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Education in the Media: Friday 29 June 2018

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Apprenticeships, Funding


Today’s Education in the media looks at a retraction by the School Cuts Coalition on school funding, who have admitted that we are protecting per pupil funding for schools in real terms.

School Funding

On Wednesday, Schools Week and the TES ran articles based on a press notice by the School Cuts Coalition, who stated that real terms funding per pupil has gone down by £59 over the last year.
The Department pointed out that the union has made a serious miscalculation in arriving at the assumption that real terms funding has fallen. Their figures only compared the core school block of funding between 2017-18 and 2018-19 and failed to include the extra £450m that local authorities will receive through the Central School Services Block.

Following this, the union has subsequently retracted its claims and admitted that schools will not be losing money next academic year.

The department has been clear that record levels of funding are going into schools, with core school funding rising to £43.5bn by 2020, and IFS figures show that real terms per pupil funding will be 50 per cent higher than it was in 2000.

We do recognise though that we are asking schools to do more which is why the Education Secretary has set out his determination to work with the sector to bear down on cost pressures and help them make the best use of their resources.

A DfE spokesperson said:

The claim that real terms per pupil funding has decreased in the last year is completely false. These figures fail to take into account that in 2018-19, we have provided an additional £450m of funding – making this comparison factually incorrect. We are – in no uncertain terms – protecting funding in real terms, per pupil.

In fact, independent analysis from the Institute of Fiscal Studies shows that real terms per pupil funding in 2020 will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000. In addition, funding for the average primary school class has increased by £8,000 to £132,000 in the last decade, and for secondary schools it is a £10,000 rise to £171,000 – all in today’s prices.

Armed Forces apprentices

Tomorrow, Saturday, 30 June, is Armed Forces Day when the country shows support to the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community. Ahead of tomorrow’s celebrations, The Sun has published a piece about the range of apprenticeships available in the armed forces.

This includes a case study of Jean Sseninde, an apprentice driver in the Royal Logistics Corps. You can read the Sunemployment piece and Jean’s story in full here.

There are around 20,000 apprentices on a programme in the armed forces at any one time, ranging from engineering and construction to hospitality and animal care, with new schemes recently developed such as digital information. The department has achieved over 150,000 apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are a great way to gain a nationally recognised qualification while working and can last between 1 to 5 years depending on the apprenticeship. The qualifications range from a level 2 (equivalent to 5 GCSEs), a level 3 (equivalent to 2 ‘A’ levels) all the way through to a level 7, which is equivalent to a Masters degree.

The apprenticeship system also offers employers a real opportunity to change lives. By working with businesses, including large organisations such as the armed forces, we can make sure they recognise the opportunity apprenticeships give them to grow their business and get the skilled workforce they need.

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