Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at support for vulnerable children and student loans.
Action for children
Today, Monday 14 August, Action for Children released a report raising concerns about standards in children’s social care.
Since 2010-11, councils have increased spending on children’s social care by around £530 million to nearly £8 billion last year. On top of this, councils will receive more than £200 billion for local services up to 2020 as part of a historic four-year settlement which means councils can plan ahead with certainty.
The government has also driven forward improvements to the child protection system so that children at risk are identified as early as possible and swift action is taken to give them the support they need.
This is reinforced by our investment of over £800 million in bursaries and training programmes, which is helping to support the recruitment and training of social workers so they have the skills they need for what is a vital job.
A Department for Education Spokesperson said:
Across government, we are taking action to support vulnerable children by reforming social care services and better protecting victims of domestic violence and abuse.
Councils will receive more than £200 billion for local services up to 2020 and spent nearly £8 billion last year on children’s social care but we want to help them do even more. Our £200 million Innovation Programme is helping councils develop new and better ways of delivering these services – this includes projects targeting children who have been referred and assessed multiple times without receiving support.
Today The Guardian has reported comments by Universities Minister Jo Johnson on the student loans system.
The Minister highlights that young people from the poorest areas are now 43 per cent more likely to go to university than in 2009/10, and 52 per cent more likely to attend a high tariff institution.
He also makes clear that the system is fair on taxpayers – university degree boosts income by between £170,000 and £250,000. Students pay on average 65 per cent of the costs through fees while the taxpayer shoulders 35 per cent of the cost of study through grants and subsidies.
The government has taken a number of measures to help make student loans fair; this includes university graduates only starting to pay back their loans when they are earning over £21,000 and having loans written off altogether after 30 years.
Unlike commercial alternatives, student loans are available to everyone, regardless of background or financial history. This approach ensures that costs are split fairly between graduates and the taxpayer.
We have set up a new regulator, the Office for Students, and introduced the Teaching Excellence Framework to help ensure students get value for money from their fees.