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?
On 30th June Baroness Randerson asked Her Majesty’s Government “what support they are providing to universities to assist them in dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”. The Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, asked a follow up question focusing on students preparing to enter into key public service roles.
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, universities make a significant contribution to their local communities and economies, particularly smaller institutions that attract a larger proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. These make a significant contribution to their local context, particularly in this pandemic. In particular, several Cathedrals Group universities during the 2018-19 academic year had 20% undergraduate students from low-participation—POLAR4—backgrounds. How will the Government work with higher education institutions to maintain the widening of access and retention of students, especially those preparing for key public service roles that have been so important during this pandemic crisis?
On 18th June 2020 Lord Clark of Windermere asked the Government “what plans they have to facilitate the recruitment of nurses onto degree courses beginning in September 2020.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, support for key public service staff and maintaining quality training for those professions will be strategic in the successful rebuilding of our post-Covid society. In the Royal College of Nursing 2019 employment survey, 37% of qualified nurses said that they were seeking a new job outside the profession. Does the Minister agree that the retention of qualified nurses, midwifery and allied health professional staff is just as important as the recruitment of trainees? Will he therefore say more about how the Government will review the support packages available to both students and new post-qualification nurses and allied health professionals, in order that more of those newly qualified are encouraged to remain in the profession? Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks Government about retention of nurses”
On 4th June 2020 Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale asked the Government “what action they will take to close any educational gaps arising from the school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Red Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question on apprenticeships.
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, I want to highlight another example of educational institution closures affecting the educational attainment of young people, particularly those aged 16 to 19. I refer to the report published recently by the Sutton Trust highlighting the impact of lockdown, with 36% of apprentices having been furloughed and 61% of apprenticeship providers saying that their apprentices had lost out on work and learning. What assessment have the Government made of the impact on apprentices unable to continue on-the-job training, particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds? What additional support will Her Majesty’s Government offer to these individuals? Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks about impact of COVID-19 on apprenticeship schemes”
On 20th May 2020, Lord Watson of Invergowrie asked the Government “what action they are taking to publish scientific evidence which (1) ensures the re-opening schools on 1 June will be safe for pupils, staff and parents, and (2) includes the impact on the (a) national, and (b) regional, reproduction rates (R number) of COVID-19“. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, as with many schools, Church of England schools have remained open during the lockdown for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. Our teachers are working extremely hard to provide educational and pastoral support to our students at this time of unprecedented challenge. Can the Minister confirm whether school leaders will be granted the discretion to reopen at a pace dictated by their local circumstances and context, considering the significant mental, spiritual, physical and social impact that the current situation is having on children, especially those from the most disadvantaged and vulnerable families?
On 20th May 2020 the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, received a written answer to a question on students enrolling on courses with a public service focus.
The Bishop of Winchester: HL3912 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have, if any, to increase the number of students enrolling on courses with a public service focus, in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 13th May, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, received a written answer from Lord Callanan on university finance.
The Lord Bishop of Winchester:HL4052 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the announcement on 4 May of the support package for higher education providers as a result of the impact of COVID-19, what criteria they will use to provide research funding for universities; and how they will ensure (1) accessibility of the funding to a wide range of universities, and (2) diversity of institutional provision.
On 12th May, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester received a written answer from Baroness Sugg on a question about the World Food Programme in Africa.
Bishop of Winchester:HL3568 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what additional financial support and assistance they are providing the World Food Programme to develop an effective response to the risk of food insecurity in Africa.