Week 18 of lockdown has brought with it more updates and news from the education sector. As restrictions start to ease and the summer holidays officially begin, discover some of our highlights below.
A-level and GCSE results to be higher this summer
The watchdog Ofqual has suggested that the number of students getting good grades will be 2% higher at A-level and 1% at GCSE than in recent years, which will be reassuring to those young people who have faced a challenging end to their school year. However, they are thought to be much lower than the ‘optimistic’ predictions from teachers, which at A-level would have pushed up results 12% higher than last year. We’re wishing all students due to receive their results the best of luck ahead of results days next month!
What does the announced pay rise for teachers actually mean?
This week saw an amazing win for teachers as the Department for Education accepted all of the independent School Teachers’ Review Body’s recommendations, amounting to an inflation-busting 3.1% pay rise for them for the 2020-21 school year. But will every teacher actually get that extra money? With funding for the pay rise coming from within schools’ existing budgets and performance related pay complicating things, perhaps an air of caution is needed around this piece of news?
Hours spent building skills and employability
The Department for Education has released new research to measure the time that young people spend on activities in and outside of education which build their skills and employability. The report found that compared to younger students, post-16 students are more likely to choose out-of-school activities that contribute to their future direction, showing that building skills for their future is a top priority for them. This isn’t a huge surprise as most get ready for next move - the full report has some really interesting insight into how young people view future-proofing skills, so make sure you give it a read!
Removing free travel will hurt those who need help most
Transport for London’s recent decision to removing free travel for under 16’s (as a condition of receiving a government bailout) is predicted to have severe repercussions for the most disadvantaged. The guidance encourages young people to walk or cycle, but this does not work for many living in London who travel long distances to attend places of education, youth centres and to visit the many free cultural and social spaces the capital offers. We hope that the government will do everything possible to ensure that the ability to travel to school doesn’t become a barrier to education.
DfE offers £96m grant for 16-19 tutoring after Covid catch-up fund U-turn
This is one U-turn we are very pleased to see as the government backtracks on its decision to exclude 16-19 providers from its £1 billion Covid-19 catch-up fund. A one-off grant of up to £96 million will be used to provide ‘small group tutoring’ for disadvantaged students whose studies have been disrupted by the pandemic. With more details due to be announced, it’s a relief to see further education has not been overlooked.