https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/11/20/education-in-the-media-tuesday-20-november-2018/

Education in the Media: Tuesday 20 November 2018

 

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at unconditional offers, the gender attainment gap and SEND funding.

Unconditional Offers

Today, Tuesday 20 November, the Times published a letter from a group of college and school leaders calling for changes to the practice of universities making unconditional offers to students.

Universities are responsible for their own admissions policy but they should ensure that they are fulfilling their responsibility of offering places to students who have the right skills and ability to succeed on the course they are applying to. The rise in these offers is irresponsible and risks students making the wrong decisions for their futures.

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: 

Innovative solutions and ground-breaking opportunities remain the driving force behind our higher education system. We have created a successful, world-class system but this is all about making it even better.

Accelerated degrees not only make it possible for the next generation of students to access higher education and the undeniable financial, academic and personal benefits it has to offer, but drives the sector to offer dynamic choices that serve students’ needs.

Providers will be able to tap into a new market of students, particularly mature students and those who commute, who were previously locked out of higher education. This provision creates a new arena of competition that delivers for students, taxpayers and employers.

University Gender Gap

Yesterday, Monday 19 November, the Men and Boys Coalition published a report on the gender gap between men and women attending British universities. This was covered today by the Guardian.

We are currently undertaking a review of post-18 education, which will include looking at university accessibility, and ensuring that everybody has an equal chance to succeed in higher education.

A DfE spokesperson said:

Children only have one chance at an education and the Government’s education reforms are designed to ensure that all children, whatever their background, circumstances or gender, have the opportunity to attain well at school and access university education, if that is the route they choose.

SEND Transport

Today, Tuesday 20 November, the Guardian published a piece about the funding of transport for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Our ambition for children with SEND is the same as for every other child – to achieve well in education and live happy fulfilled lives. This is why we introduced Education Health and Care plans, tailored to each individual to support them while they are in education.

We also announced over £1 billion of extra funding for local government to pay for social care and road repairs in the recent budget, meaning authorities will see a real terms increase in their funding both this year and next.

A Government spokesperson said:

Local authorities are required to provide transport to school for children with special educational needs and disabilities if they would not be able to walk there.

To support councils with this, the government will provide £90.7 billion over the next two years to help them meet the needs of their residents which includes providing this transport for children and young people with SEND. We expect councils to make reasonable decisions based on their knowledge of the needs of their population, local transport infrastructure, and their available resources.

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