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The funding of further education

silhouette of a young person in a library surrounded by books

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the funding we are putting into further education as well as the importance of school assessments.

EPI Report

Today, Monday 13 May, the Education Policy Institute released a report on the funding of further education sixth forms and colleges. The report says that funding in this sector has declined by 16% in real terms since 2010. There was coverage on this from the Independent, I News, the Times and the Telegraph.

Our commitment to the further education sector has contributed to the current record high proportion of 16 and 17 year olds participating in education or apprenticeships – the highest since records began.

This year, we are providing additional funding to support institutions to increase participation in advanced maths qualifications – this means that sixth forms will receive £600 for every additional student studying AS or A Level Maths or Core Maths.

On top of this, nearly £60 million in additional funding has already been allocated to providers to help them build capacity for the improved industry placements that will form part of the new T Level qualifications from 2020.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We recognise that 16 to 19 funding rates are challenging for all providers at the moment and are looking carefully at this in the run-up to the next Spending Review.

Our school sixth forms and colleges have a vital role to play in making sure people have the skills they need to get on in life. That is why we have protected the base rate of funding for 16 to 19 year olds until 2020. We continue to allocate further funding for specific needs such as an extra £500m for providers to support disadvantaged students.

We will also be providing an additional £500m every year, for the delivery of the new gold standard T levels once they are fully rolled out.

School Assessments

Today, Kings College London has issued a press notice on research it has carried out which suggests that teacher assessments are as reliable as standardised exams. This has been covered by the Guardian and the Telegraph.

Key stage 1 assessments help teachers to evaluate where pupils are at by the end of year 2. They form the starting point for the current primary progress measure. These assessments should not be stressful for pupils.

. The government has taken steps to reduce examination burdens on young people. At GCSE we have removed the incentives for multiple resits that were not helping children’s learning, giving pupils at least two full years before sitting their GCSEs.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Exams are an essential part of ensuring that children and young people are taught the knowledge and skills they need in order to succeed in further study and in later life.

Schools should encourage all pupils to work hard and achieve well, but this should not be at the expense of their wellbeing. They should provide appropriate support as part of their whole school approach to supporting the wellbeing and resilience of pupils.

Assessments over the course of a child’s education help us to understand how well schools are supporting children.

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