EXCLUSIVE: Dadsnet Asks Member’s Questions to Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. Here’s What He Said:

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We asked Dadsnet members what they’d ask Rishi Sunak in the run up to the general election on July 4th, if they had the opportunity.

And then we took those questions and gave them to the current Prime Minister to answer. Which he did.

(This is an exclusive for Dadsnet)


What will you do about the systematically broken special needs schools? As a dad who is currently trying to get a place for my 5-year-old to get into a special needs school, I have had to remortgage my house to pay between £10k-£15k for a solicitor to fight our tribunal. These tribunals are won by 98% of parents and local authorities wasted £60 million last year alone fighting these cases – for a 2% success rate.

I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve had. We have a clear plan to reform the SEND system precisely because I want to ensure we have a system where all children’s additional needs are met effectively and quickly with affordable provision, reducing the need for an education, health and care (EHC) plan and, where an EHC plan is needed, to ensure that parents do not endure lengthy, adversarial and costly processes.

To do that, we need a clear plan and bold action to deliver more places specifically for children with special educational needs and a boost in tailored support in mainstream schools. That is why we have increased funding for those with complex needs by 60 percent in just five years and are creating 60,000 more places for children with special educational needs. In our manifesto, we have also committed to a further 15 special free schools, building on the many special free schools that have already been set up.


Do you intend to reform the child maintenance system if re-elected, and are you aware of the amount of paying parents who are literally at the end of what they can cope with due to the current broken system?

It’s important that children get the support they are due, and that the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) can ensure parents are meeting their obligations in a fair and proportionate way. We are consulting on reforms to CMS including removing the direct pay service and managing all cases in one streamlined service. This could allow CMS to identify cases that may be suitable for a family-based arrangement and provide improved support to help ease the process of setting up such arrangements for both parents. We are also looking at ways to improve how the system supports victims of domestic abuse.


Why do you not use experienced teachers in leadership roles in the Department of Education to help reform and improve the current Department for Education? 

The Civil Service and the work it does impacts all our lives in so many ways, so we must ensure it is fit for purpose for the long term and delivers efficiently and effectively. This includes ensuring we can attract talent from everywhere, and that’s why our manifesto commits to requiring jobs to be advertised externally to identify the best candidates. This could certainly include, for example, attracting former teachers.

At the same time, teaching is one of the most important jobs in our society. So, it is also important that we do all we can to retain brilliant teachers within the teaching profession, and that’s why new teachers in priority areas and key STEM and technical subjects will receive bonuses of up to £30,000 tax-free over five years from this September.


Trust is a big part of who I and many others vote for. Why should we believe your promises, when the promises made by your party in previous manifestos are still yet to be delivered. Why should we believe what you say?

I know we haven’t got everything right, but from slashing Labour’s deficit and delivering on our promise to get Brexit done, to putting in place both the furlough scheme and a world-leading vaccine roll-out, to committing to 2.5% of GDP on defence and leading the world in supporting Ukraine – I am proud of our record of delivering for the British people. And whether it’s delivering the furlough scheme in the pandemic or helping people with their energy bills and the cost of living, I am confident that my track record shows I will protect those who need it most.

In this election, I have a clear plan for bold action to deliver a safter, more secure, more prosperous future. Building on the £900 tax cut that we delivered for the average worker this year, we will cut taxes for workers, parents, and pensioners by cutting National Insurance by £1,350 for the average worker, abolishing the main rate of National Insurance completely for the self-employed, and introducing the new Triple Lock Plus to guarantee that the State Pension never gets dragged into income tax. Contrast our clear plan with Labour, who will raise your taxes by £2,094 and introduce a Retirement Tax on pensioners. And they have also refused to rule out 17 more tax rises. They simply cannot be trusted.


A parent in a “normal job” may only receive four weeks paid holiday per year. Two parents in “normal jobs”, that’s 8 weeks. The education system currently allows children 13 weeks school holidays per year. So, even if both parents used all their annual leave to cover just school holidays, that still leaves a huge shortfall where parents may be forced to take unpaid leave. What will you do to help parents who have no childcare and the basic holiday allowances from work?

I know childcare can be a significant cost for many families, and that’s why we are taking bold action and delivering the largest expansion of childcare support in our history, focused on those crucial early years. For parents of school-age children, the Tax-Free Childcare scheme we’ve introduced can be used to help with costs during the school holidays, including holiday clubs. For parents on lower incomes, they can also use the childcare support available through Universal Credit, and last year we made that support more generous by increasing the caps on how much can be claimed and allowing parents to claim back costs up-front. We have also been providing funding to local authorities for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme, which provides heathy meals, activities, and childcare for children from low-income families.


Most Dads only get two weeks paternity leave and only five percent of Dads take any Shared Parental Leave. You’re a father, how long did you take off after the birth of your girls and don’t you agree that we should give every Dad a decent chunk of ‘use it or lose it’ paternity leave with which to support their partners and get to know their new baby?

As a dad, I know that time spent with my girls is the most precious I have, and I know it’s the same for all fathers. That’s why earlier this year we made changes to make it easier for dads to take paternity leave and to provide more flexibility for them – delivering on a commitment we made in our last manifesto. Paternity leave can now be split into separate blocks, and these can be taken at any time in the first year after their baby is born, rather than just the first eight weeks as was previously the case. We’ve also changed the notice requirements so that notice only needs to be given 28 days before the leave is planned to be taken.

Lastly, What is your best Dad joke? 

My boss said: “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.”

So I went in as a Jedi knight.

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