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Written Statements

Volume 706: debated on Tuesday 11 January 2022

Written Statements

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Education

School Improvement

The Department for Education will today publish a Government response to the public consultation on reforming how local authorities’ school improvement functions are funded.

The Government response summarises responses and notes that Government will proceed to implementing the proposals consulted on. These are (i) that the local authority school improvement monitoring and brokering grant, forecast to be worth c.£42 million in 2022-23—based on October 2021 funding levels—will be reduced by 50% to c.£21 million for financial year 2022-23, prior to full removal in financial year 2023-24; and (ii) that provision will be included in the School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2022 to instead allow local authorities to deduct funding for local authorities’ core school improvement activities from maintained school budgets.

These changes should be viewed in the context of Government continuing to deliver year-on-year, real-terms per-pupil increases to school funding, as the recent spending review invests an additional £4.7 billion in the core schools budget by 2024-25, including significant additional funding for high needs. Taking DSG allocations together with the £1.2 billion new schools supplementary grant announced in December 2021, mainstream school budgets are due to see an average 5.8% year-on-year per-pupil cash increase in 2022-23, with every local authority forecast to see at least a 4.7% increase per pupil.

I will place a copy of the Government response in the Libraries of both Houses.

[HCWS527]

Home Department

Protect Duty Consultation: Government Response

Between 26 February and 2 July 2021, the Government consulted on proposals for the protect duty, whereby certain venues and organisations would be required to consider terrorist threats and reasonable mitigations to these. Yesterday, the Government published a document outlining the responses to the public consultation.

The consultation sought the views of those organisations and venues potentially within the scope of the protect duty, as to how we can work together to develop appropriate security measures to improve public security. It put forward criteria and thresholds for inclusion, and considered how responsible parties for public places could consider threats, and appropriate proportionate mitigating action. It also considered what support would be required to fulfil the requirements of the duty, and what oversight and sanctions would be appropriate were there to be non-compliance.

There was an excellent response to the consultation with 2,755 responses being received via an online survey or e-mail. There were also over 80 virtual engagement events undertaken with representatives from a wide range of organisations responsible for public places.

There was broad support in the consultation responses that those responsible for public places should take appropriate and proportionate measures to protect the public from attacks, and to prepare their staff to respond appropriately. There were a wide range of views as to who a potential legislative requirement should apply to, and what they should be required to do.

The Government are carefully considering policy proposals in the light of the views raised in the consultation, in particular, how a legislative requirement could further improve public security, while not placing an undue burden on organisations which are smaller in size or staffed by volunteers, such as places of worship. Legislative proposals will be taken forward when parliamentary time allows.

A copy of the consultation response document will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

[HCWS526]