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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Bishop of Winchester asks if Ministers will meet those concerned about change to law on assisted suicide

On 23rd May 2019 Baroness Meacher asked the Government “what assessment they have made of whether the threat of prosecutions under the Suicide Act 1961 is causing suffering to mentally competent, terminally ill people at the end of their lives.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question:

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Bishop of Winchester asks how Government will be held to account on clean air strategy

18.03.20 Winchester 3On 22nd May 2019 Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asked the Government “when they expect the Office for Environmental Protection to be operational; what its remit will be; and in the interim, which body will ensure compliance with environmental protection legislation and regulations.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow up question: 

The Lord Bishop of Winchester:  My Lords, a new global review has concluded that the damage to human health from air pollution extends to all organs of the body. Southampton in my diocese is now among the top 20 UK cities already at the pollution-level limit of 10 micrograms per cubic metre. I therefore press the Minister to confirm what responsibility the office for environmental protection will have in holding the Government to account for implementing their commitment to the clean air strategy, which is internationally recognised by the WHO.

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Bishop of Winchester on importance of education, religion and voluntary agencies in UK foreign policy

On 21st May 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Howell of Guildford ,”That this House takes note of the Report from the International Relations Committee UK foreign policy in a shifting world order (5th Report, HL Paper 250).” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, spoke in the debate:

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Bishop of Winchester asks about impact of British Steel situation on those in apprenticeships

On 21st May a Government statement was repeated in the House of Lords about the future of British Steel. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow up question:

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Bishop of Winchester asks Government to tackle holiday hunger and child poverty

On 21st May 2019 Baroness Janke asked the Government “what steps they are taking to address the concerns raised by teachers in, and the findings of, the survey on child poverty published by the National Education Union on 14 April.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question:

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Vote: Rehabilitation of Offenders Motion

On 20 May 2019 the House of Lords voted on an Opposition regret motion to the Government’s Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2019. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, took part in the vote:

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Bishop of Winchester asks Government about security for health and aid workers responding to Ebola outbreak in DRC

On 20th May 2019 a Government statement on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,  was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for repeating the Statement from the other place. My diocese is linked directly with the Congo and I have had a relationship with the current Bishop of North Kivu, Bishop Isesomo, for nearly 20 years.

I see the outbreak of Ebola as the presenting issue for what is a community breakdown. Over the past 25 years, particularly since the 1990s, we have seen a form of alternative governance which makes it very hard for any kind of intervention to work that does not tackle the question of security. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks Government about security for health and aid workers responding to Ebola outbreak in DRC”

Bishop of Winchester asks about Further Education funding

On 20th May 2019 Baroness Tyler of Enfield asked the Government “what steps they are taking to ensure that issues of (1) inter- generational fairness, and (2) well-being, are properly considered as part of the forthcoming spending review.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow up question on FE funding:

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Bishop of Winchester asks Government what is being done to increase university admissions for the disadvantaged

On 20th December 2018 the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, received a written answer to a question on university admissions:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps the Office for Students is taking to encourage universities to use unconditional and other alternative offers to widen participation by minority groups including those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.