Results 1–20 of 200 for in the 'Westminster Hall debates' speaker:Helen Hayes

Kinship Care Strategy ( 6 Mar 2024)

Helen Hayes: It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair today, Mr Pritchard. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Bedfordshire (Alistair Strathern) on securing today’s debate on such an important subject and on speaking so powerfully on behalf of kinship carers in Mid Bedfordshire. I know that we are joined by kinship carers in the room today. I want to start by paying tribute to them for the...

Independent School Fees: VAT (21 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship today, Mr Henderson. I congratulate the hon. Member for Northampton South (Andrew Lewer) for bringing forward this debate on independent schools and VAT. Many Members have made contributions about the role that independent schools play in their communities. In my own constituency, thousands of children receive a high-quality education...

Independent School Fees: VAT (21 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: There is a very simple reason for that. It is the way we avoid a loophole whereby any school can claim that it is a special school. Without there being an independent test of the places that are provided, any school could claim that it was a special school, and that would provide a loophole that we do not—

Independent School Fees: VAT (21 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: I will not give way again. It would provide a loophole that schools could use to evade the policy. The share of pupils being educated in private schools has consistently remained around 6% to 7%, despite fees increasing above inflation year on year for many years. Indeed, independent school fees are 55% higher in real terms now than 20 years ago. Although we do not believe the scaremongering...

Independent School Fees: VAT (21 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: I give way to the Chair of the Select Committee.

Independent School Fees: VAT (21 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: As the hon. Member rightly points out, what happens in primary flows into secondary, so secondary schools across the country, including secondary schools in my constituency, are absolutely aware of the drop in numbers that is coming down the track, and we are seeing secondary schools in London closing—two of them this year—because that flow is starting to affect them. The Labour party...

Register of Children not in School — [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair] (20 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: Will the Minister give way?

Register of Children not in School — [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair] (20 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. “Conflate” is the wrong word, because these issues are linked. For many parents, the causes of persistent absence, which we have talked about—poor mental health, poor SEND support, off-rolling and pressures on families—result in their decision to home educate. Theirs could be the home-educated children about which local authorities know...

Register of Children not in School — [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair] (20 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: The register would enable intervention on the quality of the education being received by children at home. Knowing who those children are enables local authorities to understand how they are being educated and to make a determination about the quality of that education. That can help local authorities to support some families to return their children to school, where the choice to home...

Register of Children not in School — [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair] (20 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: I am very happy to clarify our position, which is well publicised. A mental health professional will be based in every secondary school in the country, with mental health support available to every primary school in the country. Perhaps the Minister might say what he is doing in the same area to improve the mental health of our children and young people.

Register of Children not in School — [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair] (20 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Christopher. I congratulate the hon. Member for Meon Valley (Mrs Drummond) on securing this important debate and on her campaigning work on the issue of persistent school absence. She rightly highlighted the lack of transparency about the numbers of children not in school and some of the wider drivers of that in our education system,...

Register of Children not in School — [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair] (20 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: I am grateful for that intervention. On persistent absence, it is not enough to say that schools know who those children are; a more comprehensive strategy is needed, and that is what I will move on to talk about. We will of course study carefully the wording of the Bill introduced by the hon. Member for Meon Valley when it is published, but it should not be the responsibility of Back...

Register of Children not in School — [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair] (20 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: I will not; the hon. Gentleman has had plenty of time this morning. Good mental health and wellbeing are vital for school attendance. We will ensure that there is mental health support available in every school and that children and young people can visit an open-access mental health hub in every community, no matter where they live. Absence rates are highest for children with special...

Nursery Provision: South-west England ( 6 Feb 2024)

Helen Hayes: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Sharma. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport (Luke Pollard) on securing this important debate and on all the work he does to advocate for children and families in his constituency. I was delighted to visit Plymouth in November to meet care leavers and those who support them. It was absolutely clear...

School Attendance (23 Jan 2024)

Helen Hayes: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Twigg. I congratulate the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Vicky Ford) on bringing this important debate and on her work in this area. I am glad to have the opportunity to respond on behalf of the Opposition. I am grateful to all hon. Members who have contributed today. We have heard from my hon. Friend the Member for City of Durham...

School Attendance (23 Jan 2024)

Helen Hayes: We agree that there should be a register of home-educated children and that there should be measures to tackle persistent absence. It is bizarre that Government Members chose to vote against the measures before the House this afternoon, which they agree with. Those measures were simply intended to accelerate the process of delivering a commitment that the Government have already made.

School Attendance (23 Jan 2024)

Helen Hayes: I will not give way again. The right hon. Lady will also know that private Members’ Bills progress if the Government give them time. It is not the Opposition who are holding up those measures, and she would do well to turn her attention to the shocking record of her own Government on this issue, which they have been allowing to slide for 14 years, and the question of why action has not been...

School Attendance (23 Jan 2024)

Helen Hayes: I am going to make some progress, I am afraid. I will not give way again. We need a comprehensive strategy for addressing the complex issue of persistent absence. Labour will empower Ofsted to review absence as part of the annual safeguarding spot checks. The outdated and dreaded Ofsted inspection regime urgently needs reforming; one-word judgments are unhelpful for parents and put...

Free School Meals: Children with SEND (10 Jan 2024)

Helen Hayes: I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. I am simply making the point that the absence of any reference in the guidance to the legislation results in a situation of conflict—

Free School Meals: Children with SEND (10 Jan 2024)

Helen Hayes: It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair, Dr Huq. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Ian Byrne) on securing this important debate on an issue that affects some of the most vulnerable children who have special educational needs and disabilities, and who live in very low-income households, making them eligible for free school meals. I am grateful to the charity...


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