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Results 1–20 of 6000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:David Laws

Asbestos in Schools (17 Mar 2015)

David Laws: I am very grateful to the hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Jim Sheridan)for securing this debate and for giving us an opportunity to discuss an extremely important and, with the publication at the end of last week of the Department’s review of policy on asbestos, timely issue. I thank him for his significant contribution as a member of the Department for Education’s...

Asbestos in Schools (17 Mar 2015)

David Laws: As the hon. Gentleman will know, that issue was not directly part of the review we published last week, so if he will allow me I will write to him before the Dissolution of Parliament to set out our thinking on those points. If he wants to make further representation on that issue directly to the Department—notwithstanding that we have only a short period before end of this Parliament—I...

Business of the House: Education Regulations and Faith Schools (12 Mar 2015)

David Laws: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh) on securing this debate and giving the House the opportunity to discuss this important issue. I also thank other hon. Members who have spoken and express my gratitude to the Labour shadow Minister for being generous with his time and for issuing a clear reprimand to his boss for his views on the contribution of nuns...

Business of the House: Education Regulations and Faith Schools (12 Mar 2015)

David Laws: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. In all the cases drawn to our attention, there are much wider issues than those that have been described. Quite often, the reasons for the schools being failed in some way by Ofsted inspectors have been not primarily about some of those concerns but about other issues. In conducting inspections, inspectors are required to uphold the highest professional...

Deregulation Bill (Programme) (No.3): Backbench Business — School Funding Formula (10 Mar 2015)

David Laws: We have had a short but on the whole excellent debate. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr Walker) on his leadership of the campaign, on opening the debate, and on putting the case so powerfully and in a way that sought to unite Members across the House. I also pay tribute to the other hon. Members who spoke, who in most cases have been involved in the campaign for...

Deregulation Bill (Programme) (No.3): Backbench Business — School Funding Formula (10 Mar 2015)

David Laws: That is certainly a sensible principle, and it is exactly what we have tried to do through many of our reforms. Throughout the Parliament we have introduced major reforms that have improved the fairness and simplicity of the system and laid the essential foundation stones to allow us, the two coalition parties, to introduce a full national funding formula in future. The major reforms we have...

Deregulation Bill (Programme) (No.3): Backbench Business — School Funding Formula (10 Mar 2015)

David Laws: I will not, I am afraid, because of the lack of time. In the next Parliament, multi-year spending plans will allow us to give certainty to local authorities and schools about how we transition to a national funding formula. Meanwhile, no local authority or school will lose out from the introduction of minimum funding levels from 2015-16, but about four in 10 areas will gain. We have already...

Todmorden and Calder High Schools (9 Mar 2015)

David Laws: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Calder Valley (Craig Whittaker) on securing this important debate. I understand how important this matter is to him, and I recognise that he is and has been a strong advocate for the schools in his constituency. It clearly is not right for pupils and teachers to work in buildings in a poor condition where learning is disrupted and staff time is...

Todmorden and Calder High Schools (9 Mar 2015)

David Laws: My understanding is that, following my hon. Friend’s representations to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State, the Department looked very closely at the judgments we made on those school buildings, and we continue to believe that they were right, but I will move on to that point in a moment. I would like to make it clear at this point that I, as the Minister responsible for the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Property Data Survey (2 Mar 2015)

David Laws: Through the priority school building programme 2, we have used the property data survey to allocate £2 billion to rebuild and refurbish buildings in the worst conditions at 277 schools across the country. We have no plans to publish a ranking of surveyed schools.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Property Data Survey (2 Mar 2015)

David Laws: I know that my hon. Friend is a champion of the schools in his constituency, including the two that he mentions. In addition to the priority school building programme phase 2 funding, we recently announced £4.2 billion of funding for the improvement and maintenance of school buildings over the next three years, and his local authority is able to draw down on those moneys allocated to its...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Teacher Work Loads (2 Mar 2015)

David Laws: The Secretary of State and I engaged with teachers associations and unions in the discussions about teacher work loads, most recently through the work load challenge. I welcome their contribution to the debate, including through the programme of talks at the Department for Education.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Teacher Work Loads (2 Mar 2015)

David Laws: The work load burden on teachers, which has been present for some time in this country, including under the Labour Government, is precisely the reason that we established the work load challenge. The hon. Lady will have seen the comprehensive and detailed plan that we published, which we believe will help over time to drive down the unnecessary work load of teachers.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Teacher Work Loads (2 Mar 2015)

David Laws: I would gently make two points. First, let us look back at some of what has been said by the teacher unions about the Government’s response. The National Association of Head Teachers said that it believes that “the proposals for better planning and greater notice of changes are a step in the right direction. They could do a great deal to improve the quality of education”. Secondly, I do...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Teacher Work Load (2 Mar 2015)

David Laws: Reducing unnecessary work load is a priority for this Government. In October 2014, we launched the Workload Challenge, asking teachers for views on how to tackle unnecessary work load. On 6 February, we published our response with a comprehensive programme of action.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Teacher Work Load (2 Mar 2015)

David Laws: The risk of that is picking out an arbitrary number, but we are clear that we want to see consequences for the actions we are putting in place, and reduce figures for unnecessary work load. We are commissioning biannual surveys to measure the effectiveness of the policy. I hope that the Labour party will sign up to some of the measures included in the conclusions of the Workload Challenge,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Statutory Guidance on School Organisation (19 Jan 2015)

David Laws: The Department responds to any concerns that are raised with us, but has no formal role in the decision-making process.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Statutory Guidance on School Organisation (19 Jan 2015)

David Laws: I know that the hon. Lady is concerned about the situation. I should be happy for her to raise her concerns with me, and I should be happy to consider them, although, as she will understand, the Department has no formal role. The formal process requires representations to be made to the local authority, and potentially to the local government ombudsman. She will be aware that if the governing...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Statutory Guidance on School Organisation (19 Jan 2015)

David Laws: I know that my hon. Friend is passionate about this matter, and he has been particularly ingenious in raising it under the current subject heading. I have noted his strong representations on behalf of the school, which we will bear in mind as we make our decisions on the programme over the next few weeks.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Funding Formula (Schools) (19 Jan 2015)

David Laws: We have now made significant progress towards fairer funding for schools and in 2015-16 we will distribute an additional £390 million to 69 of the least fairly funded local authorities, including Worcestershire, which will receive almost £7 million a year extra as a consequence. I congratulate my hon. Friend on his robust campaigning over a long period of time on this issue.


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