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Written Statements

Volume 657: debated on Wednesday 3 April 2019

Written Statements

Wednesday 3 April 2019

Education

Education Technology Strategy

Education technology (EdTech) refers to the practice of using technology to support teaching and the effective day-to-day running of education institutions. Technology has become embedded throughout society and yet the use of technology in education is mixed. There is potential for technology to play a stronger role in helping to address some of the key challenges in education.

The Department for Education has developed an education technology strategy “Realising the potential of technology in Education: A strategy for education providers and the technology sector”. The strategy aims to support and enable the education sector in England to help develop and embed technology in a way that cuts workload, fosters efficiencies, removes barriers to education and ultimately drives improvements in education outcomes. It includes support to promote a vibrant EdTech business sector in the UK to provide proven, high-quality products that meet the needs of educators and fosters a pipeline of fresh ideas.

At the core of the strategy is an understanding that the use of technology does not provide a panacea, but when used well, it can be highly effective in helping to deliver improvements and tackle challenges throughout education. The strategy marks the development of a partnership between the education sector, the technology industry and the Government to drive further progress in the use of education technology for schools, further education, higher education and other providers and announces a new leadership group to take this forward.

The strategy makes clear how we intend to build upon existing good practice in the sector through launching a network of EdTech demonstrator schools and colleges across the country. The demonstrator schools and colleges will help showcase the possibilities for technology and will facilitate peer-to-peer learning about the good use of technology to help address challenges facing teachers, leaders and students, be this funding, teacher workloads, meeting the needs of pupils with special needs or more generally to help support teachers to deliver excellent teaching.

It also makes clear that Government will help address the barriers facing education providers and the technology industry, through:

Helping schools to secure the broadband and networking infrastructure they need through accelerating the roll-out of full fibre internet connectivity to schools and providing guidance.

Supporting the creation of opportunities for teachers and school leaders to improve their skills and knowledge about good use of technology through creating opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and through supporting partner organisations to provide free online CPD courses and free nationwide roadshows showcasing products, services and good practice.

Improving support for procurement of technology, including exploring how to facilitate a better online marketplace for EdTech including through pre-negotiated buying deals, and supporting a digital service allowing schools to try products before they buy.

Helping education providers and the technology industry understand the privacy, security and data guidance and standards they should adhere to.

Helping the education technology industry to understand the full range of support available to them to help grow and scale their business through the Government’s industrial strategy.

Improving the digital services that the Department for Education itself provides.

The strategy also announces 10 challenges to educationists and the technology industry. These cover areas where we think there is real potential for technology to make a difference and where we are seeking to galvanise activity, promote innovation and to prove whether or not technology has the potential to deliver positive outcomes. This includes the use of technology in assessment, administration, learning throughout life, teaching practice and continuing professional development. We will deliver the challenges through research, competitions to promote innovation by industry and the development of test bed schools and colleges.

This strategy marks the start of creating a technology revolution in education in England. We know that delivering this vision will take time, but we are committed to working in partnership with education and industry to deliver this vision.

I will deposit a copy of the strategy in the Libraries of both Houses.

[HCWS1478]

Home Department

Windrush Compensation Scheme

I have today announced the details of the Windrush compensation scheme. The Government deeply regret what has happened to some members of the Windrush generation and when I became Home Secretary I made clear that responding to this was a priority. The compensation scheme being launched today is a key part of righting the wrongs experienced by some members of the Windrush generation, under successive Governments.

A public consultation opened on 19 July 2018 seeking views on proposals for a Windrush compensation scheme. Since the consultation closed on 16 November, careful consideration has been given to the 1,435 responses that were received from people and organisations, as well as the feedback from the focus groups. These views have been considered in addition to the 650 responses to the call for evidence which preceded the consultation. Martin Forde QC, who was appointed to give independent advice on the compensation scheme, has attended events across the country to hear the stories of those affected, and his findings have contributed to the final design. I would like to extend particular thanks to Martin: I have met him to discuss his views on the scheme and his advice has been invaluable.

The Government have listened carefully and I believe the proposals are in line with what the majority of respondents wanted to see in the scheme. I am pleased that Martin has concluded the scheme is accessible and fairly compensates those who have suffered. The scheme will ensure that those who have been affected are able to claim for the losses they faced and receive appropriate compensation. It is important that the scheme works well for those who have suffered a loss, so we are making it accessible and fair, with guidance available to help people understand what compensation they might be entitled to and how they submit a claim.

Detailed information about the compensation scheme, with the forms and guidance that people need to make a claim, are available from today online at: www.gov.uk/windrush-compensation. Our free phone helpline is also open now 0800 678 1925 for those wishing to receive printed copies of the claim form or for any other queries. Copies of the response to the consultation (CP 81) are available from the Vote Office and will also be online at: www.gov.uk.

The Home Office is committed to raising awareness of the scheme, and to encouraging eligible people of all nationalities to submit a claim. Eligibility for compensation goes beyond members of the Caribbean Commonwealth, and we are putting in place a programme of events with key stakeholders, faith and community organisations to communicate the detail of the scheme and give everyone who is potentially eligible, the opportunity to hear about the scheme and to apply.

I would again like to thank all those who responded to the consultation and who took part in the wider engagement during the development of the scheme. The views and experiences that have been shared have proved crucial in shaping the Government’s policy, ensuring it addresses the matters raised by those affected.

[HCWS1481]

International Trade

Trade Advisory Groups

The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) has ensured that creating an open and transparent trade policy is at the heart of its mission for an inclusive trade agenda that maximises benefit for the whole of the UK. We recognise that transparency is fundamental to better outcomes.

As part of this approach the Government have created the Strategic Trade Advisory Group (STAG) to seek informed views on relevant trade policy matters. The group will be composed of 16 core members from business to trade unions, consumer groups to non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It will be chaired by the Minister for Trade Policy, alongside a co-chair from the STAG. Membership of the group has been designed to represent a diverse range of interest and expertise from across the UK, allowing the Government to harness advice, insight and evidence from a wide range of experienced voices already actively involved in trade issues.

The full list of seats includes:

Category

Name

Organisations/Area

Academia

Prof. Holger Breinlich

University of Surrey

Business Representative Organisation

Carolyn Fairbairn

Confederation of British Industry

Consumers (Standards)

Dr.Scott Steedman CBE

British Standards Institution

Consumers

Caroline Normand

Which?

Developmental Organisation

Dr. Dirk Willem te Velde

Overseas Development Institute

New Entrant Business

Mark Abrams

Trade Finance Global

Non-governmental Organisations

Michael Gidney

Fair Trade Foundation

Northern Ireland Business

Nick Coburn CBE

Ulster Carpets Group

Regional Business

Denise Valin Alvarez

Burberry

Scottish Business

Liz Cameron OBE

Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Services

Gary Campkin

City UK

Small and Medium Enterprise

Sean Ramsden

Ramsden International

Small and Medium Enterprise (Business Representative Organisations)

Mike Cherry OBE

Federation of Small Business

Think Tank

Sam Lowe

Centre for European Reform

Trade Unions

Paul Nowak

Trade Union Congress

Welsh Business

Prys Morgan

Kepak Group Limited

Members of the group were recruited through an open call for expressions of interest which ran from 18 July to 17 August 2018 followed by a two stage sift process against the published membership criteria. The selection process followed best practice principles to ensure a fair and transparent approach.

As part of DITs ongoing commitment to transparency on trade issues, we will make dates of meetings, agendas and a summary of discussions publicly available.

The groups will have an advisory function only and will be one part of the wider engagement structure the Government are putting in place to gather insight and intelligence from stakeholders.

Another key component of our engagement infra- structure is cross-government Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs), which are being set up to facilitate expert technical policy exchanges on specific sector and thematic policy areas. Membership of the groups will vary according to the sector or policy area but will comprise relevant experts from the fields of academia, regulation, business and civil society.

We are committed to seeking views from the widest range of stakeholder groups. In addition to the above formal structures we will continue to use a variety of mechanisms and engagement structures to ensure that our trade policy works for the whole of the UK.

[HCWS1480]

Transport

EU Transport Council

The Romanian presidency hosted an informal meeting of Transport Ministers in Bucharest on Wednesday 27 March. This was not a formal Council meeting and no decisions were taken. This statement provides a summary of discussions. The UK was represented by officials.

The meeting discussed multimodality, sustainability, infrastructure and road safety. On multimodality, participants underlined the importance of developing a comprehensive approach to multimodal transport. Integrated ticketing systems, promotion of car-sharing or public transport, digitalisation and interoperability were identified as means for developing multimodality.

On sustainability, participants discussed the importance of action to reduce the impact of transport on climate change, recognising the challenges raised by an increasing need for mobility and the negative impact on the climate. Policy and practical approaches to encouraging multimodal transport were discussed, with many interventions focusing on possible measures to be taken in order to decarbonise transport such as: promotion of alternative fuels, digitalisation, better planning of services, uptake of new technologies, and incentives for use of public transport or cycling.

The Commission set out its thinking on the revision of the TEN-T regulation, following the launch of its review process in March, and its plans for consultation with stakeholders and member states in the next few months. Participants welcomed the Commission’s initiative to start the revision process of the TEN-T regulation and discussed future funding options for the promotion of priority projects.

Over lunch the meeting heard some presentations on road safety. The European Commission stressed the importance of member states implementing the “Vision zero” to reduce fatalities and severe injuries on roads. The European Commission will be seeking to re-focus its efforts in this area by introducing a new policy framework on road safety for 2021-30. In addition, it will seek to foster a partnership with the European Investment Bank to provide the “Safer Transport Facility” with the aim of providing a “one stop shop” to support member states in achieving the objective.

The UK did not intervene substantively.

[HCWS1479]