Today’s news review examines a report released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency about staff at UK universities, and coverage of the government’s 30 hours’ free childcare offer.
Today, Friday 20 January, The Guardian has covered a report by the Higher Education Statistics Agency looking at the characteristics of staff at UK universities. The Guardian reports that no black academics have worked in senior management in any British university for the last three years.
Universities are independent of government and are entirely responsible for their own recruitment, promotion and retention of their staff.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
Our higher education sector is already going further than the UK labour market average the on BME representation in its staff.
Under the Equality Act 2010, universities have a duty to ensure equal opportunities for those who may be discriminated against or under represented.
Thirty hours free childcare
BBC Online and Nursery World has today reported on research by the Pre-School Learning Alliance that suggests the Government has underestimated the number of children that will be eligible for our 30 hours’ free childcare offer. The Pre-School Learning Alliance says the number of children eligible for this offer will be 500,000, a 23 per cent increase on the Government’s estimation of 390,000 children.
The figures from the Pre-School Learning Alliance come from calculations made by an early years research company who have used a completely different methodology to the Government, and is therefore not comparable.
The Department’s own contractor is already working with our eight Early Implementers to support the delivery of additional places and will provide support to all councils ahead of our national roll out in September.
A Department of Education spokesperson said:
We are investing more in childcare than any previous government, spending a record £6 billion per year by 2020 – this includes an additional £1billion per year on our free entitlements to support families with the cost of childcare.
Around 390,000 working families will be eligible for 30 hours free childcare from September. In most cases, their children are already in existing childcare places, which will become free. We are also creating almost 9,000 new places through £50 million of capital grants.