Bishop of Chichester asks about impact of student loans on recruitment and retention in key public services

On 23rd July 2020 Lord Bassam of Brighton asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the presentation of debt by the Student Loans Company on its online student loan repayment system.” The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Bassam, has made a trenchant point about the presentation of these financial statements. The University of Chichester plans to reopen its school of nursing and to recruit locally—to pick up a point made by the noble Lord, Lord Clark, on an earlier Question. For mature and part-time students whom the university seeks to attract, the level of loan debt is as important as the clarity of the information about their loan repayments—perhaps more so. Will the Minister look again at the impact of student loans on recruitment and retention in key public services in the light of their significance to our recovery from the pandemic? Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester asks about impact of student loans on recruitment and retention in key public services”

Bishop of Winchester asks Government about free college meals

On 21st July Baroness Massey of Darwen asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social mobility”. The Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, asked a follow up question focusing on free meals for college students.

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, the Association of Colleges’ summer survey, published yesterday, indicates that three out of four colleges require additional resources to provide free college meal vouchers to eligible students over the summer. In my diocese, 52% of students at City College Southampton receive free college meals. We welcome the £96 million of ring-fenced funding announced yesterday for all 16 to 19 providers to supply additional catch-up tutoring. Will the Minister say how the Government will support colleges to ensure that all eligible students receive free college meals over the summer?

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Bishop of Durham asks Government about training and apprenticeship funding for disadvantaged students

On 21st July Lord Aberdare asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to ensure that the young people due to leave school in the current academic year are prepared for work in a post-COVID-19 environment; and what changes they have made to careers support and guidance provision to achieve this”. The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, asked a follow up question focusing on funding for training and apprenticeships.

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, the Social Mobility Commission recently published an apprenticeships report, which highlighted a 36% reduction in the number of apprenticeship starters who were from disadvantaged backgrounds.

As we prioritise developing the skills of young people, can the Minister confirm how the new £1.6 billion funding for scaling up training and apprenticeships will be distributed across the country to ensure that areas such as the north-east with a high proportion of disadvantaged students have access to quality training?

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Bishop of Winchester asks about FE teaching hours during pandemic

On 6th May 2020 the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, received a written answer to a question on FE students and teaching hours:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: HL3165 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that all further education students who are (1) 16 or17 years old receive at least 540 teaching hours, and (2) 18 years old or over receive at least 450 teaching hours. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks about FE teaching hours during pandemic”

Bishop of Winchester asks about Government FE and skills strategy

On 5th May 2020 the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, received a written answer to a question on the Government’s further education and skills strategy:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: HL3164 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in (1) improving further education, (2) meeting future skills needs, and (3) supporting economic and social recovery, since the publication of their Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future White Paper in June 2018.

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Bishop of Winchester asks about further education college mergers

On 19th March 2020 the Bishop of Winchester received a written answer to a question about further education college mergers:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: HL2306 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to facilitate local college mergers which (1) are in the interests of learners, (2) build financial resilience, and (3) ensure that provision serves local communities, especially in areas of disadvantage. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks about further education college mergers”

Bishop of Winchester asks about college financial monitoring

On 11th February 2020 the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, received an answer to a written question on college financial monitoring:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester:  HL1235 To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they plan to publish the review by Dame Mary Ney into college financial monitoring, commissioned in August 2019.

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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 support for post-16 and adult education

winchester171116On 8th October 2019 the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, received two written answers from the Government regarding post-16 and adult education:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester:  HL17942 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to introduce a long-term plan to support adult education, retraining and lifelong learning.

 

Lord Agnew of Oulton (Con): We have a number of current and future programmes in place, and planned, to support adults and lifelong learning.

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Bishop of Winchester responds to Augar review of post-18 education, proposes public service covenant for vocational graduates

winchester171116On 2nd July 2019 the House of Lords debated a motion “that this House should take note of the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding led by Philip Augar”. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, I thank the Minister for bringing this debate. Similarly, I thank Philip Augar and the independent panel members for the thorough review that they have undertaken. I welcome the publication of this report and the issues it raises. I declare my interests as the lead bishop for further and higher education, and as a governor of the University of Winchester.

I shall comment on three areas. My first point is about ensuring a genuinely rich ecology of higher education providers, and especially the contribution made by smaller and specialist institutions. A local example is the University of Winchester, a member of the Cathedrals Group association of universities, some of which are among the country’s smaller higher education institutions in terms of student numbers. One of the headline recommendations of the review is to lower tuition fees, which will reduce the funding institutions receive unless it is provided from other sources, such as grants for teaching. To enhance a diverse range of universities and secure the quality of provision, it is imperative to have a funding system that enables these institutions to flourish, and not simply larger universities which are generally more able to withstand funding turbulence.

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