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£15 Million Investment to Help Keep Families Safely Together
May 24, 2019
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Up to 40 new areas will benefit from £15 million to expand promising innovative approaches to keeping families safely togetherFamilies together

Children at risk of being taken into care are set to benefit from programmes that tackle the root cause of family problems, by strengthening the expert support available from social workers, addiction specialists and psychiatrists.

The new programme, Supporting Families; Investing in Practice, will help families work on issues together, including those impacted by domestic violence, substance misuse or addiction, in order to help create stability in the home for young people and prevent them being taken into care, where that is in their best interests. This is part of wider Government work to improve outcomes for children in need of support of a social worker, by creating home and school environments in which they can thrive.

Applications to the programmes can be made here.

Modelled on existing Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) and a programme known as Family Group Conferencing, the innovative new projects will be rolled out in up to 40 new council areas. The Government has today announced up to £15 million over the next year, following the emerging success of these existing programmes.

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Crackdown on Schools Failing to Promote Vocational Qualifications
May 22, 2019
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Schools must stop blocking employers and colleges from speaking to their students about alternative non-academic options‘I want schools to talk about the whole range of things they might do after 16 or after 18 including apprenticeships and college,’ education secretary says to A-levels and university, the education secretary has said.

Damian Hinds has warned the government will take action against schools that are still refusing to open their doors to organisations that want to promote apprenticeships and vocational courses.

Speaking to The Independent, Mr Hinds said: “I want schools to be talking about the whole range of things that they might do after 16 or after 18 including apprenticeships and college options

“I think it is important that children have that knowledge. It is not for everybody to be pursuing a university route, and there are plenty of other really high-quality options and routes available.” Read more

DfE Launches Consultation on Improving SEND Funding Arrangements for Colleges

The Department for Education has today launched a consultation on how to improve funding arrangements for learners with high needsDfE launches consultation on improving SEND funding arrangements for colleges

The department is seeking views on what “may be adversely influencing local authorities, mainstream schools, colleges and other education providers” in their support for young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND).

“We welcome views on changes to the funding system that could help in getting the best value from the resources available,” the DfE said.

The evidence document said the government “understands the cost pressures facing both local authorities and post-16 providers as they seek to meet the needs and ambitions of young people, and the need for appropriate levels of funding”.

However, it hopes to gather views on whether there are other aspects of the financial arrangements that are acting as a barrier to young people accessing the support they need, “regardless of the amount of funding available”. Read more

New DfE Skills Index Shows Significant Decline Since 2012
April 30, 2019
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The overall added-value of the FE and skills system in England has fallen from a baseline of 100 in 2012 to just 73, new government data shows.

The Department for Education has published for the first time a ‘Skills Index’, which shows how the aggregate value of the skills supplied by apprenticeships and classroom-based learning each year has changed over time, following pressure from the National Audit Office to release it.

It shows that the overall FE skills index has declined every year since 2012 until 2016/17, flattening out in 2017/18 at 73.

In making up the drop from 100 to 73, classroom-based provision fell to 48 and apprenticeships increased to 118. Read more

Graduates Earn £10,000 More Per Year than Those Who Don’t go to University
April 29, 2019
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Graduates earn £10,000 more per year than those who don’t go to university, proving that a degree continues to be a rewarding investment, brand new data has revealed (25 April)

The new figures published by the Department for Education show a continued rise, as working-age graduates aged 16-64 earned a median salary of £34,000 in 2018, a rise of £1,000 from the previous year, while their non-graduate peers who chose a different path earned a median salary of £24,000.

The figures show that a degree continues to be a worthwhile investment, however it also revealed that gaps in earnings still exist between different groups of the working age population – with male graduates earning £9,500 more than female graduates, and white graduates also earning £9,500 more than black graduates.

The Universities Minister has welcomed the overarching figures that highlight the value of a degree, but warned that there is further to go to tackle the disparities between different groups. Read more

Universities Urged to Review ‘unacceptable’ Admissions Practices
April 5, 2019
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Education Secretary calls for review of university admissions practices, which have seen students ‘backed into a corner’ to accept place.Damian Hinds

A full review of university admissions is required to end ‘unacceptable’ practices some universities use to lure students into accepting higher education places, the Education Secretary said today (5 April).

Damian Hinds is calling for a review of admissions practices after the extent that ‘conditional unconditional’ offers are used by institutions was revealed by UCAS last year.

A ‘conditional unconditional’ offer from a university informs students that they are guaranteed a place, but only if they put the university as their first option. This could breach laws designed to protect consumers from entering into a transaction they otherwise wouldn’t have.

In letters to the 23 universities using this recruitment technique, Mr Hinds will call on them to end this practice. He will say they are ‘backing students into a corner’ to accept a place at their institution – trapping them from exploring other options that could be more suitable. A small number of institutions have recently decided to end this practice, and now Mr Hinds is calling for other universities to follow suit. Read more

New Online Apps Launched to Transform Careers Advice for Students
April 3, 2019
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The Universities Minister Chris Skidmore launched two apps which empower students to make better choices about where and what to study at university.

The next generation of students will be able to take greater control of their future career paths through new online apps being launched today, which empower them to make better choices about where and what to study (2 April).

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore unveiled two innovative apps, created by the winners of a Government competition receiving around £150,000 funding each, which set out simple and accessible information about graduate outcomes for prospective students.

The launch of the new tools follow the latest data published by the Department for Education on Thursday showing graduate earnings broken down by subject, which help students and parents to understand likely earnings and employment outcomes from a range of disciplines.

The new online apps, available to access from the developers’ websites today, will help to revolutionise student choice on their future careers, bringing together data on potential future earnings, with information on careers and employment options, and the quality of teaching in an easy to use format. One works as a personalised digital assistant to access information, while the other is a game where players can simulate career paths. Read more

My Vision for Global Higher Education by Minister
March 29, 2019
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The following speech was made by Chris Skidmore the Universities Minister addresses the UUKi higher education forum 27th March 2019.

Good afternoon. And thank you for inviting me to speak at this year’s International Higher Education Forum here at Imperial College London on the importanceOfficial portrait of Chris Skidmore crop 2.jpg of staying international. Please accept my apologies for not joining you in person.

And all credit to the organisers – this Forum is certainly timely! We are now just a few weeks away from the UK’s departure from the EU. So, it is certainly important for us to be looking to the future and considering our relationships with the wider world.

Let me begin today by reaffirming our commitment to remaining international. Brexit may well mean that we are leaving the European Union soon, but it certainly does not mean that we are leaving Europe or, indeed, any of our global partnerships behind.

If anything, Brexit means we now need to be thinking and acting more globally than ever before. Our world-leading universities and colleges are international at their core. Our higher education sector relies on – and indeed thrives on – international connectivity, collaboration and partnership, and I want to see all those things continuing to flourish.

As it stands politically, we still wish to have a deal with the European Union, guaranteeing certainty until the end of the Implementation Period and continuing to participate in the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 framework programme until then, while negotiating the terms of our Future Economic Partnership.

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DfE Announce Top Employers Will Help all Primary Schools Offer Careers Education to Pupils
March 6, 2019
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Education Secretary Damian Hinds announces work with leading employers to help all primary schools offer top careers education.

All primary school pupils will benefit from world leading careers education developed by top industry professionals including the British Chambers of Commerce and BP.

To mark National Careers Week, which runs from Monday 4 March, to Friday 8 March, Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced that the Department is working with industry leaders to help make first class career-related learning a reality in all primary schools.

The Department for Education has published research that shows 96% of primary schools are offering tailored career activities to pupils, despite not being compelled to, and is committing ensure this reaches 100% by working with industry professionals.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

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Careers Guidance and Access for Education and Training Providers
October 23, 2018
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The statutory guidance for schools on providing careers guidance has been updated.

This statutory guidance is for:

  • headteachers
  • school staff
  • local authorities that maintain pupil referral units

Statutory guidance is issued by law; you must follow it unless there is a good reason not to. Read more