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Education in the media: 9 December 2016

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Equalities, School places, Selective schools, Uncategorized


Today’s news review looks at media coverage of the Independent Schools Council’s planned response to the Schools That Work for Everyone consultation, the launch of a gender pay gap tool and a Sutton Trust report.

Grammar school consultation

Today, 9 December, the Independent Schools Council (ISC) revealed plans to respond to our Schools That Work for Everyone consultation. The most significant element of the planned response is a pledge to create 10,000 new places in its schools for disadvantaged pupils each year – but only if those places are funded by Government.

Other proposals include helping to set up new schools in ‘cold spot’ areas and building on the existing partnership work between state and independent schools.

This story was covered on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, the Victoria Derbyshire Show and BBC Online.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Our proposals are about creating more choice, with more good school places for more parents in more parts of the country. We want to do this by lifting the ban on new grammars, and harnessing the resources and expertise of universities, faith schools and independent schools.


We welcome contributions to the consultation and will respond in due course.

Gender pay gap tool

Today, 9 December, we launched a gender pay gap (GPG) online tool that allows the public to search online and see what the GPG is for a range of occupation

The interactive online tool presents information from the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). It allows members of the public to:

  • Find out the average gender pay gaps (% and £) in a wide range of jobs;
  • Find out the average hourly earnings (£) for those occupational roles;
  • Show this information on an overall, full-time-time or part-time basis (where the statistical information is available);
  • Rank jobs according to their pay gaps or average hourly pay; and
  • See how many women and men work in each role (e.g. “70% of air travel assistants are women”).

Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening said:

Britain has the lowest gender pay gap on record, there are more women in work than ever before, more women-led businesses than ever before and there are now women on every board in the FTSE 100.


But if we are to help women to reach their potential and eliminate the gender pay gap, we need to shine a light on our workplaces to see where there is more to do to. This tool will empower both men and women to challenge this issue in their profession and help people to make more informed decisions about their career.


Employers must play their part in this too and take action to tackle the gender pay gap in their organisation. That’s why we are requiring large employers to publish their gender pay and gender bonus pay gaps for the first time ever and our regulations mean they can start getting ready to report from April next year.

Sutton Trust report

Today, 9 December, the Sutton Trust released a report on grammar school entry: Gaps in Grammar. The report claims that the most disadvantaged are under-represented in grammar schools.

In addition, it says children from ‘just-about-managing’ households are also much less likely to gain a place than their better-off classmates.

The Daily Mail, the Sun and i newspaper covered this story.

The Sutton Trust’s report acknowledges that grammar schools can have a positive impact on pupils from less well-off backgrounds, and our proposals set out that more good school places will be created, with admission priority given to lower income pupils.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The Sutton Trust itself has highlighted the positive impact grammar schools can have on pupils from less well-off backgrounds and that’s exactly why we want more young people to benefit. Our proposals will address the issues highlighted in the report – creating more good school places in more communities and ensuring new and existing selective schools prioritise the admission of lower income pupils and support other schools to help drive up academic standards across the system.


Thanks to the government’s reforms, almost 1.8 million more children are in schools that are rated good or outstanding than in 2010, but we are determined to go further so that all children, whatever their background, can go as far as their talents will take them.

Have your say on our consultation that ends on 12 December.

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