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Education in the media: 3 February 2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Curriculum

Today’s news review looks at a report on the Northern Powerhouse and arts history.

Northern Powerhouse

Today, 3 February, a report was published by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership claiming that schools in the north need ‘urgent attention’, or there will be a risk that they fall behind standards of those in the south.

This was covered by the Guardian, Telegraph and on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

This government made clear its commitment to support schools in the north, which can be seen through the Northern Powerhouse Schools Strategy, a £70million fund to improve education and our Opportunity Areas.

A Government spokesperson said:

There are 420,000 more children in the north at good or outstanding schools than there were in 2010 and statistics show the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their counterparts is shrinking. But we know there is more to do and that’s why we launched the Northern Powerhouse Schools Strategy review and committed £70million to support educational improvement in the north. We have also named Scarborough, Oldham, Blackpool, Bradford and Doncaster as Opportunity Areas to benefit from additional funding and resources to promote social mobility.


We want to make this a country that works for everyone and where you grow up should not be a barrier to achievement. Whether it’s access to an excellent education or the chance to go to a world-leading university, we are determined to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them.

Arts history

Today, 3 February, the Guardian ran a piece about the drop in numbers of visitors to UK’s major museums and galleries.

The article inaccurately reports that the lack of take-up of art history in schools led the government to drop the subject from the A level curriculum.

It is wrong to say that the government dropped the subject as this is a matter for exam boards to decide on what they offer. In addition, despite AQA’s decision not to continue with the subject, the art history A level will be offered by Pearson.

We believe there is value in having a broad range of high quality choices available at A level, so we welcome Pearson’s decision to offer this subject.

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