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Education insights: Apprenticeships, home-education on the rise and concerns over the history curriculum

This week’s education insights explores the rise in home-education numbers, calls to decolonise the history curriculum and the need for more support to encourage young people to take on apprenticeships.

Home-education numbers rise by 75%

The number of children registering for home education in the UK rose by 75% in the first eight months of the current school year, according to BBC research. Due to school closures during various lockdowns an increasing number of parents have switched to home-educating their children, removing them from the school register. More than 40,000 pupils were formally taken out of school in the UK between September 2020 and April 2021, compared with an average of 23,000 over the previous two years. It will be interesting to see how many students register for home-educating at the start of the new school year in September and whether the easing of restrictions will lead to a decrease in home-schooling.

Apprentices need a pay rise, say MPs

The annual report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Apprentices calls on the government to increase uptake and improve delivery. MPs have called on the Treasury to raise apprentices’ minimum wage to be in line with the national minimum wage and say the government should mandate statutory training for employers and providers to safeguard apprentices’ mental health. Co-chairs of the group Emma Hardy and Jack Lopresti stated that “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to upskill, diversify and reskill the workforce” and are calling for better support to encourage more young people to take them on. Here at Hopscotch, we welcome the call for more financial and wellbeing support so that more young people can access the varied opportunities that apprenticeships offer.

Schools minister rejects calls to decolonise English history curriculum

The Schools minister, Nick Gibb, has pushed back against calls to decolonise the curriculum in England and has warned that what pupils learn in the classroom should not be tailored to any one particular group. This comes after Ofsted warned schools that they should not “stay limited by narrow repertoires of content and out-of-date scholarship”. The school watchdog said that the curriculum should “develop pupils’ understanding of a range of historical time periods” and that pupils should learn about a wide range of places, societies and cultures in the past. We hope that schools will implement diverse curriculums that allow students to gain a varied knowledge of history.

Scouts launch money badge after pandemic

Children start forming their spending and saving habits as early as seven, but unlike in other countries money management skills are not part of the core curriculum in England’s primary schools. The Scout Association is launching a new merit badge in the UK all about money which aims to help around 200,000 children aged 6 to 10 to get to grips with financial literary skills. Qualifying for the money skills aware will involve the Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts completing a variety of activities, such as budgeting for a camping trip. It’s great to see organisations adding financial education into their programmes to help young people learn more about managing money.

GROW: the North London community farm cultivating the next generation of eco-warriors 

GROW is a North London Community farm that is providing courses on sustainability, mindfulness, and the power of meditations in schools around London and aims to become a permanent part of the curriculum by 2030.  According to the founder, George Lamb, GROW provides young people the opportunity to become “self-sustainable, mentally resilient and environmentally aware as eco-warriors” while at school.  GROW has had a tangible and positive impact in schools during its pilot this year and according to Headteacher Chris Fairbairn, it’s given “school’s culture of responsibility, for one another, and for our environment “. Here at Hopscotch, we love seeing local communities getting involved in projects that promote sustainability and wellbeing for students. 

About the author

Lizzie Ferris

Lizzie has a first-class BA Honours in English Language from Sheffield Hallam University. She has spent over 6 years volunteering and working with young people and is passionate about making a positive impact in young people’s lives.

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