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Education in the media: 22 September 2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Equalities, School spending

Today’s news in the media looks at energy company SSE’s publication of its gender pay gap and a report from the Parent Teacher Association UK (PTA UK) about school funding.


Yesterday, Thursday 21 September, energy company SSE became the first of the big six energy companies, and one of the first FTSE listed companies, to publish its gender pay gap. This was covered in the Times.

Soon all companies with more than 250 employees will have to publish their gender pay gaps but we are extremely pleased that SSE is an early adopter of this policy. Director of HR at SSE John Stewart has written a guest blog post for us about its strategy to close its gender pay gap in the future.

Minister of State for Apprenticeships, Skills and Women Anne Milton, said:

It is fantastic to see employers like SSE taking this important step in tackling the gender pay gap. It is setting an excellent example for other employers as we build a stronger, fairer country where success is defined by work and talent, not gender or circumstance.

We have more women in work than ever before and the gender pay gap is at a record low, but there is more to do. Closing the gender pay gap isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense, so that employers can take action to make sure every employee reaches their full potential.


On Friday, 22 September, Parent Teacher Association UK (PTA UK) published a report on school funding. In a sample of 1,507 parents from England, 42 per cent of parents have been asked to donate to their child’s school, up from 37 per cent since last year. This was covered by BBC Breakfast, TES and on PA.

We recently confirmed details of our national funding formula which will see funding gains for all schools across England and an increase in the basic amount allocated for every pupil.

Schools are entitled to ask for contributions from parents and have done so for a long time, particularly through drives like school fairs and fetes. We have been clear that no parent should be under any obligation to make a donation but that schools can ask for voluntary contributions for the benefit of the school or any school activity.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Standards are rising across our school system and our new fairer funding formula – backed up by £1.3bn extra funding for schools - will ensure we can build on that success. It will replace the outdated funding system which saw our children have very different amounts invested in their education purely because of where they were growing up.

No parent is required to make a contribution to their child’s education. The rules are clear on this and no policies have been introduced by this government to allow schools to charge for education provided during school hours and this includes the supply of any materials or equipment.

Please see here for more details about our national funding formula.

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