Education in the media: Wednesday 14 March 2018

Today’s Education in the media blog looks at gender diversity in the early years workforce, the Education Policy Institute analysis of the level of qualifications in the early years profession and the £80 million announced by the Chancellor in his Spring Statement to encourage more high quality apprenticeships.

Early years gender diversity

The Victoria Derbyshire Show has today, Wednesday 14 March, run a film focusing on the number of men working in the early years profession. The film looked at issues around stigma and gender diversity in the early years workforce.

It is important that children see both male and female role models and we want to see more men deciding to work on early years and childcare. That is why the government set up a gender diversity taskforce group to consider the issue in greater detail. This was reflected throughout the film.

We are clear that an excellent education is vital for a child’s life chances and have already made a significant investment in the early years sector so we can continue to attract more high quality staff, regardless of their gender.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We want young children to have both male and female role models in their early years and having a diverse range of people working in childcare has an important part to play in this.

We have set up a group to look at the number of men working in early years in more depth and consider what more could be done to encourage men to consider this rewarding career. We look forward to the group’s findings and will be considering them carefully to see what steps can be taken to address this issue.

Education Policy Institute on early years

Today, Wednesday 14 March, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has published analysis of the level of qualifications held by early years professionals.

This was reported on by The Telegraph, Nursery World and TES. The Telegraph focused on nursery staff and the fact that half of highly-qualified staff could retire within 25 years.

The government is working hard to boost the status of our early years workforce. We continue to support dedicated people and graduates into the sector through a number of initiatives including bursaries and employer incentives.

Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said:

It is positive this report recognises the work underway, alongside the sector, to improve qualifications and develop a new apprenticeship route in to early years.

We want to continue to boost the status of our dedicated early years workforce, which is why we continue to support graduates into the sector through bursaries and employer incentives, as well as developing the skills of those already working in the sector.

Non-levy procurement growth awards

On Tuesday, 13 March, the Telegraph, Mirror, Express, City AM, TES and FE Week covered the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, which included support for small and medium businesses, with an £80 million boost if they take on an apprentice.

This funding, part of the wider changes we are making to the apprenticeship system, will deliver more high quality training so that everyone can benefit from the opportunities apprenticeships bring.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

The £80m announced today will give a boost to delivering more high-quality apprenticeship training. The funding is part of the wider changes we are making to the apprenticeship system to increase both the quality and quantity of apprenticeships out there, so that everyone who wants to can benefit from the amazing opportunities apprenticeships bring.

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