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Education Secretary Sets Vision for Boosting Social Mobility
August 1, 2018
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Damian Hinds speaks at Resolution Foundation about closing the attainment gap by tackling the ‘last taboo’ of education – the home learning environment. Delivered on: (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MPThank you very much to the Resolution Foundation for chairing and to David for that introduction.

And good morning everyone. It’s a great pleasure to see so many people here this morning.

In particular, I’d like to take the chance to welcome the new chair of the Social Mobility Commission, Dame Martina Milburn. I’m very much looking forward to working with you and your team, and, indeed, to being challenged by you on these issues.

For Dame Martina, and for some many people here, of course, have championed social mobility for a long time.

It is also a cause very close to my heart.

Social mobility is, ultimately, why I’m in politics – it’s why I wanted to come to be a minister at the Department for Education. In fact, I think it is a large part why we have a Department for Education – a core purpose of that department.

Everyone should have the chance to fulfil that spark of potential which exists in all of us.

You shouldn’t be destined to travel a certain path just because of the place that you start. That’s a simple concept – but not so easy to get right as many have found over the years.

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Secretary of State Speech at the National Association of Headteachers Conference
July 20, 2018
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Friday 20th July 2018 Damian Hinds spoke at the NAHT conference where he announced plans to improve teacher early career support and development, as well as new measures on school accountability. The following is a transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered.

I’m delighted to join you here today, and for the opportunity to speak directly to so many heads and school leaders.

Since I started this job in January, one of my first priorities was to go out and visit schools, visit nurseries, visit colleges.

You can read a lot of papers and talk to a lot of officials in the civil service – but nothing beats meeting the people who bring education to life.

And, of course, no two schools are the same but what I’ve seen everywhere is this enormous passion, enormous level of commitment and dedication that you just don’t see in every profession.

With so many teachers telling me how deeply they enjoy what they do. The creativity. The freedom. The joy of learning, helping to develop young minds.

Looking around this conference room, I know that all of you want to lead great schools, to create a culture where teachers love their jobs and where children do their best.

As Secretary of State for Education, my simple ambition is for all children, whatever their background, to go to a good school where they are inspired to learn and can fulfil their potential.

I want us, together, to narrow the gap for the places left behind and provide better opportunities for the children who have the hardest start in life.

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Names of Over 60 Colleges Involved in New Careers Hubs Revealed
July 12, 2018
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The names of more than 60 FE colleges set to play key roles in new hubs, which the education secretary Damian Hinds has said will transform careers education across England, have been unveiled.

But question marks have been raised over how viable it will be for the colleges to implement the required changes, as the hub support fund amounts to just £1,000 per provider.

This is despite the Department for Education announcing an overall allocation of £5 million over two years to support the hubs’ development.

There will be 20 careers hubs in every region outside of London, which will comprise colleges working with local schools and universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to pool their expertise on improving careers education.

These form a central part of the government’s careers strategy, published in December, which focused the need to implement eight key “Gatsby benchmark” standards.

“The careers hubs announced today will support young people with the right advice to help them make decisions about their future by building better links with employers and providing practical guidance and support to improve the provision of careers advice,” said Mr Hinds.

Other financial support on offer was said to include funding of up to £3,500 for 15 colleges and schools in each hub to train a “careers leader”. Read more

Have Your Say on the New National Careers Service Website
July 12, 2018
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The National Careers Service website recently launched a pilot version of job profiles and related search features and they want your feedback. 

The first phase of this development focuses on the user journey for career management and features 142 job profiles, based on the most popular of the 800+ job profiles available.

Piloting the updated website means we can test and develop the new features, based on audience feedback while keeping the current content up and running. New features will be continuously developed, based on your feedback.

Go to https://beta.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/ and them know what you think. 

Help the Government to Design a New Training Offer for Adults
May 29, 2018
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The Department for Education is looking for volunteers to help them understand what could encourage more adults to take up training.

They are looking for adults aged 24 and above who do not need to have any recent experience of training or prior knowledge to take part. They will simply be asking for people’s views and opinions.

This is an opportunity to genuinely influence government policy.

If you (or any of your colleagues or client) are interested in taking part in interviews or focus groups, please email Mathew Mills (mathew.mills@education.gov.uk) with your name, telephone number and email address, and the times when you are normally available. Read more

Education Committee: Concerns About Education Attainment in the North
May 10, 2018
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Chair of the House of Commons Education Committee Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP has written to the Secretary of State for Education Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP to press the Government on what it is doing to improve the quality of education in the North.

The letter follows the Committee’s public hearing on Wednesday (2 May) with George Osborne, Lord O’Neill and Henri Murison from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) which focused on their recent report Educating the North. Robert Halfon has called on the Government to respond to concerns over the use of the pupil premium, the spending of the Northern Powerhouse Education Fund, and high-profile failures of some MATs in the North.

The letter (see below) also notes how northern pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve lower attainment levels than disadvantaged pupils elsewhere in the country.

Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said: “The NPP’s report on ‘Educating the North’ lays bare the stark educational attainment gap between the North and other parts of England. This is particularly true for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, who at the age of 16 achieve an average Attainment 8 score of 6.5 points below that of their peers in London.

The Education Committee shares concerns about skills, inequalities in educational attainment and social justice and welcomes the path for improvement proposed by the NPP. The Government must now urgently spell out what action it is taking to narrow the attainment gap between the North and the rest of the country.”


Dear Secretary of State,

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Education Secretary to Set Out Vision for “Clearer” School System

Gov.uk is reporting that Education Secretary Damian Hinds will clearly set out how the Government will “trust school leaders to get on with the job” by clarifying who schools are accountable to and boosting development opportunities for new teachers.

In an address to more than 350 school leaders at the National Association of Head Teachers’ (NAHT) annual conference in Liverpool on Friday 4th May, the Secretary of State will set out plans for a clearer system of accountability that will let good schools get on with their job, free from the “spectre” of multiple inspections by making it clear that “the only people who should go to schools for inspections are Ofsted”.

Mr Hinds will announce a consultation to replace the “confusing” system of having both floor and coasting standards to measure school performance, with a single measure to trigger support for schools. This will be backed by a clear statement on when schools convert to academy status to drive improvement.

In a pledge to the profession, published today, the Secretary of State will underline his commitment to give school leaders the confidence to raise standards in their schools and free up teachers to focus on what really matters in the classroom.

The Education Secretary is expected to say:

Accountability is vital. Children only get one shot at an education and we owe them the best…where they are being let down we need to take action quickly – so no one ends up left behind.

But what I’ve found from speaking to many of you these last few months is that there is also real confusion within the sector… I believe school leaders need complete clarity on how the accountability system will operate.

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School and College Funding Inquiry Launched
April 23, 2018
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The Education Committee launches an inquiry to inform the Department for Education’s bid for funding for schools and colleges, and to consider whether a longer-term vision needs to be taken of education funding in England.

The inquiry

While the Government is already reforming the way in which money is distributed to schools through the introduction of a national funding formula for schools, the spending review process will determine the overall level of public funding for schools and colleges. The Committee’s new inquiry aims to examine whether a longer-term plan is needed for investment in education and what resources are required to ensure schools and colleges get the support they need. The inquiry will also look at the effectiveness of targeted funding such as the pupil premium and how the new national funding formula will be implemented.

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Consultation Ahead of College Campus Performance Reporting
April 17, 2018
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Opened the by the Department for Education on 10th April 2018, this consultation seeks your views on proposals to strengthen public reporting on performance for colleges. 

The proposals apply to institutions within the further education sector : further education colleges (including both general and specialist FE colleges), sixth form colleges, and institutions designated as being within the further education sector.

Changes in the structure of the sector have implications for how well the existing performance reporting system now works, including the information that is available to learners, support for local accountability, and quality improvement.

DfE is consulting on two proposals.    Read more

Young People Skills Survey
April 11, 2018
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The Department for Education has launched an exciting project looking into how young people can better articulate the ‘soft’ skills they’ve gained through extra-curricular activities.

These activities can be formal, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, or informal, such as caring for a relative.

They are interested in understanding views on students entering 16+ education and making career choices.

This will help their researchers gain a deeper understanding of how choices work from those either working in this space (e.g. careers advisers and teachers) or that would benefit (e.g. employers).

They are particularly interested to hear the views of Careers Professionals / Advisers, Employers, Teaching Staff and Voluntary Organisations.

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