Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the announcement of the first Institutes of Technology, as well as school funding and the Education Secretary’s letter to the NAHT union.
Institutes of Technology
Today, Wednesday 10 April, the Department announced the first twelve Institutes of Technology, which will be set up across the country to boost young people’s skills and set them on a clear path to a high skilled, high wage career. This has received coverage today on Talk Radio and coverage in print in the Telegraph, BBC online, TES, FE News and FE Week.
The Institutes will be unique collaborations between universities, further education colleges, and leading employers including top firms such as Nissan, Siemens and Microsoft. They will specialise in delivering quality technical training at Level 4 and 5 in STEM subjects, such as digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering that will provide employers with the skilled workforce they need.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
These new Institutes of Technology will be the pinnacle of technical training – new collaborations between universities, colleges and business to make sure young people have the skills they need to build a well-paid rewarding, career, while the economy gains the skilled workers it needs to be more productive.
I’m determined to properly establish higher technical training in this country – so that it’s recognised and sought after by employers and young people alike. These Institutes are a key part of delivering this. We are transforming technical education including introducing new T Levels from 2020 and more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities. But we want more young people to progress and get the higher level qualifications that lead to high skilled, more rewarding jobs.
Institutes of Technology will help employers to get the skilled workforce they need, especially in much sought-after STEM skills and will offer young people a clear path to a great, well paid career.
Yesterday, Tuesday 9 April, the Education Secretary Damian Hinds has written a letter to Paul Whiteman from the National Associate of Head Teachers (NAHT) setting out the department’s position on relationships and sex education (RSE) and ongoing protests at schools in Birmingham. This was reported today in the Guardian, the Sun, the Times, the Telegraph, the Metro, the Independent, Sky News, FE News and TES.
For the first time, from September 2020, relationships education will be compulsory for all primary pupils and relationships and sex education will be compulsory for all secondary pupils. The Education Secretary has made clear that schools should consult with parents on their RSE curriculum but will have the ultimate decision over what they teach.
Paul Whiteman said he was encouraged by the action taken by the Education Secretary to combat this issue.
Yesterday, the Guardian published an article online about school funding. The article says that over 1,000 schools have used crowdfunding and online wish lists to raise money for school supplies. This was also covered by I News and the Metro.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
While there is more money going into our schools than ever before, we do recognise the budgeting challenges schools face. That’s why we have introduced a wide range of practical support to help schools and head teachers, and their local authorities make the most of every pound on non-staff costs.
Parents are not required to make financial contributions to a school and all schools must make clear that any requests for donations are voluntary.
Since 2017, we have given every local authority more money for every 5 to 16 year old in every school and made funding fairer across the country.
The Secretary of State has made clear that as we approach the next spending review, he will back head teachers to have the resources they need to deliver a world class education.