Weekly education news roundup 29/09/17

29/09/17

PTA UK's Parent Survey and School Funding dominate education headlines

This time last week we released our findings on the school funding section of our Parent Survey.

Our Acting CEO Michelle Doyle Wildman appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss (pictured above). 

Since then, many national and regional news outlets have run with the story.

The results show:

  • more than three quarters of parents believe the cost of sending a child to state school is increasing
  • more than half are concerned by the costs
  • both figures have increased significantly since 2016
  • more parents have been asked to voluntarily donate to their school fund, and
  • more parents are donating to their school fund compared to 2016

England

A letter to parents on the difference in funding levels

You may be one of the parents receiving a joint letter approved by 4,000 head teachers, which is to be sent to parents across England. It highlights concerns head teachers have about school funding, and it claims that the proposed new National Funding Formula will do little to ease their concerns. The education sector widely believes that the new formula will improve funding for the worst-off schools, but argue that huge disparities will remain in budgets for schools in different regions, and the overall amount set aside by government for the Department for Education to pay for schools is not enough.

With the Autumn Budget approaching (on 22nd November), school funding is likely to remain dominating the education headlines.

See our guide for parents on the proposed new National Funding Formula.

New Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System appointed

Lord Nash announced his retirement from the Department for Education this week. He had served as the DfE's minister in the House of Lords since 2013 and was considered one of the architects of the current academies system.

The government has confirmed that his replacement is Conservative donor Sir Theodore Agnew, founder of the Inspiration Trust academy chain, who will be given a life peerage by the Queen. Agnew will stand down as chair of the Inspiration Trust to avoid any conflict of interest when assuming his new role. 

Wales

Education in Wales: Our national mission

This week saw the launch of an action plan for Education in Wales: Our national mission, in which Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, says: 

"We all want our children to be well-educated, safe and happy, to be treated fairly and benefit from high levels of well-being. For many of our young people, achieving those ambitions will require a renewed, collaborative focus across all of our public services. Our national mission is ambitious, innovative and confident as we work to deliver a reformed and successful education system. By learning together, we can develop a better Wales."

You can see the action plan and how it aims to transform the education system in Wales and watch a video of the event launch which was broadcast live.

References:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41417313 

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/sep/27/headteachers-tell-parents-you-are-still-in-a-postcode-lottery

http://gov.wales/docs/dcells/publications/170926-education-in-wales-en.pdf

https://www.pscp.tv/WG_Education/1vAxRNkLDoyxl?t=0

https://schoolsweek.co.uk/agnew-confirmed-as-new-academies-minister/

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Image credit: BBC