Bishop of Durham asks Government to invest in early years to improve social mobility

On 29th January 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Tyler of Enfield, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government how they plan to respond to the ten steps to improve social mobility contained in the Sutton Trust’s Mobility Manifesto, published in November 2019, and the recommendations of the Social Mobility Commission’s 2019 State of the Nation report.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Choudrey.

Opportunity, aspiration and education are critical to all having the best chance of being socially mobile. Giving children the best start in life is paramount, so we need more health visitors, better-targeted childcare for those least able to afford it and renewed opportunities for parents to interact with others. Will Her Majesty’s Government commit to a proper national early years strategy with an increased share of future spending?

Church of England schools in my diocese have found it difficult to implement our motto that “no child is left behind” because social mobility is a great challenge exacerbated by a poverty of aspiration. According to the Social Mobility Commission’s survey, less than a third of people living in the north-east think that there are good opportunities in our region.

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Bishop of Winchester asks about Apprenticeship Levy, further education and post-18 education funding review

On 24th and 27th January the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, received written answers to three questions, on the apprenticeship levy, further education teaching hours and post-18 education funding:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: HL371 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have, if any, to extend the 24-month period during which levy-paying training providers can spend Apprenticeship Levy funds.
Lord Agnew of Oulton: The apprenticeship levy is paid by all UK employers with a pay bill in excess of £3 million. Levy-paying employers in England use an award-winning apprenticeship service to manage their funds, make payments to training providers, and transfer funds to other organisations.

Funds available to employers expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis after 24 months, where they have not been spent. We anticipated that levy-payers would use various amounts available to them, with only some spending all funds available to them. Individual levy-paying employers have full control over when and where apprenticeship funds are spent to meet their current and future skills needs, including by using transfers to support the sustainable development of skills in their supply chain or local area. Where employers are not spending funds available to them and the availability expires, the budget is used to support apprenticeships taken forward by other large and small employers.

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Bishop of Winchester asks Government about lower-level apprenticeships

18.03.20 Winchester 1On 7th October 2019 the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, received a written answer from Government regarding the Apprenticeship Levy:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: HL17943 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy on the (1) provision, and (2) uptake, of lower-level apprenticeship qualifications; and what steps they are taking to address any issues identified with the (a) provision, and (b) uptake, of such qualifications. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks Government about lower-level apprenticeships”

Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about delivery of apprenticeship levy

On 4th July 2019 Lord Young of Norwood Green led a debate in the House of Lords on the Motion “That this House takes note of the Apprenticeship Levy and the case for the effective delivery of workplace opportunities for young people.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate:

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Bishop of Winchester asks about impact of British Steel situation on those in apprenticeships

On 21st May a Government statement was repeated in the House of Lords about the future of British Steel. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow up question:

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Bishop of Portsmouth asks about bureaucracy in new apprenticeship system

On 13th May 2019 Lord Fox asked the Government “how many people are currently registered as undertaking (1) Intermediate, (2) Advanced, (3) Higher, and (4) Degree apprenticeships.” The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: Is the Minister aware—and, if not, I and perhaps other noble Lords are ready to give examples—of the bureaucratic burdens and delays being experienced? For universities, the added obligation to report to and share data with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, as well as the three usual reports, is exacerbated by an identical reporting requirement for levels 2 and 7, NVQ and postgraduate. The burden seems disproportionate. For large levy-payers, there are unexplained delays in approving new apprenticeship standards. Will the Minister urgently address these to improve take-up? Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth asks about bureaucracy in new apprenticeship system”

Bishop of Peterborough questions effectiveness of Apprenticeship levy

PeterboroughFeb2017bOn 25th June 2018 Lord Fox tabled an oral question ‘to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the Apprenticeship Levy.’ The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, is the Minister aware that for small businesses and voluntary organisations the process of drawing up the standards is very complicated and time-consuming, that there is little guidance on this and no financial help for it from government, and that since the levy was introduced the grant for apprenticeships has fallen from £6,000 for an 18-year-old to £2,500, so the YMCA tells me? That makes it unviable for the YMCA to offer apprenticeships. Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough questions effectiveness of Apprenticeship levy”