Science: Coronavirus:Written question - 69602

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Science: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allocating additional financial support to the (a) We, The Curious centre in Bristol and (b) other science education centres to mitigate the financial effects of the covid-19 lockdown.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 21 July 2020

We recognise that these are extremely difficult conditions for those science education centres like We, The Curious, which also operate as visitor attractions. These organisations educate and entertain visitors of all ages on what science is.

We do not have any plans to make an assessment of the merits of allocating additional support to the We, The Curious centre, or to other science education centres. Visitor attractions will benefit from the reduced rate of VAT which the Government will temporarily apply to attractions, accommodation and hospitality from 15 July 2020-12 January 2021.

In addition, the Department for Education is funding a range of science institutions to support high-quality science education. This includes funding STEM Learning to deliver high quality CPD for teachers of science through the national network of 33 Science Learning Partnerships. STEM Learning also deliver Project Enthuse, which provides DfE-funded bursaries for teachers to attend CPD classes.

The Department for Education also funds the Institute of Physics to run the Stimulating Physics Network to provide support to schools to improve progression to physics A level, particularly by girls.

The DfE has been working with its providers to agree how to modify their science education programmes in light of the current situation. This has involved ensuring all activity prioritises the safety of staff, teachers and pupils, while continuing to support schools and teachers where possible.

Businesses and workers in the science education centre sector can also access the Government’s comprehensive economic support package. This includes the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan scheme, VAT payment deferrals for firms and £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses.

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