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Tuesday 5 March 2019: National Apprenticeship Week, National Careers Week and school donations

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Apprenticeships, Careers, Damian Hinds, Funding

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at National Apprenticeship Week, National Careers Week and school donations.

National Apprenticeship Week

Today, Tuesday 5 March, the Financial Times has published an interview with the Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

The interview marks National Apprenticeship Week, and the Education Secretary spoke about the apprenticeships system ‘coming of age’.

You can read the full piece here.

In addition to this, the Guardian has also marked National Apprenticeship Week with a supplement on apprenticeships. A wide-ranging series of articles can be found online which look at case studies on apprentices and the wider use of apprenticeships across a range of sectors and businesses, including advertising and tailoring.

The articles can be viewed here.

City AM (p24) has also published an op-ed from the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister Anne Milton, in which she emphasises the positive impact that apprentices can have on businesses. She goes on to explain how overhauling the system in 2017 has allowed for more emphasis on meeting the skills needs of employers for the future.

National Careers Week

This week is National Careers Week, and to mark this, the Education Secretary has announced that the Department for Education is working with industry leaders to deliver high quality career learning in all primary schools.

We have published research, which shows 96% of primary schools are offering tailored career activities to pupils, and we want to ensure that this reaches 100%.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

Careers advice has thankfully moved on from my school days, where I once did a multiple choice test and was told I should work in catering.

Good careers education is such a valuable asset that will help children to explore future possibilities and go on to lead happy rewarding lives. I’m pleased to know that so many primary school pupils have access to career-related learning to expand their ideas of who they could become in the future.

But we want to make sure that support is available to everyone and that it’s of the highest standard so that is why we are working with industry experts to produce support primary schools.

You can read more about this announcement here.

School Donations

Today, the Times ran a piece on parental contributions to schools, looking at the issue of parents being asked to help out with funding costs.

We are clear that no parents are obliged to make donations to schools.

Schools generate 4% of their income themselves, on average – a figure that has remained broadly stable over the past ten years. The majority of this comes from letting of premises and from goods and services provided by the school but also includes contributions to school visits, insurance claims, investments and donations. Between 2012-13 and 2017-18 donations ranged from 0.6% to 0.7% of total income and funding in maintained schools.

A DfE spokesperson said:

Since 2017, we have given every local authority more money for every pupil in every school and made funding fairer across the country.

While there is more money going into our schools than ever before, we do recognise the budgeting challenges schools face and that we are asking them to do more. That’s why we have introduced a wide range of practical support to help schools and head teachers, and their local authorities make the most of every pound, ensuring resources are being used in the best possible way to improve outcomes for children.

Standards are rising; the attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers has narrowed since 2011; the proportion of pupils in good or outstanding schools has increased since 2010; and our primary school children have achieved their highest ever score on international reading tests.

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