TIGA publishes summary of Parliamentary activity relevant to education sector

TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has today published a Parliamentary activity update for the education sector.

Written Answers and Statements:

Further Education: Finance
Department for Education
30 June 2021

Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to increase long-term funding to meet the needs of the further education sector.

Gillian Keegan: We are investing an additional £291 million in 16-19 education in the 2021/22 financial year. This is in addition to the £400 million awarded in the 2019 Spending Review. This will allow us to maintain the base rate of funding at £4,188 for all types of providers and to continue with the increased funding for high value and high cost subjects, including the High Value Courses Premium. Overall, there has been an increase in cash terms of funding per student of over 9% in published allocations for the 2020/21 academic year compared with the 2019/20 academic year. This is following the rate increases in the 2019 Spending Review, and these higher rates will be maintained in 2021/22 allocations.

We are continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB): £1.34 billion in the 2020/21 academic year.

Future funding for 16-19 and AEB provision beyond 2021/22 is subject to the upcoming Spending Review.

We are also investing £138 million from the National Skills Fund for Free Courses for Jobs and Skills Bootcamps offers over the current Spending Review period. We remain committed to £2.5 billion investment, in England, for the National Skills Fund across five years. In the 2021/22 financial year, funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England is almost £2.5 billion, double what was spent in 2010/11.

We are supporting employers to increase the use of apprenticeships by increasing the incentive payments for employer to £3,000 for each new apprentice they hire as a new employee.


Turing Scheme: Applications
Department for Education
28 June 2021

Rachael Maskell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have applied for the Turing Scheme for (a) 2021-22 and (b) 2022-23.

Rachael Maskell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the differences are between the (a) Erasmus scheme and (b) Turing Scheme in respect of student experience.

Rachael Maskell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students from York’s universities and colleges have applied for the Turing Scheme for (a) 2021-22 and (b) 2022-23.

Michelle Donelan: The Turing Scheme is a £110 million programme providing funding for around 35,000 students and pupils in universities, colleges and schools to study and work abroad during the 2021-22 academic year.

This was a one-year Spending Review, but the government has a clear aim to use this scheme as part of our long-term ambitions for a Global Britain. The impact of the scheme will be kept under review, and future funding arrangements will be subject to the outcomes of the next Spending Review.

The application period for Turing Scheme projects taking place during the 2021-22 academic year has now closed.

We have been pleased with the response to the Turing Scheme and the applications received this year. At this point, it is too early to provide statistics. Applications received are going through a rigorous assessment process. We will provide further updates about applications to the Turing Scheme in due course.

I note that individual students do not apply to the Turing Scheme themselves, rather it is their education provider who will apply for funds. More information for participants on the scheme, including what types of participants are eligible in each educational sector can be found on the scheme’s website: https://www.turingscheme.org.uk/about/information-for-participants/.

In relation to the differences between the Turing Scheme and Erasmus+:

  • Unlike the Erasmus Scheme, which is mainly EU focused, the Turing Scheme aims to be a truly global programme with every country in the world eligible to partner with UK education settings.
  • The Turing Scheme is targeted at all students, particularly the most disadvantaged. While the UK was part of Erasmus, the most privileged were 1.7 times more likely 50 Daily Report Monday, 28 June 2021 ANSWERS to benefit from studying abroad. Through the Turing Scheme we are introducing new funding for travel for disadvantaged higher education (HE) students and new funding for travel-related costs like visas, passports and related travel insurance.
  • Erasmus+ only provided travel support to participants who travelled to Partner Countries, which was around only 3% of UK participants. With the Turing Scheme, we are introducing funding for travel costs for disadvantaged HE students. Additionally, we are providing funding for visas, passports and related travel insurance.
  • As with Erasmus+, we expect tuition fees to be waived by host universities. UK students going abroad for the whole academic year may also continue to qualify for a large contribution made towards their UK tuition fees for the year they are away.

We want the Turing Scheme to address the barriers that prevent some students, particularly those from less advantaged backgrounds, from studying overseas and making life-changing opportunities across the world accessible to everyone studying in the UK. Any student can take part if their education setting meets the criteria, and their provider makes a successful application for funding.


Higher Education: Coronavirus
Department for Education
25 June 2021

Ms Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) financial and (b) academic effect on Higher Education students of the covid-19 outbreak in the 2020-21 academic year.

Michelle Donelan: The government’s expectations are, and have been, very clear: Universities should maintain the quality and quantity of tuition and seek to ensure that all students, regardless of their background, have the resources to study remotely.

The Office for Student (OfS), the higher education (HE) regulatory body, is taking the potential impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on teaching and learning very seriously. It is actively monitoring providers to ensure that they maintain the quality of their provision, that students are supported and achieve good quality outcomes, that tuition is accessible to all and that HE providers have been clear in their communications with students about how arrangements for teaching and learning may change throughout the year.

The OfS is also following up directly with providers where they receive notifications from students, parents or others that raise concerns about the quality of teaching on offer and requiring providers to report to them when they are not able to deliver a course or award a qualification. If the OfS has any concerns, it will investigate further.

This government recognises that this academic year has been incredibly difficult for students. As a result of these exceptional circumstances, some students are facing financial hardship, with some incurring additional costs at their alternative address. Officials are working hard with the sector to continue to monitor the situation and explore potential approaches to supporting students, particularly from disadvantaged groups.

We have made an additional £85 million of student hardship funding available to HE providers in the 2020/21 academic year. Providers have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to their students, in a way that best prioritises those in greatest need. Support can include help for students, including international students and postgraduates, facing additional costs arising from having to maintain accommodation in more than one location or assistance to help students access teaching remotely.

This is in addition to the £256 million of government-funded student premium funding already available to HE providers to draw on for this academic year, 2020/21. We know that not all students will face financial hardship. The current measures aim to target support for students in greatest need. The government continues to monitor the situation to look at what impact this funding is having.

The OfS required HE providers to return information on disbursement of hardship funding as part of the monitoring of its use. I have been liaising with the OfS on the analysis of those returns.


HM Treasury
22 June 2021

Dr Kieran Mullan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to encourage employers to take on more apprentices.

Steve Barclay: We are encouraging employers of all sizes to hire new apprentices through our employer hiring incentives. Employers who hire a new apprentice of any age until 30th September will receive £3,000 per apprentice. These payments build on the scheme originally launched as part of the Plan for Jobs: between 1st August 2020 and 4th May 2021, nearly 53,000 payments have been claimed by employers.

We are also continuing to improve the apprenticeships system for employers by: introducing more flexible training options, such as the front-loading of training and accelerated apprenticeships; making the transfer of unspent Levy funds to SMEs easier through the introduction of a new pledge function and employer matching service in August 2021; and supporting apprenticeships in industries with flexible working patterns, including through the launch of a £7m fund in July 2021 to help qualifying employers set up and expand the flexi-job apprenticeship scheme. These improvements will help put employers more firmly in the driving seat, enabling them to utilise apprenticeships in ways that suit their business needs and encouraging them to take on more apprentices.




More high-quality degree alternatives to boost adult skills and job prospects
Department for Education and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP
11 June 2021

Adults will be able to access more, high-quality alternatives to university degrees under new measures to boost the nation’s skills and job prospects.

The package will help colleges and universities invest in new equipment that will support technical studies, and boost training opportunities with businesses in areas such as digital and construction.

It will also create new, shorter courses for working adults in STEM subjects like engineering and manufacturing, giving those wishing to upskill or retrain greater flexibility in how and when they study.

Boosting the uptake and quality of Higher Technical Education – technical qualifications that sit between A Levels and degrees – and supporting adults to study more flexibly throughout their lives is a key part of the Government’s landmark reforms to post-16 education and training.

A major review of Higher Technical Education revealed these qualifications can unlock the skills employers need, can lead to well paid jobs and help support the country to build back better from the pandemic.

Despite this, only 4% of young people achieve a qualification at higher technical level by the age of 25 compared to the 33% who get a degree or above.

The funding will be invested from Summer 2021 to kickstart work to ensure more Higher Technical Education is on offer across the country, providing more people with high-quality alternatives to university degrees.

The package consists of:

  • A new £18 million Growth Fundto support further and higher education providers to expand high-quality Higher Technical Education. The fund will help providers to invest in equipment and develop the business links they need to offer training that will meet growing employer demands for skills in sectors including Digital, Construction, Health and Science.
  • Up to £10 million for Institutes of Technology to develop and deliver higher technical short and modular courses in STEM disciplines like engineering, manufacturing, construction and digital. Aimed at working adults, these courses, which will be available from Autumn 2021, will be free to access and will support people to rapidly reskill or upskill to meet local economic needs.
  • £2 million to support the development and delivery of high-quality modular training focused on upskilling employees to help address future skills gaps in high value manufacturing. The High Value Manufacturing Catapult, an organisation that supports businesses to harness innovation, have been appointed to lead this exciting new project, working with Institutes of Technology.


Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

‘Investment in higher technical skills will support more people to secure exciting and rewarding careers, fill skills gaps in our economy and help us build back better from the pandemic.

‘We also want to counter the myth that a degree is the only way to a good job. This funding will help open up more high quality training alternatives for people, empowering them to get the skills they need to build the life they want, wherever they live.’


Higher technical training is currently offered at Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) institutions, but research shows that the quality of courses on offer can be variable and it can be hard for students and employers to find the ones that are right for them.

From September 2022 the government will start rolling out newly approved Higher Technical Qualifications, starting with Digital.

Construction and Health and Science will follow in 2023 with a full suite of qualifications rolled out by 2025.

Qualifications will only be approved where they provide the skills employers need, so students and employers can be confident the courses on offer will provide the skills they need to succeed.

The Government’s network of Institutes of Technology – unique collaborations between universities, FE colleges, and leading employers – will also specialise in delivering high-quality Higher Technical Education and training in STEM subjects, such as digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering that will provide employers with the skilled workforce they need.

Higher Technical Qualifications will provide a natural progression route for young people taking new T Levels or A Levels, and adults looking to upskill or retrain, enabling them to take the next step up and gain higher technical skills in key subjects like STEM.


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