Today’s news review looks at the results of a survey among parents and childcare providers about our 30 hours offer, as well as the latest claims on exam cheating at independent schools.
New survey results on 30 hours
Today, Thursday 31 August, we released new findings from an independent survey of parents and providers that have been delivering the 30 hours offer since last September, one year ahead of the national roll-out.
The main finding is that 8 out of 10 childcare providers across the country were willing and able to double their current 15 hours offer to 30 hours.
Parents also said that they were planning to increase their working hours. Others said the additional hours made it worthwhile to remain in full-time work, or else reduced the burden on grandparents.
The 30 hours offer should save families around £5,000 per year on childcare, with around 390,000 working families eligible to benefit.
Today’s findings are in addition to the evaluation results we released in July. This found that
- 84 per cent of parents reported improved finances as a result of 30 hours;
- More than three quarters (78 per cent) of parents reported greater flexibility in their working life as a result of 30 hours; and
- Nearly one quarter of mothers (23 per cent) and one in 10 fathers (9 per cent) said they had been able to increase their working hours as a result of 30 hours;
Education Secretary Justine Greening said:
High quality childcare not only helps our children get the best start in life, it supports many parents who want or need to work.
For too long lots of families really struggled to manage the cost of childcare and that’s why we have delivered on our promise to provide 30 hours free – saving working families around £5,000 a year.
Alongside the support we are giving through Tax-Free Childcare and Universal Credit, it will make a real difference to families’ lives.
Children and Families Minister Robert Goodwill was also interviewed this morning on BBC Breakfast and Good Morning Britain. He reiterated that 15,000 children are already benefitting from the offer in the Early Implementer areas.
To see the full results of today’s survey findings please see here.
Today, Thursday 31 August, there are further reports – including in the Telegraph and MailOnline – about teachers in independent schools helping students ‘cheat’ by giving them information in advance about the content of exams.
We are clear that parents and pupils must be able to have faith in the exam system and any suggestion of malpractice must be looked into.
We know that Ofqual is reviewing these cases and will be considering if changes to the rules are required.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:
The public must have confidence in the integrity of the exam system and cheating of any kind is unacceptable. Exam regulator Ofqual is now reviewing the rules under which teachers take part in writing and reviewing question papers and have confirmed to me that they are considering whether action is needed.
The overwhelming majority of teachers act appropriately when working with exam materials but where they do not schools have a responsibility to report it to the exam board for investigation.