https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2016/11/17/education-in-the-media-17-november-2016/

Education in the media: 17 November 2016

Today’s news review will look at inaccurate claims by the NUT and ATL about school funding, and media reports about the Early Years census.

School funding

Today, Thursday, 17 November, the Mirror has reported on a study released by the NUT and ATL claiming that there is a “looming school funding crisis”, and highlighting 100 constituencies they claim could face significant cuts.

As we have repeatedly made clear – and as the Education Secretary told the House of Commons on Monday, 14 November – we have not yet agreed our new fairer funding formula for schools, so it is impossible for the NUT and ATL to make such calculations. We will consult on the new formula later in the year and it will be introduced from 2018-19.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

This is irresponsible scaremongering based on speculation. It’s unfair and confusing for parents, pupils and schools themselves. We are due to publish a new fairer funding formula, and as the NUT and ATL admit, their speculative figures do not take that into account.

 

In reality the schools budget has been protected and in 2016-17 totals over £40billion, the highest ever on record. The government's fairer funding proposals will ensure that areas with the highest need attract the most funding and end the historic unfairness in the system.

 

Early Years census

The Independent and Schools Week have today reported on concerns from campaigners about how we collect data in the School Census and Early Years Census. The Independent article includes claims that data on nationality and country of birth is collected from children from the age of two.

Collecting a range of data through the School Census will help ensure our children receive the best possible education and support, and will help us understand the scale and impact of migration on the education sector.  Data on nationality and country of birth collected through the School Census is solely for use by the Department for Education and will not be shared outside of the department.

Parents can opt out of the data collection if they choose to.

At this time, however, we see no need to extend the collection of data on nationality or country of birth through either the Early Years or Alternative Provision census.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Gathering data on nationality and country of birth through the School Census will help ensure our children receive the best possible education and support. It will help us understand the scale and impact of migration on the education sector.

 

At this time we see no need to extend the collection of data on nationality or country of birth to the Early Years census or the Alternative Provision Census.

Read our Q&A on the School Census here.