On 16th June 2014, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to two written questions on financial education.
Financial Services: Education
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to ensure that financial education is taught, to a high standard, in non-state-maintained secondary schools.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash): Independent Schools in England do not have to follow the national curriculum, though they do have to have a curriculum which gives pupils experience in linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical and aesthetic and creative education.
We will shortly be consulting on strengthening the standards which independent schools must meet, but there are no plans to introduce a requirement on financial education.
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“Subsidiarity must be a key principle in any reforms—working towards a more participatory democracy, in which all people feel that they have a stake in a shared society and want to engage in the democratic process….We have to insist that people do not retreat into an unthinking, uncaring nimbyism that refuses to address the real problems facing us”- Bishop of St Albans 05/06/14
On 5th June 2014 in the third contribution from the Bishop’s Benches in response to the Queen’s Speech, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke about the rural economy and the impact that a wide range of issues, including housing, energy security and the Government’s plans for forestry, would have on its future.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I, too, congratulate my colleague the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Rochester on his maiden speech. From these Benches, I can say that we are delighted that he will bring a great deal of insight and experience, not least into housing and prisons, into our debates. Continue reading “Queen’s Speech 2014: Bishop of St Albans on the rural economy”
On 13th May 2014, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, received answers to written questions on petroleum gas and oil, consumer credit advertising, and Iran.
Energy: Petroleum Gas and Oil
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to ensure the continuing affordability of liquid petroleum gas and oil for those households which are not on mains gas supply.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): Her Majesty’s Government is acutely aware of the difficulties people have experienced with the price of liquid petroleum gas and heating oil. The price of LPG and oil is influenced by a range of factors, including crude oil prices (the major factor), refinery capacity, stock levels, distribution costs and retail margins.
Continue reading “Energy, Consumer Credit Advertising and Iran – Written Questions”
On 12th May 2014, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, received answers to three written questions on benefits, electricity and housing.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact on people on low incomes of uprating most cash benefits and tax credits by one per cent from April 2013 rather than in line with inflation.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): For 2013/14, the main rates of working-age benefits, statutory payments and tax credits were up-rated by one per cent in the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2013. The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Act 2013 provided for the one per cent increase to apply for 2014/15 and 2015/16. Both of these were accompanied by Impact Assessments.
As part of his ongoing public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010 to monitor impacts on “protected groups”, the Secretary of State continues to monitor the impacts of the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Act 2013 in light of any changes to the underlying rate of inflation. The underlying rate of inflation for increases in 2014/15 is similar to that forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility and used in the Impact Assessment. It is therefore likely that the impacts on affected households will be broadly similar to those detailed in the Impact Assessment.
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On 6th May 2014, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, recieved answers to two written questions on the subject of apprenticeships.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of apprentices enter into employment with the company to which they were apprenticed after their apprenticeship scheme has finished.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): We publish information on learning outcomes on the Further Education Choices website to help better inform learner choices. This website presents information on learner outcomes with any employer as well as other destinations:
Continue reading “Apprenticeships – Written Questions”
On 9th April 2014 the Bishop of St Albans received an answer to a written question on apprenticeships:
Question Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to link apprenticeships to professional registration in order to establish recognised industry standards for apprenticeship and traineeship schemes. [HL6576]
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): We are reforming Apprenticeships by putting employers in the driving seat of designing new Apprenticeship standards. These will include skills and any specific requirements for professional registration, so that on completion a successful apprentice can achieve professional registration where appropriate.
Traineeships are a flexible programme aimed at providing young people with skills and experience they need to be able to compete for Apprenticeships and other sustainable jobs. At the core of Traineeships are work preparation training, English and maths and a work experience placement with an employer. Links to professional registration are not a requirement for Traineeships, but providers have the flexibility to add additional content which could include sector-specific training or qualifications where these are publicly funded.
In the House of Lords on 8th April 2014 Baroness Benjamin asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what steps they are taking to raise the academic attainment levels of black British students, and especially those of Caribbean descent?’ The Bishop of St Albans asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, what assessment have Her Majesty’s Government made of the impact on educational attainment of the absorption of the Ethnic Minority Achievement Awards into the dedicated schools grant, which was done some months ago?
Lord Nash: The impact was substantial. I will have to write to the right reverend Prelate to give him more details.