Education reforms risk harming efforts to tackle child poverty, say councils
The Courier.co.uk | 3rd September 2018
As part of the Scottish Government’s reform to education governance, the Education Secretary wants to see a power shift from local authorities to headteachers. COSLA, the umbrella body for councils, fears that reducing their role could reverse the advances made in helping Scotland’s poorest children. The submission to MSPs says narrowing the attainment gap “cannot be achieved in the classroom alone”. “We believe that the proposed approach (from the Scottish Government) puts at risk the multi-agency improvements that national and local government has made so far towards improving the situation for children and young people living in poverty,” it said. It added: “The local authority brings together professionals and colleagues across multiple services to provide a joined-up service for young people and their families and officers and elected members ensure accessible points for accountability.
T-level industry placements ‘likely’ to reduce apprenticeship offers, new DfE commissioned research finds
FE Week | 3rd September 2018
A major report, which included interviews with 120 employers, has this morning laid bare the major issues faced to make the key component of the new technical qualifications work.
Employers reported that while they were mostly supportive of 45 to 60-day placements, they’d need to be paid to offer them, while some explicitly said they will not offer them in industries such as construction and engineering because they “could not see the benefit of this type qualification”.
But probably most troubling was the finding that there could be “trade-offs” with T-level placements and apprenticeships. “This research shows that particularly in routes where apprenticeships and other vocational training programmes are already established, we are likely to see trade-offs between employers’ willingness to offer T-level industry placements and their ability to continue with existing vocational placements, traineeships and apprenticeships,” the report said.
The Guardian view on education: some things money should not buy
The Guardian | 2nd September 2018
Competition makes losers as well as winners. This fact makes a simple rule for judging when it is useful to society and when it is dangerous. Can we afford to look after the losers? They are not going to vanish. From about 1979 to 2008, policymakers across the western world were agreed that there were hardly any problems that could not be solved by organising market, from which the magic of competition would produce much better results than planned cooperation ever could. The last 10 years has been a time for unlearning all those lessons and there are few places where this is more obvious than in education. The introduction of the academy system was among other things an attempt to make central planning impossible. The market, and the self-interest of parents, would ensure that good schools flourished and bad ones – well, they would disappear, perhaps by osmosis. Yet local authorities still have a statutory duty to ensure that every child has a school place – and the political imperative to avoid discontent among parents who vote – even while the means to do so have largely vanished now that two thirds of secondary schools are academies which they do not control. One result is last week’s report that the country is facing a shortfall of more than 100,000 secondary school places over the next five years, as a demographic bulge pushes upwards through the school system.