Written statements

Government Ministers and a small number of other Members of the two Houses can make a written statement to one or both Houses.

Written statements are published below shortly after receipt in Parliament. They also reproduced in the next edition of the Daily Report and of Hansard in the relevant House.

Written statements made before 17 November 2014 were published only in Hansard:

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WS
Department for Education
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Teachers Update

The School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) has recommended a 2.75% uplift to the minima and maxima of all pay ranges and allowances in the national pay framework, which is due to be implemented in Autumn 2019.

Last year, the government announced the largest pay rise in nearly a decade for almost a million public sector workers. Building on this, this year I have decided to accept in full the STRB’s recommendations for a 2.75% uplift to the minima and maxima of all pay ranges and allowances.

The pay award will both raise starting salaries and increase the competitiveness of the pay framework. As a result, minimum starting salaries for classroom teachers will see an increase between £652 (Rest of England) and £816 (Inner London), and classroom teachers at the top of the main pay range could see an increase between £963 and £1,110. For more experienced classroom teachers at the top of the upper pay range, it could mean an increase of between £1,084 and £1,327.

As a result, the pay ranges for all teachers and leaders will see an uplift. Thanks to the flexible performance-based pay system we have, schools can choose to give teachers and leaders a higher pay rise where this is appropriate to their local context and budget

As this award is more than the 2% we assessed was affordable in our evidence to the STRB, I will invest a further £105 million into the existing Teachers’ Pay Grant this financial year. This is on top of the £321 million funding that schools are already receiving through the Teachers’ Pay Grant in 2019-20.

Last year, we specifically targeted early career pay because of the growing retention challenges within the first 5 years of a teacher’s career. The STRB has recognised the improvements we have made to the unqualified and main pay ranges following the 2% uplift to the main pay range in 2017 and 3.5% uplift to both in 2018.

It is now vitally important to increase the competitiveness of the pay framework and help address the teacher supply challenges across the workforce. This year’s pay award will also support the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, which I published in January this year. The strategy underpins the Early Career Framework, which provides a fully funded 2-year package of support for all early career teachers.

In addition to their pay, teachers continue to benefit from defined benefit pensions, which are amongst the most generous available.

Thanks to the government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt to fall as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low – we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our schools.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue to modernise to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

I am grateful for the in-depth considerations the STRB has given in concluding their report and recommendations for the 2019 teachers’ pay award.

I will deposit in the House libraries a full list of the recommendations and my proposed approach for all pay and allowance ranges.

My officials will write to all of the statutory consultees involved in the STRB’s 29th remit and invite them to contribute to a consultation on my response to these recommendations and on a revised School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document and Pay Order. The consultation will last for 8 weeks.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1746
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 18 July 2019
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

National Retraining Scheme Update

The world of work is transforming. In particular, automation is a key opportunity for the economy, creating new jobs and raising wages, but it could also bring significant changes to the economy. This means it is critical that we develop a National Retraining Scheme that helps prepare citizens for future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation, and supports them to retrain into better jobs.

That is why we are developing the National Retraining Scheme through a unique partnership between the Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Congress and Government, which will keep the voices of workers and businesses at the heart of the service.

The scheme will initially focus on employed adults aged 24 and over, without a qualification at degree level and earning below a certain wage threshold that we are testing to focus on those earning low to medium wages. We are investing in this group of people first as they have comparatively less access to existing government support and are most in need of adapting their skills to take advantage of the opportunities the future changes to the economy will bring.

A key feature of the development of the scheme has been to start small, test, evaluate and scale-up. We are putting the needs of individuals and employers at the heart of the development of the scheme, conducting extensive user research to understand what they need from a National Retraining Scheme. We are also conducting a range of pilots investigating innovative approaches to overcoming barriers to training that adults face.

Today, I am pleased to announce the release of the first part of the National Retraining Scheme, ‘Get help to retrain’, to a small number of eligible adults in the Liverpool City Region. This digital service will help adults to understand their existing skills, explore alternative roles or occupations and find relevant training to unlock opportunities for a broad range of good jobs that could be within their reach. Get help to retrain will be rapidly expanded to more people and more areas throughout the testing phase before being made available to all eligible adults in England in 2020.

This is the first of a series of products that will make up the complete National Retraining Scheme and marks the first step of an adult’s journey towards gaining the skills needed to secure a better job.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1699
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 15 July 2019
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

School Sport and Activity

A positive experience of sport and physical activity at a young age can build a lifetime habit of participation. It is central to meeting the Government’s ambitions for a world-class education system which promotes character, good physical health and mental wellbeing. We face a significant challenge to increase and maintain activity levels amongst children and young people, particularly given the levels of childhood obesity. Data from Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People survey show that a third of children are currently doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day, less than half the amount recommended by the Chief Medical Officer.

The Department for Education, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Department of Health and Social Care are today publishing a joint School Sport and Activity Action Plan which will set out the following ambitions:

  • All children and young people take part in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • All children and young people have the opportunity to realise developmental, character-building experiences through sport, competition and active pursuits.
  • All sport and physical activity provision for children and young people is designed around building basic skills as well as confidence, enjoyment, knowledge and understanding (known as physical literacy) with a focus on fun and enjoyment, and reaching the least active young people.

The Action Plan will set out a number of immediate actions that feed into realising these ambitions, including a strong commitment to joint working between schools and the sport sector. The plan also sets out areas of activity for the future with action to be confirmed in a further updated plan later in the year, following the spending review.

The immediate actions include a commitment to an additional £2.5m from the Department for Education in 2019/20 to support schools through further work on teacher training, more help and advice to enable schools to open up their facilities and make links with providers, as well as providing more opportunities for young people to volunteer in sport. The plan also sets out over £4m of Sport England investment in new after-school clubs, strengthening the School Games competition and building girls’ confidence through a programme linked to ‘This Girl Can’.

The Government is also committing to develop regional pilots to trial new and innovative approaches to getting young people active, jointly funded by Sport England and the Department for Education from 2020. The pilots will involve collaborative working from the school and community sector to offer a coordinated sport and physical activity experience for young people.

We will be working with sporting organisations like the Youth Sport Trust, RFU, England Netball and the Premier League to ensure that sports clubs and programmes can reach even more children, encouraging them to get active by focusing on fun, enjoyment and increasing confidence.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1685
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 25 June 2019
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Education Update

Today, following the successful passage of the regulations for the introduction of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education, Government has published the final accompanying statutory guidance.

At the heart of preparing children for life in modern Britain is making sure that they understand the world they are growing up in. It is 19 years since the Sex and Relationships guidance was last updated. For children and young people, the challenges that they face today are very different. Children are encountering a more interconnected and interdependent world, and this has changed significantly how they build relationships, interact with their peers and manage their own mental and physical wellbeing.

This presents both opportunities and risks, as children have greater exposure to information, content and people that can and do cause harm. There is little distinction for many young people between their lives online and off, and that is why we believe now more than ever, that we need to provide young people with the knowledge they need in every context to lead safe, happy and healthy lives.

We have therefore brought forward measures requiring the introduction of compulsory Relationships Education for all pupils in primary schools, compulsory Relationships and Sex Education for all pupils in secondary schools, and compulsory Health Education for all pupils in state-funded schools from September 2020.

With cross-party support, the regulations for these subjects were approved by both Houses of Parliament and were made by the Secretary of State on 9th May. The statutory guidance published today sets out the legal duties with which schools must comply, the required core teaching content for the subjects, and guidance on how the content should be delivered in an age appropriate way.

We will be setting out further details on how we will support schools to introduce the new subjects in September 2020. This will include working closely with the many schools who are choosing to begin teaching the subjects from September 2019, so that we can support their journey, learn lessons and share good practice.

We will also be convening a new working group, who will provide insight into how the new guidance is working in practice. This group, with representatives from teaching unions, sector experts, faith and minority groups, parents and young people, will provide us with evidence and feedback to improve the delivery of these subjects.

We believe that these subjects are an historic step in education that will help equip children and young people with the knowledge and support they need to form healthy relationships, lead healthy lives and be happy and safe in the world today.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1619
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 04 June 2019
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Independent panel report on post-18 education and funding

Today I will provide a statement to the House, announcing that the independent panel, chaired by Philip Augar, set up to provide input to the Post-18 Review of Education and Funding has now published its report. The report is available in full on gov.uk and was laid as a Command Paper last week.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1554
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 04 June 2019
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Independent panel report on post-18 education and funding

Today the Secretary of State for Education will provide a statement to the House, announcing that the independent panel, chaired by Philip Augar, set up to provide input to the Post-18 Review of Education and Funding has now published its report. The report is available in full on gov.uk and was laid as a Command Paper last week.

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 07 May 2019
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Schools update

Today the Secretary of State for Education will provide a statement to the House, announcing the publication of the Timpson review of school exclusion and the Government's response. Both the review and response have been published on gov.uk.

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 25 February 2019
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Education Update

Today, the Secretary of State for Education, will provide a statement to the House, updating on the Government’s proposals for the draft regulations and guidance for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education following public consultation. The draft guidance and other materials will be published on gov.uk following the statement.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1322
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 28 January 2019
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy

Teaching remains a popular career choice for many. We recruited over 2,000 more trainee teachers for the 2018/19 academic year than in 2017/18, continuing the positive trend we saw the previous year. However, the growing number of pupils of secondary age means that we need even more teachers. This is at a time when we are losing more teachers from the profession than we can afford to, and are operating in the most competitive labour market on record.

To address this, the Department for Education has developed a Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy. Building on extensive quantitative and qualitative evidence, the strategy was developed collaboratively with teachers, headteachers, representative bodies, teachers’ unions, initial teacher training providers and leading experts.

At the core of the strategy is the understanding that there are no great schools without great teachers. No other profession is as important to the fate of the next generation or is as uniquely rewarding as teaching. The strategy outlines four key areas where focus, investment and reform can have the biggest impact on improving teacher recruitment and retention.

Priority One: Create the right climate for leaders to establish supportive school cultures

At the heart of this will be reforming the school accountability system. In particular we will radically simplify the system helping to reduce pressure, consulting on making Requires Improvement the sole trigger for an offer of support – replacing floor and coasting standards. The new Ofsted framework will have an active focus on reducing teacher workload, with inspectors considering staff workload as part of the leadership and management judgment. They will also look unfavourably on schools that implement burdensome data practices, and will refuse to look at internal assessment data.

Priority Two: Transform support for early career teachers

We are launching the Early Career Framework, which will underpin a fully-funded, two-year package of structured support for all early career teachers linked to the best available research evidence – alongside funded time off-timetable in the second year of teaching and additional support for mentors. We will create a major shift in the incentives for new teachers by introducing phased bursaries, with staggered retention payments to encourage good people to remain in the profession, as well as to join.

Priority Three: Build a career offer that remains attractive to teachers as their careers and lives develop

We will develop specialist qualifications to support clearer non-leadership career pathways for teachers that want to stay and excel in the classroom. We will invest in these new and existing leadership qualifications, and will do so disproportionately in challenging schools. We will support headteachers to transform approaches to flexible working in schools.

Priority Four: Make it easier for great people to become teachers

We will launch a new Discover Teaching initiative, giving as many people as possible the opportunity to experience the unique opportunities that a career in teaching provides. We will radically simplify the process for becoming a teacher, introducing new digital systems designed to make application much easier and more user-friendly. In particular, we will introduce a new one-stop application service for ITT, which will be easier to use and designed to better meet the needs of potential trainees. We will review the ITT market to support it to work more efficiently and effectively.

This strategy builds on work already in hand to achieve this Government’s vision to improve teacher recruitment and retention. We know that delivering this vision will take time; the issues are complicated and long-standing. But we are committed to continuing to work closely with the teaching profession to deliver this vision.

I will deposit a copy of the strategy in the House Libraries.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1245
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 17 December 2018
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Education Update

Today, I am pleased to announce additional revenue funding in 2018-19 and 2019-20, and extra capital funding in 2019-20, to provide support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), as well as the 2019-20 Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) allocations to local authorities.

Our ambition for children with SEND is exactly the same as for every other child – to achieve well in school and college, find employment and go on to live happy and fulfilled lives. High needs funding has already risen by £1 billion, from £5 billion in 2013 to £6 billion this year. As part of our wide-ranging reforms to the SEND system in 2014, we introduced Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, to ensure that support is tailored to the needs of individuals, and families are put at the heart of the process. Already, more than 320,000 children and young people are benefiting from these.

Members from all sides of the House have raised concerns from schools, colleges and local authorities about the pressures on high needs budgets. I understand that these costs are rising, in particular the costs of special educational provision for those with more complex needs, funded from local authorities’ high needs budgets.

Today I am announcing a number of changes to start to address these pressures.

First, we will provide additional high needs funding allocations across all local authorities, of £125 million in each of 2018-19 and 2019-20. This brings the total allocated for high needs this year to £6.1 billion. This additional investment will help local councils to manage pressures and I have published the individual local authority allocations today.

Ensuring that there is sufficient capacity locally for pupils in mainstream and special schools, and for young people aged 16 and above, is a priority for this Government. As part of this, I am announcing a further £100 million top-up to the Special Provision Capital Fund in 2019-20 to take our total investment to £365 million across 2018-21. This additional funding will give more children access to a good school or college place that meets their individual needs. This could also pay for more state-of-the-art facilities, such as sensory rooms and specialist equipment.

We have also received 65 bids from local authorities identifying a need for new special and alternative provision free schools. We now anticipate that all those that fully meet the published criteria will be approved, even if the number of schools exceeds the 30 or so we had originally planned for.

Of course, extra funding cannot be our only response. I want to continue engaging with local authorities, health providers, families, schools and colleges to better understand what is driving the cost pressures on high needs budgets, and to work with the sector to help manage them. Therefore, today I am writing to all local authorities to outline our plans for supporting them in their role of providing strategic leadership and oversight of the provision for children and young people with SEND. While local authorities have this responsibility, I am clear that they cannot act alone in doing so.

To equip all areas to improve planning and commissioning we are establishing a SEND System Leadership Board focused on improving joint education, health and care commissioning, as recommended by Dame Christine Lenehan’s review into the experiences and outcomes of children in residential special schools and colleges. We are also establishing joint Ministerial roundtables with the Department for Health and Social Care to give providers, users and voluntary sector organisations further opportunities to input their views and insight across the SEND system.

To support local authorities in carrying out their statutory EHC plan assessment process and to support schools and colleges in their work with families, I am announcing funding for training more Educational Psychologists (EPs). We will be funding three more cohorts of EP trainees, starting in September 2020; and will increase the number of trainees from 160 to at least 206, to reflect increased demand. Classroom teachers and those in training will also have a greater focus on supporting children with SEND, as the upcoming Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy will make sure all teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of all pupils.

My department is also commissioning SEN Futures: a flagship package of long-term research and analysis to provide evidence on the impact of current SEN provision on children and young people’s outcomes, and to assess the value for money of SEN provision in England. Procurement for the first pieces of work in this programme has begun today.

In addition, in order better understand the financial incentives that influence how schools, colleges and councils support children and young people with special educational needs, the Department for Education will be gathering more evidence early in 2019. This will include looking at the first £6,000 schools pay for special educational provision before accessing additional funding from local high needs budgets.

I recognise the rising demand for EHC plans for those over 19, and the need for education, health and social care services to agree a shared vision of what good life outcomes look like for an individual, and when it is right to cease an EHC plan. We have commissioned one of our delivery partners, the National Development Team for Inclusion to work with 20 local authorities to develop and model effective practice on this, and to share their findings across regions.

I also want to continue to ensure that services for young people with SEND effectively prepare them for adulthood, including employment: raising expectations and aspirations for young people, their parents, education providers and employers. My officials are working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions on this, and we are committed to finding ways to support more young people with SEND into sustainable employment. I want our wider reforms to post-16 education, including T Levels, to be accessible to those with SEND and will continue to support close working between colleges, schools and local authorities to improve pathways to adulthood.

Today I am also confirming the school and early years funding allocations for 2019-20. This announcement covers the DSG and the Pupil Premium.

The distribution of the DSG to local authorities is set out in four blocks for each authority: a schools block, a high needs block, an early years block, and the central school services block.

In July 2018, we published the primary and secondary units of funding for the schools block, the provisional allocations for the high needs block and central school services block. These have been updated with the latest pupil numbers to show how much each local authority will receive in 2019-20.

The early years national funding formula rates for 3- and 4-year-olds for 2019-20 were published on 22 November, and today we have announced initial allocations for this block.

The pupil premium per pupil amounts will be protected at the current rates.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the resolution of the House following the opposition day debate on school funding on 13 November.

Children only get one chance at a great education, which is why, as today’s announcement further demonstrates, this Government has prioritised and protected school spending – even while having to take difficult public spending decisions in other areas.

Across the board, standards are rising; in 2010, 66% of children were in good or outstanding schools– that is up to 84% now. While there is more money going into our schools than ever before, and we know from international studies that our school spending is in line with or above most comparable countries, we recognise the budgeting challenges schools face and that we are asking them to do more. That is why we’ve announced a school resource management strategy, setting out a wide range of practical support to help schools reduce their costs and make every pound count, while at the same time improving outcomes for pupils.

With the funding and support for schools and high needs announced today, I am confident that they will be able to continue to improve outcomes for all children and young people.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1156
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 04 December 2018
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Government asset sale update

I am pleased to inform Parliament that the Government has today completed its sale of part of the older, pre-2012, English student loan book achieving a value of £1.9bn.

Government has been clear in its commitment that the position of all borrowers, including those whose loans have been sold, will not change as a result of the sale. This sale does not and cannot in any way alter the mechanisms and terms of repayment: sold loans will continue to be serviced by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Student Loans Company (SLC) on the same basis as equivalent unsold loans. Purchasers have no right to change any of the current loan arrangements or to contact borrowers directly. The sale does not change the Government’s current approach to higher education or student finance.

The Student Loans Company will be writing to borrowers whose loans have been sold within 3 months to notify them of the sale. No action will be required from borrowers. Government has no plans to change, or to consider changing, the terms of pre-2012 loans. I also want to be clear that these older loans, whose borrowers benefited from lower tuition fees as well as lower interest rates, are not in scope of the current review of post-18 education and funding.

This sale is good for the taxpayer. It releases money that is tied up and serving no policy purpose, to invest in other policy priorities now, whilst keeping within the spending limits we need to strengthen public finances. The sold loans have already been in repayment for over nine years, and therefore a portion of the original value has already been paid back to Government. The Government does not expect all of the remaining loans to be paid off in full and the sale guarantees money upfront today rather than waiting for fluctuating and uncertain payments over a long period of time. This sale also transfers risk to the private sector. Repayment income from student loans fluctuates with economic performance, as do tax receipts and managed expenditure like benefits. Selling the loans reduces the Government’s exposure to this fluctuation. The Government is committed to reducing public sector net debt in order to enhance the UK’s economic resilience, improve fiscal sustainability and lessen the debt interest burden on future generations. This sale makes a significant contribution to that objective.

Government does not sell at any price. Throughout the process, Government’s decision on whether to proceed remained subject to market conditions and a final value for money assessment. This looked at whether we were selling to an efficient market, that can price the asset efficiently, and at a price that was worth more to Government than retaining the loans. The Government’s retention value takes into account predicted repayments, the effect of inflation, the riskiness of the asset and the opportunity cost of having money tied up in the asset.

I can confirm that the price offered in aggregate across the book was above the Government’s retention value range. I will shortly be laying before Parliament a report on the sale in accordance with Section 4 of the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008. This will provide more detail on the sale arrangements, and the extent to which they give good value as well as covering the sale’s different fiscal impacts.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1108
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Teachers Update

We want to ensure that we can recruit and retain brilliant teachers. To ensure that teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession, we are delivering a fully funded pay rise for classroom teachers and those in leadership positions.

The School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) has recommended a 3.5% uplift to the minima and maxima of all pay ranges and allowances in the national pay framework for the pay award due to be implemented from September 2018. I have decided to accept in full the STRB’s recommendation for a 3.5% uplift to the minima and maxima of the main pay range, building on last year’s 2% uplift to the main pay range. This will both raise starting salaries significantly and increase the competitiveness of the early career pay framework. We are also announcing a substantial uplift to pay ranges for leaders and higher-paid teachers: the minima and maxima of the upper pay range will be uplifted by 2% and on the leadership pay range by 1.5%.

As a result, classroom teachers will see the biggest benefit with starting salaries increasing between £803 and £1,004, and those at the top of the main pay range will be eligible for increases between £1,184 and £1,366. Schools will continue to determine how their staff are paid and thanks to the flexible performance-based pay system we have introduced schools are still able to choose to give teachers or leaders a higher pay rise where this is appropriate to their particular local context and budget.

We will be supporting schools in England to implement the award with an investment of £508 million through a new teachers’ pay grant of £187 million in 2018-19 and £321 million in 2019-20 from the existing Department for Education budget. This will cover, in full, the difference between this award and the cost of the 1% award that schools would have anticipated under the previous public sector pay cap. The grant will provide additional support to all maintained schools and academies, over and above the core funding that they receive through the national funding formula. We will publish further details on the distribution of this grant when the pay award is confirmed.

The Government is committed to world class public services and ensuring that public sector workers are fairly paid for the vitally important work that they do. It is thanks to our balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low – that we are today able to announce this fair and deserved pay rise for teachers, their biggest increase since 2010/2011.

We ended the 1% average pay policy in September 2017, because we recognised more flexibility is now required to deliver world class public services including in return for improvements to public sector productivity.

We value the role of the independent Pay Review Bodies and thank them for their work in considering pay awards. In reaching a final position for 2018/19 public sector pay awards, we have balanced a need to recognise the value and dedication of our hard-working public servants whilst ensuring that our public services remain affordable in the long term, to contribute to our objective of reducing public sector debt. We have also sought to ensure that pay awards are fair and consistent across public sector workforces, reflect existing pay and benefit packages, in addition to recruitment and retention levels.

It is vital that we consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

I will deposit in the House libraries a full list of the recommendations and my proposed approach for all pay and allowance ranges.

My officials will write to all of the statutory consultees of the STRB to invite them to contribute to a consultation on the Government’s response to these recommendations and on a revised School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document and Pay Order. The consultation will last for six weeks.

My detailed response contains further information on these matters.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS886
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Relationships and Sex Education

Children and young people today are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their lives in a positive way. Ensuring children and young people have this knowledge contributes to Government’s effort to eradicate problems like sexual harassment and violence.

We have engaged thoroughly with a wide range of organisations, supported by experienced head teacher Ian Bauckham CBE. Between November 2017 and March 2018, Ian led a wide-ranging stakeholder engagement process with many experts. In addition, the department launched a call for evidence to seek public views from adults and young people– over 23,000 people responded and the level of consensus has been encouraging. We are pleased today to be able to announce the key decisions and launch a consultation on the detail of the regulations and guidance.

For Relationships Education and RSE, the aim is to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds, starting with the family and friends, and moving out to other kinds of relationships, including online. It is essential that we ensure young people can keep themselves safe online, from the basics of who and what to trust and how personal information is used, through to how to ensure online relationships are healthy and safe.

A guiding principle is that teaching will start from the basis that children and young people, at age appropriate points, need to know the laws relating to relationships and sex that govern society to ensure they act appropriately and can be safe. This includes LGBT, which is a strong feature of the new subjects at age appropriate points. The draft guidance sets out core required content, but leaves flexibility for schools to design a curriculum that builds on this and is right for their pupils, bearing in mind their age and religious backgrounds. It enables schools with a religious character to deliver and expand on the core content by reflecting the teachings of their faith.

We are also proposing to introduce compulsory content on Health Education. This supports the findings from the call for evidence and engagement process, where giving children and young people the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing – particularly their mental wellbeing - was a priority. This directly supports the Green Paper published jointly by the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care on children and young people’s mental health, as well as our manifesto commitment to ensure all young people are taught about mental wellbeing. The focus on physical health also supports Government’s activity to tackle childhood obesity.

Financial education is already in the curriculum, in maths and citizenship, and careers education is an important part of our Careers Strategy. For these reasons, we do not consider that economic education should be made compulsory. We are committed, however, to improving provision of financial and careers education and will work with stakeholders to do so.

We know that many schools successfully cover this content in a broader PSHE programme. They should continue to do so, adapting their programme to the new requirements rather than starting from scratch. Schools are also free to develop alternative, innovative ways to ensure that pupils receive this education and we want good practice to be shared so that all schools can benefit.

We have previously committed to parents having a right to withdraw their children from sex education in RSE, but not relationships education in primary or secondary. A right for parents to withdraw their child up to 18 years of age is no longer compatible with English case law or the European Convention on Human Rights. It is also clear that allowing parents to withdraw their child up to age 16 would not allow the child to opt in to sex education before the legal age of consent.

We therefore propose to give parents the right to request their child be withdrawn from sex education delivered as part of RSE. The draft guidance sets out that unless there are exceptional circumstances, the parents’ request should be granted until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the child wishes to have sex education, the head teacher should ensure they receive it in one of those terms. This preserves the parental right in most cases, but also balances it with the child’s right to opt in to sex education when they are competent to do so.

This is a very important change to the curriculum that has to be delivered well, and whilst many schools will be able to quickly adapt their existing teaching it is essential that those schools that need more time to plan and prepare their staff get that time. It is our intention that as many schools as possible will start teaching the subjects from September 2019. We will be working with those schools, as well as with MATs, dioceses and education unions, to help them to do so. All schools will be required to teach the new subjects from September 2020. This is in line with the department’s approach to any significant changes to the curriculum and will enable us to learn lessons from the early adopter schools and share good practice across the sector. We will be seeking views through the consultation to test the right focus for a school support package as we know that it is crucial for schools and teachers to be confident and well-prepared.

We are keen to hear as many views as possible through the consultation, which will be open until early November, and the final regulations will be laid in both Houses, allowing for a full and considered debate. There was strong cross-party support for the introduction of these subjects we are confident that we can continue to work together on this important reform. We believe that our proposals are an historic step in education that will equip children and young people with the knowledge and support they need to form healthy relationships, lead healthy lives and be safe and happy in modern Britain.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS864
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Department for Education
Made on: 04 June 2018
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

School places

My honourable friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System (Lord Agnew) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government is committed to creating more good school places through a diverse education system, to ensure that parents have choice and that children of all backgrounds have access to the best education.

We are investing £7 billion from 2015 to 2021 to create new school places. This forms part of our wider plan to invest more than £23 billion in the school estate by 2021. By continuing to announce the profile of allocations ahead of time, we recognise that good investment decisions require certainty.

As part of this, I am announcing a total package of £730 million of capital funding to create new school places. This includes £630 million of basic need allocations to create the places needed by September 2021. Announcing these allocations means local authorities can plan ahead with confidence, and make good strategic investment decisions to ensure they deliver good school places for every child who needs one.

We recently published the 2017 School Capacity Survey, which highlights the progress to date in providing new school places. By May 2017, our investment had already helped to create 825,000 additional school places since 2010, with 90,000 delivered in 2016/17 alone.

The vast majority of these new places are being created in good or outstanding schools. This is demonstrated through the latest school place scorecards released, which show that 91% of the new places added between 2016 and 2017 in both primary and secondary phases were created in schools rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted.

The Government is also committed to investing in school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities. As part of this, I am announcing a further £50 million top-up to the Special Provision Capital Fund to take our total investment to £265 million across 2018-21. This additional funding will help local authorities to create further school places and facilities for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

I am also announcing £50 million of basic need funding, contributing towards the capital costs of building a new mainstream secondary presumption free school in a targeted number of local authorities.

Details of this announcement will be published on the GOV.UK website, and copies will be placed in the House Library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS705
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Department for Education
Made on: 11 May 2018
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Good School Places

The Government is committed to creating more good school places through a diverse education system, to ensure parents have choice and children of all backgrounds have access to the best education. The range of actions we are setting out today helps us to deliver this; extending the opportunity for children – no matter what their background – to access the best education and encouraging cross-sector collaboration in order to raise standards and aspiration for all pupils. This action includes supporting the establishment of new schools and the creation of more good school places, as well as complementary measures in response to the Schools that Work for Everyone consultation. It is intended to incentivise high performing schools and institutions across the sector to widen their offer to more pupils, and to encourage the sector as a whole to collaborate in order to help all children achieve their potential. I want to see universities, independent schools and state schools working in partnerships that deliver sustainable impact, including by establishing or joining Multi-Academy Trusts where it is beneficial to do so.

The consultation sought views on removing the legislation inhibiting the creation of new selective schools and on lifting the restrictions on the establishment of new faith free schools, and it asked how we could harness resources and expertise of those in our independent schools and the higher education sector to work in partnership with the state sector. We received several thousand responses, and I was encouraged by the number of those which identified the positive role selective schools, universities and independent schools do, and could, play in improving educational outcomes across the wider education system. I am building on this through the measures we are setting out today.

The free schools programme is an essential part of delivering good school places where they are needed, and today we are launching Wave 13 for mainstream free schools applications. We are targeting this wave at areas with the lowest educational performance to put free schools in the places most in need of good school places. Free schools have, as do all schools, a role to play in supporting our objectives for integration and community cohesion, and it is important that our free schools programme establishes schools that are inclusive of children of all faith and none. We are retaining the 50% cap on faith-based admissions in free schools.

As previously announced to the House we will not be enabling the new creation of selective schools, but selective schools play an important role in ensuring our children have access to a good education and have a real impact in helping young people regardless of their background, fulfil their potential.

To enable existing selective schools to expand and provide more school places where there is local demand, we have today launched the Selective Schools Expansion Fund, backed by £50 million in 2018-19. We have also today published a Memorandum of Understanding with the Grammar School Heads’ Association, which sets out a commitment from the sector to widen access for disadvantaged pupils and to work in partnership with local non-selective schools to improve pupil outcomes locally. I look forward to seeing the action taken by this part of the sector to deliver these commitments.

The whole sector - not just parts of it - has a role to play in supporting the delivery of good school places and in providing the opportunity for all children to raise their aspiration and to achieve their potential. I recognise the role that universities and independent schools can, and in many cases already do, have in this, and I want to see this engagement deepened through greater partnership with the state sector, including working in collaboration in Multi-Academy Trusts, to improve outcomes for pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. I am keen that universities and independent schools with capacity come forward to be involved in school sponsorship and founding free schools, including Maths Schools. I welcome the Joint Understanding between the Independent Schools Council and my Department, published today, which sets out how independent schools will look to support these objectives, including how they can help those from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as looked-after children. I will continue to encourage the higher education sector to support these ambitions; to widen access to its institutions for students from underrepresented groups and to provide meaningful support to the state sector, and I welcome the action taken to date, including the guidance, published in February, from the Office for Students on preparing 2019-20 Access and Participation Plans.

I also recognise the role that faith providers play in delivering high performing schools with excellent standards, and that some schools feel unable to establish new schools through the free schools programme as a result of the restrictions on admissions. As mentioned, we are retaining the 50% faith cap, but we are also developing a capital scheme to support the establishment of new voluntary aided schools for faith and other providers. This route has always been available but has been little used in recent years. Schools created through this scheme will have the same freedoms as existing voluntary aided schools, including over their admissions

In addition to ensuring that we create the places that are needed, we also want to improve our understanding of how the education system is serving children from disadvantaged backgrounds. As part of the consultation we also sought views on how best we can identify pupils from modest and low incomes in order to improve our understanding of how the education system is serving these children. The findings were fed into the technical consultation Analysing family circumstances and education. The Government response to this technical consultation will be published in due course

This package of reforms will help to ensure we are delivering on our ambition to ensure that there is a good school place for every child, whatever their background, and I look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders across the education sector over this Parliament, as we take forward this commitment.

I will place a copy of the documents published today in the House Libraries.

SWE: Government Consultation Response (PDF Document, 425.35 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS656
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Department for Education
Made on: 16 March 2018
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Improving the educational outcomes of children and young people in need of support and protection

This government is committed to ensuring that every child – regardless of their circumstances – can benefit from their education, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to fulfil their potential, and the resilience they need for future success.

Since 2010, thanks to government reforms and the hard work of teachers, we have made significant progress in raising standards in the education system. There are now 1.9 million more pupils in good or outstanding schools compared to 2010 and last year 154,000 more six-year-olds were on track to be fluent readers than in 2012.

Today, I am announcing a programme of work to improve our understanding of the educational experiences and outcomes of all children with additional needs, and those who live in challenging circumstances.

These children perform less well at school on average, are at greater risk of being excluded and are overrepresented in Alternative Provision. This is an overlapping cohort whose needs are often complex – many have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, or are children in need of help and protection and so are supported through the social care system. This work is about understanding what works for these children and spreading effective practice to ensure they can fulfil their potential.

This programme of work includes:

  • An external review of school exclusions, led by former Children’s Minister Edward Timpson CBE. It will help us to understand how and why schools use exclusion, what drives the variation in exclusion rates and, particularly, the disproportionate exclusion rates of some groups – including black Caribbean boys, Children in Need, Looked After Children, and those with Special Educational Needs;
  • Taking forward reforms to Alternative Provision (AP). AP educates children who are unable to attend mainstream or special schools, for example due to illness or exclusion. Today the government is publishing Creating Opportunity for All: Our Vision for Alternative Provision – it outlines our plan to ensure consistently high quality education is provided to all children in AP, across the country, and determine a clear role for AP as an integral part of the education system. This package includes a £4 million Innovation Fund to develop effective practice;
  • Reviewing the outcomes of and support for Children in Need, as set out in our manifesto. We are already reforming children’s social care to improve children’s safety and stability, but our ambition must be for Children in Need to achieve their full potential. New data published today sets out the challenges they face, and their outcomes through school. The review will develop evidence to understand what works to improve these children’s educational outcomes in practice. This starts today with launching a call for evidence.

I will respond fully to the recommendations of Dame Christine Lenehan’s review of residential special schools, Good Intentions, Good Enough?, later this year. I will take that opportunity to set out how the government will continue working to achieve the vision of a reformed Special Educational Needs and Disabilities system, underpinned by the Children and Families Act 2014.

We will focus on what is effective – using evidence to implement successful policy, and to spread best practice. These measures should help to ensure that all children and young people benefit from their education, transforming their experiences and outcomes.

Creating Opportunity for All: Our Vision for Alternative Provision and Terms of Reference for the exclusions review will be placed in the House Libraries, and published on the Department for Education’s website. The website will also contain links to supporting documents for both the exclusions and Children in Need reviews.

WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 December 2017
Made by: Damian Hinds (Minister of State for Employment)
Commons

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) 7th December 2017, Brussels

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council met on 7th December 2017 in Brussels. Damian Hinds, Minister of State for Employment, represented the UK.

The Council agreed a partial General Approach on the Long-Term Care and Family Benefits chapters of the revision of Regulations on coordination of social security systems – (883/04 and 987/09). The UK explained its abstention due to a Parliamentary Scrutiny Reservation.

The Council agreed a General Approach on the European Accessibility Act. The UK supported the aims of the proposal but registered an abstention, reflecting concerns about the clarity of text.

The Council received a progress report on the draft Directive on equal treatment (Art. 19) and the draft Directive on work-life balance.

The Council gave political agreement to the Directive implementing a social partner agreement on the implementation of amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention.

As part of the Semester process the European Commission presented the Annual Growth Survey 2018, the draft Joint Employment Report, the Alert Mechanism Report and the draft Recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area. They also sought the views and gained the approval of Member States on the employment and social aspects of the Recommendation on the euro area.

The Council adopted Council Conclusions on the following three topics: the Future of Work: making it e-easy; enhancing community-based support and care for independent living; and on enhanced measures to reduce horizontal gender segregation in education and employment.

Under any other business, the Commission presented information on the EU Action Plan 2017-2019 on tackling the gender pay gap and on concluding the year of focused actions to eliminate gender-based violence. The Swedish delegation and the Commission presented information on the Social Summit (Gothenburg, 17th November 2017) and the Bulgarian delegation presented the work programme of its incoming Presidency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS355
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 05 December 2017
Made by: Damian Hinds (Minister of State for Employment)
Commons

Agenda of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) 7th December 2017, Brussels

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will take place on 7th December 2017 in Brussels. Damian Hinds, Minister of State for Employment, will represent the UK.

The Council will be invited to agree a partial General approach on the revision of Regulations on coordination of social security systems – Long-Term Care and Family Benefits (883/04 and 987/09).

The Council will be invited to agree a General approach on the European Accessibility Act.

The Council will receive a progress report on the draft Directive on equal treatment (Art. 19) and the draft Directive on work-life balance.

The Council will be invited to give political agreement to the Directive on Maritime Labour Convention (implementing a Social Partner Agreement).

As part of the Semester process the European Commission will present the Annual Growth Survey 2018, the draft Joint Employment Report, the Alert Mechanism Report and the draft Recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area. They will also seek the views and approval of Member States on the employment and social aspects of the Recommendation on the euro area.

The Council will be invited to adopt Council Conclusions on the following three topics: the Future of Work: Making it e-Easy; enhancing community-based support and care for independent living; and on enhanced measures to reduce horizontal gender segregation in education and employment.

Under any other business, the Commission will present information on the EU Action Plan 2017-2019 on tackling the gender pay gap and on concluding the year of focused actions to eliminate gender-based violence. The Swedish delegation and the Commission will present information on the Social Summit (Gothenburg, 17th November 2017) and the Bulgarian delegation will present the work programme of its incoming Presidency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS305
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 30 October 2017
Made by: Damian Hinds (Minister of State for Employment)
Commons

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council 23rd October 2017, Luxembourg

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council met on 23rd October 2017 in Luxembourg. Margot James, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, represented the UK.

The Council agreed the draft Interinstitutional Proclamation on the European Pillar of Social Rights and gave permission for the Presidency to sign on Council’s behalf. It is expected that this will now be officially signed at the Gothenburg Social Summit on 17 November.

The Council agreed a General Approach on the Posting of Workers Directive. Discussion during Council focussed on the duration of postings and application to the transport sector. The UK argued for a balanced text which protected workers without disproportionate burdens on business but ultimately, along with Ireland and Croatia, abstained from the vote.

The Council also agreed a Partial General Approach on two chapters (equal treatment and applicable legislation) revising EU Social Security Coordination Regulation 883/2004. The UK voted in support.

Ministers discussed ‘improving cooperation in cross-border labour mobility to fight fraud and abuse’ over lunch.

The Council endorsed the key employment and social challenges, based on the key messages from the Employment and Social Protection Committees, without comment.

Under any other business, the Presidency and Commission provided information on the Tripartite Social Summit. The Presidency provided information on the Tallinn Digital Summit and the Commission provided information on the New Skills Agenda for Europe. The European Institute for Gender Equality gave a presentation on the 2017 Gender Equality Index.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS200
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Damian Hinds (Minister of State for Employment)
Commons

Agenda of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), 19 October 2017, Luxembourg

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will take place on 23 October 2017 in Luxembourg. Margot James, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, will represent the UK.

The Council will be invited to agree a general approach on the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services. The Council will also be invited to agree a partial general approach on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation 883 on the coordination of social security systems and Regulation 987 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation 883.

The Council will be invited to adopt the text and provide authorisation to sign on behalf of the Council the Proposal for an Interinstitutional Proclamation on the European Pillar of Social Rights.

The Council will be invited to endorse: (i) the key messages from the Employment Committee based on the Annual Employment Performance Report and the Employment Performance Monitor; and (ii) the main messages from the Social Protection Committee based on the Annual Review of the Social Protection Performance Monitor.

Under any other business, the Presidency and Commission will provide information on the Tripartite Social Summit. The Presidency will provide information on the Tallinn Digital Summit. The Commission will provide information on the New Skills Agenda for Europe. There will be a presentation by the European Institute for Gender Equality on the new edition of the Gender Equality Index.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS180
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