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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Asked on: 07 March 2019
Department for Education
Music: Curriculum
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether details of the tender for the new model music curriculum will be published.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 21 March 2019

The contract for drafting the model music curriculum is worth £4,500. The tender document is attached.

Grouped Questions: HL14326
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Department for Education
Music: Curriculum
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music will receive for the tender to write the new model music curriculum.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 21 March 2019

The contract for drafting the model music curriculum is worth £4,500. The tender document is attached.

Grouped Questions: HL14325
Asked on: 05 March 2019
Department for Education
Music: Curriculum
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which organisations were (1) asked to, and (2) did, bid for the contract to draft the new model music curriculum.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 15 March 2019

Three organisations were invited to bid for the contract to draft the model music curriculum; the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and Music Mark. ABRSM made an application, the other two organisations did not bid.

Asked on: 27 February 2019
Department for Education
Music: Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will clarify the roles and responsibilities of (1) schools, and (2) music education hubs, with regard to the delivery of music education.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 08 March 2019

It is the role of schools to deliver the curriculum. Music education hubs were established to drive up the quality and consistency of music education across the country, and to that end are funded to work with children in all state-funded schools in England. This means that hubs work with all schools, including academies and free schools, to meet local needs, at the same time as ensuring that all children experience high quality music education. The roles and responsibilities of schools and music education hubs are detailed in the national plan for music education, attached, which the department has committed to refreshing for 2020 and beyond.

HL14088_the_importance_of_music (PDF Document, 533.47 KB)
Asked on: 20 February 2019
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 14 February (HL Deb, col 1934), what is the minimum necessary documentation required from EU citizens applying for settled status in order to (1) prove residency, and over what period; (2) prove identity; and (3) prove the absence of criminal convictions.
Answered on: 06 March 2019

The EU Settlement Scheme provides a simple, streamlined process for resident EU citizens and their family members to obtain the UK immigration status which they will need in order to remain here permanently.

Continuity of UK residence for settled or pre-settled status will be established, where possible, by automated checks of employment and benefits records, if the applicant chooses to provide their National Insurance number. This will minimise the extent to which applicants need to provide documentary evidence of residence. Where they do, a wide range of documents can be used, as set out in the guidance at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eu-settlement-scheme-evidence-of-uk-residence

The applicant can prove their identity remotely through the identity verification app which has been developed for the scheme and which can also be accessed at what will be a wide range of locations across the UK. From the full opening of the scheme by 30 March 2019, they will also be able to post their identity document to the Home Office to have this checked and returned to them as soon as possible.

In respect of criminality, applicants aged 18 or over are required to provide information about previous criminal convictions in the UK and overseas, and are only required to declare past criminal convictions which appear in their criminal record in accordance with the law of the State of conviction at the time of the application. All applications are subject to a check against the Police National Computer.

Asked on: 20 February 2019
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will be providing (1) a live helpline, and (2) an email address, for EU applicants for settled status in the UK to contact for support with their application.
Answered on: 06 March 2019

The Home Office is putting in place measures to ensure that the EU Settlement Scheme is streamlined, user-friendly and accessible to all prospective applicants. There is a broad range of support in place including the Settlement Resolution Centre (SRC) which provides assistance to applicants who need additional information or support about the scheme. If an applicant has a question they can call the Settlement Resolution Centre or complete the standard email template available on GOV.UK which is then sent to a central inbox within the Settlement Resolution Centre.

The SRC is open from Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm, excluding public holidays, and on Saturday and Sunday between 9.30am and 4.30pm. We will have up to 300 SRC staff in place when the scheme launches by the 30 March.

Asked on: 20 February 2019
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any assessment of whether EU self-employed workers are experiencing particular difficulties in applying for settled status in the UK; and if so, what they are.
Answered on: 06 March 2019

The Home Office is putting in place measures to ensure that the EU Settlement Scheme is streamlined, user-friendly and accessible to all prospective applicants. Applicants will only need to complete three key steps - prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions. Where an applicant provides a National Insurance Number, we will conduct an automated check of residence based on tax and certain benefit records.

The checks with HMRC caters for those who are self-employed and where a self-assessment is submitted with a profit, this counts as a year’s residence.
However, the tax year for self-assessment is up to a year behind a person’s potential residence. For instance, the tax return for the financial year 2017/ 2018 is completed in January 2019. This means there will be no data to confirm residence for the current tax year but applicants can upload supplementary evidence to fill in any gaps in the data.

We will accept a range of documents as evidence and the documents can be submitted digitally through the online application form.

Asked on: 01 February 2019
Treasury
Electronic Publishing: VAT
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to bring VAT on digital publications in line with printed books following the EU's decision to allow all member states to give e-books and audiobooks the same VAT-free status as printed books.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 14 February 2019

The Government keeps all taxes under review, including Value Added Tax (VAT) on e-publications.

Any amendments to the VAT regime as it applies to physical publications and e-publications must be carefully assessed against policy, economic and fiscal considerations.

Asked on: 01 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Copyright: EU Law
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to support Articles 14–16 of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market which contain provisions to improve rights for authors, poets, scriptwriters and other writers.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 14 February 2019

Yes, the Government supports Articles 14-16 of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

Asked on: 01 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Intellectual Property
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for the UK's intellectual property framework of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 14 February 2019

The implications of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on the UK’s IP framework will depend on the outcome of accession negotiations. As these accession discussions are yet to begin, there is no final deal to assess against. However, Government officials are considering the costs and benefits to the UK of the existing CPTPP trade agreement provisions and are taking into account stakeholder responses to the Department for International Trade’s consultation on CPTPP which closed on 26 October 2018.

Asked on: 01 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Intellectual Property
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for the UK's intellectual property framework of a free trade deal with the United States.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 14 February 2019

The implications of a potential US trade agreement on the UK’s IP framework will depend on any final negotiated text. As negotiations are yet to begin, there is no deal to assess against. However, Government officials are considering the costs and benefits to the UK of similar existing trade agreement provisions and are taking into account stakeholder responses to the Department for International Trade’s consultation on a potential US trade agreement which closed on 26 October 2018.

Asked on: 01 February 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Copyright: Internet
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to address copyright infringement on online platforms.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 14 February 2019

The UK Government takes the issue of IP infringement seriously and is working with industry and enforcement agencies on a number of initiatives to tackle this problem.

In September 2013 we launched a dedicated online IP crime unit, run by the City of London Police – Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). It is dedicated to tackling serious and organised online piracy and counterfeiting (affecting digital and physical goods) and protecting legitimate UK businesses. IPO provided funding of around £9 million over the period 2013-2019.

Furthermore in March 2018 the Government published the Creative Industry Sector Deal. As part of this deal the Government committed to work with rights holders and platforms to develop new voluntary agreements, to tackle IP infringement on online platforms.

Asked on: 29 January 2019
Department for Education
Arts: Primary Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 17 January (HL Deb, col 322), what their evidence base is for the assertion that “in primary schools, broadly the same amount of time is spent teaching arts as is spent teaching history and geography”.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 12 February 2019

At primary school level, data from the Omnibus Survey in 2017 reveals that the average amount of time spent teaching music and art and design is broadly similar to the amount of time spent teaching history and geography. Data from the Omnibus Survey 2017 can be found in the table below. The survey is also attached for information.

Approximately how many minutes of teaching time do you spend in the average week on the following curriculum subjects? All Key Stages Summary table

Minutes spent on curriculum subject-specific lessons

Subject

Median

English

300

Maths

300

Physical Education

90

Science

60

Computing

45

Art and Design

30

History

30

Music

30

Geography

30

Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE)

30

Design and Technology

30

Languages

20

N=469

This question has been filtered to a subset of respondents.

Source: Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey May 2016 and Senior Leader booster June 2016.

HL13209_Teacher_Voice_Omnibus_2017_Report (PDF Document, 1007.92 KB)
Asked on: 29 January 2019
Department for Education
Primary Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many hours per week foundation subjects have been taught in primary schools in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 12 February 2019

The information requested is not held centrally.

Some information, however, is available in the Omnibus Survey, 2017. This showed that at primary school level, the amount of time spent teaching arts subjects is broadly similar to those spent teaching history and geography. The figures from the Omnibus Survey, 2017, are shown in the table below, and the full report is attached.

Approximately how many minutes of teaching time do you spend in the average week on the following curriculum subjects? All Key Stages Summary table

Minutes spent on curriculum subject-specific lessons

Subject

Median

English

300

Maths

300

Physical Education

90

Science

60

Computing

45

Art and Design

30

History

30

Music

30

Geography

30

Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE)

30

Design and Technology

30

Languages

20

N=469

This question has been filtered to a subset of respondents.

Source: Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey May 2016 and Senior Leader booster June 2016.

HL13210_Teacher_Voice_Omnibus_2017_Report (PDF Document, 1007.92 KB)
Asked on: 29 January 2019
Department for Education
Teachers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many publicly funded schools have had specialist teachers for (1) music, (2) drama, (3) art, and (4) mathematics in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 12 February 2019

The information requested is not held centrally.

National information on the number of subject teachers in state funded secondary schools is available in the publication, ‘School Workforce in England, 2017’. Information on the percentage of these who are classed as specialist teachers is shown is also available in the same publication. The publication is attached and available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-workforce-in-england-november-2017.

A specialist teacher is defined as one who holds a relevant post A level qualification in a subject relevant to the subject taught.

Asked on: 29 January 2019
Department for Education
Teachers: Training
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 17 January (HL Deb, col 321) which stated that they “clearly need to prioritise our bursaries budget so that we can incentivise applications in subjects where it is hardest to attract applicants”, on what evidence they based their decision to offer initial teacher training bursaries for music but not for art and design.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 12 February 2019

Recruitment to art and design teacher training courses has consistently exceeded recruitment to music courses in recent years. Despite the absence of a bursary, recruitment to art and design courses starting in 2018/19 increased from the previous year. For these reasons, and because resources are limited, we consider it appropriate to continue to provide bursaries for music and not for art and design.

Art and design trainee teachers are able to access student finance for their teacher training course. In addition to the tuition fee loan, a maintenance loan of up to £11,354 is available to support living costs incurred while training.

Asked on: 01 February 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Literature: Translation Services
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure ongoing equivalent funding for literary translation after the current Creative Europe funding scheme comes to an end in 2020.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 11 February 2019

The UK recognises the importance of such funding programmes to the creative and cultural sectors and is committed to continuing cultural collaboration between the UK and EU. Where possible, we will continue to participate in EU programmes where there is mutual benefit to the UK and the EU. Ultimately, this will be determined as part of the future partnership negotiations.

We will continue to support the arts through our funding of Arts Council England and through programmes such as the Cultural Development Fund, which show our ongoing dedication to supporting our thriving cultural sector.

Asked on: 18 July 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Lotteries
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the response by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 16 July ( HL Deb, col 1126) that "current evidence suggests that while players see the two types of lottery as distinct, there is little danger of product substitution", what is that evidence.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 27 July 2018

The Government is currently consulting on reforms to society lottery sales and prize limits. Our aim in reforming society lotteries is to allow for further growth in the sector, whilst ensuring that growth does not have a detrimental impact on the National Lottery.

The consultation options have been informed by expert advice from the Gambling Commission, which was requested following a CMS Select Committee enquiry on society lotteries in March 2015. This advice has been published alongside the consultation, which I attach, and can be found at:

http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PDF/consultations/Society-lottery-advice-provided-to-DCMS-002.pdf

In its comprehensive advice, the Gambling Commission advised that small changes to existing limits are likely to have minimal impact on the National Lottery, and that while society lotteries offer a differentiated product with smaller prizes, substitution between the two is likely to remain minimal. In conclusion, it said:

“In the context of society lotteries and the National Lottery in GB, the [academic] studies would suggest that whilst society lotteries offer a differentiated product with smaller jackpot prizes, substitution between the society lotteries and the National Lottery is likely to remain minimal. Lifting restrictions on the society lottery sector may enable society lotteries to increase their sales but under existing conditions and therefore under small changes to existing limits the impact on the National Lottery is likely to be small.”

Gambling Commission advice to DCMS (PDF Document, 658 KB)
Asked on: 23 April 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Vacancies
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for Education plans to provide a website that will allow schools to advertise staff vacancies for free.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 08 May 2018

The department is developing a free national digital service for schools to publish teacher vacancies, and for teachers to search for them. This new service aims to reduce the cost of teacher recruitment for schools, and make it easier for teachers to find new posts.

Testing will start with a sample of schools in May and the learning from this user testing will inform the next stage of roll out.

Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Education
Alternative Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether parents and children have been asked for personal written consent for the transfer of personal data from local authorities to the Department for Education in the Alternative Provision census; or will be asked for such consent regarding data items to be included in the extension to the census for 18 January 2018.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 22 December 2017

The alternative provision census is collected from local authorities on a statutory basis and, as such, does not require data providers to obtain written consent from parents or pupils to the provision of information.

However, being transparent and providing accessible information to individuals about how you will use their personal data is a key element of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation. The most common way to make this information available to data subjects is via a privacy notice.

The Department for Education (DfE) provides suggested wording for privacy notices that schools and local authorities may wish to use (attached) at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-protection-and-privacy-privacy-notices. However, the suggested wording provided by DfE must be reviewed and amended to reflect local needs and circumstances – especially as schools and local authorities may collect data for their own purposes locally that is not required for the purposes of DfE specified data collections.

All data items collected via the alternative provision census are listed in Annex A which is attached.

Whilst it is not possible for a parent/carer or an individual child to opt out of the alternative provision census, there is certain information which is self-declared and is gathered on a voluntary basis. For the alternative provision census, this is the data items referring to pupil ethnicity and the service child in education indicator, where the provision of this information may be refused by the parent. All other data items are mandatory where they apply to a particular pupil.

The submission of the alternative provision census, including a named set of pupil records, is a statutory requirement on alternative provision providers under the Education (Information about Children in Alternative Provision) (England) Regulations 2007.

As such, the alternative provision census requires the return of individual pupil records for pupils attending a school not maintained by a local authority for whom an English local authority is paying full tuition fees, or educated otherwise than in schools and pupil referral units, under arrangements made (and funded) by an English local authority.

Where a child of compulsory school age would not receive suitable education because of illness, exclusion or for any other reason, local authorities have a duty to provide a suitable ‘alternative provision’. The alternative provision census is the department’s primary source of administrative data about such pupils and, as such, the information collected is fundamental to understanding the ongoing effectiveness of the alternative provision system in order to target, and evaluate, policy interventions to support these vulnerable children.

Privacy Notices Local Authorities (Word Document, 30.13 KB)
Privacy Notices School Workforce (Word Document, 30.02 KB)
Annex A (Word Document, 16.29 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL4234 | HL4235 | HL4236
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