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Monday 18 March 2019: International Education Strategy and RSE

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the launch of the new International Education Strategy and the Relationships and Sex Education curriculum.

International Education Strategy

On Saturday 16 March, the Department for Education and Department for International Trade jointly launched the International Education Strategy.

The International Education Strategy sets out our ambition to generate £35 billion from international education exports, and host 600,000 international students in the UK, all by 2030. This is part of our vision for the UK to retain its place as a leading educator in the world, and also to make our brilliant education system work for our economy too.

This announcement received media coverage from the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Telegraph and I News. The announcement also received international coverage from South China Morning Post, Xinhua, Eastern Eye and PIE News.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

The UK’s education system is world-leading and its reputation is the envy of many countries around the globe.

As we prepare to leave the EU it is more important than ever to reach out to our global partners and maximise the potential of our best assets – that includes our education offer and the international students this attracts.

There is no limit to our potential and this strategy will help cement our status as a world-leader in education, while creating real benefits for the country and students across the globe.

In addition to this coverage, I News also ran a joint op-ed by the Education Secretary and the International Trade Secretary, about the strategy and the importance of market growth and homing international students in the UK.

You can read this in full here

Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education

Today, Monday 18 March, BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show included a segment on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) with an interview with the Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner.

Many of the issues raised in this conversation are already being addressed by our new draft guidance including teaching on LGBT equality and respectful relationships. We have also set out plans to improve health and wellbeing in schools with a new health education curriculum accompanying the RSE teaching.

In addition to this, last month the Education Secretary launched one of the biggest ever mental health trials of its kind with 370 school in England taking part in testing various approaches to supporting young people. This study will run until 2021 and will give schools new robust evidence about best practice.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We want children to grow up to become happy, healthy and safe, which is why we are the first government to introduce new Relationship, Sex and Health Education which is becoming compulsory in schools from 2020 to help prepare children for the modern world.

To ensure teachers are well-prepared ahead of the subjects becoming mandatory in 2020, there will be a £6m budget in 2019/20 for a school support package to cover training and resources. The Department for Education will also provide support to early-adopter schools who will start teaching the new content from September 2019.

We are rolling out significant additional resources to schools to improve mental health provision at an earlier stage through the Government’s Green Paper proposals, including awareness of ‘mental health first aid’ techniques and teams of trained mental health staff to work with and in schools and colleges to ensure a ‘whole school’ approach to mental health and wellbeing.

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