Bishop of Durham asks Government about impact of coronavirus on early years childcare providers

On 28th April 2020 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question on early years childcare and coronavirus:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: HL3310 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the (1) short-, and (2) long-term, financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early years childcare providers in receipt of local authority funding who have restricted access to the Job Retention Scheme. [T]

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Bishop of Durham asks about immigration health surcharge, impact on children and NHS workers

On 1st & 20th April 2020 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received answers to written questions on the immigration health surcharge:


The Lord Bishop of Durham: HL2736 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence was used to inform the increase in the immigration health surcharge, announced in the 2020 Budget. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about immigration health surcharge, impact on children and NHS workers”

Archbishop responds to Government statement on coronavirus school closures

On 19th March 2020 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, responded to the Government statement on school closures in light of the coronavirus crisis:

The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, clearly the educational world is working extraordinarily hard—one welcomes that—in its determination to deal with an extraordinarily difficult situation very quickly and under huge pressure. If we follow the Imperial College analysis model that was recently published, we can see in certain circumstances the repeated waves of Covid-19 going on for 18 to 24 months. At what point will we begin to move towards a longer-term view of what needs to happen? Clearly, schools cannot be closed for two years. I wonder whether the Government have in their mind the planning for the eventuality of longer-term infectious prevalence in this country. Continue reading “Archbishop responds to Government statement on coronavirus school closures”

Bishop of Portsmouth call for measurement of children’s well-being on national level

On 12th March 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Tyler of Enfield, “that this House takes note of the case for Her Majesty’s Government to use wellbeing as a key indicator of national performance when setting budgets, deciding policy priorities and reviewing the effectiveness of policy goals.” The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, I begin by humbly making two recommendations of ways in which your Lordships might profitably spend their time.

The first is to visit Portsmouth’s historic dockyard, where the nations historic naval hardware is on display. It is the stuff of national myth: from the “Mary Rose” to HMS “Victory” to HMS “Warrior”. Beyond them, visitors can see one or sometimes both of the Royal Navy’s latest, hugely powerful expressions of British sea power: the great aircraft carriers HMS “Queen Elizabeth” and “Prince of Wales”. These great ships, old and new, represent projections of hard power, but what often speaks more powerfully to those visiting the dockyard is the soft side to life on board: the story, how people lived their lives, their feelings, aspirations, hopes and fears—their well-being.

It seems to me that this exemplifies the challenge faced by policymakers and any assessment of how well, and if, a policy has worked: whether it has produced the desired outcome. Crunching the numbers is one way, but what policy looks and feels like in Whitehall and Westminster can be very different from the feelings and experience of those it directly affects. ​ Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth call for measurement of children’s well-being on national level”

Bishop of Gloucester asks Government how Domestic Abuse Bill will meet needs of children

On 9th March 2020 Baroness Sanderson of Welton asked the Government “what funding has been allocated for a public information campaign to accompany the Domestic Abuse Bill.” The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: I thank the Minister for mentioning children. Given that the Bill will inform the way that people engage with domestic abuse, what provision will be made to ensure that the needs of children are properly highlighted to enable a child-focused response? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government how Domestic Abuse Bill will meet needs of children”

Bishop of Gloucester leads debate on early years interventions to support children and families

On 27th February 2020 the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, led a debate in the House of Lords on improving early years interventions to support children and families. Her opening speech and that of the Minister responding is below, and the whole debate including the speeches of all others taking part can be seen here.

Children and Families: Early Years Interventions

Motion to Take Note

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: That this House takes note of the case for improved early years interventions to support children and families. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester leads debate on early years interventions to support children and families”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about impact of advertising to children

On 25th February 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on advertising to children:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL1618 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Barran on 10 February (HL474), who is conducting the research on the impact of marketing and advertising on children, young people and other vulnerable people; and when that research will be published. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about impact of advertising to children”