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 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 Ely asks about school exclusions and education of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

On 16th January 2019 the Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway received three written answers to questions, on school exclusions and the education of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers:

The Lord Bishop of Ely: 

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following their Race Disparity Audits, what steps they are taking to ensure that educational institutions improve the standard of reading among Gypsies, Roma and Travellers aged 6–7.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following their Race Disparity Audits, what steps they are taking to ensure that educational institutions improve attainment at GCSE level for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers.

Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks about school exclusions and education of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers”

Bishop of Chichester calls for strengthening of Religious Education to improve religious literacy of teachers and students

On 17th December 2018 Lord Alderdice led a short debate on the question, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Commission on Religious Education Religion and Worldviews: the way forward, published in September; and whether they intend to publish any response”. The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Alderdice, for securing this debate and for placing our understanding of how to be in the world as the foundation for this report, Religion and Worldviews: the way forward. A national plan for RE. The report has been widely welcomed by many who are committed to the best possible teaching of RE, including the Church of England’s education office. We are grateful to the very reverend John Hall for leading the commission that has produced the report. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester calls for strengthening of Religious Education to improve religious literacy of teachers and students”

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”

Bishop of Chichester calls for more investment in music education in schools

On 18th October 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Black of Brentwood “that this House takes note of the state of music education in schools.” The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, spoke in the debate:

Chichester190718The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Black, for his magnificent introduction to this debate, and for the opportunity for us to remind ourselves of the vital importance of music and the arts generally to the creative industries and the life of our nation.

The decline in funding for music in schools, and in its take-up at GCSE and A-level, has already been identified and the crisis we now face has been rehearsed. I add my voice to those who have called for a thorough review, and possibly the abolition of the EBacc as a means of addressing the situation. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester calls for more investment in music education in schools”