Today’s Education in the media blog looks at how we are tackling peer-on-peer abuse in schools, and news of an exciting new degree apprenticeship.
Today, Tuesday 18 September, children’s charity Childline issued a press notice about peer-on-peer abuse. This was covered by the Guardian and the Daily Star. The release of this report comes after Minister Zahawi’s speech at the Annual Safeguarding Conference on Wednesday 12 September.
In his speech, the Children and Families Minister made it clear that the department is working hard to combat peer-on-peer abuse and is supporting the NSPCC through an £8 million grant contribution over four years to 2020. This includes funding for Childline and the NSPCC’s National Helpline.
To help address this issue is the new Relationship and Sex Education curriculum, which will become mandatory in 2020, but which some schools may choose to teach from 2019. This curriculum aims to take a new approach in educating young people about what positive, healthy and respectful relationships look like. Issues such as consent, boundaries and staying safe online will also be covered to support the safety and wellbeing of our youth.
The department’s advice on child-on-child sexual violence clarifies what sexual abuse and harassment looks like, as well as the legal responsibilities of schools and colleges, the importance of preventative education and how to handle reports in the most supportive way for victims. We are aware from feedback that this advice is helping institutions to understand the issue and helping them to support those affected.
From September this year, all schools and colleges must follow guidance which includes how to support young victims both in the short-term and long-term.
Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi, said:
Peer on peer abuse can have a devastating impact on children and their families, which is why we have taken action to give this serious issue the prominence it deserves. This is why from September all schools and colleges must follow new guidance which includes how to support victims of peer on peer abuse.
We want to young people to grow up knowing about how to build healthy and respectful relationships – which is why we are making Relationships Education compulsory in all primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in all secondary schools, which will both teach children about topics such as consent in an age-appropriate way.
Yesterday, Monday 17 September, the University of Exeter announced their collaboration with global financial services firm JP Morgan, to launch a new ‘earn-and-learn’ degree apprenticeship. This is the first financial degree apprenticeship and was covered in the Telegraph.
Russell Group universities already offering degree apprenticeships include Queen Mary University London, University of Sheffield, University of Warwick, and the University of Exeter. There are now 60 apprenticeships at level 6-7, with 46 including a degree or master’s degree.
The degree apprenticeship offers learners an engaging and exciting opportunity to earn a wage whilst attending some of the UK’s top universities, and go on to secure a rewarding job.
Since being introduced, degree apprenticeships have seen over 11,000 starts at Level 6 and 7. This includes 8,500 starts in 2017/18 – five times as many as the whole of the previous year.
Degree apprenticeships are complementing our education system, offering those that might not have considered higher education as an option the chance to pursue a career path that is right for them.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
This kind of collaboration underlines the value of high quality technical education not just to individuals but to employers as well. Degree and degree level apprenticeships mean leading businesses and universities can come together and design innovative programmes to give people the skills employers really need. It’s great to see a global business like J.P. Morgan getting involved like this and I would urge others to follow their lead.