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 Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Department for Education
Special Educational Needs: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) financial support and (b) guidance he has issued to (i) educational providers and (ii) others on the safe return of SEND pupils to school.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 10 June 2020

The department is providing financial support through providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources. This would include any costs incurred supporting the safe return of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to school. Details of this can be found in the ‘School funding: exceptional costs associated with COVID-19 for the period March to July 2020’ guidance, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools/school-funding-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19-for-the-period-march-to-july-2020.

On the 26 May 2020, the department published its ‘Supporting children and young people with SEND [special educational needs and disabilities] as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening’ guidance, which was written with help from SEND sector organisations. It outlines pragmatic approaches that local authorities, educational settings, and parents or carers may wish to take to support children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance.

This guidance builds upon the department’s wider guidance for ‘Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings’, ‘Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings’, and ‘Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June 2020’.

This was supplemented by an open letter from myself to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, their parents, carers and families, and others who support them, about the wider opening of schools, colleges and other educational settings from 1 June 2020.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Department for Education
Schools: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans are in place to establish track and trace systems in schools.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 10 June 2020

The new NHS Test and Trace service was launched on 28 May across England. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. The Government has recruited 25,000 contact tracers, able to track 10,000 new cases a day.

If a child or young person in school develops symptoms compatible with COVID-19, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days and arrange to have a test. Where the child or young person tests positive, traced close contacts, including the rest of their small group, should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

As part of the national test and trace programme, if further positive test results arise among the child’s class or school, Public Health England’s local Health Protection Teams will conduct a rapid investigation into the outbreak and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases, a larger number of other children may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure.

Grouped Questions: 53594
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Treasury
Self-employment Income Support Scheme: Maternity Leave
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that self-employed women that qualify for 30 hours free childcare scheme will be able to access that scheme in the event that Self-Employment Income Support Scheme calculations bring their total income below the threshold for qualifying as a result of a period of maternity leave over the last three years.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 10 June 2020

To be eligible for Tax Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare, both parents need to earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the National Living Wage. The Government introduced a temporary measure to ensure that those who are unable to meet this requirement due to loss of income as a result of Covid-19 will maintain their entitlement.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to promote social distancing in response to the outbreak of covid-19.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 28 April 2020

The Government has commissioned a marketing campaign to promote social distancing, including television adverts, posters and via the use of social media.

The Government has introduced three new measures:

- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes;

- Closing certain businesses and venues; and

- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

Every person in the United Kingdom must comply with these new measures, which came into effect on Monday 23 March. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Statutory Sick Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of statutory sick pay in covering individual weekly living expenses; and if she will increase the value of that pay to the European average during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Corrected answer by: Justin Tomlinson
Corrected on: 15 April 2020
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 24 March 2020.
The correct answer should have been:

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

The current Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rate is the legal minimum rate that an employer must pay to an employee; many employers have their own occupational health schemes. Our welfare system is not directly comparable with other European countries. The SSP system is designed to balance support for the individual with the costs to the employer and, as such, there are no plans to make this change. The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those affected in these difficult times and we have made a number of changes to the welfare system in the past fortnight to ensure people are supported in doing this. These changes include:

  • making it easier to access benefits. Those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment. Both Universal Credit and Contributory ESA can now be claimed by phone or online;
  • increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by around £1000 per year; and
  • increasing in the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

Together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system.

A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 24 March 2020

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

The current Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rate is the legal minimum rate that an employer must pay to an employee; many employers have their own occupational health schemes. Our welfare system is not directly comparable with other European countries. The SSP system is designed to balance support for the individual with the costs to the employer and, as such, there are no plans to make this change. The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those affected in these difficult times and we have made a number of changes to the welfare system in the past fortnight to ensure people are supported in doing this. These changes include:

  • making it easier to access benefits. Those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment. Both Universal Credit and Contributory ESA can now be claimed by phone or online;
  • increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by around £1000 per year; and
  • increasing in the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

Together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
[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: 16 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when testing for covid-19 will be made available for members of the public who are not hospitalised.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 06 April 2020
Holding answer received on 19 March 2020

The United Kingdom has tested more people than almost any other major economy outside of China, South Korea, Germany and Italy.

We have boosted the number of labs undertaking testing while home testing and drive-through testing is also available in some areas.

We have increased the number of tests to 5,000 a day and it reached over 10,000 on 1 April.

Both key workers - such as health workers - and clinically high priority cases will be prioritised for testing.

Grouped Questions: 30118
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
[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: 16 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will introduce covid-19 testing for front line NHS and emergency service workers when they show symptoms for covid-19.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 06 April 2020
Holding answer received on 19 March 2020

The United Kingdom has tested more people than almost any other major economy outside of China, South Korea, Germany and Italy.

We have boosted the number of labs undertaking testing while home testing and drive-through testing is also available in some areas.

We have increased the number of tests to 5,000 a day and it reached over 10,000 on 1 April.

Both key workers - such as health workers - and clinically high priority cases will be prioritised for testing.

Grouped Questions: 30117
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Intensive Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase (a) the number of ventilators and (b) ICU capacity.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 30 March 2020

It is the Government’s priority that the National Health Service has appropriate equipment to respond to COVID-19. This includes the provision of intensive care beds. The Department is working closely with NHS England and the devolved administrations to ensure this is achieved.

NHS England is actively assessing the critical care capacity of NHS organisations and the availability of additional facilities in the independent sector. It is working to ensure that hospitals have as much ventilation equipment as required and, crucially, the skilled and trained people to use it.

A new temporary hospital - the NHS Nightingale hospital – will open at the Excel Centre in London next week. It will have capacity for 4,000 people.

Two new temporary hospitals will be set up at Birmingham's NEC and the Manchester conference centre and will be ready next month.

NHS England has agreed a major deal with the nation’s independent hospitals. The deal – the first of its kind ever - includes the provision of 8,000 hospital beds across England and nearly 1,200 more ventilators.

We have been buying up ventilation equipment since the start of the crisis. NHS England expects soon to have just short of 12,000 ventilators available and we have asked the nation’s advanced manufacturers to join a national effort to produce more.

Information on critical care bed capacity is published by NHS England and can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/critical-care-capacity/

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
[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: 16 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Intensive Care: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government will take to ensure babies and children of parents requiring intensive care treatment as a result of covid-19 are looked after.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 26 March 2020
Holding answer received on 19 March 2020

In many cases, other family members or friends of the parent(s) will provide temporary care. If there is no-one to look after the child, the local authority may need to take the child into temporary care.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Food: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that people that are (a) elderly, (b) vulnerable and (c) required to self-isolate receive food deliveries.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 26 March 2020

We are working closely across Government, with representatives of the food supply chain and with local authorities and charities to ensure that people who need to stay at home will have continued access to food.

To help supermarkets, the Government has already introduced new measures to keep food supply flowing. We have temporarily relaxed elements of competition law to enable supermarkets to work more closely together to ensure people can access the products they need. Food retailers will now be able to share data on their stock levels, cooperate to keep stores open and share staff, distribution depots and delivery vehicles. This will help keep shops open and staffed and better able to meet high demand. Guidance has been issued to local authorities to show flexibility to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets to ensure shelves can be replenished more quickly. The Transport Secretary has also announced a temporary and limited relaxation of the drivers’ hours rules so that more goods can be delivered to every store every day. We welcome the actions that industry is taking, including hiring more staff, including prioritising delivery slots for those that need them most.

The Government is working to ensure that up to 1.5 million people in England identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract Coronavirus will have access to the food they need. A new Local Support System will make sure those individuals self-isolating at home and who are without a support network of friends and family will receive basic groceries. The Government is working with a partnership of the groceries industry, local government, local resilience forums and emergency partners, and voluntary groups, to ensure that essential items can start to be delivered as soon as possible to those who need it.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
[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: 19 March 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Nationals Abroad: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) other support the Government plans to provide to UK nationals overseas to enable them to return to the UK.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 25 March 2020
Holding answer received on 24 March 2020

Our consular team is working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. We are working closely with local authorities, commercial airlines and other diplomatic missions to enable British people to get home. If British people are in need of urgent assistance, they should call our Embassies and High Commissions, which will automatically connect them to our consular contact centres, where our staff can provide further advice. Given the dramatic increase in demand we are doubling the number of call handlers working to answer peoples' calls. We are helping to reduce travel costs by encouraging airlines to have maximum flexibility on changing return tickets. Where people are in real need, our consular teams will work with them to consider their options and, as a last resort, offer an emergency loan.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Public Health
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure users of (a) other languages, (b) British Sign Language and (c) Braille have timely and accessible information on covid-19.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 24 March 2020

All guidance, statements and public information released by the Government are readily available to read online information on COVID-19 from Public Health England and the Department is translated into British Sign Language videos can be found at the following link:

https://www.signhealth.org.uk/

Resources for COVID-19 are currently available in nine other languages to ensure that support and advice can be given to non-English speakers. These languages are Polish, Welsh, Arabic (Modern), French, Simplified Chinese (Mandarin), Traditional Chinese (Cantonese), Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, and Portuguese.

NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard sets out the National Health Service’s obligations around providing information in an accessible format for people who use British Sign Language and braille.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Hospitals: Languages
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure hospitalised users of (a) other languages and (b) British Sign Language have access to communication support.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 24 March 2020

National Health Service providers working with their NHS commissioners should be taking steps to ensure hospitalised users receive access to interpreters in community languages and British Sign Language (BSL).

NHS England and NHS Improvement published guidance for Interpreting and Translation principles in primary care. This guidance is available for NHS providers and commissioners to help them in their roles providing hospitalised patients with communication support, whether that is community languages or BSL.

The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/primary-care/primary-care-commissioning/interpreting/

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Loneliness: Older People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance he plans to issue to people aged 70 and over that are self-isolating to (a) combat loneliness and (b) stay fit and healthy.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 24 March 2020

Those who are self-isolating are protecting the lives of others, as well as making sure the National Health Service does not get overwhelmed. However, it can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people, especially if there is limited space or no access to a garden.

Guidance on looking after personal wellbeing while self-isolating is provided at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

This guidance advises those who are self-isolating to stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media, and signposts sources of support and information that can help, such as the  Every Mind Matters website, available at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

The guidance also suggests activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films, or taking part in light exercise within the home or garden if those who are self-isolating feel well enough.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Food: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance he has issued to businesses on preventing members of the public from stockpiling (a) food and (b) other essential products.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 23 March 2020

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they are working around the clock to ensure people have the food and products they need. Industry is adapting quickly to any changes in demands, and food supply into and across the UK is resilient.

The Secretary of State is in regular dialogue with industry, including the British Retail Consortium and supermarket chief executives to discuss any additional support the Government can provide. To help supermarkets respond to this unprecedented demand we have already introduced new measures to keep food supply flowing. We have issued guidance to local authorities to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets so that shelves can be filled up quicker, and we have implemented extensions to drivers’ hours.

We fully recognise the additional pressures on our food supply chain as a result of recent events. The UK’s major supermarkets have last weekend issued a statement to encourage everyone to shop as they normally would and pull together to support those staying at home.

We will continue to work closely with the industry over the coming days and months.

Grouped Questions: 30140 | 30170 | 30171 | 29817
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Bodies: Liability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a duty of care that an individual removes from their relatives automatically passes to a public body from which that individual is receiving care.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 06 March 2020

Both the National Health Service and local authorities owe a common law duty of care to the people within their care.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 25 February 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Suicide: Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has taken to tackle suicide chat forums since the death of Callie Lewis.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 05 March 2020

The Online Harms White Paper set out government’s plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, enforced by an independent regulator. As part of our plans, companies will be required to take action to address harmful suicide and self-harm content that provides graphic details of suicide methods and self-harming, including encouragement of self-harm and suicide.

There are already arrangements between companies and charities to improve the identification and removal of content when it is reported, and services that signpost help and supportive content to users. The Samaritans has a strategic partnership with social media companies and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). The partnership works together to set guidance on moderating suicide and self-harm content, and supporting users to stay safe online.

Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Department for Education
Schools: Admissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy and (b) effectiveness of consultation periods used by schools to consult parents on proposals to establish feeder arrangements.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 05 March 2020

School admission arrangements must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code permits admission arrangements which give priority to children who attend named feeder schools. It also requires that the selection of feeder schools is transparent and made on reasonable grounds. In addition, the Code requires that admission arrangements are fair.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities to consult locally before making changes to their admission arrangements. They must consult for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the school year before the arrangements come into effect. The Code specifies the people and organisations that the admission authority must consult. This includes local parents, other local schools and the local authority.

The admission authority must then determine its admission arrangements by 28 February and publish them on its website. Anyone who considers the determined admission arrangements are unlawful or unfair may complain to the Schools Adjudicator. Where the Adjudicator upholds a complaint, the admission authority is required to amend their admission arrangements.

In the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report for the 2016-17 school year, the Adjudicator stated, ‘If the giving of priority by a secondary school to children from certain feeder primaries means that other children will face a significantly longer or more difficult journey to different schools as a result, then the arrangements are likely to be found to be unfair.’ The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/osa-annual-report.

The Department collects pupil forecasts from each local authority through the annual school capacity survey. The latest published data relates to the position in the 2017-18 school year. Secondary pupil numbers in Bromley local authority are forecast to increase by 3,214 (12%) from 23,618 in 2019-20 to 26,832 in 2024-25, as seen in the table below.

Table 1: Secondary pupil forecasts for Bromley local authority

School year

Bromley local authority secondary pupil total

2019-20

23,618

2020-21

24,415

2021-22

25,281

2022-23

25,991

2023-24

26,561

2024-25

26,832

Further information can be found in the place planning tables at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-capacity-academic-year-2017-to-2018.

Grouped Questions: 21344 | 21345
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Department for Education
Secondary Education: Bromley
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the increase in the number of secondary school places in Bromley in each of the next five years; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of feeder school arrangements on that increase.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 05 March 2020

School admission arrangements must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code permits admission arrangements which give priority to children who attend named feeder schools. It also requires that the selection of feeder schools is transparent and made on reasonable grounds. In addition, the Code requires that admission arrangements are fair.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities to consult locally before making changes to their admission arrangements. They must consult for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the school year before the arrangements come into effect. The Code specifies the people and organisations that the admission authority must consult. This includes local parents, other local schools and the local authority.

The admission authority must then determine its admission arrangements by 28 February and publish them on its website. Anyone who considers the determined admission arrangements are unlawful or unfair may complain to the Schools Adjudicator. Where the Adjudicator upholds a complaint, the admission authority is required to amend their admission arrangements.

In the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report for the 2016-17 school year, the Adjudicator stated, ‘If the giving of priority by a secondary school to children from certain feeder primaries means that other children will face a significantly longer or more difficult journey to different schools as a result, then the arrangements are likely to be found to be unfair.’ The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/osa-annual-report.

The Department collects pupil forecasts from each local authority through the annual school capacity survey. The latest published data relates to the position in the 2017-18 school year. Secondary pupil numbers in Bromley local authority are forecast to increase by 3,214 (12%) from 23,618 in 2019-20 to 26,832 in 2024-25, as seen in the table below.

Table 1: Secondary pupil forecasts for Bromley local authority

School year

Bromley local authority secondary pupil total

2019-20

23,618

2020-21

24,415

2021-22

25,281

2022-23

25,991

2023-24

26,561

2024-25

26,832

Further information can be found in the place planning tables at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-capacity-academic-year-2017-to-2018.

Grouped Questions: 21343 | 21345
Q
Asked by Ellie Reeves
(Lewisham West and Penge)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Department for Education
Secondary Education: Bromley
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on freedom of secondary school choice for primary schools pupils not in a feeder school in Bromley of the Harris Federation and Langley Park Learning Trust setting up feeder arrangements.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 05 March 2020

School admission arrangements must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code permits admission arrangements which give priority to children who attend named feeder schools. It also requires that the selection of feeder schools is transparent and made on reasonable grounds. In addition, the Code requires that admission arrangements are fair.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities to consult locally before making changes to their admission arrangements. They must consult for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the school year before the arrangements come into effect. The Code specifies the people and organisations that the admission authority must consult. This includes local parents, other local schools and the local authority.

The admission authority must then determine its admission arrangements by 28 February and publish them on its website. Anyone who considers the determined admission arrangements are unlawful or unfair may complain to the Schools Adjudicator. Where the Adjudicator upholds a complaint, the admission authority is required to amend their admission arrangements.

In the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report for the 2016-17 school year, the Adjudicator stated, ‘If the giving of priority by a secondary school to children from certain feeder primaries means that other children will face a significantly longer or more difficult journey to different schools as a result, then the arrangements are likely to be found to be unfair.’ The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/osa-annual-report.

The Department collects pupil forecasts from each local authority through the annual school capacity survey. The latest published data relates to the position in the 2017-18 school year. Secondary pupil numbers in Bromley local authority are forecast to increase by 3,214 (12%) from 23,618 in 2019-20 to 26,832 in 2024-25, as seen in the table below.

Table 1: Secondary pupil forecasts for Bromley local authority

School year

Bromley local authority secondary pupil total

2019-20

23,618

2020-21

24,415

2021-22

25,281

2022-23

25,991

2023-24

26,561

2024-25

26,832

Further information can be found in the place planning tables at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-capacity-academic-year-2017-to-2018.

Grouped Questions: 21343 | 21344
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