Today's Education in the Media blog looks at the top stories and announcements from the department today and over the weekend.
Chat, Play and Read
Today, Monday 8 April, we are launching the Chat, Play and Read Home Learning Environment campaign, which looks to support and encourage parents to communicate, read and play with their children before school age. This has received coverage today on BBC Breakfast as well as in print by the Telegraph, the Times, the Sun, the Mail and the Metro.
Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said:
We want to create a generation of confident learners – and parents are a child’s first and best teacher, helping to get them talking and communicating before they reach the classroom. You don’t need expensive books or toys to help children develop literacy skills. It can be as simple as reading a library book together or making up your own stories – little interactions can have a huge impact.
Children from lower income families are more likely to fall behind at school compared to their peers and once you’re behind it’s hard to catch up. That’s why we are launching a major new campaign later this year to help parents incorporate Chat, Play and Read into their daily life, putting their children on track to succeed.
Today, the Guardian published an article following up on the interview that the Education Secretary Damian Hinds conducted with the paper following the Entrepreneurs roundtable last week.
The interview focuses on the Education Secretary emphasising the importance of characteristics such as drive and tenacity in achieving success. The article also highlights that learning the basics of financial literacy at school is beneficial for young people with ambitions to launch or be involved in businesses.
Teacher Vacancies Services
Today, we are making a further announcement on the Teaching Vacancies Service – a free online platform for schools to advertise job vacancies.
The service was announced official last year and the Education Secretary has now called on schools to put an end to the money they spend on expensive recruitment platforms, encouraging them to use the vacancy service instead.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
Teachers are the beating heart of our education system and school leaders want to make sure they recruit the best to inspire students. But finding the best has become very expensive.
With every school in the country now having access to this completely free site, I am calling on schools to ditch platforms that charge a fee. Why spend £1,000 on a service you can get for free?
As we head into the Easter holidays, where teachers may be thinking about their next classroom move, I want to make sure school leaders are signed up to this free site – allowing them to maximise the money they have to spend in our schools.
On Saturday 6 April we announced the launch of the Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme. This programme will invest £84 million over five years to support up to 20 projects in new council areas to safely reduce the number of children entering care.
The local authorities will be supported to adapt and adopt one of three promising Innovation Programme projects developed by Leeds, Hertfordshire. Three local authorities have already joined the programme: Darlington, Cambridgeshire and Middlesbrough.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
Every child deserves to grow up in a stable, loving family and go through life confident that someone always has your back. But for too many children, this is simply not a reality. With the number of children in care rising, many of these children face a far starker version of reality, one where their parents are in the grips of their own nightmare, through mental health problems, the trauma of domestic violence or an addiction.
We must assist those parents facing difficulties and work with them to strengthen their family relationships so they can properly support their children. In the year that sees the 30th anniversary of the Children’s Act, we must stay true to its heart – that where possible and safe, children are best brought up, loved and supported by their parents.
As a government, we want to strengthen families so that, wherever possible, they stay together and provide their children with a safe and stable home life. As Education Secretary, it’s my job to make sure what works to keep families together and change lives, is available to more children and families in need.