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Education in the media: 1 June 2016

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Attainment gap, Equalities

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Today’s education news review looks at the Daily Telegraph’s commentary on social mobility and the European Court of Justice’s guidance ruling on headscarves and religious symbols in the workplace.  

Social mobility

The Daily Telegraph has run an opinion piece in response to Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock’s suggestion that employers should ask job applicants if they went to an independent school, as part of David Cameron’s drive to collect data on social mobility.

James Kirkup writes that white working class children are held back by a lack of aspiration, rather than the socio-economic bias of employers.

Our current position on the attainment gap is:

We are determined to deliver educational excellence everywhere, raising the bar for all so every child, regardless of background, reaches their potential. Latest figures show that teachers and students are rising to that challenge, with the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers narrowing since 2011 at both primary and secondary level.


We must focus on extending opportunity for all. This includes ensuring every child has the excellent teacher they deserve, which is why we have funded the geographical expansion of TeachFirst and announced the National Teaching Service, to bring outstanding teachers and leaders into challenging areas. In addition, the Pupil Premium has provided over £6 billion of additional funding for disadvantaged pupils, and we are continuing this at current rates for the duration of this parliament – this year alone it is worth £2.5 billion.

Headscarves in the workplace

The Times and The Guardian have covered the guidance ruling from Juliane Kokott, the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) advocate general, that companies can ban headscarves, crucifixes and other religious symbols in the workplace as part of their corporate policy.

This guidance is in response to a case where a Muslim Belgian employee of British security company G4S took them to the ECJ after they refused to allow her to wear a headscarf at work.

The Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities awaits the ECJ’s final ruling.

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