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.

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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 Kate Green
(Stretford and Urmston)
[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: 12 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Sentencing: Females
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the number of women in prison on a sentence of imprisonment for public protection that have children.
A
Corrected answer by: Lucy Frazer
Corrected on: 23 April 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 15 March 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

There are 2,489 unreleased IPP 10,018 IPP prisoners, of which 46 344 are women. We know that when coming into contact with the criminal justice system, some women choose not to disclose that they have children. Data is therefore not currently collected on numbers of prisoners with children (whether that be total numbers of children or dependent children).

Our Female Offender Strategy is committed to improving outcomes for women at all stages of the justice system, and this includes supporting those who have children. We know that female prisoners are more likely than male prisoners to be a primary carer and imprisoned mothers are more likely to be living with their children prior to custody – around 60% of women compared with about 45% of men in prison who have children. Figures from a 2015 data matching exercise with the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Work and Pensions showed that between 24% and 31% of all female offenders were estimated to have one or more child dependents.

We recognise the impact that imprisonment of a parent can have on families. That is why we have asked Lord Farmer to continue his work on the importance of family ties by conducting a further review into female offenders in custody and the community. Lord Farmer is expected to report his findings to Ministers shortly.

A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 15 March 2019

There are 2,489 unreleased IPP 10,018 IPP prisoners, of which 46 344 are women. We know that when coming into contact with the criminal justice system, some women choose not to disclose that they have children. Data is therefore not currently collected on numbers of prisoners with children (whether that be total numbers of children or dependent children).

Our Female Offender Strategy is committed to improving outcomes for women at all stages of the justice system, and this includes supporting those who have children. We know that female prisoners are more likely than male prisoners to be a primary carer and imprisoned mothers are more likely to be living with their children prior to custody – around 60% of women compared with about 45% of men in prison who have children. Figures from a 2015 data matching exercise with the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Work and Pensions showed that between 24% and 31% of all female offenders were estimated to have one or more child dependents.

We recognise the impact that imprisonment of a parent can have on families. That is why we have asked Lord Farmer to continue his work on the importance of family ties by conducting a further review into female offenders in custody and the community. Lord Farmer is expected to report his findings to Ministers shortly.

Q
Asked by Lord Ouseley
Asked on: 08 April 2019
Cabinet Office
Public Sector
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the relative merits of public services being run directly by public service operations in comparison to private contractors.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 23 April 2019

Outsourcing is an important component in a “mixed economy” of government service provision which includes in-house and the voluntary sector. Research commissioned by the previous government has shown that outsourcing can deliver savings of some twenty to thirty percent.

Decisions on whether to outsource any particular service are made on a case by case basis according to Treasury guidance and the newly published Outsourcing Playbook. This guidance aims to ensure government makes well evidenced assessments when deciding whether to outsource a public service and helps government and industry work better together to deliver high quality public services.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 08 April 2019
Department for Education
National Education Union: Internet
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the accuracy of the information provided by schoolcuts.org.uk, maintained by the National Education Union.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 23 April 2019

Following criticism by the UK Statistics Authority, School Cuts have recently amended their website. The campaign compares data on schools’ budgets published by the Department for Education with an estimate of cost pressures on schools since 2015-16. This is used to create a cumulative figure, covering 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, which is presented as a single figure representing ‘cuts’ that schools have faced.

Our record has been to prioritise school funding, while taking difficult decisions on public spending elsewhere. Core funding for schools and high needs has risen to £43.5 billion this year – its highest ever level in cash terms, and since 2017, the national funding formula has given every local authority more money for every pupil, while allocating the biggest increases to the schools that have been most underfunded. We do recognise that schools have faced cost pressures, and have an extensive programme to help schools make the most of the funding available to them.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 09 April 2019
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate his Department has made of the number of non-UK EU citizens in the UK eligible to apply for settled status; and how many applications for settled status have been submitted in each age group.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 23 April 2019

An estimated 3.4m EEA nationals currently resident in the UK are eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme (based on Home Office internal analysis of ONS Annual Population Survey (APS) data for year October 2017 to September 2018).

The Impact Assessment for the EU Settlement Scheme was published in July 2018
(http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2018/116/pdfs/ukia_20180116_en.pdf )

and an updated version was published in March 2019
(http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2019/74/pdfs/ukia_20190074_en.pdf).

The Home Office has estimated that the total number of EEA citizens and their family members eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020 is likely to be between 3.5 million and 4.1 million. This estimate is based on a number of assumptions as to how the size of the eligible EEA population will change over the period. The range should be considered indicative as future migration flows can be affected by many factors and are difficult to predict.

Two reports on the private testing phases have already been published (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-private-beta-1 and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-private-beta-2/eu-settlement-scheme-private-beta-testing-phase-2-report)

Interim statistics on the public beta phases were also referenced in the Written Statement HCWS1387WS1387 of 7 March
(https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2019-03-07/HCWS1387/ )

We will publish further data on the operation of the EU Settlement Scheme in due course.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 09 April 2019
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Disclosure of Information
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many non-disclosure agreements his Department has entered into with departmental staff in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 23 April 2019

We have collected data on non-disclosure agreements as part of the central Cabinet Office requirement to do this since January 2015. We have had no non-disclosure agreements during that period.

Q
Asked by Lord Oates
Asked on: 09 April 2019
Department for Education
Schools: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 3 April (HL14408), what was the total revenue funding provided to (1) primary schools, and (2) secondary schools in England in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 23 April 2019

Since 2013/14 there has been a schools block, within the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), from which local authorities fund budget shares for schools based on the number of pupils within those schools. The amounts local authorities have allocated from their schools block to schools classed as primary schools and to schools classed as secondary schools for each year since 2013/14 to 2018/19 are shown in the following table:

Financial year

Schools classed as primary schools (£million)

Schools classed as secondary schools (£million)

Total (£million)

2013/14

16,180

14,271

30,451

2014/15

16,637

14,212

30,849

2015/16

17,170

13,727

30,897

2016/17

17,529

13,732

31,261

2017/18

17,830

13,857

31,686

2018/19

18,267

14,364

32,631

Due to changes in the way the DSG was allocated to local authorities prior to 2013/14, it is not possible to provide figures broken down by primary and secondary schools from 2010/11 to 2013/14. Before 2013/14, funding allocated through the DSG to local authorities was not based on separate per pupil rates for schools. At this time, the DSG was allocated to each local authority using a single per pupil amount allowing them to fund individual budget shares for schools and academies, local authority central services for schools, additional support for high needs pupils, and provision for early years education.

Q
Asked by Lord Oates
Asked on: 09 April 2019
Department for Education
Schools: Admissions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total number of (1) primary, and (2) secondary school, students in England in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 23 April 2019

Information on schools and pupils in England is published in the annual ‘Schools, pupils and their characteristics’ statistical release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2018.

Specifically, the number of primary and secondary school pupils in England in each year since 2010 can be found in table 2a, attached, within the ‘Schools, pupils and their characteristics 2018 - national tables’.

Asked on: 09 April 2019
Cabinet Office
Government Departments: Contracts
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of their vetting procedures when awarding contracts for Government support services.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 23 April 2019

Her Majesty’s Government requires that National Security Vetting is conducted to the same standard for all employees in sensitive roles, including those working for government support services. Vetting is conducted centrally by United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV). Vetting policy, which sits with the Cabinet Office, applies equally to government personnel and private-sector employees on government contracts.

Cabinet Office encourages all government departments to uphold a set of minimum personnel security standards and these may be applicable for certain industry roles. ‘Support services’ is a broad category and could include everything from cleaning and catering to IT provision, security and administration. In that context different roles will have very different requirements and approaches are flexed depending on the risk. It is the responsibility of individual government departments to determine their security needs for each contract that they enter into. The requirement for vetting will be decided based on a given role’s access to sensitive assets, facilities or materials.

The procedures by which a private-sector company or contractor can gain a vetting clearance are currently designed to prioritise security as opposed to ubiquity; individuals must be able to demonstrate they will be working on an active government contract before being granted a clearance. This ensures tighter control of who is cleared, for what purpose and for how long.

A comprehensive, cross-government review of National Security Vetting is underway. This will examine potential reforms in vetting for the private-sector – including how we can improve the timeliness of security clearance and reduce the administrative burden of it for small and medium enterprises.

Q
Asked by Lucy Powell
(Manchester Central)
[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: 09 April 2019
Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what forecast the Office of Budget responsibility has made for spending on tax-free childcare in each year since its introduction and until 2025.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 23 April 2019

The forecasts for spending on Tax-Free Childcare can be found in table 4.17 of the OBR’s Economic & Fiscal Outlook (https://cdn.obr.uk/March-2019_EFO_Web-Accessible.pdf) and are contained in table 1 below, along with forecasts of the number of families and the proportion of eligible families using Tax-Free Childcare.

Table 1

Outturn

Forecast

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

TFC Spending

£32m

£0.1bn

£0.3bn

£0.4bn

£0.6bn

£0.8bn

£1.0bn

Number of Families Using TFC (at year end)

47,000

0.1m

0.3m

0.4m

0.5m

0.6m

0.8m

Proportion of Eligible Families Using TFC

3%

8%

16%

24%

32%

41%

49%

Details on Tax-Free Childcare usage up to December 2018 can be found in the official statistics publication (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tax-free-childcare-statistics-december-2018).

The statistics show that 90,800 families used Tax-Free Childcare in December 2018. This represents around 5.8 per cent of eligible families.

The statistics also show that 256,900 families had an open Tax-Free Childcare account in December 2018, and that 35 per cent of these had been used during the month.

Grouped Questions: 242849 | 242850 | 242852
Q
Asked by Lucy Powell
(Manchester Central)
[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: 09 April 2019
Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many and what proportion of families estimated to be eligible for tax-free childcare have received such childcare in each year since its introduction.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 23 April 2019

The forecasts for spending on Tax-Free Childcare can be found in table 4.17 of the OBR’s Economic & Fiscal Outlook (https://cdn.obr.uk/March-2019_EFO_Web-Accessible.pdf) and are contained in table 1 below, along with forecasts of the number of families and the proportion of eligible families using Tax-Free Childcare.

Table 1

Outturn

Forecast

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

TFC Spending

£32m

£0.1bn

£0.3bn

£0.4bn

£0.6bn

£0.8bn

£1.0bn

Number of Families Using TFC (at year end)

47,000

0.1m

0.3m

0.4m

0.5m

0.6m

0.8m

Proportion of Eligible Families Using TFC

3%

8%

16%

24%

32%

41%

49%

Details on Tax-Free Childcare usage up to December 2018 can be found in the official statistics publication (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tax-free-childcare-statistics-december-2018).

The statistics show that 90,800 families used Tax-Free Childcare in December 2018. This represents around 5.8 per cent of eligible families.

The statistics also show that 256,900 families had an open Tax-Free Childcare account in December 2018, and that 35 per cent of these had been used during the month.

Grouped Questions: 242848 | 242850 | 242852
Q
Asked by Lucy Powell
(Manchester Central)
[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: 09 April 2019
Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of families who will access tax-free childcare in each year up to 2025.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 23 April 2019

The forecasts for spending on Tax-Free Childcare can be found in table 4.17 of the OBR’s Economic & Fiscal Outlook (https://cdn.obr.uk/March-2019_EFO_Web-Accessible.pdf) and are contained in table 1 below, along with forecasts of the number of families and the proportion of eligible families using Tax-Free Childcare.

Table 1

Outturn

Forecast

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

TFC Spending

£32m

£0.1bn

£0.3bn

£0.4bn

£0.6bn

£0.8bn

£1.0bn

Number of Families Using TFC (at year end)

47,000

0.1m

0.3m

0.4m

0.5m

0.6m

0.8m

Proportion of Eligible Families Using TFC

3%

8%

16%

24%

32%

41%

49%

Details on Tax-Free Childcare usage up to December 2018 can be found in the official statistics publication (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tax-free-childcare-statistics-december-2018).

The statistics show that 90,800 families used Tax-Free Childcare in December 2018. This represents around 5.8 per cent of eligible families.

The statistics also show that 256,900 families had an open Tax-Free Childcare account in December 2018, and that 35 per cent of these had been used during the month.

Grouped Questions: 242848 | 242849 | 242852
Q
Asked by Lucy Powell
(Manchester Central)
[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: 09 April 2019
Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost of administering the tax-free childcare scheme.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 23 April 2019

HMRC administer Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare through the childcare service. The average annual operating cost for the childcare service over the five years to 2021/22 is estimated as £34.1m.

Details on Tax-Free Childcare usage up to December 2018 can be found in the official statistics publication (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tax-free-childcare-statistics-december-2018).

Details on 30 hours free childcare usage is published by the Department for Education (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/30-hours-free-childcare-eligibility-codes-issued-and-validated)

Q
Asked by Lucy Powell
(Manchester Central)
[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: 09 April 2019
Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many families have a tax-free childcare account; and what proportion of those families have received financial assistance through the tax-free childcare scheme.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 23 April 2019

The forecasts for spending on Tax-Free Childcare can be found in table 4.17 of the OBR’s Economic & Fiscal Outlook (https://cdn.obr.uk/March-2019_EFO_Web-Accessible.pdf) and are contained in table 1 below, along with forecasts of the number of families and the proportion of eligible families using Tax-Free Childcare.

Table 1

Outturn

Forecast

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

TFC Spending

£32m

£0.1bn

£0.3bn

£0.4bn

£0.6bn

£0.8bn

£1.0bn

Number of Families Using TFC (at year end)

47,000

0.1m

0.3m

0.4m

0.5m

0.6m

0.8m

Proportion of Eligible Families Using TFC

3%

8%

16%

24%

32%

41%

49%

Details on Tax-Free Childcare usage up to December 2018 can be found in the official statistics publication (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tax-free-childcare-statistics-december-2018).

The statistics show that 90,800 families used Tax-Free Childcare in December 2018. This represents around 5.8 per cent of eligible families.

The statistics also show that 256,900 families had an open Tax-Free Childcare account in December 2018, and that 35 per cent of these had been used during the month.

Grouped Questions: 242848 | 242849 | 242850
Q
(Birmingham, Hall Green)
[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: 10 April 2019
Department for Education
Schools: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 4 April to Question 234655 on School Resource Management Advisers (SRMAs), if he will publish a breakdown of the £35 million of savings and revenue generation opportunities identified as part of the SRMA pilot programme in 2017-18.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 23 April 2019

The Department intends to publish a breakdown of the opportunities identified by School Resource Management Advisers as part of a wider published evaluation of the pilot programme later this year.

Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
[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: 10 April 2019
Department for Education
Children: Social Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 01 April 2019 to Question 237047 on Social Services: Children, what estimate his Department has made of funding needed by local authorities to meet demand for children’s social care services in each year of the period covered by the forthcoming Spending Review.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 23 April 2019

The government will set out its approach to long-term funding decisions following the publication of the Spending Review.

Q
(Leicester South)
Asked on: 10 April 2019
Department for Education
Schools: Environment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs on increasing children’s awareness and understanding of the environment in schools.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 23 April 2019

The Government’s 25-year environment plan, published in January 2018, sets out the ambition to improve the environment within a generation. The Department for Education (DfE) has worked closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the plan. DfE is funding the children and nature programme, a £10 million programme that aims to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to the natural environment. The programme has been designed to make it possible for schools to undertake a range of activities in natural spaces, including learning about nature and how to care for the natural environment. The programme complements the scope that already exists to study environmental issues throughout the curriculum - in particular in science and geography lessons.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 10 April 2019
Home Office
Home Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his Department has deprioritised any Statutory Instruments in relation to the UK leaving the EU; and if he will publish the criteria his Department uses to deprioritise those Instruments.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 23 April 2019

The Government’s objective has always been to have a functioning statute book in place by Exit Day and to ensure that the most critical secondary legislation was made by this point.

Each SI was considered carefully, on a case-by-case basis; the Government’s objective was met. Public impact was the prime consideration, and so if an instrument was needed only to make minor technical changes that were deemed inessential for exit day, then those fell later in the plan than others.

These considerations and assessments made have meant that the Government has been able to lay the critical secondary legislation required before we exit the EU.
The laying of EU Exit SIs allows Parliament to fulfil its essential scrutiny role. The exact nature of this scrutiny, and the steps required before an SI completes its passage, is dependant on the type of SI. The Government remains confident of passing the necessary legislation required to ensure a functioning statute book by exit day.

Q
(Glasgow 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: 10 April 2019
Cabinet Office
Vote Leave: Election Offences
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it Government policy to revoke Article 50 as a result of (a) the recent report of the Electoral Commission into the activities of Vote Leave, and (b) Vote Leave's decision to drop its appeal against alleged fraud committed during the EU referendum in 2016.
A
Corrected answer by: Chloe Smith
Corrected on: 23 April 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 15 April 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

The consultation Protecting the Debate: Intimidation, Influence and Information was launched last
year. We are currently reviewing the responses and we will issue a response in due course.

The Electoral Commission is the independent regulatory body responsible for ensuring that elections and referendums are run effectively and in accordance with the law. Where it has reason to believe that electoral law has been breached it has the power to investigate, impose sanctions, or refer to the police. The Government has no involvement with Electoral Commission investigations. The Electoral Commission has produced recommendations on campaign finance which the Government is considering. These are not specific to individual cases but are about the wider system.

The Article 50 notification will not be withdrawn. The Government is committed to finding a way to fulfil the democratic decision of the referendum, deliver Brexit and move our country forward.

A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 15 April 2019

The consultation Protecting the Debate: Intimidation, Influence and Information was launched last
year. We are currently reviewing the responses and we will issue a response in due course.

The Electoral Commission is the independent regulatory body responsible for ensuring that elections and referendums are run effectively and in accordance with the law. Where it has reason to believe that electoral law has been breached it has the power to investigate, impose sanctions, or refer to the police. The Government has no involvement with Electoral Commission investigations. The Electoral Commission has produced recommendations on campaign finance which the Government is considering. These are not specific to individual cases but are about the wider system.

The Article 50 notification will not be withdrawn. The Government is committed to finding a way to fulfil the democratic decision of the referendum, deliver Brexit and move our country forward.

Asked on: 10 April 2019
Cabinet Office
Interserve
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the Cabinet Office designation of Interserve as a high risk supplier in June 2018, how that designation was communicated to all Government departments and agencies.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 23 April 2019

As stated in the Strategic Supplier Risk Management Policy that applied in June 2018, the Government does not publish whether or not a strategic supplier is designated as high risk. This Policy was withdrawn and replaced with a new approach to the monitoring and management of strategic suppliers through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the government and each of its strategic suppliers.

Q
Asked by Stephen Twigg
(Liverpool, West Derby)
[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: 10 April 2019
Department for Education
Young People: Carers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support young carers with their education in (a) Merseyside, (b) the North West of England and (c) the rest of England.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 23 April 2019

​The government is committed to supporting young carers so that they are properly protected from excessive or inappropriate caring responsibilities and supported to achieve their full potential.

We know that consistent identification of young carers remains challenging, which is why we have funded the Carers Trust to review and disseminate best practice in the identification of young carers - this commitment was set out in the Carers Action Plan 2018-20. The Children in Need review is also identifying how to spread best practice on raising educational outcomes of children in need, including those young carers assessed as being in need.

The department provides schools with £2.4 billion each year in additional funding through the pupil premium to support disadvantaged pupils; each eligible pupil attracts £1,320 to primary schools and £935 to secondary schools. Eligibility for the pupil premium is based largely on current or past claims for free school meals. Some research with young carers aged 14-16 suggested that around 60% already attract the pupil premium through their eligibility for free school meals.

We expect schools to make effective use of their pupil premium and do not tell them how to use it. Schools know their pupils best and will spend the grant to meet pupils needs, which may include needs arising from a caring role. Schools are held to account for their pupil premium use through school inspection and information in performance tables, and most schools are required to publish details about their pupil premium strategy and its impact. These are national programmes of work which will benefit young carers across England. The department is not undertaking regional programmes at this time.

We recognise, however, that there are issues that are specific to the North East around education and employment prospects for children and young people. That is why, in October 2018, the department committed £24 million to Opportunity North East, in order to tackle issues holding back young people from all communities, raise aspiration, and boost social mobility in the region.

Grouped Questions: 243309
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