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Education in the media: Thursday 23 November 2017

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In today’s Education in the Media blog we outline the education funding package from the Chancellor’s Budget.

In his Budget yesterday the Chancellor laid out a package that invests in education at every stage of people’s lives.

Central to the announcement was funding to ensure people have the knowledge and skills for the cutting edge jobs of the future. This included:

  • Investment in adult retraining and workplace learning - With a new National Retraining Scheme to retrain adults across England. This will begin with a £64m investment in training for the digital and construction sectors. To support this, we will introduce a National Retraining Partnership between Government, industry and unions to set the Scheme’s strategic direction.
  • Reforms to Technical Education  - In addition to the £500m per year already pledged for new T levels the Chancellor committed £20m to the further education workforce to prepare them for these new qualifications.
  • Significant funding in Maths and digital - to ensure our young people have the skills they need for the cutting edge jobs of the future. £84m will deliver a comprehensive four-year programme to upskill 8,000 secondary school teachers, trebling the number of trained computer science teachers.
  • £27m to expand the Teaching for Mastery programme to 3,000 schools.
  • A £350,000 top up for schools that become specialist Maths schools.
  • £600 funding top-up, for sixth forms and colleges for each additional student studying maths, further Maths A-Levels, or Core Maths. In addition, to this an innovative programme of pilots in post-16 institutions will ensure that more students are studying maths and that there are high quality, new and evidenced teaching methods to improve outcomes for these students.
  • A £42m Teacher Development Premium - with £1,000 for additional high quality professional development for teachers in areas that have previously fallen behind.

The measures have been welcomed by notable stakeholders:

Petra Wilton, strategy director of the Chartered Management Institute said:

It’s great that the Chancellor has used the Budget to also announce £30m for a new National Retraining Scheme to support digital and construction skills.  We now hope that the new Transforming Cities Fund of £1.7bn will better recognise the skills needed across all the regions, and look forward to further detail in the Industrial Strategy about how the management gap can be closed.

Seamus Nevin, Head of Policy Research for the Institute of Directors said:

The £600 bonus to schools for every new student who decides to take maths or further maths at A Levels, or Core Maths, is a welcome move. Alongside the £42m for teacher training, the aim to triple the number of fully-qualified computer science teachers, and the £177m to promote maths and computer science study are all sensible steps to address one of the biggest concerns businesses have had in recent years-the STEM skills gap

A National Retraining Scheme for a lifelong learning is something the loD has been a leading advocate for over the past several years, so our members will be please to see this programme enacted. Enabling people to re-enter education throughout their working lives in order to re-train or up-skill will be vital to the future success of our economy and we look forward to working with the government to develop these plans further.

Bill Mitchell, Director of Education, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said:

We welcome the fact that the Chancellor has recognised the need for further significant investment in our children’s education. Tripling the number of trained computer science teachers to 12,000 should see a fully qualified GCSE computer science teacher in every secondary school, which means that every child, in every school will at last have access to this important subject.

Not only would this both meet the needs at GCSE, but importantly, it will help ensure that the non-specialist teachers who will be called upon to teach non-examination classes, have access to support from a teacher in their school with necessary subject knowledge.

For more information about other announcements in the Budget please see here.

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