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House of Commons Hansard
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Petitions
04 September 2018
Volume 646

Petitions

Tuesday 4 September 2018

OBSERVATIONS

Education

Calderdale Schools Funding

The petition of residents of the UK,

Declares that Calderdale schools are in urgent need of extra funding to offset the worst effects of the proposed National Funding Formula and increased costs; further which sees more than three quarters of Calderdale schools significantly disadvantaged under such funding arrangements.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to fund all schools fully and properly as a matter of urgency and necessity; and further to invest in both staff and pupils; further to commit to such investment over the life of this Parliament, and further to recognise the potential negative impact of insufficient funds on children's educational outcomes if schools are unable to maintain adequate staffing levels, safe environments and appropriate learning resources.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Holly Lynch, Official Report, 17 July 2018; Vol. 645, c. 373.]

[P002212]

Observations from the Minister for School Standards (Nick Gibb):

School funding is at its highest ever level at £42.4 billion this year and £43.5 billion next year. Figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that real terms per pupil funding in 2020 will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000. A primary school class is now funded to £132,000 up from 10 years ago and a secondary school class is funded up to £171,000 more.

As the petitioners note, we have also introduced a new national funding formula for schools. This is an historic reform. For the first time in 2018-19, school funding was distributed based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country. In 2019-20, all schools in Calderdale and across the country will attract an increase of at least 1% per pupil compared to their 2017-18 baselines. Those schools that have been historically underfunded will attract up to 6% more, per pupil, compared to 2017-18—a further 3%, per pupil, on top of the 3% they gained in 2018-19—as we continue to address historic injustices.

Under the national funding formula, Calderdale schools have attracted an average increase of 2.2% per pupil this year. We have now published updated illustrative local authority and school level allocations for 2019-20. These show that schools in Calderdale will attract a 3.6% per pupil increase by 2019-20, compared to 2017-18. This represents an increase of £161 per pupil. Full details of formula allocations can be found here: https://www.gov. uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula -tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2019-to-2020.

We do recognise schools have faced cost pressures in recent years, and we are providing extensive support to schools to deliver the best value from their resources. Further details of the support available can be found at http://tinyurl.com/HUTWG36.

This includes recommended deals on the things that schools buy regularly, including savings up to 40% on printers and photocopiers. You can find further information on national deals here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/deals-for-schools/deals-for-schools. On teachers’ pay, the largest area of schools’ expenditure, we will be supporting schools in England to implement the 2018 pay award with an investment of £508 million through a new Teachers’ Pay Grant.

Public sector nursery provision

The petition of residents of Salford,

Declares that public sector nurseries consistently provide above-average quality of provision, provide superior levels of school-ready pupils, Special Educational Need provision and services to areas of high deprivation; further that in comparison to the private sector, public sector nurseries provide more accurate tracking information to schools, more affordable services and a better standard of early education; further that new conditions imposed by the Department for Education have thrown many nurseries and Early Years services across the country into financial peril, both in the public and private sector; further that local authorities are now unable to use the vast majority of the Dedicated Schools Grant for their own Early Years provisions; and further notes that the £55 million fund set aside to support Maintained Nursery Schools is not available for Local Authority nurseries which are not headed up by a head-teacher and which lack trained teaching staff.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to do all in its power to value and to support the continuation of public sector nursery provision, including reversing the changes to the Dedicated Schools Grant and changing the way that the £55 million supplementary funding for Maintained Nursery Schools is used to make available to all Local Authority nurseries.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Barbara Keeley, Official Report, 17 July 2018; Vol. 645, c. 374.]

[P002218]

Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education (Nadhim Zahawi):

The Government are spending more on childcare support than any other Government—around £6 billion a year by 2019-20. This includes an additional £1 billion a year to deliver the childcare entitlements. Our funding rates are based on evidence from our “Review of Childcare Costs”, which was described as “thorough and wide ranging” by the National Audit Office.

The Government also introduced the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF) to allocate their record investment fairly and transparently and ensure that early years providers can deliver free childcare on a sustainable and high-quality basis. Local authorities are also required to pass through 95% of early years funding directly to providers to ensure it reaches the frontline. The Government consulted extensively prior to introducing the EYNFF and received broad consensus on the reforms they introduced (including the 95% pass through).

The Government’s 30 hours programme is rolling out successfully with more than 340,000 children aged three and four years old benefiting from a 30 hours place throughout the first year of delivery. This is saving families up to £5,000 per year in total and making it easier for them to work and earn more in the years before their children start school.

It is for Salford City Council to decide how best to fund their providers to meet their duty to provide sufficient places to meet parental demand. We are pleased that there are no reports of 30 hours sufficiency issues in the Salford City local authority area.

All authorities have the option of requesting flexibility around the 95% passthrough requirement and the Government would be willing to consider such an application from Salford City Council for the 2019-20 financial year.

With regard to Maintained Nursery Schools, they are required to employ a qualified teacher and a headteacher, as well as to be constituted as a school, which means they typically incur higher costs than other types of early years providers that are not required to meet these obligations. In recognition of these requirements, we are providing supplementary funding to protect existing Maintained Nursery School funding rates until 2019-20.

The Government have also had extensive discussions with Salford City Council. On 16 May 2018, I met Salford MPs, the Mayor of Salford, and representatives from Unison, parents and staff to discuss five of Salford’s council-maintained nurseries. I have also met Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, to discuss the same matter. Alongside these meetings, DfE officials have had ongoing constructive communication with council officers to discuss the options being explored locally and to provide advice and support.

We are happy to continue this dialogue with local authority officers as they consider the options available to them.

School funding in Tiverton and Honiton

The petition of residents of Tiverton and Honiton,

Declares that parents have concerns about funding for schools in the constituency of Tiverton and Honiton; further that Tiverton High School is facing pressure on staff numbers and further that parents and teachers in Tiverton and Honiton are concerned about ability to maintain high school standards.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons does not let those cuts take place.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Neil Parish, Official Report, 19 July 2018; Vol. 645, c. 12P.]

[P002242]

Observations from the Minister for School Standards (Nick Gibb):

School funding is at its highest ever level at £42.4 billion this year and £43.5 billion next year. Figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that real terms per pupil funding in 2020 will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000. A primary school class is now funded to £132,000 up from 10 years ago and a secondary school class is funded up to £171,000 more.

By 2019-20, all schools across the country, including schools in Tiverton and Honiton, will attract an increase of at least 1% per pupil compared to their 2017-18 baselines. Those schools that have been historically underfunded will attract up to 6% more, per pupil, compared to 2017-18—a further 3% on top of the 3% they gained in 2018-19—as we continue to address historic injustices.

Under the national funding formula, schools in Tiverton and Honiton will attract an average increase of 1.9% per pupil by 2019-20, compared to 2017-18 funding levels. This represents an increase of £82 per pupil. Based on 2018-2019 pupil figures, this amounts to a total funding increase of 4%, or £2 million. Full details of formula allocations can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government /publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2019-to-2020.

We do recognise that many schools have worked hard to manage the impact of cost pressures on their budgets. Most of these pressures have been absorbed by schools, at the same time as standards continue to rise. There are now 1.9 million more pupils in good or outstanding schools compared to 2010.

We continue to provide support, guidance and tools to help schools achieve the best value from their resources, further details of which can be found at http://tinyurl.com/HUTWG36. This includes information for school leaders, so they can better consider a range of options for their staff structures. There are many examples of schools making improvements through revising the deployment of staff. For example, by reducing workload, reviewing curriculum planning, sharing staff across sites or schools, changing the make-up of the leadership team, new approaches to flexible working, and reviewing the balance of teaching and support staff. We published the School Workforce Planning guidance which helps school leaders address this in a structured way—with a series of prompts and questions, linking through to available evidence (for example from the Education Endowment Foundation) and benchmarking information.

Home education: draft guidance and consultation

The petition of residents of Dudley South constituency,

Declare that the “Home Education—Call for Evidence and revised DfE guidance” has been written following significant consultation with local authorities and no consultation whatsoever with the home education community; further that the consultation is consequently for little more than show as an intention to implement the content has already been stated: further that it seeks to encourage local authorities to breach the ECHR Article 8 and the GDPR; and further that the report provides no accessible means for a parent to address ultra vires behaviour by their local authority, where many of those authorities already act routinely in an ultra vires manner.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to withdraw the draft guidance and the consultation, until it has put in place an accessible and workable complaints procedure and further has consulted with home educating parents, as it has with Local Authorities, what the contents should include.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mike Wood, Official Report, 18 July 2018; Vol. 645, c. 5p.]

[P002240]

The petition of residents of Bristol South,

Declare that the “Home Education—Call for Evidence and revised DfE guidance” has been written following significant consultation with local authorities and no consultation whatsoever with the home education community; further that the consultation is consequently for little more than show as an intention to implement the content has already been stated: further that it seeks to encourage local authorities to breach the ECHR Article 8 and the GDPR; and further that the report provides no accessible means for a parent to address ultra vires behaviour by their local authority, where many of those authorities already act routinely in an ultra vires manner.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to withdraw the draft guidance and the consultation, until it has put in place an accessible and workable complaints procedure and further has consulted with home educating parents, as it has with Local Authorities, what the contents should include.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Official Report, 24 July 2018; Vol. 645, c. 17p .]

[P002261]

Observations from the Minister for School Standards (Nick Gibb):

The consultation “Home Education—Call for Evidence and revised DfE guidance” closed on 2 July 2018. The relevant documents can be found at:

https://consult.education.gov.uk/school-frameworks/home-education-call-for-evidence-and-revised-dfe-a/.

As well as the call for evidence, the consultation includes draft versions of two guidance documents on the current arrangements for home education. These are intended to replace the Department for Education’s current non-statutory guidance for local authorities, which is to be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elective-home-education.

The Department discussed home education with stakeholders in the normal course of business up to the launch of the consultation on 10 April.

All responses to the consultation will be considered before publishing the finalised guidance documents. At no point has the Department stated an intention to publish them as final versions without revision in the light of responses received to the consultation.

Representations on whether the contents of the two draft guidance documents breach Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to private and family life) or the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (as embodied into UK law in the Data Protection Act 2018), will be taken into account as we consider responses to the consultation.

The documents in their draft form contain no reference to remedies for behaviour by local authorities. This is because no special provision for this is necessary in respect of home education. The Education Act 1996 already contains general provisions for this purpose relating to local authorities. However, the Department will consider whether the finalised versions of the guidance documents should contain specific information on this.

This Department does not recognise the suggestion that consultation has been flawed or inadequate. Several thousand responses, the majority of which have come from home educating families, have been received, as well as a substantial petition, and there has been considerable opportunity for detailed comment and input from such families. Following the consultation and consideration of the responses, the two guidance documents will be published in the autumn of 2018 in their revised and finalised form. In addition, a formal Government response document analysing responses to the call for evidence, and setting out next steps, will also be published in the autumn of 2018.

Defence

Backing Our Servicemen and Women

The Humble Petition of Hampshire and the wider United Kingdom,

Sheweth,

That urgent action must be taken by HM Government to protect British Military veterans from spurious and vexatious historic allegations and repeated prosecutions.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges HM Government to take all possible steps to immediately legislate for a Statute of Limitations that will prevent British Military veterans of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas combat operations suffering spurious and vexatious historic allegations and repeated prosecutions.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Mr Ranil Jayawardena , Official Report, 25 June 2018; Vol. 643, c. 725.]

[P002153]

Protection for British Service Personnel

The petition of Residents of West Oxfordshire,

Declares that urgent action must be taken by the Government to protect British Military veterans from spurious historic allegations and repeated prosecutions.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges HM Government to immediately legislate for the Statute of Limitations that will prevent British Military veterans of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas combat operations suffering spurious and vexatious historic allegations and repeated prosecutions.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Robert Courts, Official Report, 25 June 2018; Vol. 643, c. 726.]

[P002158]

The petition of residents of Aldershot and the wider United Kingdom,

Declares that urgent action must be taken by the Government to protect British Military veterans from spurious historic allegations and repeated prosecutions.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges HM Government to immediately legislate for the Statute of Limitations that will prevent British Military veterans of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas combat operations suffering spurious and vexatious historic allegations and repeated prosecutions.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Leo Docherty, Official Report, 26 June 2018; Vol. 643, c. 862.]

[P002159]

Observations from the Minister for the Armed Forces (Mark Lancaster):

The Ministry of Defence is acutely aware of the strain that criminal and judicial investigations place on service personnel and veterans. We take seriously our duty of care, and provide appropriate legal and pastoral support to those facing such investigations as a result of their service.

We rightly expect the highest standards of our service personnel and it goes without saying that the vast majority meet those expectations while performing a difficult job in the most difficult circumstances. But, like all citizens, our service personnel are subject to the law. In terms of investigations, there is a statutory obligation on the service police to investigate credible allegations of criminal conduct. In addition, there are circumstances in which the UK is required under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to investigate.

We nevertheless acknowledge the growing strength of feeling in Parliament and elsewhere that our service personnel and veterans should be afforded greater legal protection. As Defence Ministers have repeatedly made clear, nobody wants to see serving personnel or veterans facing repeated investigations many years after the event.

It is useful to remember that the circumstances in which our armed forces have operated over the last few decades have varied considerably, in terms of geographic location, the nature of the operations and the political and legal contexts in which these operations have been conducted. These variations create challenges when seeking to adopt solutions that apply effectively across the full range of operational situations, both domestic and overseas. Even if an all-embracing statute of limitations were legally possible, the risk of significant unintended consequences would be high, given that it would allow the International Criminal Court to assume jurisdiction for many alleged crimes where the limitation period barred our authorities from prosecuting.

For Northern Ireland, the Government understand the concerns that people have about the way in which legacy matters are currently dealt with. The Government believe that the institutions set out in the 2014 Stormont House Agreement are the best way to ensure a fair, balanced and proportionate approach to addressing the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland. That is why the Northern Ireland Office is currently consulting on the detail of how the Stormont House Agreement institutions could be implemented.

The Ministry of Defence is aware that the House of Commons Defence Committee has recently launched an inquiry into this important topic. The Committee’s interest is welcome. In a complementary initiative, the Defence Secretary has recently announced the creation of a dedicated team within the Ministry of Defence to consider the wider issues engaged by this debate and to advise him on the way forward. The team will look beyond the statute of limitations idea to consider other possible approaches and will operate closely alongside the Northern Ireland Office with respect to their consultation process.

Health and Social Care

Closure of Sandfield House

The petition of residents of North Lincolnshire,

Declares that Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation were given notice to cease operating at the site of Sandfield House by North Lincolnshire Council; and further notes that the closure of the community resource would affect more than 1,000 people who are being treated there.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to intervene with North Lincolnshire Council to stop the closure of Sandfield House.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Nic Dakin , Official Report, 4 July 2018; Vol. 644, c. 457.]

[P002167]

Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Jackie Doyle-Price):

Decisions on the provision of local healthcare services and facilities are made locally. The closure of this facility is a matter for North Lincolnshire Council, and it is the responsibility of the local NHS to ensure service continuity for patients.

The Department of Health and Social Care understands that Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust has already re-located its Options Recovery College to Scunthorpe town centre, and is working closely with local health commissioners and consulting on proposals to accommodate other staff and clinical services previously provided from the Sandfield site.

The independent Mental Health Taskforce published its Five Year Forward View for Mental Health February 2016 which set out the current state of mental health service provision in England and made recommendations in all service areas. The Government accepted all the recommendations in the Five Year Forward View (FYFV). The NHS England Dashboard for the Five Year Forward View gives a public platform against which key targets set out within the FYFV can be tracked.

The Government confirmed their commitment to improving mental health services and announced they would invest an additional £l billion to support the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. Spending on mental health has increased to a record £11.6 billion in 2016-17 and we are expecting to confirm expenditure on mental health of £11.86 billion for 2017-18.

By 2020-21, each year up to 29,000 more people living with mental health problems should be supported to find or stay in work through increasing access to psychological therapies for common mental health problems and expanding access to Individual Placement and Support (IPS).

MenC vaccine

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that in March 2016 the Joint Committee of Vaccination recommended that infants aged twelve weeks no longer require the vaccination against meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) due to the success of the immunisation programme that started in 1999; further that from July 2016, the MenC vaccine for twelve week old babies was discontinued from the NHS childhood vaccination programme and further declares that there was a baby girl in Bradford recently left fighting for her life after contracting MenC at the age of ten months and that one case of MenC is one too many.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reintroduce the MenC vaccine for babies aged twelve weeks.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Judith Cummins, Official Report, 14 June 2018; Vol. 642, c. 1184.]

[P002155]

Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Steve Brine):

The incidence of meningococcal group C (MenC) disease is very low across all age groups, including infants and young children, due to the successful implementation of the MenC vaccine programme in 1999.

In June 2015, our expert group, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), advised that children now need two rather than three doses of vaccine that protects against MenC. As a result the United Kingdom (UK) vaccination schedule changed from 1 July 2016.

Children no longer have a dose of MenC vaccine at 3 months of age. However they continue to be protected against group C meningococcal disease through the routine 12-month MenC/Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine and a dose of a combined vaccine against meningococcal groups A, C, W, and Y in teenagers.

The new meningococcal vaccine (Bexsero®) was introduced into the national infant immunisation programmes in September 2015. This offers protection against group B meningococcal (MenB) disease but is also expected to provide some protection against certain strains of MenC. The MenB vaccine is provided at 2, 4 and 12 months.

Cases of MenC disease remain extremely low across England. Public Health England (PHE) continue to closely monitor rates of disease. Local PHE centres follow up and investigate all cases, and recommend any necessary precautionary measures to prevent further cases.

The JCVI keeps all vaccination programmes under regular review.

Housing, Communities and Local Government

Leasehold terms in Chase Park, Sherburn Village

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the terms and conditions associated with the lease extensions of leasehold property on the Chase Park Estate, Sherburn village, Durham, are unfair; and further that the current terms and conditions make it difficult to afford a lease extension and to sell or purchase the respective leasehold properties.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to call on the current administrators of the leases on the Chase Park Estate to provide fair evaluation for the cost of lease extension, and to provide fair ground rent terms after the extension of a lease.

—[Presented by Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods , Official Report, 18 July 2018; Vol. 645, c. 520.]

[P002235]

Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Mrs Heather Wheeler):

On 21 December 2017, the Government published their official response to the consultation “Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market”

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/tackling-unfair-practices-in-the-leasehold-market

The response sets out how the Government want to make it easier for existing leaseholders to be able to exercise their right to buy their freehold, or extend their lease, faster, fairer and cheaper, and for this right to be available as soon as possible.

The Government are working with the Law Commission to achieve this. They will consult on introducing a prescribed formula that provides fair compensation to the landlord, while also helping leaseholders avoid incurring additional court costs. They will also consider introducing a Right of First Refusal for house lessees.

On 19 July 2018, the Law Commission published a summary paper on proposed solutions for leasehold houses. It sets out options for reducing premiums paid for enfranchisement and proposes solutions to simplify the enfranchisement process. Details can be found at: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/leasehold-enfranchisement/.

A detailed consultation on a new enfranchisement regime in respect of leasehold houses and flats will be published in Autumn 2018. The final report will follow in 2019.

Additionally, the Law Commission’s 13th Programme of Law Reform was published on 14 December 2017, and includes a project on Unfair Terms in Leasehold. The Law Commission has made an announcement on its work with the Department at: https://www.lawcom .gov.uk/project/residential-leasehold-and-commonhold/.

For existing leaseholders, some developers are now offering the option to vary leases so that ground rents increase in line with inflation rather than doubling. This action is welcome, but we believe these measures must go further and faster. The Government want to see this support extended to all those with onerous ground rents, including second hand buyers, and for customers to be proactively contacted.

International Development

Gap in Educational Attainment

The petition of pupils and staff of Deanburn Primary School,

Declares that the petitioners believe that the gap in educational attainment across the globe is deplorable; further that schools need to be a safe and peaceful haven where children are free to learn and flourish; yet 264 million young people are denied this right worldwide.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to ensure that the “Send my Friend to School” campaign forms a key aspect of the UK Government’s international development programme and ensure that every child in the world receives a quality education to reach their full potential.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Martyn Day, Official Report, 26 June 2018; Vol. 643, c. 861.]

[P002160]

Observations from the Minister of State, Department for International Development (Alistair Burt):

Education is a top priority for the UK Government and UK aid: we know it is a critical ingredient for reducing poverty, a key driver for development and significantly improves the lives of children globally. Like the Petitioners, we champion the importance of ensuring all children, including marginalised groups, receive a safe, good quality education.

Education systems in developing and conflict-affected countries face a learning crisis—more than half of the world’s children (387 million) will leave primary school without basic foundational skills of reading, writing and basic maths. This is truly alarming, and demands that national Governments, civil society and development partners all step up and take action.

Between 2015 and 2018, the Department for International Development (DFID) supported 11.4 million children to gain a decent education, half of them girls. We are also working to close the learning gap by driving improvements in. teaching, supporting education reforms, and providing targeted support to disadvantaged girls, children with disabilities and those affected by conflict and crises.

Girls are 2.5 times more likely than boys to not attend school in conflict zones, placing them at greater risk of exploitation, violence, trafficking, early marriage and child labour. This is why the UK is proud to be a global leader and major investor in girls’ education. Through the UK’s flagship Girls’ Education Challenge—the largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education—we will support over one million girls to stay safe and access quality education, including approximately 75% who live in conflict zones and fragile states. This will help girls to reach their full potential and contribute to the prosperity of their families, communities and economies.

In most developing and conflict-affected countries, there is an enormous gap in education provision for children with disabilities. At the recent Global Disability Summit hosted by the UK Government, we called for global action to get more children with disabilities into school and learning. The Government are stepping up their own effort to achieve this objective.

With regards to the safety of schools, the UK Government agree that it is deplorable that so many girls and boys experience violence at school. Education should provide children with a sense of normalcy, stability, structure and hope for the future, and schools should also save lives through providing physical protection from the dangers and exploitation of a crisis environment. We have long addressed violence at schools through our education programmes around the world, and this is an issue which we have committed to tackle further in our education policy “Get Children Learning”, published in February 2018. In April, the UK announced our endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration, underlining our political support for the protection of schools during military operations and armed conflict. However, keeping girls and boys safe at school is not something the UK can do alone. We are working closely with partners such as UNICEF and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children to raise the profile of this issue and push the international community to better protect children at school. We look forward to also working with the Send My Friend to School campaign to make safe schools a reality for children the world over.