. Please note that this publication does not include academies.

School level data (including academies) is available at the Schools Financial Benchmarking website, with the latest available data being the 2020-21 financial year for local authority maintained schools and the 2019-20 academic year for academies (to be updated to the 2020-21 academic year in spring 2022): https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

Available data on expenditure in schools on agency supply teaching staff is set out below.

Table 1: Schools in England expenditure on agency supply teaching staff, £million and percentage of total expenditure

2018-19 to 2020-211

2018-19

2019-20

2020-212

Local authority maintained schools (£ million)

£425.8

£410.7

£274.6

% of total expenditure

1.8%

1.7%

1.2%

Academies3 (£ million)

£373.1

£333.2

.

% of total expenditure

1.5%

1.2%

.

Source: local authority maintained schools - Consistent Financial Reporting. Academies - academy account returns.

1 Local authority maintained schools by financial year, academies by academic year.

2 Information for academies for the academic year 2020-21 will be available in spring 2022.

3 Includes expenditure by academies and central expenditure by multi academy trusts.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many supply staff left the teaching profession as a result of not being furloughed in (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21.

The department does not collect or hold the information that has been requested.

Supply agencies providing temporary staff to schools are independent private companies and as such decisions over their use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are not reported to the department, but a matter for employees and employers.

The department does not hold data on the general numbers of supply staff, or any data on whether they are active as supply teachers at any time.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many supply agencies did not furlough supply staff during the covid-19 outbreak.

The department does not collect or hold the information that has been requested.

Supply agencies providing temporary staff to schools are independent private companies and as such decisions over their use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are not reported to the department, but a matter for employees and employers.

The department does not hold data on the general numbers of supply staff, or any data on whether they are active as supply teachers at any time.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to publish its response to the consultation on children not in state-funded or registered independent schools that closed on 24 June 2019.

The department remains committed to a register for children not in school. We will set out further details on this in the government response to the ‘children not in school’ consultation, which we will publish in the coming weeks.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department will take to measure the effectiveness of its voluntary code of practice on out-of-school settings.

The voluntary code of practice, which was published in October 2020, is intended to be a supportive resource for out of school setting providers that sets out good safeguarding practice and outlines which areas should be considered when operating out of school settings for children and young people, including health and safety, fire safety, and developing child protection policies and procedures: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-out-of-school-settings-code-of-practice.

To help raise awareness and encourage take-up of the code of practice after publication, we provided £60,000 of funding to be shared across 6 local authorities to test targeted communications approaches with out of school settings providers.

The code is also part of a larger package of work the department is undertaking to improve the safeguarding of children in out of school settings. This includes over £3 million of targeted funding for selected areas to demonstrate how safeguarding in out of school settings can be enhanced through multi-agency working and engaging providers with supportive resources such as the code of practice.

The targeted communications and multi-agency working pilots concluded in December 2021. We are currently evaluating these, and the insights gained will be used to inform next steps, such as how best to measure effectiveness of the code of practice.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many providers his Department plans to accredit as part of the proposed changes to the delivery of Initial Teacher Training in the Market Review.

The department invited new and existing providers to apply for accreditation under the process announced in the government’s response to the initial teacher training (ITT) review and there has been a considerable level of interest shown.

We anticipate receiving a diverse range of applications, reflecting the different types of ITT provision that exist currently. Each application will be assessed on its individual merits and so there is no set number of providers that the department aims to award accreditation. Our overall priority is to ensure that there are sufficient high-quality ITT providers and places to meet demand across the country.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of tutors engaged through the National Tutoring Programme are not fully qualified teachers.

​​This data is not held by the department.

We will consider whether to collect this data going forward.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of teaching volunteers that are required to cover staff absences.

The department is extremely grateful to all the teachers who are responding to our call to return temporarily to the classroom. Every single teacher that responds can make a vital difference to children and young people by keeping them in face-to-face education.

The campaign aims to further bolster the many supply staff that are already working in our schools and who have been supporting schools throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 12 January, the department published initial data from a sample of supply agencies gathered between 20 December 2021 and 7 January 2022. This showed that 485 former teachers have signed up with supply agencies, and over 100 Teach First alumni have also expressed interest in returning to the classroom.

Given the size of the sample, the true number of sign-ups since the call was launched will be larger. Full details of the data release can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/number-of-ex-teachers-joining-the-school-workforce-2021-to-2022.

This call for ex-teachers is just one of many measures we have in place to support our school workforce mitigate the challenges of COVID-19, including the reintroduction of the COVID-19 workforce fund, which we extended to the February half-term.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils have started tuition courses through the National Tutoring Partnership, by region.

​The National Tutoring Programme aims to deliver up to 2 million courses this year, and up to 90 million tuition hours by the 2024/25 academic year across the programme’s three pillars. Schools have the freedom to enrol the pupils they think could benefit most.

The programme is on course to deliver its objectives. Since September we have seen more than 300,000 courses started, almost the same number as the whole of last year. An estimated 230,000 courses have been started by pupils through the school-led tutoring pillar. An estimated 20,000 with academic mentors and an estimated 52,000 with tuition partners. A course consists of 15 tuition hours, meaning that pupils who need it most will be receiving millions of hours of high-quality support.

The department does not currently publish regional performance data. We will consider doing so going forward. We will continue to work closely with the delivery partner to ensure the tuition partner and academic mentor pillars fulfil their objectives by the end of the academic year and will publish further data for the spring and summer terms later this year.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications to the Coronavirus workforce fund for schools were rejected because they were not in scope.

The department has had one round of claims to the COVID-19 workforce fund to date, covering the costs of staff absences experienced between 1 November and 31 December 2020. The claims window closed on 31 March 2021. We received claims from 974 schools and made payments to 902 schools by the end of June 2021.

All schools that met the conditions set out in the guidance were paid. Claims were received at school level and could cover both teacher and support staff absences experienced across the eligibility period.

The COVID-19 workforce fund has been reintroduced to cover the costs of staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

The claims portal for this period will open in the spring.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications to the Coronavirus workforce fund for schools that were made to cover teacher absences were granted in each month since the inception of that scheme.

The department has had one round of claims to the COVID-19 workforce fund to date, covering the costs of staff absences experienced between 1 November and 31 December 2020. The claims window closed on 31 March 2021. We received claims from 974 schools and made payments to 902 schools by the end of June 2021.

All schools that met the conditions set out in the guidance were paid. Claims were received at school level and could cover both teacher and support staff absences experienced across the eligibility period.

The COVID-19 workforce fund has been reintroduced to cover the costs of staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

The claims portal for this period will open in the spring.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications to the Coronavirus workforce fund for schools that were made to cover support staff absences were granted in each month since the inception of that fund.

The department has had one round of claims to the COVID-19 workforce fund to date, covering the costs of staff absences experienced between 1 November and 31 December 2020. The claims window closed on 31 March 2021. We received claims from 974 schools and made payments to 902 schools by the end of June 2021.

All schools that met the conditions set out in the guidance were paid. Claims were received at school level and could cover both teacher and support staff absences experienced across the eligibility period.

The COVID-19 workforce fund has been reintroduced to cover the costs of staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

The claims portal for this period will open in the spring.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications to the Coronavirus workforce fund for schools were made to cover support staff absences in each month since the inception of that fund.

The department has had one round of claims to the COVID-19 workforce fund to date, covering the costs of staff absences experienced between 1 November and 31 December 2020. The claims window closed on 31 March 2021. We received claims from 974 schools and made payments to 902 schools by the end of June 2021.

All schools that met the conditions set out in the guidance were paid. Claims were received at school level and could cover both teacher and support staff absences experienced across the eligibility period.

The COVID-19 workforce fund has been reintroduced to cover the costs of staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

The claims portal for this period will open in the spring.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications to the Coronavirus workforce fund for schools were made to cover teacher absences in each month since the inception of that fund.

The department has had one round of claims to the COVID-19 workforce fund to date, covering the costs of staff absences experienced between 1 November and 31 December 2020. The claims window closed on 31 March 2021. We received claims from 974 schools and made payments to 902 schools by the end of June 2021.

All schools that met the conditions set out in the guidance were paid. Claims were received at school level and could cover both teacher and support staff absences experienced across the eligibility period.

The COVID-19 workforce fund has been reintroduced to cover the costs of staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

The claims portal for this period will open in the spring.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications to the Coronavirus workforce fund for schools were accepted in each month of 2021.

The department has had one round of claims to the COVID-19 workforce fund to date, covering the costs of staff absences experienced between 1 November and 31 December 2020. The claims window closed on 31 March 2021. We received claims from 974 schools and made payments to 902 schools by the end of June 2021.

All schools that met the conditions set out in the guidance were paid. Claims were received at school level and could cover both teacher and support staff absences experienced across the eligibility period.

The COVID-19 workforce fund has been reintroduced to cover the costs of staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

The claims portal for this period will open in the spring.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications were made to the Coronavirus workforce fund for schools in each month of 2021.

The department has had one round of claims to the COVID-19 workforce fund to date, covering the costs of staff absences experienced between 1 November and 31 December 2020. The claims window closed on 31 March 2021. We received claims from 974 schools and made payments to 902 schools by the end of June 2021.

All schools that met the conditions set out in the guidance were paid. Claims were received at school level and could cover both teacher and support staff absences experienced across the eligibility period.

The COVID-19 workforce fund has been reintroduced to cover the costs of staff absences experienced between 22 November 2021 and 18 February 2022.

The claims portal for this period will open in the spring.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made in respect of each school to which his Department issued carbon dioxide monitors in autumn 2021 of the minimum length of time required by those schools, using the allocated carbon dioxide monitors at a time when classrooms are in use, to secure five days of consecutive readings from each classroom teaching context in the school; and if he will place a copy of the calculations underpinning that estimate in the Library.

The department has now delivered over 353,000 CO2 monitors to over 99% of eligible maintained schools, further education colleges, and the majority of early years providers. Special schools and alternative provision (AP) education providers were prioritised, given their higher than average number of vulnerable pupils. Deliveries to these providers are now complete. Final deliveries to providers will be made shortly. Schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

CO2 monitors are an additional measure that we have rolled out to education settings to be used as a guide for where ventilation can be improved. It is up to school leaders to decide how to best use them in their specific school, college or nursery.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and AP schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications is open until 9am on 17 January 2022. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries can apply. Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round are also eligible to apply in this round. Once applications have closed, all applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those providers that are not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements, including on how to use CO2 monitors effectively to identify areas where ventilation can be improved. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided settings with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to settings via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support settings with their queries via the department's Coronavirus helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will place information in the Library on (a) how many carbon dioxide monitors were sent to each school in England in the autumn term of 2021 and (b) the dates on which those monitors were received.

The department has now delivered over 353,000 CO2 monitors to over 99% of eligible maintained schools, further education colleges, and the majority of early years providers. Special schools and alternative provision (AP) education providers were prioritised, given their higher than average number of vulnerable pupils. Deliveries to these providers are now complete. Final deliveries to providers will be made shortly. Schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

CO2 monitors are an additional measure that we have rolled out to education settings to be used as a guide for where ventilation can be improved. It is up to school leaders to decide how to best use them in their specific school, college or nursery.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and AP schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications is open until 9am on 17 January 2022. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries can apply. Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round are also eligible to apply in this round. Once applications have closed, all applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those providers that are not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements, including on how to use CO2 monitors effectively to identify areas where ventilation can be improved. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided settings with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to settings via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support settings with their queries via the department's Coronavirus helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he informed schools that five consecutive days of carbon dioxide monitor readings from a particular classroom would be needed, or be likely to be needed, in order for his Department to consider further ventilation support.

The department has now delivered over 353,000 CO2 monitors to over 99% of eligible maintained schools, further education colleges, and the majority of early years providers. Special schools and alternative provision (AP) education providers were prioritised, given their higher than average number of vulnerable pupils. Deliveries to these providers are now complete. Final deliveries to providers will be made shortly. Schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

CO2 monitors are an additional measure that we have rolled out to education settings to be used as a guide for where ventilation can be improved. It is up to school leaders to decide how to best use them in their specific school, college or nursery.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and AP schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications is open until 9am on 17 January 2022. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries can apply. Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round are also eligible to apply in this round. Once applications have closed, all applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those providers that are not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements, including on how to use CO2 monitors effectively to identify areas where ventilation can be improved. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided settings with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to settings via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support settings with their queries via the department's Coronavirus helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applicants to supply teaching agencies have received a successful Disclosure and Barring Service check in each of the last six months.

We are extremely grateful to all the teachers who are responding to our call to return temporarily to the classroom to support our schools whilst cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant continue to rise.

We are in close contact with supply agencies to monitor the interest they receive to help schools during this time. However, supply agencies are private employment businesses operating independently of the department. Therefore, the department is not able to provide data on the numbers of supply teachers or which agencies they are working with. The department does not hold the information requested regarding pre-employment checks since the Disclosure and Barring Service is a non-departmental public body of the Home Office.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applicants to supply teaching agencies have applied for a Disclosure and Barring Service check in each of the last six months.

We are extremely grateful to all the teachers who are responding to our call to return temporarily to the classroom to support our schools whilst cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant continue to rise.

We are in close contact with supply agencies to monitor the interest they receive to help schools during this time. However, supply agencies are private employment businesses operating independently of the department. Therefore, the department is not able to provide data on the numbers of supply teachers or which agencies they are working with. The department does not hold the information requested regarding pre-employment checks since the Disclosure and Barring Service is a non-departmental public body of the Home Office.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have signed up to a supply teaching agency in response to his appeal of 16 December 2021 to date.

We are extremely grateful to all the teachers who are responding to our call to return temporarily to the classroom to support our schools whilst cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant continue to rise.

We are in close contact with supply agencies to monitor the interest they receive to help schools during this time. However, supply agencies are private employment businesses operating independently of the department. Therefore, the department is not able to provide data on the numbers of supply teachers or which agencies they are working with. The department does not hold the information requested regarding pre-employment checks since the Disclosure and Barring Service is a non-departmental public body of the Home Office.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools that have purchased air purifier units have had their applications for reimbursement granted.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools that have purchased air purifier units have applied to have their costs reimbursed.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) special schools and (b) alternative provision settings have had their application for an air purifier unit approved following his Department's announcement of 2 January 2022 on the provision of an additional 7,000 units.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary schools in England have had their application for an air purifier united approved following his Department's announcement of 2 January 2022 on the provision of an additional 7,000 units.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many primary schools in England have had their application for an air purifier unit approved following his Department's announcement of 2 January 2022 on the provision of an additional 7,000 units.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) special schools and (b) alternative provision settings in England have applied for an air purifier unit in response to his Department's announcement of 2 January 2022 on the provision of an additional 7,000 units.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) special schools and (b) alternative provision settings have reported a sustained high co2 reading of 1500ppm or above in each of the last 12 months.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary schools in England have reported a sustained high co2 reading of 1500ppm or higher in each of the past 12 months.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many primary schools in England have reported a sustained high co2 reading of 1500ppm or higher in each of the past 12 months.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary schools in England have applied for an air purifier unit as part of the Government's commitment to provide 7000 of those units to schools.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many primary schools in England have applied for an air purifier unit as part of the Government's commitment to provide 7000 of those units to schools.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding.

We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered in the autumn term. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in most schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department.

Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified, settings should first look to implement simple measures like opening windows and doors. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. If the ventilation issue cannot be easily resolved, schools are advised to explore what remedial works are needed. It may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying issue is addressed. Air cleaning units are suggested as a possible interim measure to help minimise transmission risk but do not improve ventilation levels.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19; they do not provide additional ventilation. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department is also making up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

Deliveries will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision (AP) schools, colleges and nurseries. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021.

The second round of applications was open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries could apply.Special and AP providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round were also eligible to apply in this round. All applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Schools, colleges and nurseries with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those settings that were not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Further information is available here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support providers with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many calls to the Department for Education’s Coronavirus Helpline have been received in each month this year.

There are currently 27 call agents dedicated to the COVID-19 helpline. The Department for Education keeps call volumes and call wait times under continuous review. This enables us to adjust various aspects of the service, including opening hours and the number of call agents needed to meet demand.

The COVID-19 helpline is run by the Department for Education. It is a service delivered through a wider Customer Experience Centre contract overseen by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Call handling is provided by Arvato, an outsourced service provider.

The Department for Education does not run a private helpline separate to the COVID-19 helpline. The department has another helpline for non-COVID specific matters, available by dialling 0370 000 2288 Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5pm.

The COVID-19 helpline has received 88,149 calls from the beginning of December 2020 to the end of November 2021. The attached table gives the monthly breakdown of volumes.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department runs a private advice phoneline, separate to his Department's Coronavirus Helpline.

There are currently 27 call agents dedicated to the COVID-19 helpline. The Department for Education keeps call volumes and call wait times under continuous review. This enables us to adjust various aspects of the service, including opening hours and the number of call agents needed to meet demand.

The COVID-19 helpline is run by the Department for Education. It is a service delivered through a wider Customer Experience Centre contract overseen by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Call handling is provided by Arvato, an outsourced service provider.

The Department for Education does not run a private helpline separate to the COVID-19 helpline. The department has another helpline for non-COVID specific matters, available by dialling 0370 000 2288 Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5pm.

The COVID-19 helpline has received 88,149 calls from the beginning of December 2020 to the end of November 2021. The attached table gives the monthly breakdown of volumes.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who is responsible for running his Department's Coronavirus Helpline; and whether that responsibility is outsourced to a private contractor.

There are currently 27 call agents dedicated to the COVID-19 helpline. The Department for Education keeps call volumes and call wait times under continuous review. This enables us to adjust various aspects of the service, including opening hours and the number of call agents needed to meet demand.

The COVID-19 helpline is run by the Department for Education. It is a service delivered through a wider Customer Experience Centre contract overseen by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Call handling is provided by Arvato, an outsourced service provider.

The Department for Education does not run a private helpline separate to the COVID-19 helpline. The department has another helpline for non-COVID specific matters, available by dialling 0370 000 2288 Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5pm.

The COVID-19 helpline has received 88,149 calls from the beginning of December 2020 to the end of November 2021. The attached table gives the monthly breakdown of volumes.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many staff are responding to calls on his Department's Coronavirus Helpline.

There are currently 27 call agents dedicated to the COVID-19 helpline. The Department for Education keeps call volumes and call wait times under continuous review. This enables us to adjust various aspects of the service, including opening hours and the number of call agents needed to meet demand.

The COVID-19 helpline is run by the Department for Education. It is a service delivered through a wider Customer Experience Centre contract overseen by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Call handling is provided by Arvato, an outsourced service provider.

The Department for Education does not run a private helpline separate to the COVID-19 helpline. The department has another helpline for non-COVID specific matters, available by dialling 0370 000 2288 Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5pm.

The COVID-19 helpline has received 88,149 calls from the beginning of December 2020 to the end of November 2021. The attached table gives the monthly breakdown of volumes.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what modelling his Department has done on projected staff absences in schools as a result of the omicron variant.

The department regularly reviews workforce absence data and the latest data as of 6 January shows that absence levels due to COVID-19 reasons are 4.9% for teachers and leaders and 5.0% for teaching assistants and other staff in state funded schools.

Alongside this, the department reviews data, analysis, and advice from a number of different sources including the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), and the Office for National Statistics. We also work closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and UKHSA as well as local authorities and Directors of Public Health to inform our planning and response.

The Omicron variant identified in South Africa has a clear growth advantage over Delta (the previous dominant variant) and is now predominant in all regions of England. Initial data suggests Omicron evades some immune protection from vaccines and prior infection and is more transmissible. This will inevitably lead to higher than usual school workforce absence and the department is monitoring the situation closely.

School leaders are best placed to determine the workforce required to meet the needs of their pupils. In the case of staff absence, in the first instance schools should follow their usual process for covering absences. We have reintroduced the COVID-19 workforce fund in response to higher than normal absence rates and feedback from the sector that funding may be a barrier to managing absence for a small number of schools and colleges.

The department has provided support to schools to help them to continue providing on-site education despite the operational difficulties presented by the current high case rates. This includes case studies on the flexible deployment of staff, the reintroduction of the COVID-19 workforce fund to provide financial support to eligible schools and colleges for absence costs incurred from 22 November until spring half-term, announcing a call for ex teachers to return to the classroom to cover absences and the sharing of case studies on flexible learning approaches.

The department will continue to analyse its response to COVID-19, developing activities that put the department in a strong position to support pupils and students to thrive as well as preparing to respond to future challenges that the department may face.

Vaccines remain an effective measure against COVID-19. As of 11 January, 90.4% of all adults and children over 12 years old in England have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 83% have received a second dose. 62.3% have received a booster (or third dose). Vaccines have saved thousands of lives and the department encourages all eligible staff to take up the offer of a vaccine and booster where possible.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many teachers left Initial Teacher Training before earning their Newly Qualified Teacher status in each of the last five years.

Data on new entrants starting initial teacher training (ITT) is published annually in the ITT Census and the latest publication is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/initial-teacher-training-census.

Data on the outcomes of final year trainees is published annually in the ITT Performance Profiles publication. The latest publication is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/initial-teacher-training-performance-profiles-2019-to-2020.

These datasets are not directly comparable where they cover different cohorts of trainees.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many air filtration units he has purchased for specialist settings and what brand were these.

The department has committed to buying up to 1,000 air filtration devices for special educational needs and disabilities schools. The devices being provided to these providers are a mix of Camfil and Dyson products.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of people enrolled on the National Tutoring Programme in 2020-21 were in receipt of free school meals.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is on track to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure no child is left behind.

The department has set high standards for the programme and feedback from schools shows the positive impact it is having in helping pupils to catch up. Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide tutoring to up to 6 million pupils over the next three years.

Randstad Education was awarded the contract to run the tutoring partner and academic mentors element of the NTP for the 2021/22 academic year following a fair, open competition in accordance with government procurement regulations. As part of this process, the department undertook open market engagement to get feedback from a range of stakeholders, including tuition providers.

The department is working closely with Randstad to build on the successes of year one. The delivery and performance of the NTP is monitored closely through a comprehensive governance process. As part of this process, the department regularly meets with senior Randstad colleagues, including the Randstad UK CEO, to highlight and address issues.

To ensure continuous improvement, Randstad is working with schools and tuition partners on improvements to the digital platform. This includes changes to allow tuition partners to undertake the admin work on behalf of the school when placing orders and making the overall ordering process simpler for schools.

NTP participation data has not yet been published. The department continues to collect data from schools for all three strands of the programme (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors) and data on progress will be published shortly.

An independent evaluation of the programme for the current academic year is being undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he will take with Randstad to improve the online delivery platform for the National Tutoring Programme.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is on track to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure no child is left behind.

The department has set high standards for the programme and feedback from schools shows the positive impact it is having in helping pupils to catch up. Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide tutoring to up to 6 million pupils over the next three years.

Randstad Education was awarded the contract to run the tutoring partner and academic mentors element of the NTP for the 2021/22 academic year following a fair, open competition in accordance with government procurement regulations. As part of this process, the department undertook open market engagement to get feedback from a range of stakeholders, including tuition providers.

The department is working closely with Randstad to build on the successes of year one. The delivery and performance of the NTP is monitored closely through a comprehensive governance process. As part of this process, the department regularly meets with senior Randstad colleagues, including the Randstad UK CEO, to highlight and address issues.

To ensure continuous improvement, Randstad is working with schools and tuition partners on improvements to the digital platform. This includes changes to allow tuition partners to undertake the admin work on behalf of the school when placing orders and making the overall ordering process simpler for schools.

NTP participation data has not yet been published. The department continues to collect data from schools for all three strands of the programme (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors) and data on progress will be published shortly.

An independent evaluation of the programme for the current academic year is being undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he expects the National Tutoring Programme to meet its enrolment target of 524,000 for 2020-21.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is on track to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure no child is left behind.

The department has set high standards for the programme and feedback from schools shows the positive impact it is having in helping pupils to catch up. Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide tutoring to up to 6 million pupils over the next three years.

Randstad Education was awarded the contract to run the tutoring partner and academic mentors element of the NTP for the 2021/22 academic year following a fair, open competition in accordance with government procurement regulations. As part of this process, the department undertook open market engagement to get feedback from a range of stakeholders, including tuition providers.

The department is working closely with Randstad to build on the successes of year one. The delivery and performance of the NTP is monitored closely through a comprehensive governance process. As part of this process, the department regularly meets with senior Randstad colleagues, including the Randstad UK CEO, to highlight and address issues.

To ensure continuous improvement, Randstad is working with schools and tuition partners on improvements to the digital platform. This includes changes to allow tuition partners to undertake the admin work on behalf of the school when placing orders and making the overall ordering process simpler for schools.

NTP participation data has not yet been published. The department continues to collect data from schools for all three strands of the programme (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors) and data on progress will be published shortly.

An independent evaluation of the programme for the current academic year is being undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he had discussions with representatives of Randstad prior the awarding of the contract for the National Tutoring Programme.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is on track to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure no child is left behind.

The department has set high standards for the programme and feedback from schools shows the positive impact it is having in helping pupils to catch up. Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide tutoring to up to 6 million pupils over the next three years.

Randstad Education was awarded the contract to run the tutoring partner and academic mentors element of the NTP for the 2021/22 academic year following a fair, open competition in accordance with government procurement regulations. As part of this process, the department undertook open market engagement to get feedback from a range of stakeholders, including tuition providers.

The department is working closely with Randstad to build on the successes of year one. The delivery and performance of the NTP is monitored closely through a comprehensive governance process. As part of this process, the department regularly meets with senior Randstad colleagues, including the Randstad UK CEO, to highlight and address issues.

To ensure continuous improvement, Randstad is working with schools and tuition partners on improvements to the digital platform. This includes changes to allow tuition partners to undertake the admin work on behalf of the school when placing orders and making the overall ordering process simpler for schools.

NTP participation data has not yet been published. The department continues to collect data from schools for all three strands of the programme (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors) and data on progress will be published shortly.

An independent evaluation of the programme for the current academic year is being undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish enrolment figures on the three strands of the National Tutoring Programme; and if he will make a statement.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is on track to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure no child is left behind.

The department has set high standards for the programme and feedback from schools shows the positive impact it is having in helping pupils to catch up. Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide tutoring to up to 6 million pupils over the next three years.

Randstad Education was awarded the contract to run the tutoring partner and academic mentors element of the NTP for the 2021/22 academic year following a fair, open competition in accordance with government procurement regulations. As part of this process, the department undertook open market engagement to get feedback from a range of stakeholders, including tuition providers.

The department is working closely with Randstad to build on the successes of year one. The delivery and performance of the NTP is monitored closely through a comprehensive governance process. As part of this process, the department regularly meets with senior Randstad colleagues, including the Randstad UK CEO, to highlight and address issues.

To ensure continuous improvement, Randstad is working with schools and tuition partners on improvements to the digital platform. This includes changes to allow tuition partners to undertake the admin work on behalf of the school when placing orders and making the overall ordering process simpler for schools.

NTP participation data has not yet been published. The department continues to collect data from schools for all three strands of the programme (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors) and data on progress will be published shortly.

An independent evaluation of the programme for the current academic year is being undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent conversations he has had with Randstad on the delivery of the National Tutoring Programme.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is on track to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure no child is left behind.

The department has set high standards for the programme and feedback from schools shows the positive impact it is having in helping pupils to catch up. Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide tutoring to up to 6 million pupils over the next three years.

Randstad Education was awarded the contract to run the tutoring partner and academic mentors element of the NTP for the 2021/22 academic year following a fair, open competition in accordance with government procurement regulations. As part of this process, the department undertook open market engagement to get feedback from a range of stakeholders, including tuition providers.

The department is working closely with Randstad to build on the successes of year one. The delivery and performance of the NTP is monitored closely through a comprehensive governance process. As part of this process, the department regularly meets with senior Randstad colleagues, including the Randstad UK CEO, to highlight and address issues.

To ensure continuous improvement, Randstad is working with schools and tuition partners on improvements to the digital platform. This includes changes to allow tuition partners to undertake the admin work on behalf of the school when placing orders and making the overall ordering process simpler for schools.

NTP participation data has not yet been published. The department continues to collect data from schools for all three strands of the programme (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors) and data on progress will be published shortly.

An independent evaluation of the programme for the current academic year is being undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what due diligence his Department did on Randstad prior to being awarded the contract to run the National Tutoring Programme; and if he will make a statement.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is on track to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure no child is left behind.

The department has set high standards for the programme and feedback from schools shows the positive impact it is having in helping pupils to catch up. Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide tutoring to up to 6 million pupils over the next three years.

Randstad Education was awarded the contract to run the tutoring partner and academic mentors element of the NTP for the 2021/22 academic year following a fair, open competition in accordance with government procurement regulations. As part of this process, the department undertook open market engagement to get feedback from a range of stakeholders, including tuition providers.

The department is working closely with Randstad to build on the successes of year one. The delivery and performance of the NTP is monitored closely through a comprehensive governance process. As part of this process, the department regularly meets with senior Randstad colleagues, including the Randstad UK CEO, to highlight and address issues.

To ensure continuous improvement, Randstad is working with schools and tuition partners on improvements to the digital platform. This includes changes to allow tuition partners to undertake the admin work on behalf of the school when placing orders and making the overall ordering process simpler for schools.

NTP participation data has not yet been published. The department continues to collect data from schools for all three strands of the programme (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors) and data on progress will be published shortly.

An independent evaluation of the programme for the current academic year is being undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the number of unsafe readings detected in schools by carbon dioxide detectors distributed by the Government.

During the autumn term, the department provided over 353,000 CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a 1 metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Schools, colleges and nurseries can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices, batteries are a back-up. The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Education providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

If any school feels they have received an insufficient number of CO2 monitors to cover approximately one monitor for every two teaching rooms, they should request additional monitors via the department’s Coronavirus Helpline. Similarly, where the lack of plugs is causing challenge, education providers should contact the department via the department’s helpline for additional support.

CO2 monitors are an additional measure that we are rolling out to education providers to be used as a guide for where ventilation can be improved. It is up to school leaders to decide how to best use them in their specific environment. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department. Feedback suggests that the monitors are acting as a helpful tool to manage ventilation, sitting alongside the other protective measures in place to manage transmission, such as regular testing, vaccinations and increased hygiene.

The department recognises that schools may be facing pressures this winter, particularly where energy prices have increased. As well as helping to identify areas that are poorly ventilated, CO2 monitors can be useful to help providers balance good ventilation with keeping classrooms warm. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times at the expense of keeping classrooms warm. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. In addition to the department-funded CO2 monitors and air cleaning units, and accompanying guidance on ventilation, all schools can access a range of school resource management tools to help them get the best value from their resources, including two Schools Commercial Team recommended deals for energy costs and ancillary services relating to energy, which can be accessed via the “Find a DfE-approved framework for your school” service on GOV.UK.

For education providers with particularly poor ventilation, we are supplying up to 7,000 units in response to feedback from providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation is not possible. This is in addition to the 1,000 department-funded air cleaning units that we announced on 18 November for special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision providers.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, such as SARS-CoV-2 particles, dust, pollen amongst other pollutants. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average length of battery life is for the carbon dioxide monitors delivered to schools by his Department.

During the autumn term, the department provided over 353,000 CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a 1 metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Schools, colleges and nurseries can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices, batteries are a back-up. The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Education providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

If any school feels they have received an insufficient number of CO2 monitors to cover approximately one monitor for every two teaching rooms, they should request additional monitors via the department’s Coronavirus Helpline. Similarly, where the lack of plugs is causing challenge, education providers should contact the department via the department’s helpline for additional support.

CO2 monitors are an additional measure that we are rolling out to education providers to be used as a guide for where ventilation can be improved. It is up to school leaders to decide how to best use them in their specific environment. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department. Feedback suggests that the monitors are acting as a helpful tool to manage ventilation, sitting alongside the other protective measures in place to manage transmission, such as regular testing, vaccinations and increased hygiene.

The department recognises that schools may be facing pressures this winter, particularly where energy prices have increased. As well as helping to identify areas that are poorly ventilated, CO2 monitors can be useful to help providers balance good ventilation with keeping classrooms warm. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times at the expense of keeping classrooms warm. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. In addition to the department-funded CO2 monitors and air cleaning units, and accompanying guidance on ventilation, all schools can access a range of school resource management tools to help them get the best value from their resources, including two Schools Commercial Team recommended deals for energy costs and ancillary services relating to energy, which can be accessed via the “Find a DfE-approved framework for your school” service on GOV.UK.

For education providers with particularly poor ventilation, we are supplying up to 7,000 units in response to feedback from providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation is not possible. This is in addition to the 1,000 department-funded air cleaning units that we announced on 18 November for special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision providers.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, such as SARS-CoV-2 particles, dust, pollen amongst other pollutants. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average length of cable is for carbon dioxide monitors delivered to schools by his Department.

During the autumn term, the department provided over 353,000 CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a 1 metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Schools, colleges and nurseries can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices, batteries are a back-up. The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Education providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

If any school feels they have received an insufficient number of CO2 monitors to cover approximately one monitor for every two teaching rooms, they should request additional monitors via the department’s Coronavirus Helpline. Similarly, where the lack of plugs is causing challenge, education providers should contact the department via the department’s helpline for additional support.

CO2 monitors are an additional measure that we are rolling out to education providers to be used as a guide for where ventilation can be improved. It is up to school leaders to decide how to best use them in their specific environment. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department. Feedback suggests that the monitors are acting as a helpful tool to manage ventilation, sitting alongside the other protective measures in place to manage transmission, such as regular testing, vaccinations and increased hygiene.

The department recognises that schools may be facing pressures this winter, particularly where energy prices have increased. As well as helping to identify areas that are poorly ventilated, CO2 monitors can be useful to help providers balance good ventilation with keeping classrooms warm. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times at the expense of keeping classrooms warm. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. In addition to the department-funded CO2 monitors and air cleaning units, and accompanying guidance on ventilation, all schools can access a range of school resource management tools to help them get the best value from their resources, including two Schools Commercial Team recommended deals for energy costs and ancillary services relating to energy, which can be accessed via the “Find a DfE-approved framework for your school” service on GOV.UK.

For education providers with particularly poor ventilation, we are supplying up to 7,000 units in response to feedback from providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation is not possible. This is in addition to the 1,000 department-funded air cleaning units that we announced on 18 November for special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision providers.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, such as SARS-CoV-2 particles, dust, pollen amongst other pollutants. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many complaints have been received from schools regarding carbon dioxide monitors delivered by his Department.

During the autumn term, the department provided over 353,000 CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a 1 metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Schools, colleges and nurseries can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices, batteries are a back-up. The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Education providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

If any school feels they have received an insufficient number of CO2 monitors to cover approximately one monitor for every two teaching rooms, they should request additional monitors via the department’s Coronavirus Helpline. Similarly, where the lack of plugs is causing challenge, education providers should contact the department via the department’s helpline for additional support.

CO2 monitors are an additional measure that we are rolling out to education providers to be used as a guide for where ventilation can be improved. It is up to school leaders to decide how to best use them in their specific environment. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department. Feedback suggests that the monitors are acting as a helpful tool to manage ventilation, sitting alongside the other protective measures in place to manage transmission, such as regular testing, vaccinations and increased hygiene.

The department recognises that schools may be facing pressures this winter, particularly where energy prices have increased. As well as helping to identify areas that are poorly ventilated, CO2 monitors can be useful to help providers balance good ventilation with keeping classrooms warm. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times at the expense of keeping classrooms warm. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. In addition to the department-funded CO2 monitors and air cleaning units, and accompanying guidance on ventilation, all schools can access a range of school resource management tools to help them get the best value from their resources, including two Schools Commercial Team recommended deals for energy costs and ancillary services relating to energy, which can be accessed via the “Find a DfE-approved framework for your school” service on GOV.UK.

For education providers with particularly poor ventilation, we are supplying up to 7,000 units in response to feedback from providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation is not possible. This is in addition to the 1,000 department-funded air cleaning units that we announced on 18 November for special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision providers.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, such as SARS-CoV-2 particles, dust, pollen amongst other pollutants. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his department has made of the potential impact of ventilation guidance on the cost of energy bills for schools in England.

During the autumn term, the department provided over 353,000 CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a 1 metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Schools, colleges and nurseries can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices, batteries are a back-up. The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Education providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

If any school feels they have received an insufficient number of CO2 monitors to cover approximately one monitor for every two teaching rooms, they should request additional monitors via the department’s Coronavirus Helpline. Similarly, where the lack of plugs is causing challenge, education providers should contact the department via the department’s helpline for additional support.

CO2 monitors are an additional measure that we are rolling out to education providers to be used as a guide for where ventilation can be improved. It is up to school leaders to decide how to best use them in their specific environment. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department. Feedback suggests that the monitors are acting as a helpful tool to manage ventilation, sitting alongside the other protective measures in place to manage transmission, such as regular testing, vaccinations and increased hygiene.

The department recognises that schools may be facing pressures this winter, particularly where energy prices have increased. As well as helping to identify areas that are poorly ventilated, CO2 monitors can be useful to help providers balance good ventilation with keeping classrooms warm. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times at the expense of keeping classrooms warm. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. In addition to the department-funded CO2 monitors and air cleaning units, and accompanying guidance on ventilation, all schools can access a range of school resource management tools to help them get the best value from their resources, including two Schools Commercial Team recommended deals for energy costs and ancillary services relating to energy, which can be accessed via the “Find a DfE-approved framework for your school” service on GOV.UK.

For education providers with particularly poor ventilation, we are supplying up to 7,000 units in response to feedback from providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation is not possible. This is in addition to the 1,000 department-funded air cleaning units that we announced on 18 November for special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision providers.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, such as SARS-CoV-2 particles, dust, pollen amongst other pollutants. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of guidance on ventilation in schools on air pollution in classrooms.

During the autumn term, the department provided over 353,000 CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a 1 metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Schools, colleges and nurseries can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices, batteries are a back-up. The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Education providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

If any school feels they have received an insufficient number of CO2 monitors to cover approximately one monitor for every two teaching rooms, they should request additional monitors via the department’s Coronavirus Helpline. Similarly, where the lack of plugs is causing challenge, education providers should contact the department via the department’s helpline for additional support.

CO2 monitors are an additional measure that we are rolling out to education providers to be used as a guide for where ventilation can be improved. It is up to school leaders to decide how to best use them in their specific environment. There is no requirement from the department for providers to record readings or share these with the department. Feedback suggests that the monitors are acting as a helpful tool to manage ventilation, sitting alongside the other protective measures in place to manage transmission, such as regular testing, vaccinations and increased hygiene.

The department recognises that schools may be facing pressures this winter, particularly where energy prices have increased. As well as helping to identify areas that are poorly ventilated, CO2 monitors can be useful to help providers balance good ventilation with keeping classrooms warm. When CO2 monitors indicate good ventilation, there is no need to keep windows fully open at all times at the expense of keeping classrooms warm. Opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. In addition to the department-funded CO2 monitors and air cleaning units, and accompanying guidance on ventilation, all schools can access a range of school resource management tools to help them get the best value from their resources, including two Schools Commercial Team recommended deals for energy costs and ancillary services relating to energy, which can be accessed via the “Find a DfE-approved framework for your school” service on GOV.UK.

For education providers with particularly poor ventilation, we are supplying up to 7,000 units in response to feedback from providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation is not possible. This is in addition to the 1,000 department-funded air cleaning units that we announced on 18 November for special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision providers.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, such as SARS-CoV-2 particles, dust, pollen amongst other pollutants. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many teachers have been recruited from overseas in each of the last five years.

The Department for Education does not hold information centrally on the nationality of teachers in the English school workforce. However, the department does hold information on the nationality of entrants to postgraduate teacher training since 2019/20.

In the 2021/22 training year, there were 30,323 postgraduate new entrants to Initial Teacher Training (ITT) whose nationality was known (97% of all postgraduate new entrants). Of these, 93% (28,296) were UK nationals, 4% (1,271) were European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, and the remaining 2% (756) were nationals of other countries. These proportions are broadly in line with data in the 2020/21 and 2019/20 training years, with a slight decrease in the proportion of EEA nationals, down from 5% in 2019/20 and 2020/21, to 4% in 2021/22. These statistics are available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/initial-teacher-training-census/2021-22.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have applied to be Behaviour Hubs in each month since that scheme's launch.

When the behaviour hubs programme began in early 2021, 112 applications were received to be behaviour hub lead schools, of which 22 schools and 2 multi academy trusts were chosen. The department has recently invited applications for the second cohort of lead schools and received 130 applications, which we are currently assessing.

Since the beginning of the programme, a total of 195 schools and multi academy trusts have applied to be partner schools and receive support from the behaviour hubs lead schools. 34 schools and two multi academy trusts were selected for the first cohort and have been receiving support since April 2021. A second cohort of 41 partner schools and two multi academy trusts have since been recruited and their induction took place in September 2021.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of children who took part in work experience through their schools in each of the last five years.

The government’s careers statutory guidance sets out that all schools and colleges should use the internationally recognised Gatsby Benchmarks of good career guidance, to develop and improve their careers provision. The benchmarks define eight elements of an excellent careers programme, including experiences of workplaces and personal guidance.

Careers leaders in England can measure how well their school or college is doing against the benchmarks by using Compass, a digital tool provided by the Careers and Enterprise Company. This data is published annually by the Careers and Enterprise Company, most recently in the Trends in Careers Education report, published in December 2021.

Gatsby Benchmark 6, experiences of workplaces, states that every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities and expand their networks. The criteria for achieving the benchmark are that every pupil should have an experience of the workplace by the age of 16, with a further such experience by age 18. Compass data shows the proportion of schools (including special schools and alternative provision) that had either achieved or partially achieved benchmark 6 in each of the last five years:

  • End of 2020/21 academic year - 92.76%
  • End of 2019/20 academic year - 96.16%
  • End of 2018/19 academic year - 95.51%
  • End of 2017/18 academic year - 64.11%
  • End of 2016/17 academic year - 67.8%

Gatsby Benchmark 8, personal guidance, states that every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level (guidance which can be found on page 38 of: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1002972/Careers_statutory_guidance.pdf). The criteria for achieving the benchmark are that every pupil should have at least one such interview by the age of 16, and the opportunity for a further interview by the age of 18. Compass data shows the proportion of schools (including special schools and alternative provision) that had either achieved or partially achieved benchmark 8 in each of the last five years:

  • End of 2020/21 academic year – 92.98%
  • End of 2019/20 academic year – 91.38%
  • End of 2018/19 academic year - 91.08%
  • End of 2017/18 academic year - 69.94%
  • End of 2016/17 academic year - 65%

Recent data is affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, which made it more challenging for schools to deliver their careers programmes. The Careers and Enterprise Company supported the delivery of virtual activities.

The level of school access to a professional careers adviser is good. According to Trends in Careers Education 2021, Gatsby Benchmark 8, personal guidance, continues to be the strongest performing benchmark among schools and colleges. 80% of secondary schools reported providing most of their students with an interview with a qualified careers adviser by the end of year 11.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many guidance updates for schools his Department has published in each of the last five years.

A database of publications by category can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/search/all?level_one_taxon=c58fdadd-7743-46d6-9629-90bb3ccc4ef0&order=most-viewed.

This database can be interrogated to identify specific guidance aimed at specific audiences, including education and training providers.

The database contains guidance that may have been updated on multiple occasions, for instance the guidance document ‘Actions for Schools during the coronavirus outbreak’ has been updated 42 times since it was first published in July 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he as made of the number of schoolchildren who have had access to a professional careers advisor in each of the last five years.

The government’s careers statutory guidance sets out that all schools and colleges should use the internationally recognised Gatsby Benchmarks of good career guidance, to develop and improve their careers provision. The benchmarks define eight elements of an excellent careers programme, including experiences of workplaces and personal guidance.

Careers leaders in England can measure how well their school or college is doing against the benchmarks by using Compass, a digital tool provided by the Careers and Enterprise Company. This data is published annually by the Careers and Enterprise Company, most recently in the Trends in Careers Education report, published in December 2021.

Gatsby Benchmark 6, experiences of workplaces, states that every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities and expand their networks. The criteria for achieving the benchmark are that every pupil should have an experience of the workplace by the age of 16, with a further such experience by age 18. Compass data shows the proportion of schools (including special schools and alternative provision) that had either achieved or partially achieved benchmark 6 in each of the last five years:

  • End of 2020/21 academic year - 92.76%
  • End of 2019/20 academic year - 96.16%
  • End of 2018/19 academic year - 95.51%
  • End of 2017/18 academic year - 64.11%
  • End of 2016/17 academic year - 67.8%

Gatsby Benchmark 8, personal guidance, states that every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level (guidance which can be found on page 38 of: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1002972/Careers_statutory_guidance.pdf). The criteria for achieving the benchmark are that every pupil should have at least one such interview by the age of 16, and the opportunity for a further interview by the age of 18. Compass data shows the proportion of schools (including special schools and alternative provision) that had either achieved or partially achieved benchmark 8 in each of the last five years:

  • End of 2020/21 academic year – 92.98%
  • End of 2019/20 academic year – 91.38%
  • End of 2018/19 academic year - 91.08%
  • End of 2017/18 academic year - 69.94%
  • End of 2016/17 academic year - 65%

Recent data is affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, which made it more challenging for schools to deliver their careers programmes. The Careers and Enterprise Company supported the delivery of virtual activities.

The level of school access to a professional careers adviser is good. According to Trends in Careers Education 2021, Gatsby Benchmark 8, personal guidance, continues to be the strongest performing benchmark among schools and colleges. 80% of secondary schools reported providing most of their students with an interview with a qualified careers adviser by the end of year 11.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number and proportion of schools that have access to a professional careers advisor.

The government’s careers statutory guidance sets out that all schools and colleges should use the internationally recognised Gatsby Benchmarks of good career guidance, to develop and improve their careers provision. The benchmarks define eight elements of an excellent careers programme, including experiences of workplaces and personal guidance.

Careers leaders in England can measure how well their school or college is doing against the benchmarks by using Compass, a digital tool provided by the Careers and Enterprise Company. This data is published annually by the Careers and Enterprise Company, most recently in the Trends in Careers Education report, published in December 2021.

Gatsby Benchmark 6, experiences of workplaces, states that every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities and expand their networks. The criteria for achieving the benchmark are that every pupil should have an experience of the workplace by the age of 16, with a further such experience by age 18. Compass data shows the proportion of schools (including special schools and alternative provision) that had either achieved or partially achieved benchmark 6 in each of the last five years:

  • End of 2020/21 academic year - 92.76%
  • End of 2019/20 academic year - 96.16%
  • End of 2018/19 academic year - 95.51%
  • End of 2017/18 academic year - 64.11%
  • End of 2016/17 academic year - 67.8%

Gatsby Benchmark 8, personal guidance, states that every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level (guidance which can be found on page 38 of: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1002972/Careers_statutory_guidance.pdf). The criteria for achieving the benchmark are that every pupil should have at least one such interview by the age of 16, and the opportunity for a further interview by the age of 18. Compass data shows the proportion of schools (including special schools and alternative provision) that had either achieved or partially achieved benchmark 8 in each of the last five years:

  • End of 2020/21 academic year – 92.98%
  • End of 2019/20 academic year – 91.38%
  • End of 2018/19 academic year - 91.08%
  • End of 2017/18 academic year - 69.94%
  • End of 2016/17 academic year - 65%

Recent data is affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, which made it more challenging for schools to deliver their careers programmes. The Careers and Enterprise Company supported the delivery of virtual activities.

The level of school access to a professional careers adviser is good. According to Trends in Careers Education 2021, Gatsby Benchmark 8, personal guidance, continues to be the strongest performing benchmark among schools and colleges. 80% of secondary schools reported providing most of their students with an interview with a qualified careers adviser by the end of year 11.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of schools with Mental Health Support Workers.

Promoting and supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools and colleges is a priority for the government. The department works closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England/Improvement to introduce Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs), to work closely with schools and colleges. MHSTs are intended to provide early intervention on mild to moderate mental health issues, as well as helping staff within a school or college setting to provide a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing.

There are now over 280 MHSTs set up or in training. 183 teams are operational and ready to support children and young people in around 3,000 schools and colleges, covering 15% of pupils in England. A further 104 teams are in development with more to be commissioned this year, which will deliver the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to reach 20-25% of pupils a year early (2022). In March 2021, DHSC announced £79 million to significantly expand children’s mental health services. Part of this will be spent on speeding up and expanding the provision of Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in schools and colleges. By 2023, we plan to have a total of around 400 MHSTs, covering an estimated 3 million children and young people (around 35% of pupils in England).

A high-level MHST breakdown by year, region and area can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/cyp/trailblazers/.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of removing funding for BTEC qualifications.

In July 2021 the department set out the qualifications that we intend to fund alongside A levels and T Levels at level 3. We want T Levels to be the core of the new technical offer so that in a fast-moving and high-tech economy we close the gap between what people study and the needs of employers. We are confident T Levels will lead to better progression into work or further study. T Levels offer a broad course content, giving students a thorough understanding of the sector and an occupational specialism to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work in specific occupations. This cannot be matched by qualifications currently available.

T Levels are challenging qualifications developed with 250 leading employers. They have significantly longer teaching hours and include a meaningful nine week industry placement that sets them apart from many current vocational qualifications. We want as many students to benefit as possible.

However, we will continue to fund some BTECs and other Applied General qualifications in future, and these qualifications will continue to play an important role for 16-19 year olds and adults as they do now.

We have been clear that we expect the changes to be generally positive as students will have access to higher quality qualifications in the future, including new T Levels. This will put students in a stronger position to progress onto further study or skilled employment.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that students can continue to study BTEC qualifications in the future.

In July 2021 the department set out the qualifications that we intend to fund alongside A levels and T Levels at level 3. We want T Levels to be the core of the new technical offer so that in a fast-moving and high-tech economy we close the gap between what people study and the needs of employers. We are confident T Levels will lead to better progression into work or further study. T Levels offer a broad course content, giving students a thorough understanding of the sector and an occupational specialism to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work in specific occupations. This cannot be matched by qualifications currently available.

T Levels are challenging qualifications developed with 250 leading employers. They have significantly longer teaching hours and include a meaningful nine week industry placement that sets them apart from many current vocational qualifications. We want as many students to benefit as possible.

However, we will continue to fund some BTECs and other Applied General qualifications in future, and these qualifications will continue to play an important role for 16-19 year olds and adults as they do now.

We have been clear that we expect the changes to be generally positive as students will have access to higher quality qualifications in the future, including new T Levels. This will put students in a stronger position to progress onto further study or skilled employment.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to (a) mitigate the risk to children attending school of developing long-covid as restrictions are eased and the use of school bubbles ends and (b) provide additional educational support for children who have reduced school attendance as a result of contracting long-covid.

From Step 4, it will no longer be necessary to keep children and young people in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). As well as enabling flexibility in curriculum delivery, this means that assemblies can resume, and schools no longer need to make alternative arrangements to avoid mixing at lunch.

High and rising vaccine rates and strong vaccine efficacy, alongside the restrictions in place, have reduced the scale of the COVID-19 outbreak significantly since the start of 2021. In making this decision, the Government has balanced education and health considerations, weighing the impact of these measures on teaching, wellbeing and the functioning of schools, colleges and out of school settings against the COVID-19 risks in a context that has now fundamentally changed due to the success of the vaccination rollout.

The Department has worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England to revise guidance for schools, colleges and out of school settings from Step 4. Our aim is to balance the risks associated with COVID-19 whilst moving to a ‘steady state’, that minimises both the burden of implementing control measures on staff and parents and the impact those measures have on young peoples’ educational experience. The Department will continue to keep these measures under review in partnership with health experts and informed by the latest scientific evidence and advice.

The Government recognises that extended school and college restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education. The Government is committed to helping pupils make up education lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly the most disadvantaged.

Since June 2020 the Department has announced more than £3 billion to support education recovery for children aged 2 to 19 in nurseries, schools and colleges. This will have a material impact in addressing lost teaching and closing gaps that have emerged. Recovery programmes have been designed to allow early years, school and college leaders the flexibility to support those pupils most in need.

The Government is committed to an ambitious, long-term education recovery plan, and the next stage will include a review of time spent in school and college and the impact this could have on helping children and young people to catch up. The findings of the review will be set out later in the year to inform the Spending Review. We will also be continuing to monitor how effectively children and young people are catching up.

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that all children receive LGBTQ+ inclusive education.

To prepare children for life in modern Britain, pupils need to understand the world in which they are growing up. That is why the Department has made Relationships Education compulsory for all primary school pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for all secondary school pupils, and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools.

The RSE and health education guidance states that all pupils should receive teaching on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) content during their school years. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education. Secondary schools should include LGBT content in their teaching. Primary schools are strongly encouraged and enabled, when teaching about different types of family, to include families with same-sex parents. Through these subjects, children will be taught about the importance of respectful relationships and the different types of loving and healthy relationships that exist. This can be done in a way that respects everyones views.

The key priority is for relationships, sex and health education to help schools to support a diverse range of pupils with these complex and sensitive matters and to ensure that all pupils are supported and treated with kindness and understanding. The Department has published a guidance page for teachers on GOV.UK, to support the teaching of RSHE, at this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health.

21st Jun 2021
What assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for disadvantaged pupils.

All children have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, but it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been hardest hit.

Since 2011 we have spent more than £20 billion to provide Pupil Premium funding for school leaders to use, based on the needs of their disadvantaged pupils. Between 2011 and 2019, the attainment gaps between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils narrowed by 13% at age 11 and 9% at age 16.

On top of this funding, we increased core schools funding by £2.6 billion last year and are increasing core schools funding by £4.8 billion and £7.1 billion in 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively, compared to 2019-20.

In addition, over the past year we have made three major interventions to support education recovery, totalling over £3 billion additional spend: £1 billion in June 2020, a further £700 million in February 2021 and our latest £1.4 billion package announced in June 2021.

Recovery programmes have been designed to allow early years, school and college leaders the flexibility to support those pupils most in need, including the most disadvantaged. The latest announcement expands our reforms in two areas where the evidence is clear our investment will have a significant impact for disadvantaged children, high quality tutoring and great teaching.

We are providing over £1.5 billion for tutoring programmes, including an expansion of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), an ambitious scheme that supports schools to access targeted tutoring intervention for disadvantaged pupils who have missed out on learning due to school closures. We will also provide greater flexibility to schools to make it easier for them to take on local tutors or use existing staff to supplement those employed through the NTP. This new blended offer ensures that the NTP works for all disadvantaged children, giving schools the flexibility to choose what type of approach best suits their needs and those of individual pupils.

The £302 million Recovery Premium has been weighted so that schools with more disadvantaged pupils receive more funding and includes £22 million to scale up proven approaches to reduce the attainment gap.

We have also invested more than £400 million to provide internet access and over 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of the Resource Account and Budgeting charge his Department estimates to be made up of the interest accrued on student loans rather than the capital borrowed for tuition and maintenance.

In the 2020-21 financial year, the Resource Accounting and Budget (RAB) charge for full-time Plan 2 loans was estimated to be 54% (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/student-loan-forecasts-england-2019-to-2020). This is calculated by forecasting how far future repayments on those loans will fall short of the amount originally lent, when put into present value terms using the HM Treasury discount rate (currently RPI + 0.7%).

The interest charged on student loans adds to the total amount of repayments received. For 2020-21 loans issued, the department estimates that repayments due to interest reduced the RAB charge by 4 percentage points.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of the Resource Account and Budgeting charge his Department estimates to be made up of maintenance loans that are not expected to be repaid.

The Resource Account and Budgeting (RAB) charge is the estimated cost to the government of providing a subsidy for the student finance system. It is the proportion of loan outlay expected to not be repaid when future repayments are valued in present terms. The RAB charge is calculated by taking repayment forecasts for income contingent repayment loans and discounting them back to the period that the loan is issued using the discount rate provided by HM Treasury.

The department publishes forecasts of loan outlay and RAB charges for each loan product. The latest forecasts, published June 2020, are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/student-loan-forecasts-for-england/2019-20.

The RAB charge in the 2019-20 financial year was forecast to be 53% for full-time higher education loans, and 45% for part-time higher education loans. Tuition fee loans and maintenance loans are both higher education student finance products. Borrowers who have taken out both tuition fee loans and maintenance loans repay these at the same time. Therefore, the department does not calculate separate RAB charges for tuition fee loans and maintenance loans.

In the 2019-20 financial year, the government provided £16,371 million of student loan funding to English funded full-time higher education students, of which £9,503 million was in tuition fee loans and £6,868 million in maintenance loans. The value of the loan outlay that is not expected to be repaid is known as the RAB cost and can be calculated by multiplying loan outlay by the RAB charge. Therefore, the RAB cost of full-time higher education tuition fee loans in the 2019-20 financial year was £5,036 million (£9,503 million × 53%), and the RAB cost of full-time higher education maintenance loans was £3,640 million (£6,868 million × 53%).

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of the Resource Account and Budgeting charge his Department estimates to be made up of tuition fees that are not expected to be repaid.

The Resource Account and Budgeting (RAB) charge is the estimated cost to the government of providing a subsidy for the student finance system. It is the proportion of loan outlay expected to not be repaid when future repayments are valued in present terms. The RAB charge is calculated by taking repayment forecasts for income contingent repayment loans and discounting them back to the period that the loan is issued using the discount rate provided by HM Treasury.

The department publishes forecasts of loan outlay and RAB charges for each loan product. The latest forecasts, published June 2020, are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/student-loan-forecasts-for-england/2019-20.

The RAB charge in the 2019-20 financial year was forecast to be 53% for full-time higher education loans, and 45% for part-time higher education loans. Tuition fee loans and maintenance loans are both higher education student finance products. Borrowers who have taken out both tuition fee loans and maintenance loans repay these at the same time. Therefore, the department does not calculate separate RAB charges for tuition fee loans and maintenance loans.

In the 2019-20 financial year, the government provided £16,371 million of student loan funding to English funded full-time higher education students, of which £9,503 million was in tuition fee loans and £6,868 million in maintenance loans. The value of the loan outlay that is not expected to be repaid is known as the RAB cost and can be calculated by multiplying loan outlay by the RAB charge. Therefore, the RAB cost of full-time higher education tuition fee loans in the 2019-20 financial year was £5,036 million (£9,503 million × 53%), and the RAB cost of full-time higher education maintenance loans was £3,640 million (£6,868 million × 53%).

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what comparative assessment he has made of the level of achievement at the end of compulsory education in (a) Portsmouth South constituency and (b) the rest of England.

The Department has published a wide range of data on the attainment of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 at both national and local level on 26 November 2020. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/key-stage-4-performance-2020.


The latest published data shows that in the Portsmouth South constituency, the average attainment 8 score was 47.5 compared with an average attainment 8 score of 50.2 across all state funded schools in England.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what comparative assessment he has made of the number of students who go to university from (a) Portsmouth South constituency and (b) the rest of England.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) publishes data on the number of 18 year olds accepted to full-time undergraduate higher education (HE) courses in the UK by domicile and parliament constituency.

The attached table shows the number of 18 year old accepted applicants to UK HE providers, the population estimates for the number of 18 year olds and the entry rate of 18 year old accepted applicants to UK HE providers for the Portsmouth South constituency and England.

In 2020, the entry rate of 18 year old accepted applicants to UK HE providers for Portsmouth South was 26.9%, compared to 37.9% for England, a difference of 11 percentage points.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of university students in Portsmouth returning to face-to-face teaching following the end of the current academic term.

We have always been committed to getting students back onto campus as soon as the public health situation allows. At every stage, we have prioritised students’ education and helping students to meet their learning outcomes, which is why students on creative and practical courses or practice-based courses have been able to return to in-person teaching since March.

We understand that, in some universities, teaching may have concluded by 17 May. However, the wider experience outside the classroom is also important and we know that students are keen to get back to campus and universities are keen to have them back. We want to enable this as soon as the public health situation allows, even if some universities have concluded teaching.

A return in line with step 3 of the roadmap allows time for students to receive some teaching, engage with cocurricular activities, take part in face-to-face careers support and in activities to build employability skills. As students return to campus, there will also be more opportunities for universities to provide mental health support for them.

For many students, teaching does not end in May. For example, postgraduate students, both taught and research, will continue their studies throughout the summer, as will some students on some healthcare courses or who start at different times throughout the year. It is also open to universities, as autonomous institutions, to put on teaching outside of their normal term dates, if they consider this appropriate to fulfil their duties to their students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of Government financial support available for university students.

We understand that this is a very difficult and uncertain time for students. We are working with universities, higher education (HE) institutions, mission groups, unions and professional sector bodies to make sure that all reasonable efforts are being made to enable all students to continue their studies and to provide the support required for them to do so.

In these exceptional circumstances, we recognise that some students may face financial hardship. On 13 April, we announced that we are making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for the 2020/21 academic year. In total, we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship since December. HE providers have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students in a way that best prioritises those in greatest need.

To support with this further, we have worked closely with the Office for Students to help clarify that HE providers can draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged and vulnerable students impacted by COVID-19. HE providers are able to use the funding, worth around £256 million for academic year 2020/21, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment

We want to make sure all students receive the right amount of student support to complete their studies. Students who received a loan for living costs at the living away from home rates in the spring term have received a loan at the same rate in the summer term, even though they may be staying at their family home to comply with public health guidance. This change to the funding rules will help cover any accommodation costs students may still be incurring at their term time address in the summer term. The maximum loans for living costs for the 2020/21 academic year have been increased by 2.9%, with a further 3.1% increase for the 2021/22 academic year, to record levels in cash terms.

Students who have applied for a loan for living costs for the current 2020/21 academic year have been awarded a lower amount than the maximum and believe their household income for the 2020-21 tax year will drop by at least 15% compared to the household income they provided when they were initially assessed, can apply for their entitlement to be reassessed.

In addition, students undertaking courses that would normally require attendance on-site, but for which learning has moved either fully or partially online due to COVID-19, will qualify for living cost support in the 2020/21 academic year as they would ordinarily, provided they continue to engage with their HE provider. This also applies when the student is prevented from attending the course physically and is required to study online due to shielding.

The current measures aim to target support for students in greatest need, and we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust sector guidance and support where necessary.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the clinical evidential basis is for his Department’s decision to delay the return of university students to face-to-face teaching.

We are committed to taking a cautious approach to easing restrictions, guided by data instead of dates. Much of the data that has been used to inform decision making has already been published.

It is important that we continue to take a cautious – but irreversible – approach to re-opening. Moving too fast, too soon, risks a resurgence in infections, hospitalisations and deaths. Whilst we are aware that there is limited evidence of transmission in in-person teaching environments, we must not lose sight of the risks the virus poses and must stay vigilant throughout to ensure this roadmap provides a one-way passage to returning to a more normal life.

We have worked extremely closely with scientists and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) to understand and model various scenarios to inform our plan that seeks to enable us to re-open the country without putting unsustainable pressure on the NHS. We have also examined economic and social data to get a balanced understanding of the impacts of carefully easing restrictions. The government has also carefully considered data on the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on ethnic minority communities, the vulnerable, the young, and low-income groups.

The government has taken into account all the scientific advice and models that suggest that allowing additional indoor mixing at an earlier stage when prevalence is higher and fewer people have been vaccinated would result in significantly higher numbers of infections and that is why restrictions outdoors have been eased first and restrictions on most indoor activity will remain in place. As the number of people vaccinated increases, we anticipate being able to take steps to ease further as more people are protected.

A wealth of data, papers and evidence is being published at the same time as the Roadmap, to ensure transparency on the information the government has had available to it in reaching its decisions. This includes information from Public Health England:

  • Information on vaccine effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccination
  • A surveillance report with a more detailed summary of the findings so far from the SARS-CoV-2 Immunity & REinfection EvaluatioN (SIREN) study and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections Watch
  • A technical paper on the SIREN analysis being published (as a pre-print) by the Lancet

The papers from SAGE include:

  • Minutes from the last 4 SAGE meetings
  • Children’s Task and Finish Group paper: ‘COVID-19 in higher education settings, 10 February 2021’
  • 3 papers from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), with a summary of modelling on scenarios for easing restrictions, together with the supporting papers from modellers at Warwick and Imperial universities
  • A collection of papers from SPI-M on “relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and the re-opening of schools”, Independent Pandemic Scientific Insights Group on Behaviours (the behavioural experts’ sub-group of SAGE) on return to campus for the spring term and the risk of increased transmission from student migration
Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2020 to Question 97703, on Outdoor Education: Finance, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report prepared for Ministers by civil servants following that meeting with campaigners.

The government is continuing to prioritise mental health and wellbeing support for children, young people, and staff following the return to education on 8 March. The Department for Education has convened a Mental Health in Education Action Group. The action group will look at the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and staff in nurseries, schools, colleges, and universities. It will consider how to support mental wellbeing as children and young people are returning to education settings, with transitions between education settings in September, and in the longer term. As we consider how best to support the education sector moving forward, we will consider access to outdoor spaces in that context.

In the first instance the group are engaging with health experts to bring together the evidence of impact on children and young people. The group will identify the existing range of support available and will examine how to ensure support is easy to access and has the greatest possible impact. They are also engaging with education stakeholders, including staff and leadership unions, to ensure that we understand the issues that are facing staff in nurseries, schools, colleges, and universities and how they can be supported in the coming months.

This year, we will invest up to £220 million in our Holiday Activities and Food programme. Delivery began at Easter and will run during the summer and Christmas holidays in 2021, supporting disadvantaged pupils and their families with enriching activities, providing them with healthy food, helping them to learn new things and improving socialisation.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure infant school children have the devices and internet connectivity they need for home schooling.

Given the extremely challenging global supply context for devices, the Department has had to make difficult decisions about where provision is needed most. In Autumn 2020, following conversations with school leaders, the decision was taken to allocate devices to children in Key Stage 2 and above on the basis that children in younger years would be unlikely to be working on a laptop or tablet independently.

The Department’s guidance on remote education acknowledges that younger children often require high levels of parental involvement to support their engagement with remote education, which makes digital provision a particular challenge for this age group. We do not expect that solely digital means will be used to teach these pupils remotely.

We continue to review the eligibility criteria for the Get Help with Technology Scheme to ensure we meet the needs of disadvantaged children and young people.

4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of teacher's pay.

The School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) provides independent advice to my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, on school teachers’ pay and conditions in England.

The STRB’s 30th report analysed the evidence given by the Department and relevant organisations and made recommendations for teachers’ and school leaders’ pay. The Government responded to the report in Parliament and accepted the recommendations in full for the September 2020 pay award. As a result, teachers received an average pay award of 3.1% this year.

We are currently developing our written evidence to support the STRB’s consideration of the 2021 pay award for teachers. Her Majesty’s Treasury has already published evidence that sets out the rationale for the pause on pay for the majority of public sector workers, including teachers.

The Government will reassess the pay policy ahead of issuing the remit for the 2022-23 pay award, once the economic recovery is established and the impact of COVID-19 on the wider labour market is clearer.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many local authority-maintained schools were in receipt of the Service Pupil Premium in each of the last five years.

The number of local authority-maintained schools in receipt of the Service Child element of the Pupil Premium in each of the last five years are shown below. The figures have decreased over the period due to the number of academy conversions in that time. The figures for financial year 2020/21 are also shown but are provisional, as the new and growing schools are due to be incorporated in the final quarterly update later this year.

Financial Year

Number of LA maintained schools in receipt of the Service Pupil Premium

2015-16

7,102

2016-17

6,868

2017-18

6,405

2018-19

6,062

2019-20

5,855

2020-21 (provisional)

5,820

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using a voucher system for the delivery of free school meals during the covid-19 outbreak.

Schools are free to decide the best approach for their free school meal pupils. They can provide lunch parcels, locally arranged vouchers, or they can use the national voucher scheme which re-opened for schools to order vouchers on Monday 18 January. Any support provided since 4 January 2021 through lunch parcels or locally arranged vouchers can be claimed back from the department.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will take steps to encourage private landlords providing student accommodation to offer a rebate to those unable to access their accommodation due to Government covid-19 guidance.

Universities and private accommodation providers are autonomous and responsible for setting their own rent agreements. The government plays no direct role in the provision of student accommodation.

This has been a very difficult time for students, and we encourage universities and accommodation providers to review their accommodation policies to ensure they are fair, transparent and have the best interests of students at heart.

We recognise that in these exceptional circumstances some students may face financial hardship. The Department for Education has worked with the Office for Students to clarify that providers are able to draw on existing funds, worth around £256 million for academic year 2020/21, towards hardship support. The government is making available up to a further £20 million on a one-off basis to support those that need it most, particularly disadvantaged students. As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, said on the 7 January 2021, we are considering what more we can do to provide further support to students.

Maintenance loans are available as a contribution towards a student’s living costs while attending university. The system targets the most living cost support at those from the lowest income families, who need it most.

Students undertaking courses that would normally require attendance on-site, but for which learning has moved either fully or partially online due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will qualify for living costs support in the 2020/21 academic year as they would ordinarily, provided they continue to engage with their higher education provider. This also applies when the student is prevented from attending the course physically and is required to study online due to shielding.

If students have concerns about their accommodation fees, they should first raise their concerns with their accommodation provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, and their higher education provider is involved in the provision of the accommodation, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

If a student thinks their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/, https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether recipients of laptops for remote education will incur a financial penalty if those laptops are stolen or damaged.

The Government is investing over £300 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing over one million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This includes over 560,000 laptops and tablets that have already been delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities in 2020.

The laptops and tablets are the property of the school, local authority or academy trust, and they should assume responsibility for their ongoing maintenance and support as part of this. The Department will not apply financial penalties for devices that are lost or stolen and schools – academy trusts and local authorities should manage devices reported as lost or stolen, in line with their organisational policies.

If a device develops a fault that is not caused by a user, the school, local authority or academy trust that owns it can request a free replacement.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the staggered return of students to universities after the Christmas 2020 break on learning for qualifications that require (a) face-to-face contact and (b) practical training; and if he will make a statement.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

The government is committed to prioritising education and wants to enable all students who have travelled home for the winter break to return to their universities and resume their studies. On 2 December 2020, we published guidance on students returning to higher education for the spring term, which sets out our plans for staggering the return of students over a 5-week period. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/students-returning-to-higher-education-from-spring-term.

Practical and placement students should return first, in line with their planned start dates, from 4 January to the week commencing 18 January 2021. HE providers will need to make an assessment of the courses and students that should be allowed to return first, based on the requirements of the curriculum and the need for practical face-to-face learning and equipment. Students on all remaining courses should be offered online learning from the beginning of term so they can continue their studies at home, and should be asked to return to their university over a 2-week period from 25 January.

Testing students on return to campus is a key part of the plan for January and all students should be tested in order to protect themselves, others on campus and the wider community. The Department for Education is actively working with the Department for Health and Social Care to ensure that all HE providers can deliver government supported asymptomatic test sites utilising lateral flow devices, which will help to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission during the staggered return.

Personal protective equipment and kits will be provided to HE providers at no cost, along with access to digital solutions, training and clinical guidance to support testing. A cost recovery model is also in place for providers to recover costs for workforce, site set up and site furnishings.

We recognise that this year has been incredibly difficult for students and that, in these exceptional circumstances, some may face financial hardship. I have announced that we are making available up to £20 million on a one-off basis to support those that need it most, particularly disadvantaged students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department will provide to universities who have been instructed to stagger the return of students following the Christmas 2020 break.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

The government is committed to prioritising education and wants to enable all students who have travelled home for the winter break to return to their universities and resume their studies. On 2 December 2020, we published guidance on students returning to higher education for the spring term, which sets out our plans for staggering the return of students over a 5-week period. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/students-returning-to-higher-education-from-spring-term.

Practical and placement students should return first, in line with their planned start dates, from 4 January to the week commencing 18 January 2021. HE providers will need to make an assessment of the courses and students that should be allowed to return first, based on the requirements of the curriculum and the need for practical face-to-face learning and equipment. Students on all remaining courses should be offered online learning from the beginning of term so they can continue their studies at home, and should be asked to return to their university over a 2-week period from 25 January.

Testing students on return to campus is a key part of the plan for January and all students should be tested in order to protect themselves, others on campus and the wider community. The Department for Education is actively working with the Department for Health and Social Care to ensure that all HE providers can deliver government supported asymptomatic test sites utilising lateral flow devices, which will help to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission during the staggered return.

Personal protective equipment and kits will be provided to HE providers at no cost, along with access to digital solutions, training and clinical guidance to support testing. A cost recovery model is also in place for providers to recover costs for workforce, site set up and site furnishings.

We recognise that this year has been incredibly difficult for students and that, in these exceptional circumstances, some may face financial hardship. I have announced that we are making available up to £20 million on a one-off basis to support those that need it most, particularly disadvantaged students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish guidance for universities on covid-19 testing at the end of the spring 2021 term.

Guidance regarding testing for universities at the end of the spring term will be published in due course.

Work is ongoing between the Department for Education, Department for Health and Social Care and the higher education sector to ensure that students are able to travel to and from their places of study over the Christmas break and to get tested before departure and upon return.

The results of this work will inform the guidance for the end of spring, which we will publish with sufficient time for higher education institutions to plan.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to stagger the return of university students to campuses following the Christmas period in order to limit exposure to covid-19.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

The government is committed to prioritising education and want to enable all students who have travelled home for the winter break to return to their universities and resume blended learning. On 2 December, we published guidance on students returning to HE for the spring term in 2021, which sets out our plans for staggering the return of students over a 5-week period: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/students-returning-to-higher-education-from-spring-term.

Practical and placement students should return first, in line with their planned start dates, from 4 January to week commencing 18 January 2021. Students on all remaining courses should be offered online learning from the beginning of term so they can continue their studies at home, and should be asked to return to their university over a 2-week period from 25 January.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to support university students through covid-19 quarantine periods on their return to campuses following the Christmas holidays.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

On 2 December, we published guidance on students returning to HE for the spring term in 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/students-returning-to-higher-education-from-spring-term.

HE providers are autonomous institutions, independent from government, and have a responsibility to students when delivering services, including the provision of pastoral support, and taking steps to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of students. It is vitally important that this support is in place, particularly for self-isolating students.

I have previously written to Vice Chancellors, asking them to ensure that self-isolating students have a range of choices available for access to food and other essential supplies. This includes providing food to those that need it and facilitating deliveries that will not require students to leave the accommodation where they are self-isolating. We expect this support to continue in the spring term.

Many HE providers have already bolstered their existing mental health services and adapted delivery mechanisms, including reaching out to students who may be more vulnerable. Staff at universities and colleges have responded quickly to the need to transform mental health and wellbeing services, showing resourcefulness, and there are many examples of good practice.

To support with this important work, we have worked closely with the Office for Students to help clarify that HE providers can draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. Providers are able to use the funding, worth around £256 million for the academic year 2020-21 starting from August, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment and mental health support. We have also confirmed that Student Space, which bridges any gaps in mental health support for students arising from this unprecedented situation, has been extended to cover the 2020-21 academic year. The Student Space website is available here: https://studentspace.org.uk/.

Furthermore, we will be making available up to £20 million on a one-off basis to support those that need it most, particularly disadvantaged students. Further detail will be set out in due course.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to provide economic support in response to the covid-19 outbreak to childcare settings (a) nationally, (b) in Hampshire and (c) Portsmouth South constituency.

The government recognises the importance of supporting the early years sector financially during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is why we are continuing to fund local authorities for the autumn term 2020 at the same level as before the COVID-19 outbreak, giving all nurseries and childminders another term of secure income, regardless of how many children are attending childcare settings.

Additionally, the government has provided a package of support for individuals and businesses across all local authorities which providers of childcare can benefit from. This includes business rates relief and grants, and the extended Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. As private nurseries typically rely on private income for a significant proportion of their income, unlike most state-funded schools, they are able to access support to furlough their staff via the extended Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CJRS will remain open until March 2021.

Early years settings will continue to benefit from a planned £3.6 billion funding in the 2020/21 financial year to create free early education and childcare places. On 25 November 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a further £44 million investment for the 2021/22 financial year, allowing local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers for the government’s free childcare entitlement offers. This is inclusive of the Hampshire local authority and the Portsmouth South constituency. Further information on how this will be distributed will be made available as soon as possible.

We continue to work with the early years sector to understand how they can be best supported to ensure that sufficient safe, appropriate and affordable childcare is available for those returning to work now, and for all families who need it in the longer term. Local authorities are best placed to monitor and manage their local childcare market and have responsibility for ensuring sufficient childcare places.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Sutton Trust’s report, Covid-19 and Social Mobility Impact Brief #4: Early Years; and if he will make a statement.

Levelling up outcomes for disadvantaged children is a priority for the government, and the Sutton Trust report rightly highlights that the early years of a child’s education are crucial.

That is why the government has prioritised getting children back into nurseries as quickly as possible, where they can be fully supported during this crucial period for their development. Since 1 June 2020, early years settings have been able to welcome back children of all ages.

We are continuing to provide extra security to nurseries and childminders that are open. We will do this by paying local authorities for the autumn term for childcare places at the level we would have funded before the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of how many children are attending.

Children in reception year, who may have missed time in formal early education settings at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, will benefit from the government’s £650 million catch up premium for schools, to ensure they have the support they need to make up for lost teaching time. Additionally, up to £9 million of the National Tutoring Programme fund will go towards improving the language skills of reception age children who need it most. We are working with the Education Endowment Foundation to make training and resources for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention available at no cost to schools that would particularly benefit.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of removing Government funding for the Union Learning Fund on the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

It is unlikely that removing our funding will have any significant effect on the Lifetime Skills Guarantee. This is because Unionlearn support is focused on supporting people at Level 2 and below where the existing Adult entitlement provides fully funded Government support for adults without English and Maths at Level 2 or Digital Skills (Level 1). Out of the 200,000 people they help each year, only about 3,000 are undertaking learning at Level 3 or above.

The Lifetime Skills Guarantee is part of the significant £2.5 billion investment in the National Skills Fund. It will offer support to all adults lacking a Level 3 qualification, it will provide digital boot camps to support employers in filling vacancies and a Lifelong Loan Entitlement, which will provide individuals with an entitlement to 4 years of loan funding to use over their lifetime.

As such the Lifelong Learning Guarantee and the National Skills Fund has the capacity to take on any individuals who might have undertaken Level 3 learning with the support of the Union Learning Fund.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of provision of financial education at a primary education level; if he will make an assessment of the potential contribution of Talk Money Week to improving that provision; and if he will make a statement on the educational value of talking about money with children and young people.

Education on financial matters ensures that pupils are well prepared to manage their money, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information, if required. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

The Department also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides pupils with the knowledge and skills to make important financial decisions. The Government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

The Department trusts schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. The Department’s latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The Department supports wider initiatives that aim to improve financial confidence, such as Talk Money Week, led by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS). Talk Money Week is a platform for all UK citizens that aims to encourage open discussions at home, within families and at school about managing money. More information is available at: https://maps.org.uk/talk-money-week/.

The Department does not plan to make its own assessment of the contribution of Talk Money Week to improving the provision of financial education at primary education level. We will continue to work closely with the MaPS and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty’s Treasury to consider what can be learnt from such initiatives and how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a two week period of self-isolation for university students before they return home during or after the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England.

The government is committed to ensuring that students who wish to return home for the winter break are able to do so. It is essential that measures are put in place to ensure this can happen as safely as possible for students, staff and the communities that they return to.

On 11 November, the department published guidance for providers on the plans for the end of the autumn term, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/student-movement-and-plans-for-the-end-of-autumn-2020-term#specific-support-for-students.

As outlined in the guidance, we expect higher education (HE) providers to support students to return home following the period of national restrictions, whilst mitigating the risk of transmission of the virus. We are asking that students return home once the national restrictions have been lifted, in a “student travel window” lasting from 3-9 December. This should be in line with specific arrangements put in place by their HE provider, which should include a staggered end to face-to-face provision, with learning being moved online by 9 December.

We are also working closely with universities and the Department for Health and Social Care to roll out mass testing for students and we will offer this to as many students as possible before they travel home, targeting this in areas of high prevalence of COVID-19. This will help to provide further confidence that students can leave safely if they test negative. If a student tests positive before their departure, they will need to remain in self-isolation, following the relevant guidance. Moving all learning online by 9 December allows enough time for students to complete the isolation period before returning home for Christmas.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) vulnerable young people and (b) young people with additional needs receive the care and support they require during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown period.

The government recognises the significant challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak has presented for children and young people, and their families, and that the impact is likely to be greater for some groups, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Supporting children and young people with SEND continues to be a priority for this government, and their wellbeing has been central to our response throughout the outbreak.

As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, made clear in his statement of 31 October 2020, our priority remains keeping all early years settings, schools and colleges open to children and young people during the lockdown period, which commenced on 5 November 2020. Schools and colleges should continue to ensure that children and young people with SEND receive the education, therapeutic or specialist support required to enable them to successfully engage with school or college, and to support their wellbeing, during this period.

Where a child or young person with SEND has provision specified within their Education, Health and Care plan, it remains the duty of the local authority and relevant health bodies to secure or arrange the delivery of this provision. The department will continue to closely monitor the provision of services and support for those with SEND during the COVID-19 outbreak and engage with local authorities where there appear to be issues. For children and young people with SEND who require health services, the new regulations in effect from 5 November 2020 specifically allow access to medical services, whether they are delivered at home, in an educational setting or in the community. Furthermore, we recognise the importance of respite care for disabled children and young people, and their families. That is why parents and carers may continue to access respite care, to support them in caring for their disabled children while the new national restrictions are in force.

Local authorities have also been allocated a further £4.6 billion to help their communities through the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding is un-ringfenced, recognising that local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major COVID-19 outbreak service pressures in their local area, including children’s services. This year, we have also committed £37.3 million (including £10 million in response to the COVID-19 outbreak) to the Family Fund, which provides grants to low-income families caring for disabled children or seriously ill children.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential risk to public health of students returning from universities in Tier 3 areas to areas with lower covid-19 restrictions.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our higher education institutions, during this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

As my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced to the House on Tuesday 29 September, the department is working with universities to make sure that all students are supported to return home safely and spend Christmas with their loved ones, if they choose to do so.

We are working through measures to mitigate transmission risks and why we are planning to publish guidance on students returning home safely at Christmas.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assurances his Department has received from universities in (a) tier 3 and (b) tier 2 areas of measures put in place to mitigate (i) covid-19 transmission levels and (ii) related public health risks.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) and the wider community is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission in this unprecedented situation.

Our system of HE tiers, as set out in guidance, intends to help universities identify the appropriate restrictions to impose on their educational provision in response to a COVID-19 outbreak. This is particularly important when there is a change to the local COVID alert level. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

We have worked to ensure that all universities have outbreak plans. These have been shared with local Directors of Public Health and continue to be reviewed and updated based on emerging lessons and local situations, including changes to the local COVID alert level. The plans cover a range of scenarios and will ensure that HE providers are prepared to respond quickly to an outbreak in their educational setting or wider community.

Implementation of these plans is for the universities themselves, working with local public health and local authority colleagues.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing additional (a) resources and (b) funding to universities in (i) tier 3 and (ii) tier 2 areas to mitigate (A) covid-19 transmission levels and (B) related public health risks.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) and the wider community is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks of transmission in this unprecedented situation.

We are working across the government, and closely with the HE sector, to provide both practical and financial support through the COVID-19 outbreak. On 4 May, we announced the HE stabilisation package which reprofiled public funding and introduced measures to stabilise admissions with a view to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on HE providers’ finances. This package, along with the government-backed business support schemes, provided substantial support to the HE sector. On 27 June, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced further support to preserve research capacity and capability in the Research Stabilisation Package. On 16 July, we also announced further information about the Higher Education Restructuring Regime, which will review providers’ circumstances and assess the need for restructuring, financial support and come with strict conditions to align with wider government objectives.

Further to this, we have also published reopening guidance to universities informed by advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. We are lifting caps on domestic medicine and dentistry courses for the 2020/21 academic year and providing both additional capital and teaching grant funding. Importantly, we are supporting providers to protect students’ mental health and wellbeing, having clarified that providers can use funding worth £256 million for the academic year 2020/21, starting from August, towards student hardship funds and mental health support. Additionally, the Office for Students has provided up to £3 million to fund the Student Space platform to bridge gaps in mental health support for students.

We will continue to draw upon the expertise of the Higher Education Taskforce to identify COVID-19 related challenges faced by HE providers and students. We will keep policies under review as the situation evolves, based on the latest advice from Public Health England and evidence of the effectiveness of interventions and support for students and providers.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of funding the Nature Premium on (a) levels of health inequality, (b) combating mental health issues and (c) levels of learning development among children.

Schools and colleges have an important role to play in supporting the health and well-being of children and young people. We recognise that playing and learning outside is a fundamental part of childhood and supports children’s health and wellbeing. We also know that some children have good access to natural spaces whilst others do not, such as those living in areas of high disadvantage.

We want headteachers to have as much discretion as possible over how they use their funding. It is for schools to decide what teaching approaches and wider pastoral and extra-curricular activity to put in place, as part of a whole school approach, based on the needs of their pupils and drawing on evidence of effective practice. Schools’ core funding in financial years is rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20 funding levels.

To support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to natural environments, the Department for Education is funding the ‘Children and Nature Programme’, working alongside Natural England and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The programme is supporting three delivery projects which include delivering greener grounds and pupil visits to green spaces for schools with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils.

I have asked departmental officials to meet with representatives of the Nature Premium campaign to discuss the potential merits further.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has had discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of introducing a Nature Premium scheme.

Schools and colleges have an important role to play in supporting the health and well-being of children and young people. We recognise that playing and learning outside is a fundamental part of childhood and supports children’s health and wellbeing. We also know that some children have good access to natural spaces whilst others do not, such as those living in areas of high disadvantage.

We want headteachers to have as much discretion as possible over how they use their funding. It is for schools to decide what teaching approaches and wider pastoral and extra-curricular activity to put in place, as part of a whole school approach, based on the needs of their pupils and drawing on evidence of effective practice. Schools’ core funding in financial years is rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20 funding levels.

To support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to natural environments, the Department for Education is funding the ‘Children and Nature Programme’, working alongside Natural England and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The programme is supporting three delivery projects which include delivering greener grounds and pupil visits to green spaces for schools with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils.

I have asked departmental officials to meet with representatives of the Nature Premium campaign to discuss the potential merits further.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will meet representatives of the Nature Premium campaign.

Schools and colleges have an important role to play in supporting the health and well-being of children and young people. We recognise that playing and learning outside is a fundamental part of childhood and supports children’s health and wellbeing. We also know that some children have good access to natural spaces whilst others do not, such as those living in areas of high disadvantage.

We want headteachers to have as much discretion as possible over how they use their funding. It is for schools to decide what teaching approaches and wider pastoral and extra-curricular activity to put in place, as part of a whole school approach, based on the needs of their pupils and drawing on evidence of effective practice. Schools’ core funding in financial years is rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20 funding levels.

To support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to natural environments, the Department for Education is funding the ‘Children and Nature Programme’, working alongside Natural England and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The programme is supporting three delivery projects which include delivering greener grounds and pupil visits to green spaces for schools with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils.

I have asked departmental officials to meet with representatives of the Nature Premium campaign to discuss the potential merits further.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on the educational outcomes of sixth form students in Portsmouth of recent trends in the number of those students who are self-isolating as a result of having covid-19 symptoms and are unable to return to their sixth form until they receive the results of their covid-19 tests.

In Portsmouth, as set out in national guidance, every further education (FE) provider should ensure they have a strong contingency plan in place for high quality remote education for all students by the end of September, if individuals or groups are asked to isolate, or the setting has to be partially or fully closed. The national guidance can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision/what-fe-colleges-and-providers-will-need-to-do-from-the-start-of-the-2020-autumn-term.

We know that FE providers delivered aspects of provision remotely prior to national lockdown and this has been successfully expanded over recent months, so providers are well placed to respond quickly if the need arises.

Similarly, as set out in the guidance for the full opening of schools, where a pupil is unable to attend a secondary school because they are complying with clinical or public health advice, we expect schools to be able to immediately offer them access to remote education. This guidance can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

This guidance applies equally to sixth form students who may be self-isolating whilst awaiting COVID-19 test results, and seeks to ensure that their education continues until such time as they can return to a school or college setting.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on the ability of sixth form colleges in Portsmouth to remain open of recent trends in the number of sixth from students in Portsmouth unable to obtain a covid-19 test and unable to return to their sixth form until they receive covid-19 test results.

It is vital that students and college staff only get a test if they develop COVID-19 symptoms. If a positive case is confirmed in a college, swift action is being taken to ask those who have been in close contact to self-isolate, and Public Health England’s local health protection teams continue to support and advise colleges in this situation.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) sent an initial supply of 10 test kits to all colleges including sixth form colleges, for those who develop symptoms on site and face significant personal barriers to accessing a test and so would not otherwise seek to get tested. Further education colleges can now place a monthly order for additional test kits, with order limits proportionate to their number of students. We are making this increase in the number of kits available so that colleges are able to prioritise testing for symptomatic staff who cannot access a test - so that if they test negative they can get back to work as quickly as possible and help keep their setting open.

We will work with DHSC to provide updates to our guidance with advice on how to distribute these kits safely. Relevant guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-home-test-kits-for-schools-and-fe-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-home-test-kits-for-schools-and-fe-providers.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that pupils are able to swiftly access covid-19 tests so that they can return to their education setting.

All pupils are eligible to be tested if they display symptoms of COVID-19 and should get tested in this scenario. A negative test result will enable pupils to get back into childcare or education once they feel well enough.

Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been and hundreds of thousands of people are being tested every day, but there is currently a significant demand for tests. It is vital that pupils and school staff only get a test if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. The NHS Test and Trace system is fully up and running, but it must stay focused on testing those with true symptoms of COVID-19.

The Government are upscaling testing capacity even further to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October. To support this, the Government has announced the addition of new lighthouse laboratories in Newport and Charnwood to the national lab network, and work is ongoing on plans to expand the UK’s laboratory capacity even further over the coming months.

All schools and colleges have been provided with an initial supply of ten test kits to be used in the exceptional circumstance that an individual becomes symptomatic on site and may have significant personal barriers to accessing testing elsewhere. Schools and colleges can order additional test kits online if they have run out or are running out of test kits.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to allocate additional funding for schools to spend on overtime for staff for the implementation of covid-19 safety measures.

On 2 July, the Government published guidance for the full opening of schools, including a Public Health England endorsed system of controls which, when implemented alongside the school’s own risk assessment, create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. This guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

As stated in the guidance, schools should make use of their existing resources when welcoming all children back for the autumn. Schools may need to alter the way in which they deploy their staff, and use existing staff more flexibly, to welcome back all pupils at the start of the autumn term. It is important that planning builds in the need to avoid unnecessary and unmanageable workload burdens.

We are providing additional funding to schools to cover unavoidable costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak between March and July that cannot be met from their existing resources. Schools were eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

Schools have also continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of whether additional funding is required for schools to implement deep cleaning of school facilities during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 2 July, the Government published guidance for the full opening of schools, including a Public Health England endorsed system of controls which, when implemented alongside the school’s own risk assessment, create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. This guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

As stated in the guidance, schools should make use of their existing resources when welcoming all children back for the autumn. Schools may need to alter the way in which they deploy their staff, and use existing staff more flexibly, to welcome back all pupils at the start of the autumn term. It is important that planning builds in the need to avoid unnecessary and unmanageable workload burdens.

We are providing additional funding to schools to cover unavoidable costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak between March and July that cannot be met from their existing resources. Schools were eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

Schools have also continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support he plans to provide to (a) staff and (b) pupils in response to the reported increase in covid-19 cases.

On 2 July the Department published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

This includes the public health advice schools must follow to minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission. The public health advice in the guidance makes up a Public Health England (PHE) endorsed ‘system of controls’, building on the hierarchy of protective measures that have been used throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. When implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, these measures create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. Measures include minimising contact between groups and maintaining distance where possible, encouraging regular handwashing, and enhanced cleaning.

The guidance also includes advice to schools on responding to any suspected cases of COVID-19. All staff and pupils should be tested if they develop COVID-19 symptoms, and every school and college that has been attended by someone who tests positive will receive direct support and advice from their local PHE health protection team.

The Department have asked every school to plan for the possibility of local restrictions and how they will ensure continuity of education in exceptional circumstances where there is some level of restriction applied to education or childcare in a local area. The Department of Health and Social Care has published an overview of the tiers of restriction for education and childcare, to be implemented only where absolutely necessary, in its contain framework. This makes clear that we anticipate that education and childcare will usually remain fully open to all. This can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers.

Guidance has also been published on how schools can plan for tier 2 local restrictions due to the operational challenges that schools could experience. This can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-schools-can-plan-for-tier-2-local-restrictions/how-schools-can-plan-for-tier-2-local-restrictions.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) pupils and (b) teaching staff have access to appropriate (i) equipment, (ii) sanitiser and (iii) personal protective equipment in response to the reported rise in covid-19 cases.

The Department has worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) to publish comprehensive guidance to all schools and colleges on a system of controls which, when implemented, create an inherently safer system where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The majority of staff in schools and colleges will not require personal protective equipment (PPE) beyond what they would normally need for their work. Additional PPE is only needed when in close contact with those with COVID-19 symptoms. Guidance on the use of PPE in education settings is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

Schools and colleges are responsible for sourcing their own PPE and cleaning products. In addition to existing procurement routes, the Government has launched the Crown Commercial Service safer working supplies website and promoted public sector buying organisations through which schools and colleges can access PPE and cleaning products.

To further build resilience across the education sector to respond to any suspected cases arising in schools and colleges, the Department has worked with the Department of Health and Social Care to deliver a one off distribution of PPE to them. The delivery contained clinical face masks, aprons, gloves and visors, as well as the hand sanitiser needed to put on and take off PPE. This PPE has been provided free of change by the DHSC to be used for COVID-19 related purposes in line with the Department’s guidance.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the availability of covid-19 testing on the requirement of pupils with symptoms to be tested prior to returning to school.

The capacity of the NHS Test and Trace system must be protected for those with symptoms of COVID-19. Booking is essential for drive in and walk in test sites, and under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In line with our guidance, the home test kits supplied to schools and colleges must be reserved for those who face significant barriers to accessing a test and would not otherwise get tested. The Department of Health and Social Care is emailing all schools and colleges with details of how to access additional test kits. An order may be placed each month for a number of kits proportionate to the number of pupils or students at that school or college. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-home-test-kits-for-schools-and-fe-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-home-test-kits-for-schools-and-fe-providers?utm_source=10%20September%202020%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19.

No one with symptoms should attend their nursery, school, college or university. In the case of a confirmed positive test for COVID-19, the relevant local health protection team should be contacted immediately. The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment and identify the appropriate next steps.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support teachers in the distribution of home learning packs to pupils who are not returning to school during the covid-19 outbreak.

Shielding advice for all adults and children was paused on 1 August. We now expect all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full time for the autumn term. On 2 July, the Department published guidance to support schools to do this. While our aim is to have all pupils back in the classroom, every school will need to plan for the possibility of local restrictions and how they will ensure continuity of education.

The Department is committed to the continuation of high-quality remote education during this difficult time and is supporting schools to ensure that it is aligned to their normal provision for their pupils. We expect schools to have a strong contingency plan for remote education in place by the end of September. We have asked schools to look to align the quality of their existing provision with the expectations set out in the published guidance on curriculum and remote education provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-3-curriculum-behaviour-and-pastoral-support.

We have published a comprehensive range of advice and guidance to support schools. This includes examples of teaching practice during the COVID-19 outbreak, which provides an opportunity for schools to learn from each other’s approaches to remote education. It outlines strategies and techniques that have worked for teachers and school leaders and contains information about effective remote provision. This can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The guidance also includes examples of how schools can support pupils without internet access by, for example, providing physical work packs, which can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/providing-physical-work-packs-for-pupils-with-limited-or-no-internet-connection.

The Government has already invested over £100 million to help schools and young people continue their education at home and access social care services. This includes investment of over £14 million on technical support to give schools access to cloud based education platforms, nearly £6 million to support a new EdTech demonstrator school network, and over £85 million to provide laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to young people who would not otherwise have access. The Department is now supplementing this support by making an initial 150,000 additional devices available in the event that face to face schooling becomes disrupted as a result of local COVID-19 restrictions. These should be used to enable disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 to continue to access remote education.

The Department has also supported sector-led initiatives, like Oak National Academy, which launched on 20 April. By 12 July, 4.7 million unique users had accessed the Oak National Academy website and 16.1 million lessons had been viewed. The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year to provide video lessons for reception up to year 11. This will include specialist content for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. Oak will remain a free optional resource for 2020-21.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional funding is being provided to schools to ensure that home learning packs are distributed to pupils who are not returning to school during the covid-19 outbreak.

Shielding advice for all adults and children was paused on 1 August. We now expect all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full time for the autumn term. On 2 July, the Department published guidance to support schools to do this. While our aim is to have all pupils back in the classroom, every school will need to plan for the possibility of local restrictions and how they will ensure continuity of education.

The Department is committed to the continuation of high-quality remote education during this difficult time and is supporting schools to ensure that it is aligned to their normal provision for their pupils. We expect schools to have a strong contingency plan for remote education in place by the end of September. We have asked schools to look to align the quality of their existing provision with the expectations set out in the published guidance on curriculum and remote education provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-3-curriculum-behaviour-and-pastoral-support.

We have published a comprehensive range of advice and guidance to support schools. This includes examples of teaching practice during the COVID-19 outbreak, which provides an opportunity for schools to learn from each other’s approaches to remote education. It outlines strategies and techniques that have worked for teachers and school leaders and contains information about effective remote provision. This can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The guidance also includes examples of how schools can support pupils without internet access by, for example, providing physical work packs, which can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/providing-physical-work-packs-for-pupils-with-limited-or-no-internet-connection.

The Government has already invested over £100 million to help schools and young people continue their education at home and access social care services. This includes investment of over £14 million on technical support to give schools access to cloud based education platforms, nearly £6 million to support a new EdTech demonstrator school network, and over £85 million to provide laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to young people who would not otherwise have access. The Department is now supplementing this support by making an initial 150,000 additional devices available in the event that face to face schooling becomes disrupted as a result of local COVID-19 restrictions. These should be used to enable disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 to continue to access remote education.

The Department has also supported sector-led initiatives, like Oak National Academy, which launched on 20 April. By 12 July, 4.7 million unique users had accessed the Oak National Academy website and 16.1 million lessons had been viewed. The Department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year to provide video lessons for reception up to year 11. This will include specialist content for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. Oak will remain a free optional resource for 2020-21.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the reduced ability of schools to ventilate classrooms during winter months on the safety of (a) teachers and (b) pupils during the covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The above guidance sets out a system of controls which provide a framework for school leaders to put in place a range of proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. Measures include minimising contacts between groups and maintaining distance where possible, encouraging regular handwashing, and enhanced cleaning.

This includes advice that once the school is in operation, it is important to ensure good ventilation and maximise this wherever possible, for example, by opening windows and propping open doors, as long as they are not fire doors, where safe to do so (bearing in mind safeguarding in particular). Arrangements for ventilation will vary in each setting based on individual circumstances.

Advice on this can be found in Health and Safety Executive guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the COVID-19 outbreak available at https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation.htm.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that schools can properly ventilate classrooms in the winter months during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The above guidance sets out a system of controls which provide a framework for school leaders to put in place a range of proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. Measures include minimising contacts between groups and maintaining distance where possible, encouraging regular handwashing, and enhanced cleaning.

This includes advice that once the school is in operation, it is important to ensure good ventilation and maximise this wherever possible, for example, by opening windows and propping open doors, as long as they are not fire doors, where safe to do so (bearing in mind safeguarding in particular). Arrangements for ventilation will vary in each setting based on individual circumstances.

Advice on this can be found in Health and Safety Executive guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the COVID-19 outbreak available at https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation.htm.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the additional teacher timetable planning required as a result of the covid-19 on the workloads of teachers.

The Government is grateful for the continued hard work of head teachers, teachers and support staff in their efforts to ensure that all pupils, in all year groups, have been able to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term.

Our guidance for the full opening of schools recognises that schools may need to alter the way in which they deploy their staff and use existing staff more flexibly. Managers should discuss and agree any changes to staff roles with individuals. It is important that planning builds in the need to avoid increases in unnecessary and unmanageable workload burdens. The Department has published a range of resources, including case studies to support remote education, that help address staff workload: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/case-studies-remote-education-practice-for-schools-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Over the next few months, we will continue to work closely with school leaders, teachers and their representatives to continue to address workload issues and provide support for schools.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment has he made of the effect on the mental well-being of home-schooled children of those children being unable to receive predicted grades for GCSE’s.

We appreciate that many private candidates will be concerned about their GCSE results. We know that the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to affect the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, including in the longer term.

We have been working with health partners such as Public Health England and Health Education England to provide resources and guidance to support and promote the mental health of children and young people during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have signposted resources on supporting and promoting mental wellbeing in the list of resources to help children who are learning at home. The government has also provided additional funding to mental health charities to adapt, expand and reach out to those children who are most vulnerable. The list of resources is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources#mental-wellbeing.

The Ofqual guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers explains the options available for private candidates to be awarded grades this year. Ofqual has asked organisations that represent further education providers to consider steps that they could take when making admissions decisions this summer for any private candidates who do not receive a grade. We understand that institutions will consider a range of other evidence and information for these students to allow them to progress wherever possible. The Ofqual guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awarding-qualifications-in-summer-2020.

There will be an opportunity for students to sit exams in the autumn term, if they feel their calculated grade does not reflect their ability.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to safeguard cover staff teaching pupils o