Today’s news review looks at the student loan system, the publication of the Key Stage 2 results and the Boarding School Partnership.
Student Loan System
Today, Wednesday, 5 July, the IFS released a press notice on the student loan system. The report states that three quarters of student graduates will likely never pay off their student loans due, in part, to the high interest rates on student debts. However, the report does also find that the current student finance system has reduced annual government borrowing and costs to the taxpayer as well as increasing university per-student funding to record levels.
Minister Jo Johnson has given interviews to R4 Today, Sky News, BBC News Channel and ITV.
It is essential that universities are well funded if we are to continue to compete globally.
Minister for Universities, Jo Johnson said:
The government consciously subsidises the studies of those who for a variety of reasons, including family responsibilities, may not repay their loans in full. This is a vital and deliberate investment in the skills base of this country, not a symptom of a broken student finance system.
And the evidence bears this out: young people from poorer backgrounds are now going to university at a record rate—up 43% since 2009.
We should of course not be complacent. That’s why we have set up a new regulator, the Office for Students, and introduced the Teaching Excellence Framework to help ensure students get value for money from their fees.
Key Stage 2 results
On Tuesday, 4 July we published the national results for the 2017 Key Stage 2 tests and teacher assessments. Our results showed that the number of pupils meeting the expected standard in all areas of the SATs assessments increased across a national level. This was covered by the BBC, Telegraph, Guardian, Mirror, Daily Mail, TES, and Schools Week,
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:
Today’s results show sustained progress in reading, writing and maths and are a testament to the hard work of teachers and pupils across England. Thanks to their commitment and our new knowledge rich curriculum, thousands more children will arrive at secondary school having mastered the fundamentals of reading, writing and maths, giving them the best start in life.
Boarding School Partnerships
On 4 July the Department for Education launched the Boarding School Partnerships to create a network of support and expertise for young people.
The Department-funded service has been created in collaboration with local authorities, charities and schools and will be managed by a voluntary board of professionals.
Across the UK up to 1,000 young people are currently supported by charities and boarding schools, and the Boarding School Partnerships will make it easier for them to access information, support and expertise about boarding school placements.
The Boarding School Partnerships website has now launched, offering case studies, research and guides to boarding schools and charities.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System Lord Nash said:
Boarding School Partnerships represents our collective determination to bring the benefits of boarding school to as many young people as appropriate. This new service is a result of a two-year process of discussion and exploration by what became the Advisory Board of professionals from across boarding schools, local authorities, charities and here at the Department for Education.
We want Boarding School Partnerships to be a catalyst in the process of helping to ensure that a boarding school option is considered wherever and whenever it may be appropriate.