Money’s been a big theme around education policy this week but it’s not been the only one.
There’s also been a fair bit on teaching and learning with the OECD releasing its latest TALIS tome, its large scale international survey into teaching and learning in schools across member countries, the government publishing an impact report on Traineeships and the Office for Students publishing the results of the latest TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) assessments, quite a collection of Ts.
Also this week, the Prime Minister unveiled new prevention plans around mental health, the Education Secretary made a wide-ranging speech on disadvantage and the Education Committee questioned the Social Mobility Commission about what sort of impact it had made so far. And finally, the Augar review has continued to attract comment and analysis, the NFER has looked at how ready the first wave of T level providers are for lift-off and of course we’ve had the heartwarming ‘Thank a Teacher Day.’
Here’s some details on a couple of these stories starting with the money ones first:
Funding matters are never far away from education concerns, indeed they feature in at least six of the questions listed under MPs questions on Monday and of course there’s been the welcome news of a generous donation to Oxford University this week but two particular stories deserve mention.
First, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IfS) considered some of the funding claims being sprayed around by the Tory leadership contenders recently. Simply to reverse recent cuts could cost £3.8bn for schools and £480m for 16-19 and that’s without the £1bn+ needed each year to maintain spending in real terms. It’s a salutary analysis and both it and the accompanying remarks from the Association of Colleges (AoC) are well worth reading for understanding the context.
The second story on funding this week concerns T levels with the government confirming its plans for the initial funding of T levels in a response to its earlier consultation. A further operational report is due to follow this year but broadly the government has confirmed it’s sticking with its initial banding proposals as part of the current formula model, despite some disquiet, with some additional one-off payments and specific funding for placements and English and maths.
The other big education story this week has been OECD’s release of its latest TALIS survey, always interesting when it comes to comparing our school system with those of other countries. The summary for England has some fascinating data. Our primary and KS3 teachers, it seems, have it tough in many ways.
Staff retention. This week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published some interesting stats on one year retention rates for employees, based on 2016/17 figures. It seems that the police have the highest retention rate in the public sector followed by nurses, midwives and the heads of educational establishments at 92%. Primary and secondary school teachers had retention rates of 87% and 82% respectively while FE teachers at 79% were less likely to stay after one year. Rates vary by age and sector and of course a lot depends on whether you have permanent contract or not.