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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Thursday 21 March 2019: International students, knife crime, mental health and SCIF

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Funding, Further education, Mental Health, Universities


Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at international students, knife crime and new funding for educational psychologists and college improvements respectively.

International Students

Today, Thursday 21 March, the Higher Education Policy Institute has published a report that highlights the contribution made to the economy by international students who stay to work in the UK after graduation. This has been reported by the Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Telegraph, the Mail and I News.

The report suggests that one cohort of students contributes £3.2 billion in tax and national insurance to the UK economy.

As one of the world’s leading countries in higher education, we recognise the importance of reaching out globally to maximise the potential of our education offer and the international students we attract.

On Saturday 16 March, the Department for Education and Department for International Trade launched the International Education Strategy, which sets out an ambition to generate £35 billion from international education exports and host 600,000 international students by 2030.

Our future immigration system will support the UK’s businesses by removing caps on a number of work visas, reducing the skills threshold, abolishing outdated labour market tests and bringing in a new digital sponsorship system to cut processing times.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

There are no limits on the number of international students who can come to study at our world class institutions and this is evidenced by the fact that university student visa applications are at the highest level on record.

We have outlined plans to make it easier for students to move into skilled work in the UK after their studies and to extend the post-study leave period for tens of thousands of students.

These will make sure we continue to attract and retain leading talent from across the world.

Proposed changes to the student visa route were outlined in the Immigration White Paper.

Knife Crime

Today, the Telegraph published an op-ed by the Education Secretary Damian Hinds. The Independent also wrote a piece based on this.

In his op-ed, the Education Secretary talks about how criminal exploitation can often effect the most vulnerable pupils, who have suffered from mental health problems, domestic violence or substance abuse, whilst also touching on accountability.

The upcoming Timpson Review will look at exclusions and propose recommendations as we look to improve the system and ensure that education does not end with exclusion from school.

Educational Psychologists

Yesterday, Wednesday 20 March, we launched an invitation to tender (ITT) to procure a specialist provider to train a further 2017 Educational Psychologists. This will form the next part of the Secretary of State’s high needs funding announcement in December 2018. This was covered by Schools Week, FE News and TES.

This announcement will be backed by £31.6 million and will benefit thousands of children across England with their mental health.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:

Every child deserves to be happy, healthy and have the best chance of fulfilling their potential. Educational Psychologists play an important role in making sure that this is no different for children with additional needs, by providing tailored support and helping families and teachers when there are challenges to overcome.

We said that we would train more Educational Psychologists to help meet increasing demand for their services – and today we are confirming funding over £30 million to make this happen. We are launching three new training rounds from 2020 which will see over 600 psychologists trained.

New research published today tells us that too many local authorities have struggled to fill vacancies for Educational Psychologists. This new funding for additional psychologists will mean many more children, their schools and their parents feel well supported to tackle what can often be complex difficulties.

Strategic College Improvement Fund

Yesterday, we also announced the successful applicants to Round 2 of the Strategic College Improvement Fund (SCIF). Overall 13 colleges were successful in receiving funding which totalled £1.8 million. This was covered by TES.

The colleges will work with a high-performing partner college to share their expertise in raising standards of teaching, or improving learner retention. In total, 63 colleges across England have been supported by the fund.

Anne Milton, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister said:

Our colleges have a vital role to play in making sure people of all ages and backgrounds get the chance to learn new skills and go on to have successful careers.

The Strategic College Improvement Fund is designed to help support colleges to improve and make sure their students receive the high quality education they deserve.

I’m thrilled to announce the second round of colleges to receive funding from the scheme. We’ve seen great success so far and I look forward to hearing how they are all progressing.

More information on SCIF can be found here.



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