Bishop of Durham asks Government about impact of two-child limit on access to free school meals

On 21st February 2019 Lord Bassam of Brighton asked the Government “whether they intend to reconsider recent changes to access to free school meals following their decision to delay the roll out of Universal Credit.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a question on the two-child limit:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, the two-child limit means that welfare reforms weigh particularly heavily on families with three or more children. What assessment have the Government made of the consequence of changes to free school meals that are set to impact on children with more than one sibling? Does the Minister agree that this policy will effectively harm children from large families through no fault of their own? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about impact of two-child limit on access to free school meals”

Bishop of Ely asks Government about racist incidents in schools

On 18th February 2019 Baroness Chakrabarti asked the Government “what progress has been made in meeting the recommendation of the Report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, published in February 1999, that schools record all racist incidents and that the numbers of racist incidents are published annually on a school by school basis.” The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, the Minister will be aware that the Church of England is responsible for many schools where the majority of pupils are from a BME background. Those schools operate in great harmony. That is along with our initiative, Living Well Together. It would be good to hear more about how the DfE makes use of the information and statistics that it receives. There is an issue about holding the whole estate accountable, which cannot be left entirely to the local situation. Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks Government about racist incidents in schools”

Bishop of Ely asks Government about teacher recruitment in rural areas

Ely231018On the 29th January 2019, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely responded to a Government Statement on teacher recruitment.

The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his Statement and for this way forward. First, he knows that the Church of England runs many small rural schools, and recruitment and retention is always a creative challenge. Have the Government considered how the strategy is to be rural-proofed for full application across the country?

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Bishop of Worcester argues for inclusion of RE in English Baccalaureate

On 21st January 2019 Lord Black of Brentwood asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the performance of pupils taking the subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate.” The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, one does not need to be an avid follower of the news to realise the huge impact that religion has for good and for ill geopolitically in our world. That is happening at the same time as we see a level of unprecedented and increasing religious illiteracy in our own society. Does the Minister regret the exclusion of RE from the baccalaureate, given the drop in numbers studying the subject at GCSE? Would its inclusion not assist in community cohesion as well as in an understanding of our world?

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Bishop of London asks Government about funding for high-quality arts education

On 17th January 2019 the Earl of Clancarty asked the Government “what steps they are taking to encourage the teaching of art and design in schools”. The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, high-quality arts education as part of a broad curriculum has been shown not just to support our creative industries but to improve academic achievement and enable children to look at problems in different ways. In the light of Ofsted’s consultation on its new framework, which looks at quality, intent and impact in the curriculum, will the Minister say how this Government will ensure that there is no reduction in pupil funding in real terms? Good art education requires good teachers. Continue reading “Bishop of London asks Government about funding for high-quality arts education”

Bishop of Gloucester urges Government to support girls in conflict-zones and ratify Istanbul Convention

On the 8th January 2019 Baroness Hodgson of Abinger hosted a debate about adolescent girls in conflict-affected countries. The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek spoke in the debate to highlight the need to ratify the Istanbul Convention and to increase the support given to education of children:

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The Lord Bishop of Gloucester:  My Lords, I too thank the noble Baroness, Lady Hodgson, for securing this debate. It is a great honour to be taking part and to listen to the contributions of so many amazing supporters of women and girls. I should also like to draw attention to my interests as set out in the register.

 

Following previous speakers, I too should like to reinforce what has been said about violence and access to education. As has been said, before, during and after conflict girls face both physical and sexual violence. It is important to note that trauma follows adolescent girls when they flee from conflict, whether they become refugees or are internally displaced. There is a high risk of sexual abuse in overcrowded, unsanitary and unsafe refugee areas. Girls face not only prostitution and the risk of early marriage; they also face isolation and a lack of access to healthcare and psychological support. I would like to ask the Minister: what specific action are the Government currently taking to support girls in these vulnerable places, and how will rebuilding peace after conflict specifically involve support for these girls?

Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester urges Government to support girls in conflict-zones and ratify Istanbul Convention”

Bishop of Worcester says crisis in school funding causing stress for staff and impacting children with special educational needs

On 29th November 2018 Baroness Morris of Yardley led a debate in the Lords on the motion “That this House takes note of the impact on schools of Her Majesty’s Government’s approach to school funding.” The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Morris of Yardley, for securing this important debate on school funding and for her impassioned and powerful introduction to it. I fear that she is right that there is a crisis in school funding. Head teachers in the diocese of Worcester speak of the stress they are experiencing due to funding worries; of not sleeping due to such worries, which impacts negatively on all they are trying to do; of a sense of letting down children with significant needs; and of a feeling that they have nowhere to turn to be truly heard. One head of a school who has been asked to double its numbers has not been provided with sufficient funding to do so, throwing his school into financial insecurity and causing immense stress. Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester says crisis in school funding causing stress for staff and impacting children with special educational needs”