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Education in the Media: Friday 2 November 2018

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Free School Meals, School food, Universities

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the progress being made by breakfast clubs, and new funding for the Open Data Competition.

Breakfast Clubs

Today, Friday 2 November, the Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, announced that thousands more children across the country are now getting a healthy and nutritious meal to start their day via  new or improved school breakfast clubs. The Daily Mail and the Independent have covered this story, and Minister Zahawi has also been interviewed on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 5 Live.

Figures published by Family Action show that 15,000 breakfasts are already being served healthy breakfasts every day to children – many from disadvantaged families. There are 500 new or improved breakfast clubs signed up since March under the £26 million government-funded programme.

We are working with the Magic Breakfast charity to keep improving and providing these meals, and aim to be running improved breakfast clubs for more than 1,700 schools by 2020.

Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said:

We want every child to have the best possible start in life, and that means getting the best possible start to their day. It’s fantastic to see the positive effect that new breakfast clubs are having right across the country – particularly in our most disadvantaged areas.

We have already made strides in our attempts to help every child reach their potential, with 300,000 fewer children living in absolute poverty in this country and the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils reduced by 10 per cent, but we know there is more to do.

That’s why I want to encourage schools to take part in this rewarding programme that is already providing a boost in so many of our classrooms.

Open Data Competition

Yesterday, Thursday 1 November, the Universities Minister Sam Gyimah, announced a further £300,000 of funding for the next stage of the Open Data Competition, which is creating new mobile apps and digital tools to help prospective students choose the right university and course for them. This was covered in the Independent and the Daily Mail.

At a showcase event on Thursday in Imperial College London, the Universities Minister unveiled five prototype apps and websites from the competition, and announced that two of those finalists will receive an additional £150,000 each to develop their design into a final product.

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:

Going to university is one of the single biggest investments a person will make in their lifetime and it is absolutely vital that everyone has the information they need to make the right decision. We’re publishing over half a million cells of data showing graduate outcomes for every university – more than has ever been published before.

What you study and where you study really matters, and these new digital tools will highlight which universities and courses will help people to reach the top of their field, and shine a light on ones lagging behind – levelling the playing field for every prospective student.

This is the start of an information transformation for students, which will revolutionise how students choose the right university for them. I want this to pave the way for a greater use of technology in higher education, with more tools being made available to boost students’ choices and prospects.

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