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Education in the media: Thursday 12 July 2018

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Today's Education in the Media blog looks at the funding that we have provided to schools as well a report into admissions at St Olave’s school from Bromley Council.

School funding

On Thursday, 12 July, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published a report into school funding.

This was reported by the Today Programme, Guardian, BBC Online and TES, who all reported that the IFS has said that school spending on pupils has fallen.

We are clear that funding is at its highest ever level and standards are rising with 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010.

We are proud that a child taking their GCSEs this year will have seen investment of over £65k across their education since the age of 3 - double the funding their parents’ generation would have received.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

School funding in England is at its highest ever level, rising to £43.5 billion by 2020.

Funding for the average primary school class is £132,000 - up £8,000 in the last decade in today's prices.

The same class of pupils would get £171,000 in secondary school - up £10,000 on the decade in today's prices.

In fact, analysis from the Institute of Fiscal Studies itself has shown that real-terms per-pupil funding for five to 16-year-olds in England in 2020 will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000.

We have also protected the base rate of funding for 16 to 19-year-olds until 2020, worth £4,000 per student for 16 to 17-year-olds.

St Olave’s school

Yesterday, Wednesday, 11 July, Bromley Borough Council published a report into St Olave’s grammar school. This has been reported by the Guardian, Times and Telegraph.

The report suggests that pupils in year 12 were asked not to sit certain exams if they do not achieve high enough grades after their first year of sixth form to maintain the schools overall league table standing. The media coverage has also touched upon the fact that some parents complained to the Department for Education about their child being threatened exclusion if they didn’t receive certain grades.

The law is clear that it is illegal for schools to exclude pupils based on academic ability.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We take all complaints relating to pupils’ exams very seriously and carefully consider all the evidence presented to us before making any decision about whether to intervene or not.

The law is clear that it is illegal for schools to exclude pupils based on academic ability. We reminded all secondary schools of this when we wrote to them in September following suggestions of illegal exclusions. We welcome this report from Bromley Council and will read it carefully.

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