https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2017/11/16/education-in-the-media-thursday-16-november-2017/

Education in the media: Thursday 16 November 2017

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Today’s blog looks at school funding and outcomes for graduates.

School funding

Today, Thursday, 16 November, the Mirror has published a story about schools in Wokingham that have asked parents for donations to supplement budgets.

The story says Robert Piggott Infant and Junior Schools in Wargrave have asked parents for a contribution of £190 a year and states that this is due to supposed funding cuts.

The Department recognises that the formula that has been used to set schools’ funding up to now is not fair as it is based on a historic data that is now well out of date. That’s why we’ve introduced a new formula backed by £1.3bn of extra funding for school budgets from next year.

Under this new formula the schools in question are set to gain £10,000, a figure that is only mentioned in the final line of the Mirror’s story but will be of huge importance to parents and teachers.

The story is in contrast to a piece in today’s Times, written by head of education at the think tank Policy Exchange John Blake, that points out the £1.3bn the department is investing in school budgets means that across the country funding will be maintained in real terms.

He says: “The money will support what everyone in education has been demanding for years: a national funding formula.” He goes on to criticise the National Education Union for what he calls the “creative accounting” used in some of its criticisms of the formula.

Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb:

The introduction of the National Funding Formula from 2018-19, backed by £1.3bn of additional investment, has been widely welcomed and will put an end to historic disparities in the system.

Every school will see an increase in funding through the formula from 2018, with Robert Piggott CofE Infant and Junior Schools set to gain around £10,000 a year in total. As the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has confirmed, overall schools funding is being protected at a national level in real terms per pupil over the next two years.

Our formula will provide significant gains for under-funded schools of up to 3% per pupil in 2018-19 and a further 3% in 2019-20.

Graduate outcomes

This morning the Today Programme ran an interview with a representative from the Chartered institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) on graduate outcomes who claimed not enough graduates go on to get jobs.

Our stats show that 94.2 per cent of full time students who graduated in England had jobs or had gone on to further study within six months of graduating and seven out of ten graduates from 2015/16 are in professional jobs.

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that by three and a half years after graduation, 82 per cent of employed full-time first degree leavers who graduated from UK Higher Education Institutions in 2012/13 were in professional occupations

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Our reforms are about helping students see which institutions are delivering the best teaching and student outcomes, helping them make better informed decisions between different courses and universities.

The latest statistics show that six months after graduation, 94.2 per cent of full time students who graduated in England with their first degree were in employment or further study. Furthermore, 71 per cent who graduated from UK higher education institutions in 2015/16 were in professional occupations.

Find out more about school funding – including how much extra money your local schools are getting – here.