Lords questions government on the impact of school closures and stocks of PPE on 24 June
23 June 2020
On Wednesday 24 June, questions in the House of Lords investigated the impact of school closures on disadvantaged pupils, PPE stock for a potential second wave of Covid-19, the government's future data strategy and when weddings will be able to take place.
Questions on Wednesday 24 June:
- Lord Blunkett asked the government what steps it plans to take to ensure school closures do not have an unequal impact on the education outcomes of the most disadvantaged pupils in English schools.
Topics discussed include: additional resources for 16-19 year olds in further education; splitting the school day in two to ensure all students can return to classes; government support for supplementary school learning programmes; addressing child and family poverty in the UK; government progress in supplying digital hardware to disadvantaged children; ensuring that children aren't worked too hard when they return to school; and regional disparities in educational provisions.
- Baroness Watkins of Tavistock asked the government what contingencies it has put in place to ensure adequate stocks of PPE for a potential second wave of Covid-19 and sustainable long-term infection control management in the UK.
Topics discussed include: government surplus of PPE in the event of a second wave of Covid-19; openly reviewing and reporting on PPE supplies; ensuring that all UK regions are well equipped with adequate PPE; moving from day to day supply of PPE to a secure 14 day supply for NHS trusts; homecare workers access to Covid-19 testing and PPE; support from the private sector in meeting PPE demands within the UK; and PPE for NHS interpreters.
- Lord Wallace of Saltaire asked the government what steps it is taking to promote a wider public debate about its future data strategy.
Topics discussed include: opening a public debate about the use of data; harnessing the wealth creation capabilities of data to support the economy; ensuring public data cannot be used by private companies; data literacy within government; immunity passport technology; tackling crime and security issues across the UK and the EU; how the government intends to regularly publicise all essential data about the pandemic; and the scope for the UK to diverge from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- Lord Farmer asked the government when weddings will be able to take place in venues which enable social distancing.
Topics discussed include: government support for marriages under strain; singing in public spaces; government advice to wedding venues dealing with postponement and cancellation requests; extending legal recognition to humanist weddings; allowing weddings at home; emergency measures for registering marriages; ensuring all wedding costs lost are repaid to couples; and the loss to local economies as a result of a season of cancelled weddings.
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