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This week in education has been a mix of positives and negatives for the state of education in the UK, with headlines ranging from criticism of government schemes to Brexit-related implications for students. Here are some of the biggest headlines in education recently.

 

Criticism Over Academy Boss Pay Rise

Despite the government calling for justification over academy boss pay, a fresh wave of criticism has hit the news this week. The criticism comes in the wake of chief executive of Gorse Academies Trust, Sir John Townsley, getting a pay rise to bring his salary up to around £210,000 per year.

Read the full news article from the Independent here.

 

Thousands May Miss Out on Student Exchanges

If a no-deal Brexit occurs, universities have warned that thousands of students may not get the opportunity to study in Europe. If there’s no deal, the Erasmus scheme for studying abroad will not have funding for UK students, potentially resulting in 17,000 students being unable to study at universities in Europe.

Read the full news article from the BBC here.

 

Welsh Schools are Getting 54 New Classrooms

This week, Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced that many Welsh schools would receive new classrooms – 54 in total. The funding for the project comes from the £36 million fund for reducing the size of infant classes.

Read the full news article from The Welsh Government here.

 

MPs Criticise Government’s 30-Hour Free Childcare

A group of MPs have said that the government’s free childcare offer establishes disadvantage and widens the gap between affluent and poorer students, as it doesn’t target families in the UK that really need it. There has also been a call by the MPs to establish fully-funded state nurseries in some parts of the country.

Read the full news article from the Independent here.

 

The Government Has Been Accused of Lowering the Teacher Recruitment Bar

The government has come under criticism this week for pressuring teacher training providers to provide justification for the candidates they reject from training. In recent years, the government has missed targets for teacher recruitment, but the head of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, Emma Hollis, has stated that easing the requirements to become a teacher wasn’t the right answer to tackling the teacher shortages.

Read the full news article from the BBC here.

 

Applications for UK Universities are Rising

More students are applying to UK universities this year than in the last three years. Experts have cited the weakened pound and uncertainty over Brexit as possible contributors to the rising application numbers. Chinese applicants for UK universities have also risen this year.

Read the full news article from the Independent here.

 

Ministers Admit Teacher Pay Reduction

According to the government, there has been a reduction of classroom pay by in excess of £4,000 every year since 2010. Overall, the median teacher salary has reduced by 11% in real terms since 2003 and is only expected to rise by 2% next year.

Read the full news article from The Guardian here.

 

Thousands of Students Plan a Climate Change Strike – Putting Schools in a Tough Position

UK Student Climate Network supporters have organised a climate change strike for the 15th of February, putting a number of schools and headteachers in a tricky position over whether they should allow the students to miss school. The number of students expected to protest are in the thousands.

Read the full news article from The Guardian here.

 

Also in the news this week, a school play about Charles Darwin has been axed after parent concerns (BBC); there has been an increase in ‘refusals to teach’, as more teachers refuse to deal with unruly students (Telegraph); and the Education Secretary Damian Hinds has said that five foundations of activities must be accessible to students (i News).

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