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In our series of industry blogs, we look at the influences and trends affecting the sector. Funding and recruitment are key focuses in December. Below we explore some of the big stories so far…
T Levels may not be accepted by Russell Group Universities Ahead of the introduction of the new T Levels in 2020, ministers are failing to get top universities onboard as many remain undecided as to whether they will accept the technical qualification. One T Level, which is the equivalent of 3 A Levels, will receive the same amount of UCAS points, but the first courses in education, digital studies and construction may need further clarification before their launch in September. Suzanne Straw, education to employment lead at NFER said: “A significant challenge is demonstrating that these new technical education programmes will lead to positive progression into employment, apprenticeships or higher education.”
Nearly 800 UK public libraries closed since 2010 Almost 800 libraries have closed since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government implemented austerity in 2010, according to new reports. The annual survey by CipfaP shows that although are 3,583 library branches still open, that figure is 35 fewer than last year and 773 lower than 2010. The number of paid librarians has also hugely declined from 2009/2010 when there were 24,000 salaried staff working in libraries to 15,300 employees, last year.
A rise in job adverts highlights shortage of teachers 2020 will see the government under further pressure to address the crisis in teacher recruitment. In 2017 the number of teachers leaving the profession outstripped the numbers joining, and the issues of acquisition and retention are set to continue with the number of vacancies for expressive arts, maths, and English on the increase.
School Donations by parents are aggravating inequality The BBC has reported that pupils in some of the poorest areas of England are losing out as parents cannot afford to fill a government funding shortfall with donations. In 2017-18, the average school in London raised £43,000 from donations. In Yorkshire, this figure was £13,300. Sam Butters, head of the Fair Education Alliance – a coalition of 150 organisations aimed at tackling inequalities in the school system – said: “The fact that parents in wealthier areas can afford to fill some of this funding gap exacerbates unfairness between rich and poor. Teachers and school leaders are increasingly reporting a lack of funding for necessities – including teaching assistants to support in classrooms. If insufficient school funding requires donations from parents to meet shortfalls, schools in deprived areas are going to lose out.”
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