Today’s Education in the Media blog focuses on the Children’s Commissioner’s report on school attainment, and university admissions.
Children’s Commissioner report
Today, Friday 20 September, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, released a new report on children leaving school without a basic education. The report says that one in five children in England leave school without level 2 attainment. This was covered by the Independent, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Times, the Sun, the Mail and the Metro.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
This report does not provide the full picture, comparing against figures that include qualifications we have since removed from performance tables because they did not serve pupils well.
We are working to dramatically improve the rigour, quality and standard of qualifications across the board, and have already done so with GCSEs. These reformed qualifications will help young people achieve the skills they need to get on in life.
The proportion of 19 year olds with vital English and maths GCSEs has actually risen from 50.9% in 2010 to 68.1% in 2018.
And we’re building on these reforms by investing £14bn over the next three years in education, including raising the teacher starting salary to £30,000 to ensure we get the best and the brightest in.
The gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed considerably in both primary and secondary schools since 2011. This year once again, the number of 16 to 24 year olds not in education, training or employment has fallen and youth unemployment has halved since 2010.
Yesterday, UCAS released new data on university admissions, which shows that a record number of disadvantaged 18 year-olds have secured university places this year. This has been covered by the Guardian.
This represents a positive step and in making higher education accessible for all young people.