Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-20 out of 40
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Education
Special Educational Needs: Speech and Language Disorders
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, whether the current tender for the provision of strategic support to the workforce in mainstream and special schools includes specialist speech, language and communication needs provision; and if not, how they intend to fund such specialist provision for children beyond March.
Answered on: 22 February 2018

In March 2017 the department agreed a one year contract with I CAN, on behalf of The Communication Trust (TCT), to develop sustainable programmes and resources to help the workforce develop their skills in supporting children and young people with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). That contract is due to end, as planned, at the end of March 2018.

The department is currently procuring a new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) strategic workforce contractor, to help schools develop improved knowledge and skills among their staff, in relation to specific impairments. This contract will include work to promote existing resources and training, as well as identifying and filling any gaps in provision.

The government is committed to supporting those with SLCN and will do more to embed knowledge and ensure good practice is disseminated and understood widely. The new Social Mobility Action Plan (SMAP), ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’, attached, prioritises work in the early years to close the word gap and improve early language acquisition for disadvantaged children. The SMAP includes proposals for continuing professional development training and an early language assessment tool for health visitors and early years practitioners, to ensure that any language delays can be picked up and the right support put in place quickly. The department expects to invite tenders for this work and welcomes bids from all suitably qualified organisations or consortia.

The department is also encouraging bids for the Strategic School Improvement Fund and the Teaching Leadership Innovation Fund, which focus on improving provision for pupils with SEND. The Education Training Foundation is also being funded to increase the capability and capacity of the workforce to respond to the needs of students in further education.

The department will continue to respond to all correspondence on this issue, setting out how the department will ensure that children with SLCN have the right support in place.

The government wants to ensure that all practitioners continue to be able to make good use of the wealth of materials, resources and training that the TCT have developed. It is expected that the member organisations of the TCT will share the training and materials, supported by our new SEND strategic workforce contractor. The department is in regular discussion with TCT about how best to achieve this beyond March 2018.

Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential (PDF Document, 2.63 MB)
Grouped Questions: HL5553 | HL5554
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Education
Special Educational Needs: Speech and Language Disorders
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what response they intend to make to the petition signed by 22,000 teachers, early years practitioners and speech and language therapists opposing the cuts in funding announced by the Department for Education; and whether they will communicate the reasons for their funding decision to those working in the sector.
Answered on: 22 February 2018

In March 2017 the department agreed a one year contract with I CAN, on behalf of The Communication Trust (TCT), to develop sustainable programmes and resources to help the workforce develop their skills in supporting children and young people with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). That contract is due to end, as planned, at the end of March 2018.

The department is currently procuring a new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) strategic workforce contractor, to help schools develop improved knowledge and skills among their staff, in relation to specific impairments. This contract will include work to promote existing resources and training, as well as identifying and filling any gaps in provision.

The government is committed to supporting those with SLCN and will do more to embed knowledge and ensure good practice is disseminated and understood widely. The new Social Mobility Action Plan (SMAP), ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’, attached, prioritises work in the early years to close the word gap and improve early language acquisition for disadvantaged children. The SMAP includes proposals for continuing professional development training and an early language assessment tool for health visitors and early years practitioners, to ensure that any language delays can be picked up and the right support put in place quickly. The department expects to invite tenders for this work and welcomes bids from all suitably qualified organisations or consortia.

The department is also encouraging bids for the Strategic School Improvement Fund and the Teaching Leadership Innovation Fund, which focus on improving provision for pupils with SEND. The Education Training Foundation is also being funded to increase the capability and capacity of the workforce to respond to the needs of students in further education.

The department will continue to respond to all correspondence on this issue, setting out how the department will ensure that children with SLCN have the right support in place.

The government wants to ensure that all practitioners continue to be able to make good use of the wealth of materials, resources and training that the TCT have developed. It is expected that the member organisations of the TCT will share the training and materials, supported by our new SEND strategic workforce contractor. The department is in regular discussion with TCT about how best to achieve this beyond March 2018.

Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential (PDF Document, 2.63 MB)
Grouped Questions: HL5552 | HL5554
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Education
Communication Trust
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to support the work of the Communication Trust after March 2018; and if so, how.
Answered on: 22 February 2018

In March 2017 the department agreed a one year contract with I CAN, on behalf of The Communication Trust (TCT), to develop sustainable programmes and resources to help the workforce develop their skills in supporting children and young people with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). That contract is due to end, as planned, at the end of March 2018.

The department is currently procuring a new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) strategic workforce contractor, to help schools develop improved knowledge and skills among their staff, in relation to specific impairments. This contract will include work to promote existing resources and training, as well as identifying and filling any gaps in provision.

The government is committed to supporting those with SLCN and will do more to embed knowledge and ensure good practice is disseminated and understood widely. The new Social Mobility Action Plan (SMAP), ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’, attached, prioritises work in the early years to close the word gap and improve early language acquisition for disadvantaged children. The SMAP includes proposals for continuing professional development training and an early language assessment tool for health visitors and early years practitioners, to ensure that any language delays can be picked up and the right support put in place quickly. The department expects to invite tenders for this work and welcomes bids from all suitably qualified organisations or consortia.

The department is also encouraging bids for the Strategic School Improvement Fund and the Teaching Leadership Innovation Fund, which focus on improving provision for pupils with SEND. The Education Training Foundation is also being funded to increase the capability and capacity of the workforce to respond to the needs of students in further education.

The department will continue to respond to all correspondence on this issue, setting out how the department will ensure that children with SLCN have the right support in place.

The government wants to ensure that all practitioners continue to be able to make good use of the wealth of materials, resources and training that the TCT have developed. It is expected that the member organisations of the TCT will share the training and materials, supported by our new SEND strategic workforce contractor. The department is in regular discussion with TCT about how best to achieve this beyond March 2018.

Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential (PDF Document, 2.63 MB)
Grouped Questions: HL5552 | HL5553
Asked on: 24 January 2018
Department for Education
Further Education: Apprentices
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many further education colleges lost their allocation of non-levied apprenticeships funding in the recent Education and Skills Funding Agency procurement process; and in which regions were those colleges.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 07 February 2018

189 colleges of further education (FE) held contracts with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver apprenticeships prior to this procurement. The ESFA received bids from 182 of these FE colleges in the procurement, of which 10 have not been offered awards. Six of these were because the bids did not meet the minimum scoring threshold, and the remaining four were due to the awards falling below the £200,000 minimum contract value, set to ensure viable contracts for providers, employers and the ESFA. The 10 colleges are dispersed around England as shown in the table below.

East Midlands

0

East of England

1

Greater London

3

North East

0

North West

2

South East

1

South West

1

West Midlands

2

Yorkshire & Humber

0

All FE colleges with apprentices already in training will continue to receive funding until they have completed their learning. In addition, subject to limits on the number of starts, we have offered all existing providers that were unsuccessful in the procurement a three-month extension of their current contracts to the end of March 2018, allowing them to take on new starts. All providers who are on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers are still able to deliver to levy paying employers.

Potential providers were required to indicate the sectors and regions in which they would be delivering apprenticeships in their tenders. We are confident that non-levy paying employers can access high quality apprenticeship training to support their growth and success, regardless of where in the country they operate in.

We will continue to keep this under review and take action where necessary.

Grouped Questions: HL5085 | HL5086
Asked on: 24 January 2018
Department for Education
Further Education: Apprentices
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of further education colleges losing their allocation of non-levied apprenticeship funding on (1) local employers, and (2) existing, and (3) potential, local apprentices.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 07 February 2018

189 colleges of further education (FE) held contracts with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver apprenticeships prior to this procurement. The ESFA received bids from 182 of these FE colleges in the procurement, of which 10 have not been offered awards. Six of these were because the bids did not meet the minimum scoring threshold, and the remaining four were due to the awards falling below the £200,000 minimum contract value, set to ensure viable contracts for providers, employers and the ESFA. The 10 colleges are dispersed around England as shown in the table below.

East Midlands

0

East of England

1

Greater London

3

North East

0

North West

2

South East

1

South West

1

West Midlands

2

Yorkshire & Humber

0

All FE colleges with apprentices already in training will continue to receive funding until they have completed their learning. In addition, subject to limits on the number of starts, we have offered all existing providers that were unsuccessful in the procurement a three-month extension of their current contracts to the end of March 2018, allowing them to take on new starts. All providers who are on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers are still able to deliver to levy paying employers.

Potential providers were required to indicate the sectors and regions in which they would be delivering apprenticeships in their tenders. We are confident that non-levy paying employers can access high quality apprenticeship training to support their growth and success, regardless of where in the country they operate in.

We will continue to keep this under review and take action where necessary.

Grouped Questions: HL5084 | HL5086
Asked on: 24 January 2018
Department for Education
Further Education: Apprentices
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that further education colleges which have lost their allocation of non-levied apprenticeship funding can still deliver apprenticeships to local people and employers.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 07 February 2018

189 colleges of further education (FE) held contracts with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver apprenticeships prior to this procurement. The ESFA received bids from 182 of these FE colleges in the procurement, of which 10 have not been offered awards. Six of these were because the bids did not meet the minimum scoring threshold, and the remaining four were due to the awards falling below the £200,000 minimum contract value, set to ensure viable contracts for providers, employers and the ESFA. The 10 colleges are dispersed around England as shown in the table below.

East Midlands

0

East of England

1

Greater London

3

North East

0

North West

2

South East

1

South West

1

West Midlands

2

Yorkshire & Humber

0

All FE colleges with apprentices already in training will continue to receive funding until they have completed their learning. In addition, subject to limits on the number of starts, we have offered all existing providers that were unsuccessful in the procurement a three-month extension of their current contracts to the end of March 2018, allowing them to take on new starts. All providers who are on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers are still able to deliver to levy paying employers.

Potential providers were required to indicate the sectors and regions in which they would be delivering apprenticeships in their tenders. We are confident that non-levy paying employers can access high quality apprenticeship training to support their growth and success, regardless of where in the country they operate in.

We will continue to keep this under review and take action where necessary.

Grouped Questions: HL5084 | HL5085
Asked on: 16 January 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Admissions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that schools whose admission arrangements were found by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator to have contravened the School Admissions Code have now changed their arrangements so as to comply with the code.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 01 February 2018

Where the Schools Adjudicator determines that a school’s admission arrangements do not comply with the School Admissions Code, the admission authority has a statutory duty to revise its admission arrangements to give effect to the Adjudicator’s decision within two months of the decision or by 28 February following the decision, whichever is sooner, unless an alternative timescale is specified by the Adjudicator.

The Government expects admission authorities to comply fully and Department for Education officials always follow up cases where admission authorities are required by the Adjudicator to take action.

An Adjudicator’s decision is binding and enforceable by the Secretary of State.

The Department of Education is not proposing any changes to who can submit objections to the Schools Adjudicator in relation to school admission arrangements.

Grouped Questions: HL4783
Asked on: 16 January 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Admissions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether proposed changes to who can object to school admissions arrangements will have a disproportionate effect on parents from low income backgrounds.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 01 February 2018

Where the Schools Adjudicator determines that a school’s admission arrangements do not comply with the School Admissions Code, the admission authority has a statutory duty to revise its admission arrangements to give effect to the Adjudicator’s decision within two months of the decision or by 28 February following the decision, whichever is sooner, unless an alternative timescale is specified by the Adjudicator.

The Government expects admission authorities to comply fully and Department for Education officials always follow up cases where admission authorities are required by the Adjudicator to take action.

An Adjudicator’s decision is binding and enforceable by the Secretary of State.

The Department of Education is not proposing any changes to who can submit objections to the Schools Adjudicator in relation to school admission arrangements.

Grouped Questions: HL4782
Asked on: 16 January 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Data Protection
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional support and resources will be provided to maintained schools, free schools and academies to ensure that they are able to comply fully with the General Data Protection Regulation rules when those rules come into force in May.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 30 January 2018

The Department for Education is working with a small network of school sector representatives to identify the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) related topics that schools face. These then form the basis of communications setting out GDPR preparation support within the context and language of the education sector.

In July, the former Secretary of State the right hon. Member for Putney (Justine Greening) announced an additional £1.3 billion for schools over the next two years, so that total funding for the core schools budget will rise from almost £41 billion this year to £43.5 billion in 2019-20. This will mean that overall schools’ funding will be protected, in real terms per pupil, over the next two years. The introduction of the national funding formula, means that for the first time that total will be distributed based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country. It is for each school to determine the use of the resources available to it, in order to raise the attainment of all its pupils, and to meet all its statutory responsibilities.

Asked on: 16 January 2018
Department for Education
Apprentices: Care Leavers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that care leavers' entitlement to a local authority bursary when attending university is extended to care leavers undertaking an apprenticeship.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 30 January 2018

Care leavers do not generally have access to the family support networks that benefit other young people. It is therefore important that local and central government provide additional support to care leavers in their role as corporate parents. The cross-government care leaver strategy - ‘Keep on Caring’ (see attached), sets out the additional support the state provides to help care leavers achieve better outcomes.

It is important to distinguish between higher education and apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are paid jobs with training, allowing apprentices to earn while they learn. Apprentices are not required to pay for their training or assessment.

The government is creating an apprenticeship system that is available to a wide range of people, including those with experience of care. As we continue to reform the apprenticeships system we will keep our funding for apprentices with additional needs under review.

Keep On Caring (PDF Document, 713.95 KB)
Asked on: 16 January 2018
Department for Education
Grammar Schools
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to prevent grammar schools opening annexes within another local authority area; and if so, what plans they have to do so.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 30 January 2018

The legislative ban on opening new grammar schools remains in place, however, the law allows the expansion of existing schools.

Grammar schools, like all other types of schools, are able to propose an expansion of their school site. Any proposal to expand onto a satellite site in another local authority area, would need to demonstrate that it would be a genuine expansion and would not constitute a new school.

Asked on: 16 January 2018
Department for Education
Grammar Schools
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to prevent grammar schools opening within local authorities where grammar schools do not currently exist; and if so, what plans they have to do so.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 30 January 2018

Current legislation prohibits the establishment of new grammar schools, so it would not be possible for a grammar school to open in a local authority where grammar schools do not exist.

Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Education
Office for Students
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the comments by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 16 January 2017 (HL Deb, cols 22–3), what guidance will be issued to the Office for Students; whether that guidance will be published in the form of an annual letter; and if not, what form it will take.
Answered on: 16 January 2018

We will issue annual guidance to the Office for Students, including the allocation of government Grant in Aid and government priorities for higher education for the following academic year. It is likely that this guidance will take the form of a letter.

Where appropriate, the government may issue supplementary guidance during the course of the year.

Asked on: 28 November 2017
Home Office
Refugees: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children under the age of 18 have been resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme to date, broken down by (1) region, and (2) local authority.
Answered on: 08 December 2017

Latest statistics published on 30 November 2017 confirmed that a total of 9,394 vulnerable people have been resettled since the start of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) across various local authorities. Around half of those resettled under the VPRS were children.

The Home Office is committed to publishing data in an orderly way as part of the regular quarterly Immigration Statistics, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The statistics are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

The Home Office does not hold data in relation to the number of children resettled through this scheme who are currently accessing education or the average waiting time for children to start full-time education.

We continue to work with local authorities to make sure that every child has a school place.

Grouped Questions: HL3678 | HL3679
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Home Office
Refugees: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many of those children resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme to date are currently accessing education.
Answered on: 08 December 2017

Latest statistics published on 30 November 2017 confirmed that a total of 9,394 vulnerable people have been resettled since the start of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) across various local authorities. Around half of those resettled under the VPRS were children.

The Home Office is committed to publishing data in an orderly way as part of the regular quarterly Immigration Statistics, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The statistics are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

The Home Office does not hold data in relation to the number of children resettled through this scheme who are currently accessing education or the average waiting time for children to start full-time education.

We continue to work with local authorities to make sure that every child has a school place.

Grouped Questions: HL3677 | HL3679
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Home Office
Refugees: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average waiting time from arrival in the UK to starting full-time education for children resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Answered on: 08 December 2017

Latest statistics published on 30 November 2017 confirmed that a total of 9,394 vulnerable people have been resettled since the start of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) across various local authorities. Around half of those resettled under the VPRS were children.

The Home Office is committed to publishing data in an orderly way as part of the regular quarterly Immigration Statistics, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The statistics are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

The Home Office does not hold data in relation to the number of children resettled through this scheme who are currently accessing education or the average waiting time for children to start full-time education.

We continue to work with local authorities to make sure that every child has a school place.

Grouped Questions: HL3677 | HL3678
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Home Office
Asylum: Children in Care
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many unaccompanied minors have been transferred through the National Transfer Scheme to date, broken down by receiving local authority.
Answered on: 08 December 2017

We are grateful to the local authorities who continue to support to unaccompanied asylum seeking children, including those who have participated in the National Transfer Scheme (NTS).

Data on the NTS can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/663577/UKVI_Asylum_Transparency_data_Q3_2017.ods

The average waiting time to transfer unaccompanied children through the NTS varies according to the individual circumstances involved.

The number of unaccompanied children awaiting transfer through the scheme is fluid, depending on asylum intake, the number of transfer requests by local authorities and the number of transfers completed.

Grouped Questions: HL3745 | HL3746 | HL3747
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Home Office
Asylum: Children in Care
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which local authorities have agreed to take part in the National Transfer Scheme for unaccompanied minors.
Answered on: 08 December 2017

We are grateful to the local authorities who continue to support to unaccompanied asylum seeking children, including those who have participated in the National Transfer Scheme (NTS).

Data on the NTS can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/663577/UKVI_Asylum_Transparency_data_Q3_2017.ods

The average waiting time to transfer unaccompanied children through the NTS varies according to the individual circumstances involved.

The number of unaccompanied children awaiting transfer through the scheme is fluid, depending on asylum intake, the number of transfer requests by local authorities and the number of transfers completed.

Grouped Questions: HL3744 | HL3746 | HL3747
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Home Office
Asylum: Children in Care
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many unaccompanied minors are currently waiting to be transferred through the National Transfer Scheme.
Answered on: 08 December 2017

We are grateful to the local authorities who continue to support to unaccompanied asylum seeking children, including those who have participated in the National Transfer Scheme (NTS).

Data on the NTS can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/663577/UKVI_Asylum_Transparency_data_Q3_2017.ods

The average waiting time to transfer unaccompanied children through the NTS varies according to the individual circumstances involved.

The number of unaccompanied children awaiting transfer through the scheme is fluid, depending on asylum intake, the number of transfer requests by local authorities and the number of transfers completed.

Grouped Questions: HL3744 | HL3745 | HL3747
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Home Office
Asylum: Children in Care
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average waiting time between the request for transfer of an unaccompanied minor under the National Transfer Scheme and the new local authority receiving that child.
Answered on: 08 December 2017

We are grateful to the local authorities who continue to support to unaccompanied asylum seeking children, including those who have participated in the National Transfer Scheme (NTS).

Data on the NTS can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/663577/UKVI_Asylum_Transparency_data_Q3_2017.ods

The average waiting time to transfer unaccompanied children through the NTS varies according to the individual circumstances involved.

The number of unaccompanied children awaiting transfer through the scheme is fluid, depending on asylum intake, the number of transfer requests by local authorities and the number of transfers completed.

Grouped Questions: HL3744 | HL3745 | HL3746
Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 40
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100