What’s happening in schools today? News update – July 2017

A round up of the stories in education that have made the news this week:

  1. SATS results: 40% of pupils fail to meet target despite rise in attainment It is the second year of the new, tougher key stage 2 tests for year-six pupils, and government figures reveal a significant rise in attainment on last year’s results among 10- and 11-year-olds who sat their tests in May. The results show progress, and the school standards minister, Nick Gibb, said: “Today’s results show sustained progress in reading, writing and maths and are a testament to the hard work of teachers and pupils across England.”
  2. Funding. News reports this week suggest that funding pledges by the current government are whole inadequate and in some cases being withdrawn. Funding in schools across the age ranges have been top of the news reports since the election. Head-teachers and Governors are suggesting that the lack of funding will have a significant effect on learning and attainment.
  3. Punctuality. Ministers back £60 fines for parents whose children are repeatedly late for school. Councils and schools in the West Midlands, Hampshire and Essex have said they will implement the scheme in order to tackle lateness, especially children who arrive 30 minutes after registration. A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Pupils being punctual to lessons not only benefits their learning but also helps them develop core skills which will stand them in good stead for future employment. It is right that schools monitor patterns of lateness and address it where it becomes a concern”
  4. Free school Lunches. This has been a major discussion point during the recent election. This week Nick Gibb has confirmed free school lunches for infants will not be scrapped. He told MPs: “We have listened very carefully to the views of the sector on the proposal to remove infant free school meals and we have decided that it is right to retain the existing provision. Universal infant free school meals ensure that children receive a nutritious meal during the day – it saves hard working families hundreds of pounds a year and it boosts educational achievement, especially amongst children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.”