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Education in the Media: Wednesday 25 April 2018

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: School Workforce, Statistics, Universities


Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the how much going to university can add to your earnings, teacher recruitment and retention and claims that secondary school children cannot tell the time.

Graduate earnings

Yesterday, Tuesday 24 April, we published the latest Graduate Labour Market Statistics. These show university graduates earn on average £10,000 more per year than non-graduates. This has been reported today by the Independent and Daily Mirror.

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:

We want everyone who chooses to study at one of our world class universities to know they are getting good value for money for their investment, so I’m delighted these figures confirm that a degree can lead to higher earnings, with graduates earning on average £10,000 more than non-graduates in 2017. This is in addition to graduate salaries increasing when compared to 2016 – up by £1,000 on average.

But we want the benefits of higher education to extend beyond just earnings, setting graduates on the path to good jobs, and today’s figures show that a degree helps graduates into highly skilled roles – 77.8% postgraduates and 65.5% of graduates were in these positions in 2017, compared to 22.2% of non-graduates.

However, we know there is more to do which is why we are undertaking a major review of post-18 education and funding to ensure more people can access higher education and students and taxpayers can get greater value for money.

EPI Report

Today, Wednesday 25 April, The Education Policy Institute (EPI) issued a short report looking at the school workforce. Schools Week has covered the report.

The report claims that there has been too much focus on recruiting new teachers and not enough time spent looking at how to make them stay in the profession.

There are more teachers in our classrooms than ever before and increasing numbers are actually returning to the profession after they leave. What’s more, a generation of teachers is better qualified than ever. Our figures show 98.5% of all teachers have a degree or higher, which has risen by 4 percentage points since 2010, and nearly one in five new teacher trainees had a first-class degree in 2018 – up from 10% in 2011. But we know there is work to do to make sure that teaching continues to be an attractive and rewarding profession.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The Education Secretary has been clear that there are no great schools without great teachers and that his top priority is to make sure teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession. There are a record number of teachers in our classrooms – 15,500 more than in 2010 – and increasing numbers are returning to the profession.

We want to build on this, which is why we recently announced a strategy to drive recruitment and boost retention of teachers and are working with school leaders and unions to strip away unnecessary workload, on top of the range of financial incentives we already offer to help attract the brightest and best into our classrooms.


Today, Wednesday 25 April, the Sun’s front page splash claimed some secondary school children can’t tell the time on an analogue clock.

Although it ran on the front page of the Sun, the story was first covered by the TES yesterday and is based on comments a teacher made at a conference about the effect of digital watches and mobile phones.

Children are taught how to tell the time on an analogue clock in both year one and year two. They must not only be able to tell the time, but have to learn how to draw the hands on an analogue clock face to show particular times.

A Department to Education spokesperson said:          

Schools have a statutory requirement to ensure children can read the time on analogue clock by the end key stage one. The rigorous school curriculum is designed to make sure pupils get an excellent education and have the skills they need to succeed outside of school.

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