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Education in the media: 5 April 2017

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


Today’s news review examines coverage of the incoming gender pay gap regulations, and of the cost difference of houses near good schools.

Gender Pay Gap

Today, Wednesday 5 April, the Financial Times covered the gender pay gap in finance on its front page.

The piece concentrated on the number of women still missing out on the highest-paid jobs in the finance industry, in which just a quarter of top executives are female.

From tomorrow, 6 April, it will become law that private and voluntary-sector companies with more than 250 employees will have to publish their gender pay gap for the first time.

This follows the same legislation coming in for the public sector last week. Around 9,000 employers will have to report their pay gaps by 2018. These will be available to the public online.

The UK is one of the first countries in the world to require gender pay gap reporting and follows the government’s commitment to introduce the requirements at the last election. It is a key part of the government’s work to eliminate the gender pay gap.

The UK gender pay gap is already at a record low of 18.1 per cent. These requirements will help employers to identify the gaps in their organisations and take action to close the gender pay gap.

Ensuring that women have the same opportunities as men to fulfil their potential in the workplace is a key part of building a country that works for everyone.

Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening said:

We have more women in work, more women-led businesses than ever before and the highest proportion of women on the boards of our biggest companies. This has helped us to narrow the gender pay gap to a record 18.1 per cent – but we want to eliminate it completely.


Helping women to reach their full potential isn’t only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense and is good for British business. I am proud that the UK is championing gender equality and now those employers that are leading the way will clearly stand out with these requirements.

House prices

Today, Wednesday 5 April, research revealed that it can currently cost around 20 per cent more to live in the catchment area of a top comprehensive.

The analysis, from the Centre for Policy Studies, was covered by the Sun, Daily Telegraph, Mirror and the Daily Mail. They all reported that parents faced paying a premium of £52,000 to live near an outstanding primary school.

We know there is work to be done to ensure that the quality of school a child has access to doesn’t depend on their parents' incomes. This is why we are scrapping the ban on new grammar schools and redistributing funding around the country.

We believe that this will help end the postcode lottery, which can determine which school a child goes to.

In grammar schools the attainment gap is virtually eliminated between children on free school meals and their better off classmates. This is just one of the reasons why we want to allow more grammars to open.

Until then, we are investing £2.4billion in creating more school places and improving current schools. Since 2010, more than 700,000 more school places have been created - the vast majority of which are in good or outstanding schools.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Our Plan for Britain is to build a fairer society with a good school place available for every child, and we are making progress. There are now 1.8million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010 meaning more families are able to secure a good education for their child than ever before.


But we know there is more to do to ensure a good education is not dependent on income and postcode.


The way to end this unfairness is by creating more good school places in every part of the country. We will do this by scrapping the ban on new grammar schools – on the strict condition they improve the education of other pupils in the system – as well as by harnessing the expertise and resources of our universities, independent and faith schools.

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