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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Department for Education
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Lord Nash (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)

Update on Primary Assessment in England

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities (Justine Greening) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Primary education is fundamentally important to ensuring that every child receives the best possible start in life. As I set out in my statement to Parliament in March this year, the primary assessment and accountability system has a crucial role to play in ensuring that every child, no matter what their background or where they go to school, benefits from a high-quality primary education.

Last October, I set out my intention to establish a settled, trusted primary assessment system. To help us move towards this, we published earlier this year parallel consultation documents on the long-term future of primary assessment and on future assessment arrangements for children working below the standard of the national curriculum tests. These consultations considered a number of the key issues facing the primary assessment and accountability system, including how the assessment system can help teachers to prepare pupils to succeed at school, the starting point from which to measure the progress that schools help children make in primary school, and how end of key stage teacher assessments could be improved. The consultations closed in June and I am grateful to the many people and organisations, and particularly the headteachers and teachers, who took the time to provide thoughtful, considered responses.

Having considered the views expressed, I am today publishing the government’s responses to both consultations, which set out how we will establish a stable and effective primary assessment system. These documents include commitments to:

  • improve the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile by: revising the Early Learning Goals to make them clearer and align them more closely with teaching in key stage 1; this will support us to meet our manifesto commitment to strengthen the teaching of literacy and numeracy in the early years. We will also strengthen the way assessment information is passed on to Year 1 teachers; and review the guidance and moderation process to reduce administration burdens;

  • improve school-level progress measures, and give schools credit for the education that they provide to their pupils in the reception year, year 1 and year 2, by introducing a statutory assessment in reception to replace the existing key stage 1 baseline;

  • reduce workload and administration burdens on teachers by making end-of-key stage 1 assessments non-statutory in all-through primary schools, once the new reception baseline has become established, with national sampling to be introduced so that we can continue to monitor standards;

  • remove the statutory duty to report teacher assessment in reading and mathematics at the end of key stage 2 from the 2018 to 2019 academic year onwards which will form part of our drive to bear down on unnecessary administrative burdens, while keeping our rigorous key stage 2 national curriculum tests in these subjects, which will enable schools to uphold high standards while also reducing workload and administrative burdens on teachers;

  • improve the way that writing is assessed, so that teachers have more scope to use their professional judgment when assessing pupil performance;

  • aid children’s fluency in mathematics through the introduction of a multiplication tables check, from the summer of 2020, to be administered to pupils at the end of year 4. This will help us to deliver on our commitment that every child will know their times tables off by heart by the time that they leave primary school; and

  • improve the statutory assessment of pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests by extending the interim pre-key stage standards to cover all pupils engaged in subject specific learning, and by piloting the Rochford Review’s recommended approach to assessing pupils who are not yet engaged in subject specific learning.

We will continue to work closely with headteachers, teachers and all those with an interest in primary education as we implement these changes, building on the dialogue started by the consultation. It is by working together that we will achieve our goal of a proportionate assessment system that supports every child to meet their full potential.

Copies of both of these government responses will be placed in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS139
Department for Education
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Lord Nash (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System )

Childcare Update

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Children and Families (Robert Goodwill) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 1 September 2017, 30 hours of free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds went live nationally in England, saving families up to £5,000 per year per child. Alongside the childcare support the Government provides through Tax-Free Childcare and Universal Credit, this additional free childcare is easing working families’ budgets, helping them to balance the cost of childcare with work.

The Government investment programme will deliver a record £6 billion per year in childcare by 2020, which includes an extra £1 billion per year to deliver the free entitlements. In addition, a further £100 million in capital funding has been committed to help providers create additional 30 hours places.

More than 200,000 30 hours codes have been issued to eligible parents wishing to take up a place this autumn, which exceeds our target for this term. These families join the existing 15,000 families who are already benefitting from 30 hours free childcare in the twelve early delivery areas.

An independent evaluation of four of these early delivery areas, published on 31 August, found that 30 hours incentivised many parents to increase their working hours or move into work, and parents were overwhelmingly positive about the offer. The report can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-rollout-of-30-hours-free-childcare-evaluation. These findings build on the evaluation of the first eight delivery areas, which found that 23% of mothers and around one in ten fathers are working more as a result. The evaluation also shows that more than three quarters of parents reported greater flexibility in their working life as a result of 30 hours, enabling them to spend more time together at home with their children, reducing stress and improving family finances. Importantly, the report found that more than eight out of ten childcare providers who are offering the existing 15 hours entitlements also went on to offer 30 hours. This demonstrates that the sector has responded very positively to the additional demand for childcare places from working families.

During the autumn, I will be closely monitoring delivery to ensure continued improvements to the offer for parents and providers. The Childcare Choices website has now received over 1 million visits since launching in March, and the Department for Education will continue to work with local authorities to ensure parents have high quality information about accessing the offer.

I will continue to work closely with Her Majesty’s Treasury Ministers to ensure that parents are able to access the HMRC-run childcare service smoothly. The majority of parents have successfully applied using the childcare service. Some parents experienced difficulties accessing the service through the system by the 31 August application deadline but those parents who are eligible, and applied before the deadline, will have a code to allow them to access our 30 hours free childcare.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS110
Department for Education
Made on: 20 July 2017
Made by: Lord Nash (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)

Post 16 Education

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for School Standards (Nick Gibb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

"Today the Government is publishing Professor Sir Adrian Smith’s authoritative and wide-ranging review of 16-18 mathematics education in England.

The government is determined to give all young people the world-class education they need to fulfil their potential. This includes providing opportunities to develop the mathematical and quantitative knowledge and skills appropriate to their chosen careers. In an increasingly technological world this will be vital to ensuring that our future workforce will be productive and competitive in the global marketplace.

Sir Adrian Smith’s review identifies a strong economic and social mobility case for raising participation in post-16 mathematics and improving knowledge and skills at all levels. He presents clear evidence for the value of mathematical and quantitative skills to students, whichever route they take.

The report includes recommendations and challenges that are wide-ranging – for example, the need to address negative cultural perceptions of mathematics. Thesel issues will require detailed engagement and action between government, industry, universities, schools and colleges.

I have today written to Sir Adrian thanking him for the review and confirming that the Government will set out our plans across the range of Sir Adrian’s recommendations in due course. The letter confirms that work is already underway to address a number of the challenges highlighted in the report, and there are a number of recommendations where we have been able to take immediate action.

We agree with Sir Adrian that we must be ambitious and take greater action to encourage and support more young people to choose mathematics post-16, particularly in areas where take-up is low. That is why one of the immediate actions we are taking today is to announce a new £16m Level 3 Maths Support Programme. It will build on the momentum created by the Further Mathematics and Core Maths Support Programmes, and will work with schools and colleges to improve mathematics education by sharing best practice, and delivering knowledge-rich curriculum materials, as well as working to increase participation and attainment in 16-18 mathematics. The programme will work to deliver focused intervention targeted to those who need it most.

The other immediate actions we have taken in response to Sir Adrian’s recommendations are set out in my letter. For example, taking forward work on the new T level qualifications to ensure they include mathematics where employers identify this as a requirement for employment; working with the newly constituted Royal Society Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education to ensure appropriate expert advice. We are alsoworking with institutions such as the Royal Society and British Academy to encourage universities and employers to signal the value of level 3 mathematics qualifications for entry to undergraduate courses with a significant quantitative element and for a wide range of job roles.

We have placed a copy of Sir Adrian’s report and our letter in the libraries of the House and on the government’s website."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS99
Department for Education
Made on: 19 July 2017
Made by: Lord Nash (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)

School Curriculum

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for School Standards and Minister for Equalities (Nick Gibb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

"In order to ensure our education system drives social mobility, it is imperative that the vast majority of pupils – whatever their background – have the opportunity to study the suite of academic subjects that make up the EBacc. These subjects - English, maths, science, history or geography, and a language – are the core of a rounded and well balanced education that should be the entitlement of the vast majority of pupils. According to the Russell Group, studying these subjects at A level opens more doors to more degrees.

A recent study found that pupils in a set of 300 schools that increased their EBacc entry, from 8% to 48%, were more likely to achieve good English and maths GCSEs, more likely to take an A level, or an equivalent level 3 qualification, and more likely to stay in post-16 education.

Since 2010, we have increased the opportunity for pupils to study this combination of GCSEs, with 40% of pupils now being entered for this combination of subjects at GCSE, up from 22% in 2010. However, there are still too few pupils studying these subjects, with pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds disproportionately less likely to be studying these subjects.

Research suggests that lower participation from disadvantaged pupils in these core academic subjects can negatively affect social mobility. Yet overall, disadvantaged pupils remain half as likely to be entered for the EBacc subjects as their non-disadvantaged peers, and the gap in EBacc subject entry persists even among the most academically able disadvantaged pupils.

There is no doubt that studying the EBacc subjects up to the age of 16 is right for the vast majority of pupils. As a Government we are committed to unlocking the potential of all pupils regardless of their background and this is why, as set out in our manifesto, we would like to see 90% of year 10 pupils starting to study GCSEs in the EBacc combination of subjects by 2025.

Through our consultation on implementing the EBacc, we sought to understand the barriers schools face in increasing EBacc entry. Having carefully considered the consultation responses, it is my view that we need an approach that is both pragmatic, stretching, and one that takes into account the challenge involved in meeting this ambition.

While some schools are already responding to this challenge by significantly increasing the number of pupils studying the EBacc suite of GCSEs, some schools have more to do to reach our ambition. It will take time to build the right capacity across the whole school system and ensure that schools have access to high quality staff in EBacc subjects, so that all pupils have the best chance of success in their studies.

Taking this all into account it is our ambition that 75% of year 10 pupils in state-funded mainstream schools will start to study GCSEs in the EBacc combination of subjects by September 2022. This will mark an important milestone in driving towards the government’s ambition that the vast majority of pupils – irrespective of background – have access to this core academic suite of GCSEs, which is central to a broad and balanced curriculum.

The government response being published today considers and responds to the issues raised in consultation responses, and outlines the steps we will take to support schools to deliver the EBacc subjects to the vast majority of pupils.

Copies of the government’s response document will be placed in both House libraries."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS73
Department for Education
Made on: 10 July 2017
Made by: Lord Nash (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)

Teacher Update

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities (Justine Greening) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The 27th report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) is being published today. Its recommendations cover the remit that I issued in October 2016. The report contains recommendations on the pay award for teachers that is due to be implemented from September 2017, which are consistent with the Government’s 1% public sector pay policy. Copies of the STRB’s 27th Report are available in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office and the Libraries of the House, and online at www.gov.uk.

The STRB has recommended an uplift of 1% to the minima and maxima of all pay ranges and allowances in the national pay framework, other than the minimum and maximum of the main pay range, to which they have recommended a 2% uplift. Following previous reforms, schools already have significant flexibility, within the pay ranges, to set pay for individual teachers, taking account of performance and retention. Nevertheless, those at the bottom of the main pay scale will receive an automatic 2% increase, a small proportion of teachers. As such it is consistent with the Government’s public sector 1% pay policy.

A full list of the recommendations is attached as an annex.

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

I am grateful to the STRB for these recommendations and, subject to the views of consultees, I intend to accept all the key recommendations.

My detailed response contains further information on these matters.

STRB recommendations and response (PDF Document, 273.32 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS34
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