Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at Steiner Schools, the Race Disparity Audit and the Model Music Curriculum.
Yesterday, Thursday 31 January, Ofsted published a letter from Chief Executive Amanda Spielman setting out her concerns over Steiner Schools. This was covered by the Times, the Independent, the Telegraph, the Mail and the Sun.
The Department for Education has already started work to re-broker the three Steiner academies placed in special measures to strong multi-academy trusts to ensure swift improvement.
Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds said:
Where any independent school fails to meet the independent school standards, we will take robust action; and we will move academies that are deemed inadequate to new sponsors where necessary.
We will continue our work with Ofsted to act quickly to ensure no pupil experiences a substandard education.
Race Disparity Audit
Today, Friday 1 February, we announced a package of measures to tackle ethnic disparities in higher education, in relation to Race Disparity Audit work. This has received coverage from the Telegraph, the Times, the Mail and I News.
The aim of the new measures is to scrutinise and incentivise higher education providers and the wider sector to take action to tackle the disparities between ethnic groups. This includes the Office for Students (OfS) holding providers to account on Access and Participation plans, as well as designing a website to support student choice and social mobility.
Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said:
Universities need to reflect modern Britain, and ensure that everyone who has the potential, no matter their background or where they are from can thrive at university. I fully expect access and participation plans, which universities will be drawing up this year for implementation in 2020-21, to contain ambitious and significant actions to make sure we are seeing material progress in this space in the next few years.
It is one of my key priorities as the Universities Minister to ensure that I work with universities to highlight examples of best practice in widening not only access, but also we redouble our efforts to tackle student dropout rates. It cannot be right that ethnic minority students are disproportionately dropping out of university and I want to do more to focus on student experience to help ethnic minority students succeed at university.
Model Music Curriculum
Yesterday evening, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row included a discussion with the Schools Minister Nick Gibb, on the Model Music Curriculum.
The Minister talked about his ambition for children to study the best possible music curriculum. He said the department is consulting with a wide-range of experts to ensure that the teaching meets the desired standards.
You can listen to the full show here.