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Education in the media: 2 October 2017

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Today's Education in the media blog looks at the recent announcement on tuition fees, and the gender pay gap.

Tuition fees

On Saturday, 30 September, the Prime Minister announced that the government is planning to freeze tuition fees at £9,250, and increase the repayment threshold for graduates from £21,000 to £25,000.

The announcement has received praise, including comments from Martin Lewis, the founder of Money Saving Expert, who has said that the change in the threshold could save a number of lower earning graduates thousands of pounds.

We already have record numbers of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds attending our world class universities and want to build on this by continuing to take action to ensure all young people get access to high quality education that will deliver the skills our economy needs.

Work to deliver this ambition includes reforms to technical education to provide new routes to skilled employment and boosting degree apprenticeships, which allow students to earn while they learn.

As that work continues, we are taking immediate steps to improve the terms on which we provide financial support to students by raising the earning threshold for loan repayments to £25,000 benefiting hundreds of thousands of young people early on in their careers and freezing tuition fees for 2018/19 at their current rate.

The announcement on tuition fees gained widespread coverage in the media, including from the Sunday Telegraph, The Evening Standard, Independent and many others. It was further picked up on Monday by BBC Online, The Times, FT, Guardian and others.


TSB and the gender pay gap

This morning, the Today programme ran an interview with Helen Rose, the Chief Operating Officer of the bank TSB.

From next year all firms with 250 employees or more will have to report their gender pay gaps. TSB is one of the first firms to adopt the measure before it comes into force, revealing an 18 per cent gender pay gap – something it has pledged to cut.

This morning Helen Rose told the Today programme how the firm always planned to publish its pay gap early and called on others to do the same. She also discussed the measures the bank has put in place to cut the gap including a returners programme and shared parental leave

Cutting the gender pay gap is a key area of the Government’s work.

Minister for Women Anne Milton said:

Large employers are legally required to report their gender pay gap. This is not an option, it is the law. We’re pleased to see some employers already reporting but with only six months to go we want to see all remaining employers report as soon as possible.


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