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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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.
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Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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 January 2019
Department for Education
Child Minding
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many childminder agencies there are; and how many childminders are members of childminder agencies.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 14 January 2019

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 18 December 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Breast Cancer: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with (a) NHS England and (b) Public Health England on implementation of the recommendations of the independent review of the breast screening programme, published on 13 December.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 07 January 2019

The Department, along with Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England, is reviewing the recommendations of the recent Independent review of Breast Screening and will be publishing a full response on behalf of the Government shortly.

The Government will ensure that steps are taken to implement a system that ensures a uniform national approach to the interpretation and implementation of breast screening policy, once that policy has been agreed. The Department, PHE and NHS England will continue to work together to ensure the safe delivery of the breast screening programme through agreed responsibilities and governance mechanisms.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 28 November 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation: Public Appointments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what criteria appointees to the board of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation were assessed against when candidates were considered for that role.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 03 December 2018

The selection criteria for the Board was outlined within the expression of interest as published on the Cabinet Office's public appointments website. The candidates were asked to demonstrate high level experience of strategic leadership, communication and influencing skills and have a strong understanding of the Centre's role. As well as this - we were looking for relevant expertise across key areas which include; data science, business, ethics, social sciences, policy, law and regulation.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 14 November 2018
Department for Education
Department for Education: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many full-time equivalent staff of his Department are working on (a) early years' policy and (b) policy on provision of 30 hours of free childcare for three and four year olds.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 19 November 2018

As of 15 November 2018, there were around 60 full-time equivalent members of staff working on early years’ policy and this includes the delivery of 30 hours of free childcare for three and four-year olds. Other staff members in the funding and analysis teams also contribute to the early years’ policy development as part of their work.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 14 November 2018
Ministry of Defence
Army: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what information his Department holds on the number of new recruits to the Army from each (a) parliamentary constituency, (b) region of the UK and (c) constituent part of the UK in the most recent period for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 19 November 2018

The information requested will take time to collate and I will write to the hon. Member when it is available.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 01 November 2018
Department for Education
Children: Assessments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the statutory basis for any obligation on (a) parents and (b) guardians to allow a child to take an assessment test before that child has reached the compulsory school age is.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 06 November 2018

The compulsory school age is five under section 8 of the Education Act 1996. Whilst the reception year is not compulsory, children who are aged four who are enrolled in a reception class in a state-funded school are still covered by the requirements under the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework within the Childcare Act 2006. This includes assessments carried out in the reception year.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 01 November 2018
Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many applications for a tax-free childcare account have been started but not completed.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 06 November 2018

The information requested is not readily available. Extensive analysis would be required to identify robust data on the number of childcare service applications that were started but subsequently not completed which would incur a disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 01 November 2018
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Conditions of Employment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what employee benefits there are for new recruits to the armed forces who are not eligible to join the armed forces childcare vouchers scheme.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 06 November 2018

Service personnel wishing to benefit from Income Tax and National Insurance savings (who were not claiming before October 2018) are eligible to join the new Government Tax Free Childcare Scheme. This was introduced in September 2017 to replace all salary sacrifice schemes introduced since 1989.

The previous Childcare Voucher scheme closed to new joiners on 4 October 2018. Existing members can continue to use the scheme.

In addition to the universal entitlement to 15 hours (or 30 hours for eligible working parents) of free early education and childcare for children from the term after their third birthday, some English local authorities offer free hours of Ofsted registered childcare targeted to Service personnel with children aged two.

A significant number of nurseries are accommodated on the Defence estate at military bases aimed principally at ensuring nursery provision for Service personnel based at the location concerned. Such nurseries are not operated by Defence but are provided so that personnel have provision close to their place of work and close to their homes when accommodated in Service Families Accommodation. The provision may offer an array of benefits to Service personnel ranging from priority placement to preferential rates.

In those overseas locations where Service personnel and their dependants have no statutory entitlement to access host nation provision, the MOD has committed to mirror as far as is reasonably practicable the statutory provision that would have been available in England. Where MOD-provided overseas childcare facilities have sufficient capacity, three and four-year old children will be provided for free of charge within the UK guidelines. In overseas locations where there are no MOD-provided childcare facilities, or such facilities lack sufficient capacity, the additional entitlement will be provided through the MOD Overseas Nursery Allowance.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 30 October 2018
Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many tax-free childcare accounts have (a) been created and (b) had at least one payment made from that account to date.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 05 November 2018

To date more than 391,000 parents have opened a Tax–Free Childcare account and over 109,000 parents have used their account to make a payment to a childcare provider.

Around 313,000 of the parents who have opened a Tax-Free Childcare account applied at the same time as for 30 hours free childcare. 30 hours free childcare saves parents using the full 30 hours up to £5,000 per child per year.

Tax-Free Childcare account usage is substantially higher amongst parents who get Tax-Free Childcare only, compared to parents who have both a Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare account.

8,265 Tax-Free Childcare accounts have been closed since the scheme launched in April 2017.

Grouped Questions: 185723
Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 30 October 2018
Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many parents have closed a tax-free childcare account since that policy was introduced.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 05 November 2018

To date more than 391,000 parents have opened a Tax–Free Childcare account and over 109,000 parents have used their account to make a payment to a childcare provider.

Around 313,000 of the parents who have opened a Tax-Free Childcare account applied at the same time as for 30 hours free childcare. 30 hours free childcare saves parents using the full 30 hours up to £5,000 per child per year.

Tax-Free Childcare account usage is substantially higher amongst parents who get Tax-Free Childcare only, compared to parents who have both a Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare account.

8,265 Tax-Free Childcare accounts have been closed since the scheme launched in April 2017.

Grouped Questions: 185722
Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 30 October 2018
Department for Education
Primary Education: Nurseries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nursery classes based in primary schools he has visited since his appointment.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 05 November 2018

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education has visited, since his appointment on 8 January 2018, five nurseries, and has spent time meeting nursery children and teachers during four primary school visits. He has not yet visited any childminders.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 30 October 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many graduates in paid employment in an early years setting who undertake training to achieve the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) have accessed (a) grant funding, (b) employer incentive and (c) both grant funding and employer incentive in each year since that policy was introduced.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 05 November 2018

The number of employment-based early years trainees for whom the department provided early years initial teacher training (ITT) funding in academic years 2016/17 and 2017/18 is as follows:

Academic year

Number of early years ITT trainees

2016/17

451

2017/18

431

For all trainees shown above, both the training grant and employer incentive was provided.

We are unable to provide any data collected prior to the academic year 2016/17. A review of early years ITT data found that prior to the academic year 2016/17, data was not collected with sufficient quality to produce high quality statistics.

Further information about this and the subsequent actions put in place by the department, can be found in the ‘Data collection and quality’ section of the ITT Census 2017/18, found here at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/initial-teacher-training-trainee-number-census-2017-to-2018.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 30 October 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Qualifications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many individuals employed in early years settings have achieved level 3 qualifications in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 05 November 2018

We do not centrally collect the data requested.

However, the number of workers with qualifications at various levels is published in our ‘Childcare and early years providers surveys’ at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-and-early-years-providers-survey-2016.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-and-early-years-providers-survey-2013.

The 2018 survey is due to be published on 1 November 2018.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 29 October 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
World War I and World War II: Medals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a medal for women who worked in munitions factories during the world wars.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 02 November 2018
Holding answer received on 01 November 2018

The Government recognises the hard work of the Munitions workers and is extremely grateful for their input and sacrifices made during both world wars often working in harsh conditions, to ensure that our soldiers were well equipped during the war effort.

There are no plans to introduce a medal for munitions workers who served during the world wars. A commemorative badge is available thanks to the support of the BAE Systems Heritage Department and the efforts of the Munitions Workers Association. This is similar to those badges given to those who worked in the mines during the second world war – the so-called Bevan Boys. Surviving munitions workers and their families can approach the Munitions Workers Association to receive this commemorative badge.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 29 October 2018
Department for Education
Higher Education: Drama
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons it is not possible to apply through UCAS to all drama schools that award degrees.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 01 November 2018

UCAS handles applications to higher education on behalf of providers, independent of government. Universities, colleges and other organisations that award degrees may sign up for their services, but whether they do so, or not, is their decision.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 29 October 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Assessments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide a list of the names and address of schools that are participating in the baseline assessment trial.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 01 November 2018

The reception baseline assessment was trialled in a nationally representative sample of schools between 10 September and 19 October 2018. Schools’ participation in the trials was voluntary.

In line with accepted practice, the names of the schools that are participating in these trials will not be released by the department. Schools were recruited on this basis and releasing this information could adversely affect school participation in future voluntary trialling, which would put our ability to develop high quality, valid and reliable assessments at risk.

In our response to the public consultation on the future of the primary assessment system in England, and having noted the support from respondents to that consultation exercise, we confirmed that we would introduce a reception baseline assessment from the 2020 to 2021 academic year onwards. As part of that, we committed to explore the issue of what information from the assessment should be shared with schools. That consideration is continuing and we will make a further announcement prior to the introduction of the assessment.

Grouped Questions: 185123
Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 29 October 2018
Department for Education
Pre-School Education: Data Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received representations on the legality of a child's data being collected through baseline assessment testing but not accessible to (a) the child, (b) the parents of the child and (c) education staff; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 01 November 2018

The reception baseline assessment was trialled in a nationally representative sample of schools between 10 September and 19 October 2018. Schools’ participation in the trials was voluntary.

In line with accepted practice, the names of the schools that are participating in these trials will not be released by the department. Schools were recruited on this basis and releasing this information could adversely affect school participation in future voluntary trialling, which would put our ability to develop high quality, valid and reliable assessments at risk.

In our response to the public consultation on the future of the primary assessment system in England, and having noted the support from respondents to that consultation exercise, we confirmed that we would introduce a reception baseline assessment from the 2020 to 2021 academic year onwards. As part of that, we committed to explore the issue of what information from the assessment should be shared with schools. That consideration is continuing and we will make a further announcement prior to the introduction of the assessment.

Grouped Questions: 185091
Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 26 October 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the merits of including in universal credit financial support for administration costs when a child starts a childcare place.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 31 October 2018

Universal Credit claimants are able to claim up to 85% of childcare costs. Universal Credit childcare costs can be claimed for one month prior to starting work, to enable a child to settle into a new routine. In addition, the Flexible Support Fund is also available to help parents pay childcare deposits or up-front fees.

Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 23 October 2018
Department for Education
Primary Education: Nurseries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2018 to Question 179290 on Primary education: nurseries, whether a cost benefit analysis is undertaken on plans for new primary schools (a) with and (b) without nursery provision.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 29 October 2018
Holding answer received on 26 October 2018

All free school applications are subject to a rigorous application process. Each application, including those with a nursery element, is assessed against published criteria. The assessment process includes consideration of the capacity and track record of proposers, financial viability and value for money.

The cost of a nursery in a free school is integrated into the total cost of the project. It is not possible to separate out the costs of the nursery alone, as they will generally share facilities and services with the school itself.

For the purposes of forecasting, we estimate that the average additional per pupil cost of including a nursery within a primary free school is around £12,000 excluding VAT. For actual projects, costs will depend on a variety of local circumstances including site specifications and pupil numbers.

Where local authorities (LAs) identify the need for a new school, they must seek proposals to establish a new free school. They are responsible for setting the specifications (including for a nursery) and assessing applications. LAs are responsible for meeting the associated capital costs, principally using basic need funding provided by the department.

LAs are also responsible for approving proposals for new voluntary-aided schools, including where proposals include nursery provision. LAs and proposers are responsible for meeting the associated capital costs, with the proposer expected to cover up to 10% of this amount.

Grouped Questions: 182804
Q
Asked by Tracy Brabin
(Batley and Spen)
[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: 23 October 2018
Department for Education
Primary Education: Nurseries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2018 to Question 179290 on Primary Education: nurseries, what estimate he has made of the average cost to the public purse of including nursery provision in a new primary school.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 29 October 2018
Holding answer received on 26 October 2018

All free school applications are subject to a rigorous application process. Each application, including those with a nursery element, is assessed against published criteria. The assessment process includes consideration of the capacity and track record of proposers, financial viability and value for money.

The cost of a nursery in a free school is integrated into the total cost of the project. It is not possible to separate out the costs of the nursery alone, as they will generally share facilities and services with the school itself.

For the purposes of forecasting, we estimate that the average additional per pupil cost of including a nursery within a primary free school is around £12,000 excluding VAT. For actual projects, costs will depend on a variety of local circumstances including site specifications and pupil numbers.

Where local authorities (LAs) identify the need for a new school, they must seek proposals to establish a new free school. They are responsible for setting the specifications (including for a nursery) and assessing applications. LAs are responsible for meeting the associated capital costs, principally using basic need funding provided by the department.

LAs are also responsible for approving proposals for new voluntary-aided schools, including where proposals include nursery provision. LAs and proposers are responsible for meeting the associated capital costs, with the proposer expected to cover up to 10% of this amount.

Grouped Questions: 182803
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