Egypt: Written Questions from Bishop of Coventry

On March 18th 2014 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to two written questions about Egypt: election monitoring and the suspension of export licences for equipment that could be used for internal repression. Continue reading “Egypt: Written Questions from Bishop of Coventry”

Bishop of Winchester on teacher training, education and social mobility

“I question whether the Government’s policies for improving the quality of teaching have been fully effective and will enable social mobility. I am particularly concerned about the School Direct programme. In fact, I suggest there is an urgent case for rethinking arrangements around initial teacher training before a crisis develops.” – Bishop of Winchester

The Bishop of Winchester gave a speech in a House of Lords debate on 13th March 2014, tabled by the Education Minister Lord Nash.

The debate title was: ‘that this House takes note of the role of primary and secondary education in improving social mobility.’

The Lord Bishop of Winchester:13.05 Bishop of Winchester

My Lords, I, too, am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Nash, for the opportunity of this debate. I shall focus on the impact made by initial teacher training on social mobility. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester on teacher training, education and social mobility”

Bishop of Newcastle on role of education in improving social mobility in the north-east

“…she went away to university but then, crucially, returned to give back to the wider community the benefits of the education that she had received. We need more people like her—people not using their education to escape from the area, but realising that with well trained minds and warm hearts they have much to give for the common good..” – Bishop of Newcastle

The Bishop of Newcastle gave a speech in a House of Lords debate on 13th March 2014, tabled by the Education Minister Lord Nash.

 The debate title was: ‘that this House takes note of the role of primary and secondary education in improving social mobility.’

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle:

14.03 Bishop of NewcastleMy Lords, I, too, welcome this debate about the role of primary and secondary education in improving social mobility, and I want to speak from my experience as a bishop in the north-east of England for the past 16 years.

Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle on role of education in improving social mobility in the north-east”

Immigration Bill – Bishop of Newcastle raises concern about potential for discrimination by landlords

During the committee stage of the Government’s Immigration Bill in the Lords on 12th March 2014, the Bishop of Newcastle drew attention to the potential impact of measures in clause 16 that require nationality checks on potential tenants by private landlords. The Bishop asked the Minister whether the need for private landlords to have regard to a code of practice was in itself robust enough to prevent discrimination against migrants or those of foreign name or appearance.14.03 Bishop of Newcastle

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, perhaps I may also ask for some clarification. One of my concerns about this part of the Bill is that many landlords will simply not rent to anyone who seems to be foreign or who does not hold a British passport for fear of getting it wrong and being fined. I am afraid that that will inadvertently result in further racial discrimination and provide a charter for those unscrupulous landlords who are racist.

In response to the consultation, the Government accepted that the new rules might provoke landlords to discriminate against people they perceive to be foreign rather than to conduct proper checks. They also recognised the risk that vulnerable people might be impacted. So, in relation to the code of practice and the associated guidance which will make it clear that the checks do not allow landlords to act in a manner inconsistent with the UK’s equality legislation, is that in itself sufficient? It simply requires landlords to read the code and adhere to it without any redress at all if they do not. Continue reading “Immigration Bill – Bishop of Newcastle raises concern about potential for discrimination by landlords”

Votes – Offender Rehabilitation Bill / Antisocial Behaviour etc Bill

House of Lords Division LobbyBishops took part in two votes in the House of Lords yesterday (11th March), on amendments to two separate Government Bills, which were at the final stages of their parliamentary progress.

Continue reading “Votes – Offender Rehabilitation Bill / Antisocial Behaviour etc Bill”

Archbishop of Canterbury Raises Concern About Conflict in Central African Republic, South Sudan

Updated: The Archbishop of Canterbury asked three written questions of Government, on conflict in the Central African Republic and on sexual violence and war crimes in South Sudan. They were responded to on 10th and 11th March 2014 by the Foreign Office Senior Minister of State, Baroness Warsi.  The questions and their replies are below.

Central African Republic

(via Parliament.uk)

ImageThe Archbishop of Canterbury: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support the stabilisation of the conflict in the Central African Republic, particularly in ensuring that sectarian violence does not develop into inter-religious conflict.

 The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We are greatly concerned by the situation on the ground in the Central African Republic (CAR). The UK provided £15 million to the humanitarian appeal and a further £2million to the African Union to cover some of the African-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA)’s operation. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury Raises Concern About Conflict in Central African Republic, South Sudan”

Restorative Justice: Bishop of Peterborough Calls For Greater Use

Baroness Gardner of Parkes asked Her Majesty’s Government how many offenders received multiple cautions in the past year; and what plans they have to review the guidance to the police on the use of cautions for serious crimes.

The Bishop of Peterborough asked a supplementary question:14.02 Peterborough

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, the Minister mentioned restorative justice. Does he agree that, alongside limited use of cautions, a greater use of restorative justice interventions could be of great help, both in reducing reoffending and in supporting victims?

Lord Faulks: My Lords, I agree with the right reverent Prelate. There is a great case for restorative justice in appropriate cases, and it is indeed an option for it to be part of the conditional caution. There is increasing approval in this House and outside of its use.

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of Norwich presses Government on sustainability of GP numbers

NHS: General Practitioners

(via Parliament.uk)

The Bishop of Norwich asked a written question of Government, on the number of GPs available for primary care needs in the next five years. He received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Earl Howe, on 10th March 2014. The question and reply are below.

The Lord Bishop of Norwich:

The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd Graham James
The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd Graham James

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that there are adequate numbers of general practitioners (GPs) available for primary care needs in England over the next five years in the light of the age profile of current practising GPs, their increasing role as commissioners, and the impact of the introduction of revalidation for all doctors.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Department set up Health Education England (HEE) to deliver a better health and healthcare workforce for England. HEE is responsible for ensuring a secure workforce supply for the future balancing need against demand, taking into account factors such as the age profile of the existing workforce, the impact of technology, and new drugs. Continue reading “Bishop of Norwich presses Government on sustainability of GP numbers”

FGM: Bishop of St Albans asks Government about counselling support

Baroness Prosser asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that government departments work together to identify girls at risk of female genital mutilation and provide them with the necessary support.

The Bishop of St Albans asked a supplementary question:14.03 Bishop of St Albans

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I welcome the Secretary of State for Education’s commitment to provide the guidelines to schools on protecting children who are at risk of genital mutilation. Will the noble Baroness tell the House what further steps are being taken to provide for and to support properly trained counsellors who really understand the cultural background to this issue so that we are not only protecting children but supporting those who are at risk or may already have been abused?

Baroness Jolly: Work is going on with local communities. A £100,000 grant has been given to set up training so that people could work with NGOs and local schools to pick up exactly the type of issue that the right reverend Prelate has outlined.

(via Parliament.uk)

Women in the Church: Bishop of Chester’s speech in Lords debate on International Women’s Day

The Bishop of Chester spoke during the International Women’s Day debate on the contribution of women in the economic life of the United Kingdom and worldwide. He updated the House on the progress being made by the Church of England to allow the consecration of women as bishops, and used the example of this process to examine the challenges faced by many women in the economy to be accepted in their own right. He also spoke of the role of women in the wider life of the church.

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, the noble Baroness could well have said, “Bishops’ Benches: 26 men, no women”, but I am glad that she did not, although I am sure that others will. I rise with an appropriate hesitancy as the first male speaker in a debate in which only 22% of the speakers will be men. The majority of those listening are also women, which is a pity. However, I look forward to the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Palumbo, whom I can only describe as a fellow Daniel in the lion’s den on this occasion.

Indeed, those who inhabit these Benches might be seen as somewhat handicapped in advocating the fuller involvement of women in the wider life of our society. As we are regularly reminded, ours are the only Benches from which women are currently excluded. I hope that I can say something today about that and about the wider significance of the struggles of the church over the full involvement of women in its life. Continue reading “Women in the Church: Bishop of Chester’s speech in Lords debate on International Women’s Day”

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