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Education in the media: 23 June 2016

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Academies, Attainment gap, Equalities, Ofsted, Teacher Training


Today’s education news review looks at coverage on Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech at the Telegraph Festival of Education Conference today, and a survey by Pride in London.

Sir Michael Wilshaw

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector at Ofsted, will give a speech later today at the Telegraph Festival of Education Conference. News coverage today focuses on Wilshaw’s comments on the attainment gap, University Technical Colleges (UTC) and teacher training.

The Telegraph covers Sir Michael’s argument that disadvantaged children in particular benefit from regular assessments to stop them falling behind their middle-class peers.

In a similar vein, the TES leads on Sir Michael’s comments that testing gives poorer pupils a ‘passport to a better life’.

Schools Week focuses on his views that every Multi Academy Trust (MAT) should have a UTC. This was also covered in the Daily Mail and BBC Online today.

Our position on the attainment gap is:

Every child, no matter their background, deserves a world-class education. Thanks to our reforms there are 1.4 million more children in good or outstanding schools since 2010.


But we know there is more we can do. The pupil premium - worth £2.5bn this year - helps disadvantaged pupils reach their potential and we have overhauled the national curriculum so all pupils have access to the world-class education they deserve.


In our recent white paper we set out plans to tackle areas of underperformance - to ensure no child is disadvantaged just because of where they live. Furthermore, we are ensuring that all schools have the resources they need through the introduction of a new National Funding Formula that, for the first time, will make sure funding is genuinely matched to need.

Our response on UTCs is:

The best University Technical Colleges support pupils in getting the technical knowledge and skills they need for successful future careers. We are strengthening the UTC programme through a number of reforms, including partnerships with successful secondary schools and multi-academy trusts.

On Sir Michael's comments about testing and teacher training:

We are pleased that Sir Michael Wilshaw acknowledges the benefits of testing pupils, particularly those form disadvantaged backgrounds. But he is incorrect to suggest that there is a lack of a national, strategic approach to teacher training.


We have made significant progress in teacher recruitment - there are more teachers in England’s schools than ever before and there are more people training as teachers this year than there were last – demonstrating that teaching continues to be an attractive career choice.


We recognise there are some local challenges and that is why we are investing hundreds of millions of pounds to attract the best graduates into teaching, including offering generous incentives, and backing innovative schemes like TeachFirst and the National Teaching Service to send great teachers to schools where they are most needed.

Pride survey

Pride in London has published a survey today which suggests that the majority of the LGB&T community feel the need to lie about their gender or sexual identity. The poll, of more than 1,000 LGB&T people, asked how they felt about discussing their private lives in public.

The Today Programme reported on the survey and BBC, the Metro, Gay Times, Pink News and the Gay UK covered the story online.

Key findings from the survey:

  • 74% said they felt the need to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity
  • 75% of LGB&T respondents were out to all their friends
  • only 50% were out to all their colleagues
  • 41% of gay men said they would think twice about holding a partner's hand in public, dropping to 5% among the general population
  • 2% of the population has been bullied at work because of their gender, compared with 10% of LGB&T+ respondents in the survey
  • 77% of LGB&T+ respondents said they felt uncomfortable being their true self in public, against 23% of the general population
  • 59% of LGB&T+ respondents had felt threatened by other people's attitudes and behaviours towards them, compared with 16% of the wider population

Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan said:

Events such as Pride give us a chance to come together to celebrate the real progress being made in this country and the heroes who have played such an important part in this.


With recent events in Orlando highlighting globally how far there still is to go, we must unite and push forward as a nation to eliminate discrimination and hate once and for all.


We have come a long way, committing £3 million to tackle bullying in schools helping us to stamp out inequality. But we know there is still more to do to change hearts and minds and are committed to supporting LGB&T people, at every stage of their lives.

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