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BBC News: Education

'Cut student interest rates' say MPs

Ahead of a review of university fees in England, MPs call for lower interest charges and a return to grants.

Lecturers want 'radical' tuition fee review

Lecturers want fundamental changes to how universities are funded and not 'tinkering at the edges'.

Lack of good religious education ‘leaves pupils at risk’

Quality RE lessons help stop religious stereotyping, says the Religious Education Council.

Teenagers' spending habits revealed

Girls spend £2.90 a week more than boys at the age of 13 to 15 as boys avoid buying soap and cosmetics.

Scottish spending watchdog concerned about nursery funding

Audit Scotland says councils may not be able to resource a planned expansion.

Brexit student exchange needs rethink says top uni head

The UK should consider setting up its own exchange programme after Brexit, says leading university head.

Year-round meals plan to tackle 'holiday hunger' of school pupils

North Lanarkshire says it could be the first UK local authority to offer meals to school pupils during holidays and weekends.

MPs to probe universities' unconditional offers

Unconditional university offers are on the rise but MPs say they are "very concerned" about the issue.

Top of the BBC news items

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Department for Education

Statutory guidance: Early education and childcare

Updated: Updated Part E: legal annex about free early education entitlement for two-year-olds under Universal Credit. The legislation comes into force on 1 April 2018.

This guidance is for local authorities.

It relates to their duties under section 2 of the Childcare Act 2016 and sections 6, 7, 7A, 9A, 12 and 13 of the Childcare Act 2006.

On 1 September 2017 a new version of the guidance will replace the existing guidance.

The document valid until 31 August 2017 includes information on:

the extension of the early education entitlement for 2 year olds the introduction of childminder agencies providers who do not actively promote fundamental British values or promote views or theories as fact which is contrary to established scientific or historical evidence and explanations

The document valid from 1 September 2017 also includes information on:

the introduction of 30 hours free childcare how local authorities should pay providers to deliver free places the requirement that local authorities publish information about childcare in their area, including free childcare entitlements

Statutory guidance sets out what schools and local authorities must do to comply with the law. You should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to.

A model agreement for free early years provision and childcare is also available.

Detailed guide: Leadership equality and diversity fund: for school-led projects

Updated: Updated guide as the 2017 to 2018 application round has closed.

The application round for 2017 to 2018 has now closed. If you wish to be informed of any future application rounds please contact


The leadership equality and diversity fund supports schools to develop local solutions that help teachers covered by at least one of the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010 progress into leadership. The protected characteristics are:

age disability gender reassignment marriage and civil partnership pregnancy and maternity race religion or belief sex sexual orientation

The fund reinforces the government’s commitment to increasing the diversity of school leadership and maximising the number of leaders available by raising aspirations and the chances of successful promotion among people with leadership potential.

The Department for Education invites lead schools to apply for grant funding in 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020. Funding will be awarded to one lead school in each of the regional school commissioner (RSC) regions. Lead schools will be responsible for allocating funding to individual school-led projects and for co-ordinating the fund across their region. This should lead to greater national coverage and opportunities to scale-up best practice delivery models.

All projects must be designed and delivered by schools offering tailored leadership development activity to aspiring leaders from underrepresented groups, based on an audit of local needs.

Dates Activity Date Application round opened 15 December 2017 Application round closed Friday 9 February 2018 at midday Notification of outcomes End of spring term 2018 DfE led orientation meeting for lead schools Summer term 2018 Year 1 programme completion By end of summer term 2019 Year 2 programme completion By end of summer term 2020 Who can apply

Lead schools graded outstanding or good for overall effectiveness by Ofsted in their most recent inspection can apply for the fund. They must:

be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to increasing the diversity of school leadership in their region have the capability, capacity and infrastructure to administer grant funding, co-ordinate delivery and quality assure multiple school-led projects across their region Role and responsibilities of lead schools

Lead schools will be responsible for:

the effective, efficient and appropriate use of all grant funding they receive including guarding against fraud ensuring that all conditions of grant are met running a fair and transparent process to facilitate the allocation of funding to schools for the design and delivery of school-led projects, and running an audit of this ensuring that each project demonstrates need relating to one or more of the protected characteristic (where appropriate) ensuring maximum geographical coverage within their region, based on need, including in opportunity areas putting in place formal arrangements with each individual school delivering a project for example service level agreements or memorandum of understanding monitoring school-led project progress and ensuring delivery against milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) supporting schools by building new, and/or working with established school networks across their region, and enabling the sharing of best practice supporting schools in negotiating any partnership agreement (including data handling, intellectual property for example) with strategic partners effective risks management putting appropriate quality assurance arrangements in place collecting and collating financial and performance information including progress against KPIs reporting to the Department for Education on all aspects of the programme, for example performance against KPIs, providing financial returns. Lead schools will be asked to report in writing once per term outlining the progress of all projects undertaking evaluation activities as requested by the Department for Education including issuing participant surveys to participants and collecting teacher reference numbers (TRNs) participating fully in any external evaluation commissioned by the Department for Education providing case studies as requested by the Department for Education

Lead schools will be expected to demonstrate a school contribution of 25% of the overall cost in the form of in-kind costs for good or services that are provided free of charge or that will not be paid for out of grant funding. For example, a bid of £100,000, should demonstrate an additional £25,000 worth of school or in-kind contributions.


£820,000 is available to fund projects in the academic year 2018 to 2019 and up to £1 million in 2019 to 2020. We anticipate this will fund a minimum of 1,800 participants at an average unit cost across each region of approximately £1,000.

Lead schools should apply for the amount of funding they will need to manage their proposed number of school led-projects in each year.

Contact us Equality and Diversity

Decision: Revised direction issued to Kirklees council

Updated: Updated to amend monitoring visit date.

This revised direction requires the council to continue to take steps to improve its children’s social care services. This includes working with the DfE-appointed Children’s Services Commissioner to establish a strategic partnership with Leeds City Council.

An independent report by the Commissioner for Children’s Services in Kirklees recommended that both Councils develop a long term formal partnership agreement to drive improvement across children’s social care.

DfE appointed the Commissioner following a report by Ofsted that judged the overall effectiveness of Kirklees’ services to be inadequate.

This direction replaces the earlier statutory direction issued to the council in November 2016.

Transparency data: Common basic data set (CBDS): requests for change (RFC) 2018

Updated: Added 'RFC 1002: new data items for service children in the CTF'.

These files contain information for suppliers developing software and management information systems (MIS) for local authorities and schools.

The CBDS database is also available.

Guidance: Common basic data set (CBDS): database

Updated: Updated the common basic data set database.

The CBDS is a file containing definitions for common data items that schools and local authorities use in certain software systems, for example school management information systems.

The CBDS also gives information on the structure of other Department for Education data collections.

You should refer to the CBDS when reading any data collection specifications.

The CBDS spreadsheet organises definitions through:

CBDS levels, for example pupil and school CBDS modules, for example school characteristics data items (for example ethnicity) and the code set defining them

You can filter the spreadsheet to provide data items relevant to a particular collection.

We regularly update the CBDS, publishing any changes, along with the reasons for them, as request for change documents.

Guidance: Apprenticeship funding: how it works

Updated: Updated to include link to ESFA guidance on transferring apprenticeship service funds, and further clarification on state aid rules.

How apprenticeship funding affects employers, from May 2017 onwards, including the apprenticeship levy and the online apprenticeship service.

See our policy paper on apprenticeship funding from May 2017 for more detail.

Official Statistics: Destinations of KS4 and KS5 pupils: 2016

Updated: Made a correction to one key stage 5 revised institution level data table containing characteristics breakdowns.

Statistics showing the percentage of students staying in education or going on to employment or training for at least 2 terms in the 2015 to 2016 academic year, after finishing study in the 2014 to 2015 academic year at:

key stage 4 (after year 11, usually aged 16) key stage 5 (after A levels or other level 3 qualifications, usually aged 18)

Sustained destinations include:

school sixth forms further education and sixth-form colleges higher education institutions (universities) employment (and training at key stage 4) apprenticeships

The percentage of students who do not sustain an education or employment destination during this year, and those with no activity captured in our data are also shown.

This release gives breakdowns for specific student characteristics including:

gender ethnicity disadvantaged status and free school meal eligibility special educational needs (and learning difficulties and disabilities at key stage 5) prior attainment

A separate document sets out changes we have made to the destinations publication this year.

Additional experimental statistics using the destination measure methodology include:

destinations of students in scope for 16 to 18 English and maths measures, and for academic, applied general and tech level students destinations of pupils in the third academic year after key stage 4 (aged 18) linked to their destination after key stage 4 (aged 16).

Revised institutional level tables for both key stage 4 and key stage 5 were added in January 2018 due to the availability of additional destinations data as outlined in the changes document.

Destination measures statistics team

Telephone: Stephen Harris 0161 600 1595

Collection: Statistics: children's social work workforce

Updated: Added 'Children's social work workforce 2017'.

Statistics from May 2010 onwards are available on GOV.UK. You can find our archived statistics on the National Archives. Note: the search function is not available on archived content so please use the filters on the left of each page.

Top of the DFE news items

In order - the newest listed first

Education Guardian

Cutting university tuition fees ‘would be a subsidy to Tory voters’

Prime minister urged to focus on better access to education for poorer students as she prepares to release funding review

Theresa May has been warned against damaging disadvantaged students’ access to university in order to fund a tuition fees cut that has been described as “a sop to classic Tory voters”.

The prime minister is under pressure to ru...

May I have a word about…… job titles | Jonathan Bouquet

If you pay attention when you’re a learning receptor unit you may grow up to become a couranteer

If you thought that pretentious job titles were a modern phenomenon, the creation of HR department staff with too much time on their hands, think again.

Dr Alun Withey, a historian at the University of Exeter, has shown that the Victorians can take the...

The Observer view on Britain’s shameful social division | Observer editorial

Government is not only failing to heal the education and property rift separating the millennials from the rest of Britain. It is making it wider

Social and demographic changes are usually, by their nature, gradual. Wars and conscription aside, it is very rare that being born 10 years earlier or later will make a profound difference to where some...

The article that changed my view … of how bilingualism can improve society

Guardian supporter Emilio Battaglia explains how an opinion piece by Tobias Jones clarified his view of bilingualism’s power to build bridges

Emilio Battaglia, 72, is a teacher and translator from Milan, Italy. He has been living and working in Toronto, Canada, since 1995.

As someone who has dedicated so much of his life to the study and explorat...

'It's given the children a love of wildlife': the schools letting nature in

In school fields and communities, pupils are learning about the fragility of nature – and restoring depleted environments

After the long slog of winter, pupils at Evelyn Community primary school in Merseyside are getting outside with a mission in mind: to count and record the number of different bird species in the school grounds. The challenge ...

Secret Teacher: I'm faced with the realities of child poverty every day

My pupils are resilient, loving and appreciative of what little support I can give them. But they deserve more

Read more from The Secret Teacher

I’ve spent more than a decade working in primary schools in a deprived area of the UK. Some of the children we teach come from families living on the breadline, and they often miss out on things that some...

I’ve never known my times tables. Frankly, who needs them? | Peter Bradshaw

The ministerial diktat to make children learn multiplication by rote is silly. Surely there are more important things

What’s nine sevens? Quick, quick! Nine sevens. Now, some people can answer that straight away, with a querulous little singsong intonation in their voice, as if to say: “Sixty-three, of course, how dare you insinuate that my basic...

The Guardian view on religious education: teach humanism too | Editorial

Religion is growing in importance, for good and ill. Studying it teaches us about ourselves – even if we don’t believe

Why should anyone wish to learn about religion? Religion is, in the phrase of the sociologist Linda Woodhead, “a toxic brand”. In the public imagination the word summons up images of violence, patriarchy and irrationalism. The fa...

Top of The Guardian news items

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