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 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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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.
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Q
Asked by Afzal Khan
(Manchester, Gorton)
Asked on: 19 June 2020
Department for Education
Teachers: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) BAME, (b) women, and (c) disabled teachers were recruited in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Department collects information on newly qualified teachers (NQTs) [1] entering the workforce annually through the School Workforce Census. For entrants to be counted they must be in the workforce as of the census day which falls in November each year. Teachers that are recruited but leave before the census day are not counted.

Table 1 shows the full-time equivalent (FTE) number of NQTs recruited since 2011 that identify as black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) or female.

School workforce data has only been collected since 2010, so only eight years of data has been provided.

BAME teachers include all ethnic groups apart from the White ethnic groups (White British, White Irish and White Other).

Reporting of disability status is relatively low in the School Workforce Census. Only 42 percent of entrant records in the November 2018 School Workforce Census provide their disability status. As such, figures have not been provided.

Note that the data provided is from an internal analytical database which has marginal differences to the total number of NQTs and Deferred NQTs in the official publication due to using an updated methodology.

Table 1: FTE NQT entrants over Census Years

Census Year

FTE Female NQT entrants

FTE BAME NQT entrants

FTE NQT Entrants

2011

18,267

2,054

24,889

2012

21,204

2,445

28,665

2013

21,007

2,485

28,140

2014

21,902

2,681

29,255

2015

22,020

2,841

29,499

2016

20,970

3,095

28,257

2017

19,483

2,915

26,272

2018

19,320

3,069

26,192

[1] Newly qualified teachers in this response include NQTs and Deferred NQTs (delayed NQT year by a year after qualified teacher status obtained).

Q
Asked by Darren Henry
(Broxtowe)
Asked on: 22 June 2020
Department for Education
Primary Education: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that primacy school pupils can take part in physical education safely when they return to school as covid-19 restrictions are eased.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Department is working to ensure that schools are fully supported as pupils return now and are able to give pupils opportunities to be physically active during the school day. Schools are free to organise and deliver a PE curriculum that suits the needs of all their pupils whilst following COVID-19 government guidelines. The latest guidance for schools can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings. The Government’s intention is for all children to return to school from September and will publish guidance soon. The Department is considering what further advice to provide on PE and school sport in that guidance.

The Department has worked closely with nurseries, schools, physical activity experts and sport providers so that pupils who have not yet been able to return to school have advice and resources to participate in regular exercise. The Department has published online educational resources approved by subject experts for schools and parents, to help children to learn at home; these resources include those for PE.

The Government remains committed to supporting schools to make good use of their sports facilities and to promote physical literacy and competitive sport. We plan to update the School Sport Activity Action Plan with longer-term proposals to support schools and providers to work together to support children’s activity levels to continue to rise after they return to school.

Q
Asked by Nick Fletcher
(Don Valley)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Department for Education
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council: Computers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops were provided to Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council by his Department in response to the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education and social care services, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.

We are providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged and vulnerable children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in year 10 do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers.

The Department has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and allocated devices to local authorities and academy trusts based on its estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and prioritise children and young people who need devices. All local authorities and academy trusts can place orders for the devices they need.

The Department has published information about how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers we have delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts as of 30 June, which can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data. This includes 635 devices to Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council for children with a social worker and care leavers.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 01 July 2020
Department for Education
Children: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government has taken to identify and protect children who may be at increased risk from safeguarding issues as a result of the covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 13 July 2020

Ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is a top priority for the government. From the outset, we asked schools to remain open for children who are vulnerable, as well as children of critical workers. This remains the case as some year groups return to school.

The government has provided an unprecedented package of support for vulnerable children, including:

  • Over £3.2 billion so far, with a further £500 million announced on 2 July, bringing the total to £3.7 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures, including on children’s services.
  • £1.6 million of funding for the NSPCC to help promote and expand their national UK helpline which provides advice and guidance and support to adults reporting safeguarding concerns. Since the start of the campaign on 4 May, the NSPCC helpline has seen the number of calls and emails grow by 66% and has made over 9,000 referrals, with one out of every 9 referrals going to emergency services such as the police and children’s social care.
  • The Adoption Support Fund – £8 million to help families under pressure as a result of the outbreak.
  • The Innovation Programme – more than £12 million for 14 projects tackling increased risk, for example from domestic violence and supporting teenagers at risk of exploitation.
  • See, Hear, Respond – £7 million partnership of national children’s charities and local organisations to provide targeted support to vulnerable children, young people and their families who are affected by COVID-19.
  • Laptops and tablets for children with social workers and care leavers to help them keep in touch with the services they need, as well as 4G internet devices for connecting to the internet. As of 30 June, over 200,000 laptops and tablets and over 47,000 4G wireless routers had been dispatched or delivered to local authorities and academy trusts.

Our Regional Education and Care Teams are working with local authorities directly to ensure the systems and processes for maintaining contact with vulnerable children are robust in every local authority in England.

We have also made temporary legislative changes to help reduce pressure on the system and enable children's services to continue to support vulnerable children during these unprecedented times.

Our latest guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people during the COVID-19 outbreak was updated on 1 July and is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services.

The department has issued a suite of guidance to help and support schools and colleges. This includes interim safeguarding guidance, which is clear that schools and colleges should revise their child protection policies to reflect new arrangements. The guidance sets out that it is important that all staff who interact with children, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. The safeguarding guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-and-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Schools and colleges should continue to have regard to statutory guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, as per their legislative duty or funding agreement requirements, or both.

Q
(Wolverhampton South West)
Asked on: 03 July 2020
Department for Education
Academic Year: Free School Meals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress the Government has made on allocating funding through the Holiday Activities and Food scheme.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Holiday Activities and Food programme are integral to our approach to provide healthy food to children over the summer. It will ensure thousands of disadvantaged children have access to healthy meals and holiday activities in summer 2020 – building on the success of the 2018 and 2019 programmes – and remaining committed to supporting children and families through the disruption caused by COVID-19.

On Monday 22 June the Department for Education published an announcement with the details of the Holiday Activities and Food programme and the areas that were successful in receiving the funding for 2020. Grant funding was allocated based on a competitive bidding process. The successful bidders and areas are:

  • StreetGames (Newcastle, North East region);
  • Gateshead Council (Gateshead - North East region);
  • Edsential (Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, Wirral - North West region);
  • Spring North (Blackburn with Darwen - North West);
  • Leeds Community Foundation (Leeds and Bradford - Yorkshire & the Humber region);
  • Voluntary Action Sheffield (Sheffield - Yorkshire & the Humber region);
  • Suffolk County Council (Suffolk - East of England region);
  • Mayor’s Fund for London (Lambeth and Southwark - London);
  • Tower Hamlets Local Authority (Tower Hamlets - London);
  • The Romsey School (Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight - South East region).
Q
Asked by Rosie Cooper
(West Lancashire)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2020
Department for Education
Ormskirk School: Leasehold
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will place a copy of the lease pertaining to Ormskirk School in the Library.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 July 2020

Ormskirk School moved to its new accommodation in 2004. The land had been part of the site of the former Cross Hall High School, a community school, and was transferred by Lancashire County Council (LCC) in February 2006 to five named individuals who were trustees of the Foundation Trust of the school. The Department for Education was not party to that transfer.

The 2006 Charity Commission scheme for the Foundation Trust provides for the Foundation Trust to retain the land for use as a voluntary school.

Copies of the title number LAN28839 are available on request from LCC or the Foundation Trust and the Land Registry. A copy of the title has been shared with the Department as part of the conversion of the school to become an academy.

Q
(South Shields)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2020
Department for Education
Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 3 Jul 2020 to Question 60772 on Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes, whether a child that becomes eligible for free school meal vouchers during the summer period can be granted a voucher for the remaining weeks.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 13 July 2020

New applicants are eligible up to the end of a school’s summer term. If a school receives a claim for an eligible child after the final ordering date of at least one week before their school term ends but before the start of the school’s summer holidays, it will be possible for the school to place an exceptional order for that child via the Edenred system.

If families are facing hardship, they can access the Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant. Further government support is available for families struggling as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. If families need urgent help, they can contact their local council to find out what services are available in their area:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-local-help.

Q
(Putney)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2020
Department for Education
Schools: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help mitigate the loss of income from facility hire by schools during the covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 July 2020

We recognise that over the last three months, schools will have lost income from facility hire and this will put pressure on budgets.

Where schools have members of staff delivering services funded from self-generated income, we have advised that they should first look to redeploy these staff or use existing budgets to absorb the cost. After having looked at all other options, schools have been able to consider using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Department has provided additional guidance for schools in this situation which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

Q
Asked by Simon Baynes
(Clwyd South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2020
Department for Education
Foreign Students: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the numbers of overseas students of the difference in tuition fees for British nationals living in Britain and those who have lived overseas for longer than three years.
A
Answered by: Michelle Donelan
Answered on: 13 July 2020

To qualify for home fee status in England, a person must have settled status or a recognised connection to the United Kingdom and meet the relevant ordinary residence requirements. Most persons must have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom and Islands or, in some cases, the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the 3 years prior to the first day of the first academic year of their course, excluding periods of temporary absence.

No assessment has been made of the number of British nationals who do not qualify for home fee status in England by virtue of their residence.

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2020
Department for Education
Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 67720 on Children: Coronavirus, if he will publish the ongoing analysis of how the Adoption and Children (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 are being used.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 13 July 2020

I will make a statement to Parliament before summer recess on the Adoption and Children (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, which will be informed by the department’s ongoing analysis of how the regulations are being used.

Grouped Questions: 70468
Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2020
Department for Education
Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 67720 on Children: Coronavirus, on what date he plans to seek permission to make his statement to Parliament before the summer recess on the Adoption and Children (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 13 July 2020

I will make a statement to Parliament before summer recess on the Adoption and Children (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, which will be informed by the department’s ongoing analysis of how the regulations are being used.

Grouped Questions: 70467
Q
(Swansea West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2020
Department for Education
Special Educational Needs: Speech and Language Disorders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure that (a) children’s early language and communication development and (b) the timely identification and support for speech, language and communication needs are prioritised in (a) local and (b) national covid-19 recovery plans.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 13 July 2020

Supporting the most vulnerable children and young people, including those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), is a priority for us, especially at this time. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, educational settings have been asked to ensure that vulnerable children and young people can attend where appropriate.

Local authorities are responsible for their own strategic planning and have statutory requirements to offer SLCN provision where a child or young person requires it as part of their education, health and care (EHC) plan. Since May, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been necessary to modify the duty on local authorities and health commissioners so that they could use their ‘reasonable endeavours’ to secure or arrange the specified special educational and health care provision in EHC plans. However, we are committed to removing these flexibilities as soon as possible and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has confirmed that, unless the evidence changes, he will not be issuing further national notices to modify this duty.

We have also been working to support early language and communication development specifically. Since 2018, we have committed more than £60 million to programmes to improve early language and literacy. We will work with the sector to explore how best to continue to support children’s early development, including through the Early Years Foundation Stage reforms and the department’s Hungry Little Minds campaign, which we will continue to use to provide support for parents to develop their children’s early language and literacy.

More widely, we are ensuring that resources are available. We have announced a package worth £1 billion to ensure that schools across England have the resources they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time, with extra support for those who need it most. £650 million will be spent on ensuring all pupils have the chance to catch up and supporting schools to rise to the challenge. For pupils with complex needs, we strongly encourage schools to spend this funding on catch-up support to address their individual needs, which could include speech and language therapy where appropriate. We will set out how this funding will be distributed between individual schools shortly.

We will also roll out a National Tutoring Programme, worth up to £350 million, which will deliver one-to-one tuition to the most disadvantaged young people. More details are available here:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/.

We are providing the Oak National Academy with an additional £4.3 million to produce another 10,000 lessons over the course of the next academic year. This includes for the Oak National Academy's specialist curriculum, which includes speech and language therapy.

Q
Asked by Emma Hardy
(Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2020
Department for Education
Overseas Students: USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the recent decision of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement that international students offered only online university courses in that country must leave the US, whether he plans to take steps to encourage international students to study in the UK.
A
Answered by: Michelle Donelan
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The government has been clear that our world-leading universities, which thrive on being global institutions, will always be open to international students. Engaging closely with the devolved administrations and the higher education sector, we are working to reassure prospective international students that UK higher education is ‘open for business’, remains-world class and is a safe place to study. This includes continued work with Study UK (the government’s international student recruitment campaign led by the British Council), support for the sector-led #WeAreTogether campaign and a package of bespoke communications that will directly target prospective international students, making clear our world-leading offer.

We are also taking steps to promote the new graduate route, which will provide a non-extendable period of leave to stay and work in the UK at any skill level. The government announced on 1 July, as part of the new graduate route, that international students who complete a PhD from summer 2021 can stay in the UK for 3 years after study to live and work. Students who have successfully completed undergraduate and master’s degrees will be able to stay for 2 years. This represents a significant improvement in our offer to international students and will help ensure our higher education sector remains competitive internationally.

Furthermore, on 22 June, with my counterparts in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, I wrote to prospective international students to outline the support and guidance available to international students who are considering studying in the UK from the autumn: https://study-uk.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/letter_to_prospective_international_students.pdf. This letter reiterates a number of flexibilities that the government has already announced for international students including, amongst other mitigations, confirmation that distance/blended learning will be permitted for the 2020/21 academic year provided that international students’ sponsors intend to transition to face-to-face learning as soon as circumstances allow, and that international students present in the UK before 6 April 2021 will be eligible for the graduate route if they meet the other requirements of the route when it is introduced in summer 2021.

Guidance published on 24 March provides a temporary work-around for students who need to undertake distance learning due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is reiterated in guidance for short-term and Tier 4 students updated on 1 June: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tier-4-sponsors-migrants-and-short-term-students.

The government is also in discussions with Universities UK and other sector representatives on a regular basis to ensure we are united in welcoming international students to the UK. In particular, we expect international students to be appropriately supported upon arrival by their chosen university during these unprecedented times – especially those who will be subject to the 14-day self-isolation period.

The UK’s new International Education Champion, Sir Steve Smith, will assist with opening up export growth opportunities for the whole UK education sector, which will include attracting international students to UK universities. Alongside Sir Steve’s appointment, our review of the International Education Strategy this autumn will respond to the new context and the challenges posed by COVID-19 across all education settings to ensure we can continue to welcome international students in the future.

Q
(Easington)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Education
Children and Young People: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who will be responsible for (a) setting up and (b) managing the Parent and Pupil Online Panel to help monitor the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on children and young people.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 July 2020

Researchers at the Department for Education are currently developing a research panel with pupils and parents. We will confirm how this will be set up and managed in due course.

As is standard practice, the research data and analysis will be used to underpin policy decisions and communications. Data from pupils and parents will also help us monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on these groups.

Grouped Questions: 71026
Q
(Easington)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Education
Children and Young People: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how information from the Parent and Pupil Online Panel will be used to inform education policy.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 July 2020

Researchers at the Department for Education are currently developing a research panel with pupils and parents. We will confirm how this will be set up and managed in due course.

As is standard practice, the research data and analysis will be used to underpin policy decisions and communications. Data from pupils and parents will also help us monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on these groups.

Grouped Questions: 71025
Q
Asked by Helen Hayes
(Dulwich and West Norwood)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Education
Children and Young People: Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for how long his Department plans to pay for internet access, through broadband or 4G routers, for children and young people eligible for technology support.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education and online social care services, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.

Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children in year 10 do not have internet connections, we have provided 4G wireless routers to them so that they can learn at home. The 4G wireless routers will provide paid-for internet access for six months from when they are delivered to the local authority or academy trust.

The Department has launched a service to provide children and young people free access to BT wifi hotspots until the end of December – this date will remain under review. 10,000 families will initially be able to access the scheme. This offer is currently being piloted and will be rolled out across England in the coming months. We are currently working with BT to expand this offer to allow more children to access the internet through their network of BT wifi hotspots.

We are also working with the major telecommunications companies to improve internet connectivity for disadvantaged and vulnerable families. For families who rely on a mobile internet connection, mobile network operators are working to provide access to free additional data while COVID-19 requires children to learn from home and more social care services are being delivered online.

Q
Asked by Stephen Timms
(East Ham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Education
Free School Meals: Immigrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria he plans to use to determine for how long families with No Recourse to Public Funds will have access to free school meals; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 13 July 2020

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds. The extension of free school meal eligibility to these groups will continue while the COVID-19 outbreak impacts upon schools, and it includes access to the COVID Summer Food Fund.

Q
(Camberwell and Peckham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to increase funding in the early years education sector.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 13 July 2020

We are planning to spend over £3.6 billion on early education entitlements in 2020-21. Future funding will be a matter for the next spending review.

The government is committed to supporting families with their childcare costs. Last October, we announced increases in our hourly rates for the 2-year-old entitlement and in most areas for the 3- and 4-year-old entitlement, effective from April of this year.

We also announced that supplementary funding for maintained nursery schools will continue until the end of the financial year 2020-21.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we continue to pay local authorities their regular instalments of Dedicated Schools Grant, including the early years block, as usual.

We continue to work closely with the early years sector to understand how it can best be supported to ensure that sufficient childcare is available for those returning to work now, and for all families who need it in the longer term.

Q
(Washington and Sunderland West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Education
Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 60716, how families of children who become eligible for free school meals during the summer holidays will be able to claim the national school food voucher or alternative from their school during that period.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 13 July 2020

School offices will be closed during the summer holiday period. If families are facing hardship, they can access the Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant.

Further government support is available for families struggling as a result of COVID-19. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support.

If families need urgent help, they can contact their local council to find out what services are available in their area.

Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Education
Supply Teachers: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with supply teaching agencies on (a) furlough and (b) income support for supply teachers over the 2020 summer holidays.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 July 2020

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

The Government has provided clear guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in relation to agencies and agency workers. This guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#agency-workers-including-those-employed-by-umbrella-companies.

Schools are under no obligation to continue to pay supply teachers that they directly hire or hire via agencies once the supply teacher’s contract has ended. Typically, supply teachers are not contracted to work over the summer holidays when schools are closed.

Supply teachers employed via an agency who had previously been furloughed via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for at least 3 consecutive weeks, taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June, can continue to be furloughed until the scheme ends on 31 October, so long as their employer chooses to continue to furlough them.

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