The Education Secretary recognises that the lead up to GCSEs and A-levels can be a stressful period for pupils, but also notes the importance for young people in being able to deal with the challenges they’ll face in life, including developing the resilience and coping mechanisms to deal with challenging experiences such as exams.
We want an apprenticeship system that works for all employers – big and small. Our reforms were designed and driven by businesses of all sizes to make sure apprentices learn the skills employers need. Apprenticeships are now longer, higher-quality, with more off-the-job training and provide for a proper assessment at the end.
The majority of schools are safe environments for pupils and teaching staff, and it’s important they remain so. The Education Secretary has been clear that education is the best protection for vulnerable young people most at risk of being led down a dangerous path, and we must all take a united approach to protecting them.
Young people are participating in education and training at their highest rate since consistent records began and the latest figures show that the overall proportion of 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) was at 6.3%, the lowest rate on record.
In response to calls for SATs to be discontinued, the Education Secretary Damian Hinds wrote an op-ed for the Sunday Telegraph on 21 April, setting out the importance of primary school assessments to ensure that children are developing and progressing in education.
Today, Thursday 18 April, we made a joint announcement with the Ministry of Defence, calling on universities to do more to support armed forces children and ex-service people by signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant.
No headteacher goes into the job to remove a pupil from school - and no headteacher takes the decision to do so lightly. Schools will typically have gone through a number of sanctions before exclusion is considered, taking into account the welfare of other pupils in the classroom.
It is against the law to remove pupils on the basis of academic results – any school that does it is breaking the law.
The Key Stage 2 tests help to ensure primary schools are teaching children the fundamentals of reading, writing and maths, and help reassure parents that schools are laying the foundations for their children to succeed at secondary school and beyond.
Last year 97.7% of parents got one of their top three choices, with 91% of these being their first choice. These numbers have been gradually improving since 2014 despite rising pupil numbers during this period. School standards have also been rising – 87% of primary schools are now rated Good or Outstanding, compared to 67% in 2010.
Our ambition for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is exactly the same for every other child – to achieve well in education, go on to college or university, and to live happy and fulfilled lives.