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Our ambition for justifiable salaries in higher education

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Attainment gap, Higher Education, Universities


A stock image of newspapers representing what has been in the news today

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at university staff pay and summer-born children.

University Staff Pay

Today, Thursday 3 October, the TaxPayers’ Alliance published research into the pay of staff in universities. The figures suggest that 3,600 university staff are being paid more than £100,000 a year. This was covered by the Mail, the Telegraph, the Sun and the Times.

The previous Education Secretary wrote to the Office for Students in February to make clear that “high pay must be justified by high performance” in the university sector.

In the letter he also said: “Where issues with senior staff pay lead to concerns over governance, the OfS should consider carrying out independent reviews of the adequacy and effectiveness of management and governance at providers”.

A Department for Education Spokesperson said:

Whilst universities are independent and responsible for setting the pay of their staff, students and taxpayers all contribute to our higher education system - and rightly expect value for money.

We want senior pay that is fair and justifiable, and have asked the Office for Students to look closely at this area.

This will help ensure the process for setting pay is transparent, and mean universities are properly held to account.

Summer Born Children

Today, a new guidebook was released by academics from Durham University and the University of Exeter calling for test scores of children born in summer months to be adjusted to make up for the disadvantage of being the youngest children in their year groups. This was covered by the Independent, the Times, the i and the Star.

We want all children to leave primary with the reading, writing and maths skills necessary to succeed well at secondary school.

We published some survey findings which indicate that, although the number of requests for summer born children to be admitted to reception at age 5 remains very small, a significant majority of these requests are now being agreed.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We have given councils clear advice on how to support parents who want to delay their child’s admission to reception until age 5 to ensure that families can make the right choice for their child.

The progress of pupils born in the summer is measured against others nationally with the same prior attainment and statistics have shown that the progress made by young pupils is above the national average from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2.

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