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Written Statements

Volume 667: debated on Wednesday 30 October 2019

Written Statements

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

People with Significant Control: Post-Implementation Review

The Government will today publish the report on the statutory post-implementation review of the People with Significant Control (PSC) regulations. We are required to complete a PIR by virtue of various regulations:

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015;

The Register of People with Significant Control Regulations 2016;

The Limited Liability Partnerships (Register of People with Significant Control) Regulations 2016;

The European Public Limited-Liability Company (Register of People with Significant Control) Regulations 2016;

The Scottish Partnerships (Register of People with Significant Control) Regulations 2017. The People with Significant Control (PSC) register was established in 2016 to enhance the transparency of ultimate (beneficial) ownership of UK companies. The goals of the register are to promote good corporate behaviour and to deter illicit activity. UK companies and partnerships in scope of the regulations are required to keep a register of their beneficial owners and to report this information to Companies House.

This is the first review of the PSC regulations since the register was established. My Department assessed the operation of the register, the stakeholder engagement with it and the burdens the requirements place on business.

The review report concludes that the PSC register is meeting its objectives and that the costs to business have been proportionate and in line with the original estimates. The register is widely used, has a positive economic effect and contributes to the fight against criminal use of companies.

The report notes the importance of ensuring the reliability of the PSC register information. This is being considered and will be addressed as part of the wider review of the corporate transparency and register reform.

The PSC regulations will, therefore, remain in their current form and we will continue to monitor the operation of the register. The next statutory post-implementation review of the PSC regulations will be carried out within the next five years.

A copy of the post-implementation review report will be laid before Parliament.



Department for Education' Key Achievements

I would like to update the House on some of the Department for Education’s key achievements since 2010.

We are helping families with the cost of childcare. The parents of over 1.4 million children are taking advantage of funded early education in 2019. This Government are committed to making childcare more affordable and more accessible, saving eligible families up to £5,000 per child every year.

We offer free childcare for three and four-year-olds. The Government offer a free universal 15 hours per week of childcare, with a free additional 15 hours for three and four-year-olds whose parents are in work, a total of 30 hours of free childcare per week for eligible working parents.

The vast majority of eligible children benefit from these entitlements. An estimated 328,200 children aged three and four were benefiting from 30 hours free childcare in the spring term of 2019. Take up of the 15 hours offer is very high, 92% of three year olds and 95% of 4 year olds are benefiting from free hours.

An estimated 600,000 children have benefited from a 30 hours place throughout the first two years of national delivery.

We offer free childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds. The Government offer 15 hours of free childcare per week for the most disadvantaged families.

The vast majority of eligible children benefit from this entitlement. In the spring term of 2019, 148,800 two- year-olds from disadvantaged families benefited from 15 hours a week of funded free childcare.

Over 850,000 children have benefited from the two-year-olds entitlement since it began.

Free childcare is popular with parents of two to four-year-olds. There is 95% satisfaction among parents using the two-year-old entitlement, 91% among parents using universal hours for three to four year olds, and 95% among parents using the 30 hours entitlement on how the funded hours can be used. Three quarters of parents reported having more money to spend since they started using the 30 hours, and 80% said the quality of their family life had improved.

We plan to spend around £3.5 billion on our early education entitlements this year alone, and £3.6 billion planned for next year. We want to support early years providers in delivering high quality care and education, which is why the Chancellor recently announced funding to increase hourly rates for the Government’s free hours offers for 2020-21.

We are raising the quality and professionalism of the early years workforce by investing £20 million in high quality professional development for early years practitioners.

We are giving schools the biggest funding boost in a decade over the next three years: a total of £14 billion more, a cash increase of £2.6 billion next year, £4.8 billion and £7.1 billion in 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively, compared to 2019-20.

We are levelling up funding across the country, so that every secondary school will receive a minimum of £5,000 per pupil in 2020-21, and every primary school will receive a minimum of £3,750 per pupil in 2020-21, rising to £4,000 by 2021-22.

This is in addition to the £1.5 billion per year we will continue to provide to fund additional pension costs for teachers over the next three years. Taken together, this means that by 2022-23 we will be providing an additional £150 million a week to our schools.

We introduced the national funding formula to distribute school funding fairly across the country, ensuring funding is based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics, not accidents of geography or history.

We are investing additional funding for 16 to 19-year olds, with increased funding of £400 million in 2020-21, the biggest injection of new money into 16 to19-year old education in a single year since 2010. In addition, we will be allocating at least £100 million in 2020-21 to cover pension costs in the further education sector.

Our education reforms mean more children are getting a world class education at good or outstanding schools. 85% of all children are now in good or outstanding schools, up from 66% in 2010. As of March 2019 there were 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010, thanks in part to our reforms.

Failing schools are turned around as sponsored academies. Over seven out of 10 inspected sponsored academies are now good or outstanding, only one in 10 were judged good or outstanding before they converted. There are over 2,300 sponsored academies.

Where schools are judged inadequate by Ofsted, we act quickly. For a maintained school, this means becoming an academy to benefit from the support of a strong sponsor. For an academy, we will transfer them to a stronger academy trust if necessary.

We are increasing support for schools that need additional help. We will be offering around 2,400 schools rated “requires improvement” by Ofsted optional support in a package worth up to £16.5 million overall.

We are making it easier for under performing schools to access school improvement support. Through the teaching school hubs test and learn phase around 2,000 schools will benefit from reforms to strengthen and improve school leadership. A competitive grant procurement is underway for teaching school hub “test-and-learn” phase, which is the first part of our plans to strengthen the current structure of system leadership.

Introducing a clearer and simpler school accountability system. This offers much greater clarity about when we will and will not intervene in a school, by removing the floor and coasting standards, and acknowledges that Ofsted, as an independent body, is best placed to identify inadequate educational performance which requires intervention.

We are tackling teacher workload. Our wide-ranging programme of work includes publication of the workload reduction toolkit which supports school leaders, teachers and other staff to address workload issues in their school. We have published the “Making Data Work” report, and are acting on the recommendations to tackle excessive data burdens in schools.

In 2018, we announced an additional £7.7 million to support teachers to access high quality curriculum resources and reduce their workload.

The findings from the “Teacher Workload Survey 2019”, published on 11 October, suggest there has been a reduction between 2016 and 2019 in reported working hours for teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders of 5 hours a week. Whilst this is encouraging, we will continue to take action to address workload and improve work-life balance.

We are working hard to recruit and retain brilliant teachers. In January 2019 we launched the early career framework. This will underpin a fully-funded, two-year package of structured training and support for all early career teachers, linked to the best available research evidence. We recruited 34,595 teachers to start their training in 2018, over 2,600 more than in 2017-18.

We are making sure teaching is an attractive graduate profession. It is vital we ensure that the pay offer for teachers is positioned at the top of the graduate labour market, and that is why we are setting out plans to significantly raise starting pay to £30,000 by September 2022.

We are opening high performing new free schools to improve choice for parents and outcomes for children. Through the free schools programme, this Government have funded thousands of good new school places and opened schools across the country.

As of 1 October 2019 there are 507 open free schools, 48 University Technical Colleges and 24 studio schools. These will provide over 320,000 places when at capacity.

We have approved a further 227 applications from groups that we are now working with to establish new free schools.

In 2019, seven of the top 15 provisional Progress 8 scores were achieved by free schools, including three of the top five, Eden Boys’ School Birmingham, Eden Girls’ School Coventry and Michaela Community School in Brent.

Free schools are disproportionately located in more deprived areas, and 18 per cent of all open free schools are dedicated to special needs or alternative provision.

We have opened two specialist Maths Free Schools, offering A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics, for young people aged 16 to 19 who wish to study mathematical subjects at university. These two schools are achieving excellent results: in 2019 King’s Maths School reported that 100% of their students achieved grades of A or A* at A-Level Maths; Exeter Maths School reported that 93% of students achieved an A or A* in their Maths A-Level. There are a further five such schools planned to open with funding secured for a total of eleven, enabling at least one maths free school to open in every region.

We are ensuring that all children are able to succeed, no matter their background. The attainment gap has narrowed between disadvantage pupils and others, as measured by the disadvantage gap index, by 13 percent at age 11 and 9 percent at age 16 since 2011.

We are supporting the most disadvantaged pupils, including those eligible for free school meals, with additional funding. The Government have spent more than £15 billion since 2011—and another £2.4 billion this year—through the pupil premium to tackle educational inequality.

We have increased funding for pupils with special educational needs. We will be investing an additional £780 million in high needs funding in 2020-21, a 12% increase on the amount available this year. This will bring the total spent on those with the most complex needs to over £7 billion.

We are getting reading off to a strong start so children have the literacy they need to succeed. In 2019, 82% of pupils met the expected standard in the phonics screening check, compared to just 58% when the check was introduced in 2012.

More pupils are studying the core academic subjects at school. The proportion of all pupils at the end of key stage 4 entering the English Baccalaureate—studying GCSEs in English language and literature, maths, the sciences, geography or history and a language—has risen from 22% in 2010 to 40% in 2019 in state funded schools.

Since the EBacc performance measure was first introduced in 2010, the proportion of pupils entering the EBacc has increased from 22% in 2010 to 40% in 2019 in state funded schools.

Mathematics has been the most popular A-Level since 2014, making up 11.4% of all A-Level entries in 2019.

This Government have created 1 million more school places. We are on track to create 1 million new school places this decade, the largest increase for two generations. This follows a fall of 100,000 school places between 2004 and 2010.

We are creating T-Levels, a new gold standard technical qualification so that young people gain the skills they need for employment. T-Levels will be high-quality technical alternatives to A-Levels, combining classroom theory, practical learning and a meaningful industry placement.

We are on track for the first three T-Levels for Digital, Education and Construction to be taught from September 2020, with a further seven taught from 2021, and all 25 by 2023.

We have extensive support in place for their implementation, including £60 million to build capacity for industry placements, £8 million to prepare teachers and leaders and a £38 million capital fund.

Each T-Level will require students to undertake a 45-day work placement.

Overall additional funding for T Levels will rise to an extra £500 million a year once the programme is fully rolled out.

Record rates of 18-year-olds are going to university. In 2018, one-third of all 18-year-olds entered full-time higher education, the highest on record. The proportion of 18-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds entering full-time higher education is up from 13.6% in 2009 to 20.2% in 2018. This is the highest on record.

We have removed the cap on student numbers, allowing more people with the talent and potential the opportunity to be successful at university.

Through the Higher Education and Research Act we introduced a duty to promote equality of opportunity in access and participation in higher education and we expect to see further progress, particularly among the most selective institutions.

All higher education providers must now publish application offer, acceptance, dropout and attainment rates of students by ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background. This will help hold the sector to account for their record on access and retention of students from lower socio-economic and other backgrounds.

Higher education providers have committed to spend £860 million in 2019-20 on measures to improve access and student success, up significantly from £404 million in 2009. The office for students is monitoring how effectively higher education providers spend this money.

Improving higher technical education by establishing new institutes of technology, making it easier to upskill and gain highly skilled employment.

An institute of technology is a legally binding collaboration between further education colleges, higher education institutions and employers.

They are being created to specialise in delivering higher technical training at Levels 4 and 5—above A-Level but below degree level—primarily in STEM subjects aligned to local economic priorities.

Institutes of technology will deliver a mix of apprenticeship and classroom-based provision for industries such as digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering—industries where there are skills gaps and growing demand—in order to provide employers with the skilled workforce they need.

We are investing up to £290 million capital funding to build an institute of technology network across the country.

The first 12 institutes of technology are now starting to go live, following a comprehensive competition, and we have recently announced plans to open up to 8 more to enable there to be an institute of technology in every region of the country.

More people are benefiting from new high-quality apprenticeships. Our reforms have fundamentally changed what apprenticeships involve and the long-term opportunities they provide.

Over 1.8 million people have started an apprenticeship since May 2015.

Over 60% of starts are now on high-quality, industry-designed standards, with over 500 available.

In 2019-20 funding for apprenticeships is over £2.5 billion, double what was spent in 2010-11.

Fewer young people are not in education, employment or training. The number of 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training in the UK is down by 281,000 since 2010.

We have raised the participation age so that young people are now required to continue in education or training until at least their 18th birthday. Young people can choose to participate through full-time education, a job or volunteering combined with combined with part-time study, or by undertaking an apprenticeship. This gives all young people the opportunity to develop skills and qualifications that will open doors to future employment, help them make the most of their potential, and earn more over their lifetime.

We are improving support for the most vulnerable children.

Adoption waiting times have come down. The average time between a child entering care and being placed with a family has reduced by seven months since 2012-13.

We are supporting families through the adoption support fund. This has provided over £130 million to local authorities and regional adoption agencies for therapeutic support to over 5,000 families.

We are supporting foster families to provide on-going support to young people leaving care. We are investing a further £10 million to expand staying put, to create stable homes for care leavers as they become adults. The programme will help more care leavers to continue living with their foster families until they reach 21. We are providing a further £6 million in 2021-22 to roll out staying close across the country, helping young people leaving residential care to continue to get on-going support from their previous carers they know and trust.

We are helping care leavers achieve their ambitions. We launched the care leaver covenant and are spending £5 million on three social impact bonds to help care leavers into education, employment or training. We are also investing £3 million to extend the pupil premium plus to all 16 to 18-year-old care leavers, supporting their transition into further education.

We are improving support for children in care. Our innovation programme has invested £200 million in 98 projects to enable local authorities to test new approaches to supporting children in the social care system.

We are strengthening families. Building on and scaling the learning and evidence from the innovation programme by enabling up to 60 local authorities to adopt and adapt whole system and targeted projects which have successfully supported more children to stay at home thriving in stable family environments.

The Government have committed £920 million to the second phase of the troubled families programme, which aims to achieve significant and sustained improvement for up to 400,000 families in challenging circumstances.

We are improving the quality and prestige of the social care workforce. More than 2,200 high achieving graduates have been trained through fast-track programmes frontline and step up to social work. The assessed and supported year in employment has supported more than 15,000 newly qualified social workers since 2012.


International Trade

Work of the Department

I would like to update the House on the work of the Department for International Trade. It has:

Supported UK exports worth over £2 trillion since June 2016. Since the Department was established, UK exports have grown from £537 billion to £654 billion—an increase of 22%.

Sustained the UK’s place as Europe’s top destination for foreign direct investment since 2003. DIT has supported 3,118 individual investments in the UK, helping to create 120,000 new jobs between April 2017 to March 2019 and attracting more projects, new jobs and investment capital than any other European country.

Helped to realise the UK’s potential as the top destination for tech innovation and talent by attracting international investment. This has resulted in the announcement of billions of pounds of investment in the UK from leading technology companies, including £1 billion from software company VMware, £1.9 billion from software company Salesforce, and £150 million from IT service management company Markley Group.

Dismantled barriers and opened up markets to British businesses across the world. This included:

Securing an agreement with China to lift its long-standing ban on exports of beef from the UK, a landmark move for British producers that was estimated by industry experts at the time of the deal to be worth £250 million in the first five years alone;

Lifting a ban on British beef and lamb exports to Japan, allowing exports which at the time were estimated by industry experts to be worth £130 million over five years;

Lifting the ban on British pork exports to Taiwan in August 2018. This has contributed to £2.1 million of UK pork being exported to Taiwan in the first half of 2019 alone.

Securing changes to public procurement rules on early childhood vaccinations in Bulgaria, supporting the UK to win a procurement worth £35 million.

Kicked off detailed technical preparations to ensure that the UK is ready to have our own independent trade policy for the first time in 46 years. This means that now:

We are ready to take our independent seat at the WTO.

We have a trade remedies investigations directorate to ensure UK businesses are safeguarded from unfair trade practices.

We have established working groups and high-level trade dialogues with key trade partners including the United States, Australia, China, the Gulf Co-operation Council, India, Japan and New Zealand. We also continue to use other instruments such as joint trade reviews with countries including China, India and Brazil.

Delivered a series of consultations on new trade agreements with the United States, Australia and New Zealand, as well as potential accession to the comprehensive and progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. These attracted over 600,000 responses from businesses and civil society groups across the UK.

Launched a new export strategy further to raise exports to 35% as a proportion of UK GDP. This will build on the increase of exports from 27% of GDP to 30% of GDP since the Department was created. Created the Export Champion network, made up of over 1,000 export champions and advocates, to provide peer-to-peer support to businesses across the UK.

Shielded UK trade from 85% of the additional duties that would have been imposed, by securing 18 continuity trade agreements with countries that accounted for £109 billion of trade in 2018, together with our temporary tariff regime. This will ensure continuity for UK businesses however we leave the EU.1

Attracted more than 94,000 bids for international export opportunities from UK businesses via the platform. We launched a new export opportunities platform to match UK businesses with international opportunities. Over 285,000 export opportunities have already been published by international businesses and Governments, and is used by more than 36,000 registered businesses as well as around 140,000 unique visitors each month.

Provided over £7.9 billion-worth of backing for exports through UK Export Finance, supporting over 63,000 jobs since April 2017. In June 2019, UK Export Finance also announced an extensive new finance package to support the UK’s 5.7 million small and medium-sized enterprises to export into emerging markets.

1 See for more details:



Prisoner Escort and Custody Services

I am pleased to announce the Government have awarded two new contracts for the Prisoner Escort and Custody Services (PECS) Generation 4 Lot North and Lot South, to GEOAmey Ltd and Serco Ltd respectively.

This follows a competitive procedure with negotiation conducted in accordance with public sector procurement directive 2014/24/EU. GEOAmey Ltd and Serco Ltd have offered the best overall bids in terms of quality of service and cost, relative to the other bids received.

The new contracts will build upon the current service, and deliver significant improvements and efficiencies to meet the future needs of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS), the Youth Custody Service (YCS) and the police. Both suppliers will deliver more frequent collections from police stations and courts, with quicker collection times from courts (and return to prisons). The new service also includes a new fleet of escort vans with improved safety and security features.

The new contracts will commence on 29 August 2020 for a period of 10 years, and performance of both will be monitored through monthly contract management review meetings to ensure performance is maintained throughout the life time of the contracts and suppliers are held to account.


Prime Minister

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Publication of its Phase 1 Report

This morning, Sir Martin Moore-Bick has published the phase 1 report of the independent Grenfell Tower inquiry. A copy of the report has been laid before each House of Parliament. This is a difficult day for all those who lost their loved ones, homes and possessions in that unimaginable tragedy, and found their lives devastated. Our first thoughts should be with them.

The report is a very substantial document, which includes a detailed description of the events of the night of 14 June 2017, as well as the Chair’s findings about the nature of the building, the origins of the fire, its subsequent development, the response of the London Fire Brigade and the steps taken by the other emergency services. It also contains a number of recommendations that my Government will consider with the utmost urgency. The bereaved, survivors and local residents have waited a long time for the inquiry’s report, and it is right that the report should be debated in Parliament on the day of its publication. But given the substantial nature of the report, and the limited time that parliamentarians have had to read the text, I am committed to holding a further debate at the earliest opportunity once Members have had an opportunity to properly scrutinise its contents. I hope that the bereaved and survivors can draw at least some solace from the rigorous, detailed nature of Sir Martin’s report.