The department continue to ensure our world class universities have the necessary support to continue with important research and teaching, recognising the important contribution of universities to research, innovation and working with business.
The Prime Minister has made clear that we will increase minimum levels of per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools and return education funding to previous levels.
We are glad to see that school and further education funding is being highlighted as an important issue ahead of the next spending review, where the Education Secretary will back the sector to have the resources they need to deliver world-class standards across the board.
We have made huge progress to boost the quality of education and training on offer for young people. From 2020 we will start to roll out new T Levels which will offer young people high-quality technical courses alongside our world class A Levels. These will be the gold standard choice for young people after they take their GCSEs.
Continuing to improve behaviour in our schools is a key priority for this Government. Calm and safe school environments benefit all students, allowing them to concentrate fully on their studies. Just one instance of bad behaviour in a classroom can derail an entire lesson, holding back every other pupil in the room.
The SCIF was launched with a pilot in October 2017. By the end of the scheme, we will have supported 80 colleges with funding of £12.3 million to undertake a focused quality improvement programme with a higher-performing partner.
We have been clear that there is more money going into our schools than ever before, and since 2017, we have given every local authority more money for every 5 to 16 year old in every school and made funding fairer across the country.
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.
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.