https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/28/education-in-the-media-wednesday-28-february-2018/

Education in the media: Wednesday 28 February 2018

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the advanced maths premium and the annual childcare survey from the Family and Childcare Trust.

Advanced Maths Premium

Today, Wednesday 28 February, we have announced more details on the new advanced maths premium. Schools and colleges will receive a £600 premium for every additional young person aged 16-18 who takes on an advanced maths qualification including A-level maths, A-level further maths and core maths.

Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, appeared on Good Morning Britain, Sky and LBC to promote the announcement.

Maths continues to be the most popular subject at A-level, with almost 25 per cent of pupils choosing to study it. However, there are almost three quarters of students with an A*-C in GCSE maths at age 16 who decide not to continue studying the subject and we hope that the new advanced maths premium will open up the opportunity for more young people to study advanced maths.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

Academic standards are rising in our schools, with 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010.

Although maths remains the most popular subject at A level, this premium will open up the opportunity for even more young people to study advanced maths qualifications, providing them with the knowledge and skills for future success.

Our reforms to post 16 maths qualifications, have led to a more rigorous curriculum, enabling pupils to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. This will lead to better options for further study and training, including careers in engineering, computing, accountancy and design.

Family and Childcare Trust

Today, Wednesday 28 February, the Family and Childcare Trust (FCT) launched its annual childcare survey. There are a number of key findings from the report, including that the cost to parents for 25 hours of childcare for children aged 2 has risen. The survey surmises several reasons for this rise including costs with delivering the Government’s 30 hours free childcare offer.

BBC Breakfast, Daily Telegraph (p.6), Daily Mirror (p.9), the Sun (p.2), I newspaper (p.4) and Independent (p.13) all covered the survey.

As the survey notes, parents will be spending less of their wages on childcare than in the last year. This is due to the introduction of tax-free childcare and the extension of free childcare for three and four year olds with working parents in England, meaning almost all families will now be able to receive some Government support to access and pay for childcare.

Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said:

Thousands of families are accessing high-quality, affordable childcare and the most pleasing finding in the Family Childcare Trust’s report is that parents are now spending less of their wages on that childcare as a result of the steps this government has taken.

There are always challenges when implementing any new policy but we are investing record amounts in childcare – around £6billion a year by 2020 – and are working with the sector, which has responded well to the 30 hour roll out to address them.

Our 15 hours offer for the most disadvantaged 2 year olds is giving these children access to early education and we know that take up of this offer is increasing.

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