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Education in the media: Tuesday 27 February 2018

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Social mobility, Universities


Today’s Education in the media blog looks at the Sutton Trust report on the number of disadvantaged students at university and Pupil Referral Units.

Sutton Trust report

Today, Tuesday 27 February, the Sutton Trust has issued a report about the number of disadvantaged students living at home while attending university.

The report states that disadvantaged students across the UK are over three times more likely to live at home while attending university than their most advantaged counterparts.

This has been reported by the BBC, the Independent and I news.

Thanks to our reforms, the number of disadvantaged young people that are going to university has increased by 43 per cent in 2016 compared with 2009.

Living cost support is provided in the form of loans, rather than grants, which means that this year students from the lowest-income households have had access to the largest ever amounts of cash-in-hand support for their living costs.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We are seeing record rates of 18 year olds, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, entering full-time university. And our new reforms to Higher Education will go further to ensure the system is offering more choice and value for money for all students.

The Government’s review of post-18 education and funding will consider how we can encourage and support learning that is more flexible for students – for example, part-time, distance learning and commuter study options.

The review will also consider what more can be done through the financial support available to widen access to university for disadvantaged students, including making sure that the right maintenance support is available.

Pupil Referral Units

Today, Tuesday 27 February, the Victoria Derbyshire Programme ran a segment about their special investigation into pupil referral units (PRUs). The segment on the topic today focused on the impact on the parents of children who have been placed in PRUs.

The government wants all children, regardless of their background or ability, to have access to a good education and the chance to develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in adult life.

It is important to note that referrals to PRUs and other forms of alternative provision can occur for a variety of reasons, including when they are too ill to attend their main school, when there are complex behavioural or emotional needs, or when they have been excluded.

A Department for Education Spokesperson said:

All schools should be safe and disciplined environments where pupils can be educated and fulfil their potential. This government has taken action to put teachers back in charge of the classroom by giving them the powers they need to tackle poor behaviour and discipline in school.

Pupil Referral Units ensure every child can receive an education and are given the support to meet their needs, including after an exclusion. Referrals to PRUs and other alternative provision can occur for a variety of reasons, including when a child is too ill to attend their school, when there are complex behavioural or emotional needs, or when a child has been excluded from mainstream school.

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