Results 1–20 of 3666 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Robert Goodwill

Children’s Services — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair] (12 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: I congratulate the hon. Member for Peterborough (Fiona Onasanya) on securing this important debate. I was pleased to meet her briefly yesterday for the first time to discuss today’s topic, and I appreciated the passion and eloquence with which she argued her points, but although we may agree on the analysis of the problem, the solutions may not be as simple as she thinks. I am sure we...

Children’s Services — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair] (12 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: The hon. Lady is absolutely right. I visited the Pause programme in south London, which works with women who may become pregnant and have their children taken into care regularly, to break the cycle that makes life so difficult for them and, of course, for the children who have to be taken into care. It is an innovation that saves money. I was told that for every £1 invested in the...

Children’s Services — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair] (12 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We have authorities that have dramatically reduced the number of children being taken into care by making early interventions. That saves money, makes the local authority more cost effective and is the sort of innovation that we want to spread around the country, from the good or outstanding authorities to the other authorities that are, unfortunately,...

Children’s Services — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair] (12 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. One of the typical problems that I come across when I visit failing authorities is that they have trouble retaining and recruiting staff, and therefore tend to rely on agency staff to do that work. I do not want to detract from the work done by agency staff, but the cost of using them can sometimes be twice as much as the cost of employing people in-house....

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Home-schooling (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: Local authorities have the power to ensure that children being educated at home by their parents are well educated and safe, but I am not confident the power is being used properly everywhere. That is why the forthcoming consultation on revised guidance for authorities and parents is so important. Every child needs a good education, including those who are home-schooled.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Home-schooling (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: Certainly there are some very good examples of home education being delivered, in some cases by qualified teachers, but it is important that home education is not, for example, used as an alternative to exclusion or, indeed, because of the lack of provision of correct special educational needs. We are very much on the case.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Home-schooling (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: Certainly Traveller children are the outliers in many of the statistics that we see. Local authorities have no specific power or duty to monitor the quality of home education, although their duty to identify children who may not be receiving suitable education enables them to make informal inquiries and start a process that can, but seldom does, end in a school attendance order.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Home-schooling (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: That is certainly against the admissions code. As I have already said, I am not satisfied that these rules are being applied properly on every occasion. That is why we will soon consult on revised guidance for parents and local authorities, with the aim of clarifying how local authorities can take effective action when children are not served well by home education.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Children in Care (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: We are driving forward reforms in children’s social care to ensure that all vulnerable children and families receive the highest-quality care and support. We have invested more than £200 million through the innovation programme to test and develop better practice, including testing approaches to help vulnerable children remain safely in their own home.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Children in Care (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: I agree with my hon. Friend that a serious programme of reform for children’s social care is needed. We set out our vision for delivering excellent children’s social care in “Putting children first”. It outlines our reform programme, which seeks to improve the quality of social work practice; create systems and environments where great social work can flourish; and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Children in Care (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: I absolutely agree that early intervention, and innovation to learn how it can be more successful, is vital to delivering good children’s social care. That is why we have our £200 million innovation programme, which aims to ensure that we can best deploy the resources we make available to local authorities.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Children in Care (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: The hon. Lady draws attention to the figures. Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service statistics show an increase of 14% in care order applications in 2016-17 compared with 2015-16, although the latest available figures for 2017-18 show a plateauing compared with the previous year. I pay tribute to all those who are developing effective children’s care—not only...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Family Hubs (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: We welcome the development of family hubs. Many areas are already moving towards this model of support for children and families. However, it is up to local authorities to decide how to organise and commission services in their areas. Local councils are best placed to understand local needs and how best to meet them.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Family Hubs (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: In the Green Paper, we commit to working with the What Works centres to publish and promote guidance for local areas to encourage the evidence-based commissioning of interventions aimed at supporting parents and carers, including parenting programmes. We are supportive of councils that wish to roll out family hubs. Ultimately, it is up to local councils to decide the best solutions for their...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Topical Questions (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: I certainly pay tribute to nurseries up and down the country that are delivering fantastic childcare, particularly as part of the 30 hours’ free funding. I am actually getting a little tired of the Labour party criticising the scheme. It is being delivered fantastically well. Some 216,000 parents registered for the September intake, and 94% have taken those places. I look forward to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Topical Questions (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: Children who are educated at home are the responsibility of their parents. Compulsory registration is not necessary. What is necessary is that local authorities take effective action in cases where parents are unable to provide a proper education. However, I am certainly happy to meet my hon. Friend to discuss his suggestion.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Topical Questions (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: Sure Start schemes up and down the country are being delivered by local authorities, and it is up to them to make the decisions. However, we have already discussed the roll-out of hubs by some local authorities, which are proving particularly effective. As I say, it is for local authorities to determine what is best for their children.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Topical Questions (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: I can reassure my hon. Friend that there is currently no intention to introduce the named person system in England. We want a system that makes sure that children and their families get targeted help and the support that they need. Our “Working together to safeguard children” guidance is clear that services provided to children and families should be delivered in a co-ordinated way.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Topical Questions (11 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: We are providing high needs funding of £5.84 billion to local authorities this year—next year’s figure rises to £5.97 billion—to help them to support children and young people with special educational needs. Earlier this year, we gave local authorities £23 million to support a strategic review of their special needs provision. We have allocated £215...

Social Mobility Commission (4 Dec 2017)

Robert Goodwill: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to take this urgent question, which gives us an opportunity to underline our commitment to improving social mobility in our country. I am extremely grateful to Alan Milburn for his work as chair of the Social Mobility Commission over the past five years. We had already told him that we planned to appoint a new chair. We will hold an open application...


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