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Education in the Media: Thursday 14 February 2019

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Today’s Education in the Media blog focuses on the termination warning notices  which have gone out to two Steiner schools, and new research from Neon on the disadvantage gap in higher education admissions.

Steiner Schools

Yesterday, Wednesday 13 February, the Department issued two termination warning notices to Steiner Academy Bristol and Steiner Academy Frome. This was covered by the Times, Independent and Guardian.

The termination warning notices  follow Ofsted’s inspection reports – dated 11 January 2019 – which rated both schools to be Inadequate. The letters stated that funding agreements will be terminated unless they can provide evidence of improvement. In the event of termination a strong sponsor will be sought to take on the schools.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

Safeguarding our children and young people throughout their education is paramount, regardless of the setting in which they are being taught. Ofsted has found that some of these schools are failing to do that.

Where any independent school fails to meet the independent school standards, we will take robust action including moving academies to new sponsors where necessary. We will continue our work with Ofsted to ensure no pupil experiences a substandard education.

Disadvantage Gap

Today, Thursday 14 February, the National Education Opportunities Network (Neon) has published research on the disadvantaged students going to university. This has been covered by BBC Online.

We have record rates of 18 rates of 18-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds going on to higher education and are currently undertaking a review of post-18 education, to ensure that the system provides fair opportunity to all potential students.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

Whilst it’s right that we celebrate the record rates of 18-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university, there is clearly more to do to make sure everyone who has the talent and potential can thrive in higher education.

White British disadvantaged boys are the least likely of any large ethnic group to go to university. We need to ask ourselves why that is and challenge government, universities and the wider system on it.

Universities need to look at the data, including dropout rates, outreach activity and admissions policies to make sure they are improving their access and successful participation.

It’s vital that we do this to make sure that no part of our country feels as though it is being left behind.

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