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Education in the media: Monday 15 January 2018

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Admissions, Equalities, Teacher pay


Today’s education in the media blog discusses teachers’ pay, the cap on faith schools and girls’ interest in STEM subjects.

Teachers' Pay

Today, Monday 15 January, the charity Education Support Partnership released figures showing how many applications it had received from teachers for financial support with housing and transport costs. This was covered in the Independent.

In 2017 the Government informed the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) that it had adopted a more flexible approach to public sector pay allowing greater freedoms on setting teachers’ pay but asked that the STRB also consider affordability when making their recommendations.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We value teachers and their hard work which has helped 1.9million more children to attend good or outstanding schools than in 2010.

Our reforms have given schools greater freedom than ever before on teacher pay, and we expect them to recognise and reward the best talent working in their classrooms. We also wrote to the School Teachers’ Review Body to say that they should take account of the Government’s new flexible approach to public sector pay.

Faith School Cap

There is speculation in the media on whether the new Education Secretary Damian Hinds will review the 50 per cent cap on new faith schools. This was widely covered in the media, including in the Mail on Sunday, The Times and the Sun.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

School standards are rising with 1.9 million more children being taught in good or outstanding schools than in 2010.

We want to go further to ensure all young people have access to a good school place and we are keen for faith groups to play a key role in this. Many faith schools are high-performing and are more likely to be rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted than non-faith schools.

We will publish our response to the Schools that Work for Everyone consultation, which included plans to lift the current cap on new faith free schools admissions, in due course.‎

STEM subjects and girls

Today, Monday 15 January, Unifrog - an online platform for university and careers advice - has shown that A levels in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are less popular with girls than boys.

The study shows the ten most popular subjects for boys and girls, showing STEM subjects are among the most popular for male students.

The figures were covered in The Times and the TES.

The latest figures from the Higher Education Stats Authority demonstrate improvements in the number of women studying STEM subjects. The proportion of women enrolled in science subjects rose to 42% in 2016/17 compared to 41% in 2015/16.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The latest figures show the proportion of women enrolling in science subjects at university has increased. This builds on growing ‎numbers of girls taking STEM subjects at A level - up 17% since 2010.

We are investing significantly to ensure we have the skilled workers we need to build a Britain that's fit for the future - a diverse STEM workforce is part of this. That's why we are taking targeted action to improve gender participation, particularly in schools, and therefore hope to see these figures continue to improve as these students progress through the education system.

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