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The importance of narrowing the disadvantage gap

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Attainment gap, Social mobility, Technical education

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Today our blog looks at a new report on social mobility as well as further and technical education.

Social Mobility

Today, Tuesday 25 June, the Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility Commission published analysis of the educational background of 5,000 people in top jobs in politics, the judiciary, media and business. The research concluded that those who are privately educated are five times more likely to be members of the ‘elite’. This was covered by the Guardian, the Financial Times, BBC Online, the Times, the Independent, the Mail, I News, the Metro, the Mirror, the Sun and the Evening Standard.

The Education Secretary Damian Hinds has emphasised the importance of social mobility, and we have seen the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers narrow, and the proportion of 16 and 17 year-olds in education or apprenticeships at its highest ever.

We have also set up a partnerships programme that allows state schools, private schools and universities to share their expertise and resources.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

For too long professions like law, politics and journalism have been dominated by independently schooled people. By making sure that our state schools offer a comparable education to private schools we will drive down these inequalities.

The gap between state funded schools and independent schools has never been smaller. 85% of state funded schools are now rated good or outstanding – compared to 68% in 2010 and academies across the country like Brampton Manor in East London are rivalling the results of prestigious private schools.

This has been driven by a range of reforms focusing on levelling the playing field and strengthening education from the bottom up. Phonics is helping early literacy, more pupils leave primary school meeting the expected standards in maths and English and our reformed GCSEs make sure 16-year-olds have the knowledge parents expect.

T Levels

Today, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published new research which shows that businesses are taking an increasing amount of time to recruit people with the skills they need. The research also said that three out of four firms do not have any substantial knowledge of T Levels. This was covered by the Independent and the Times.

The new T Level qualifications will be backed by an additional half a billion pounds of investment every year when they are fully rolled out. Part of this is a £20 million investment to help prepare the further education sector for the introduction of the new courses. This includes the £8 million T Level Professional Development offer which is already helping teachers and staff prepare for the roll-out of the new qualifications and the £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme which aims to attract industry experts to work in the sector.

Throughout October and November last year we engaged with over 160 employers to discuss the challenges various industries face with regards to hosting a placement. We have worked closely with employers to look at different models and approaches of industry placements which will reflect current industry practice, but that would still offer students a meaningful placement, and subsequently published a framework of industry placement models last month to reflect this.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton said:

Right from the word go, we have worked closely with business to make sure we get the delivery of T Levels right. Over 200 employers, including SMEs and household names like IBM and Fujitsu are working with us to design the new T Levels.

Thousands more businesses are already involved in delivering T Level style industry placements, which will benefit thousands of young people across the country. We are closely working with employers and providers to raise awareness of T Levels and will launch a national marketing campaign in September to highlight the benefits of these new courses.

We’ve invested almost £60million to help providers and employers deliver T Level placements and after listening to the sector have announced a further support and guidance for businesses and the college sector.

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