Monthly Archives: May 2016

Fis-edsultions blogs a report today that suggests North-south funding divide sees children falling behind from the age of five, study warns

Children in the North have already fallen behind by the age of five amid a deepening educational divide, a major new report has warned, as it revealed “unfair” school funding is to blame.

Primary schools in the north of England receive £4,600 per pupil, which is roughly the national average, but £900 less than London.

Secondary schools in the North receive £5,700 per pupil, which is £100 less than the English average and £1,300 less than London.

Policy makers should distribute funds more evenly to help bridge the growing North-South divide in academic achievement, according to the study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) North and Teach First, a national charity.

Across the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber, the charities warned the northern regions could lose up to £29 billion worth of productivity as the North struggles to compete for the skills needed to make the Northern Powerhouse project a success.

This would amount to a 1.8 per cent boost to the national economy, the report said.

As well as less money, the IPPR North report found many northern schools have a harder job than those in other parts of the country, due to their more “challenging” intake.

But they raise standards better than schools in many other regions and should be compensated for their performance, the study claims.

Annal Nayyar blogs BBC report that Government climbdown over forced academies plan in England

Plans to force all of England’s schools to become academies are being abandoned in a government climbdown.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan hopes the concessions will meet the demands of Tory rebels opposed to compelling high-performing schools to convert.

This was about the government listening, she said, adding ministers understood top schools should retain the choice on whether to convert.

The move comes days after threats of industrial action by head teachers.

Academies are independently run – but state-funded – schools, overseen by a not-for-profit business, known as an academy trust. They are often part of a chain.

The controversial plans to require all schools to convert to academy status, or have plans to do so, by 2022 were announced in the Budget, but details followed in a white paper.

‘Lift standards’

It was not long before opposition to the idea was heard from teachers and head teachers, education experts and MPs and councillors – both Conservative and opposition.

Mrs Morgan told the BBC in an interview with Education Editor Branwen Jeffreys: “This is about being a listening government and I would consider myself to be a listening secretary of state.

“Better to have reforms than have none at all.

“We absolutely support those strong local authorities where schools are good and outstanding – they can make the choice to convert.

“I hope that they will, because we are convinced that becoming academies does lift standards but they can do the right thing for them and I think that reflects the concerns and the conversations that we have had.”

Conservatives have been voicing opposition to the plans in recent weeks, particularly because all schools – even highly performing ones – were to be forced into the new arrangements.