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Education headlines this week

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It’s all education headlines this week, here’s what I have noticed so far!

Relationships education

Firstly the Department for Education (DfE) issued a policy statement on relationships education to include sex education, personal, social, health and economic education to be taught in schools. The Children and Social Work Bill is to introduce regulations covering the extent to which each of these topics will be timetabled to educate and protect children. Although this is an added burden on schools, if the regulations are introduced correctly, it will add to the protections offered to children in the digital age. However, and importantly, opt-outs for faith schools and parents still remain in new DfE guidance. 

Soft Drinks Industry Levy

On a positive note, schools will receive £415m to help pupils benefit from healthier, more active lifestyles, as a result of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy from the 2018/19 financial year. Interestingly, the government has also pledged, irrespective of the levy, to ensure the amount schools receive will not fall below £415 million. In an era of decreasing funding for schools this is an interesting pledge.

Higher Education and Research Bill

In the field of Higher Education proposed amendments to the Higher Education and Research Bill include a key change to enable universities to offer more accelerated courses, including two-year courses, with higher tuition fees to cover the condensed courses.

Budget predictions

On the budget, we are expecting big announcements for the education sector, including talk of more funding for free schools and the establishment of new grammar schools.