Today’s Education in the media blog looks at funding to improve school buildings and apprenticeship statistics.
Condition Improvement Fund
Today, Thursday 29 March, we have given more than half a billion pounds to 1,299 schools around the country to improve and expand buildings and create more good school places.
The announcement builds on the 825,000 new school places created since 2010, with 1.9 million more children now in good or outstanding schools thanks to the hard work of teachers and the government’s reforms.
The £514m being allocated today is to improve and expand the facilities of schools in England. The Condition Improvement Fund will support 1,556 projects across almost 1,299 academies and sixth-form colleges.
The announcement also includes £38m for projects supported by the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund, which is drawn from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. The Healthy Pupils Capital Fund has been designed to improve children and young people’s physical and mental health by enhancing the quality of and access to facilities such as changing rooms, playgrounds, kitchens and sports halls.
Minister for the School System, Lord Agnew, said:
All children deserve the best possible education and state of the art facilities are a big part of that. This funding will transform the condition of school buildings and help our best schools to expand, creating more good school places for families and raising standards for pupils. This will build on the hard work of teachers and our reforms, which has resulted in 1.9 million more children being taught in good or outstanding schools than in 2010.
Further Education and Skills Statistics
Today, Thursday, 29 March, we published the Further Education and Skills Statistical First Release for March. The data has been reported this morning by FE Week and the TES.
The data for the first two quarters of the 2017/18 academic year (reported to date) shows that apprenticeship participation for higher level apprenticeships is up by 34 per cent – from 44,400 in 16/17 to 59,600 in 17/18. It was also pleasing to see that apprenticeship starts is at a higher level – increasing by 25 per cent.
The data also showed 82,200 levy supported starts have been reported so far in 17/18. Since the levy was introduced in April 2017, there have been 242,100 starts of which 103,300 have been levy supported starts. This amounts to 43 per cent of starts being levy-supported starts.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:
The apprenticeship levy is a really important feature of the changes we made to raise the quality of apprenticeships. It means there is long-term investment in apprenticeship training so that employers get the skills they need to grow their business and people of all ages and backgrounds get quality training and are able to get on in life.
I have met many businesses who are using the levy to launch excellent programmes and I am sure that many others will do the same. Employers are able to spend their levy funds with more than 2,500 registered training providers across the country that cover a range of industries.
We are also seeing a growing number of apprenticeship starts under the new high quality standards showing that we are delivering quality training that will meet the need of business.