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Education in the media: 23 August 2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: GCSE results, Literacy, numeracy

Today’s news review looks at a report that sets out how the government’s reforms can put England’s education system on a par with the very best in the world.

Today, Wednesday 23 August, The Education Policy Institute released a report titled ‘English Education: World Class’, which claims that English pupils’ performance would need to improve by half a grade in maths and by a third in English language for England to become a top-performing Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) country.

The report goes on to say that reforms the Government has already put in place, like the new more rigorous GCSEs and the numerical grading system that emphasises differences at the highest level, could help boost England’s PISA rating.

This story has been picked up widely in the media; on The Today Programme, The Independent (p.7), The Sun (p.2), The Daily Mirror (p.2) and online on the BBC News, Press Association and The Guardian.

The Minister of State for Schools Standard, Nick Gibb, spoke to The Times (p.4) and the Daily Mail ahead of GCSE results day on Thursday, 24 August. He emphasised that we will continue to hold schools to account for the proportion of children achieving a strong pass – a grade 5 – or higher. This is a measure the EPI specifically said will raise attainment.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Our education reforms are raising standards in our schools. There are now 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010. This report underlines the importance of our reforms in creating new gold-standard GCSEs, benchmarked against the best education systems in the world.

Over the last six years we have incorporated the best features of successful curricula and qualifications from the around the world into our education system and signalled our intent to continue raising standards with the introduction of a standard and strong pass at GCSE. This is complemented by our ongoing investment in apprenticeships and the technical education system. We will continue to work with the teaching profession to ensure there is no limit on any child’s potential.

The Secretary of State recently wrote to the Education Select Committee to provide certainty over the new grading system. For more, read here.

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