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About Schools Week

Schools Week

Schools Week is read widely by headteachers, governors, business managers and the education leaders of the future. Established in 2014, our weekly print newspaper is now read by around 22,000 education managers and sector stakeholders, and 1.4 million unique users visited our website in 2015-16. We have quickly become the “go-to” news source for reliable education journalism, with a formidable reputation for hard-hitting investigations, breaking news and expert analysis.

About FE Week

FE Week

FE Week is the premier news source for the further education, apprenticeships and skills sector, with a reputation for breaking news, investigations and expert analysis that is second to none. Our weekly newspaper is read by over 10,000 education managers and sector stakeholders and over 75,000 people access our website on a monthly basis. Trust is essential, and our readers know that FE Week provides an unrivalled platform for sharing accurate, timely information.

In the News

There’s no right or wrong in the free schools debate

Neither side is completely right or wrong in the free schools debate, explains Natalie Perera, but what is clear is that there is no quick fix to improving outcomes Free schools have been politically divisive since their establishment in 2010. To their supporters, they are a helpful disruption to the schools market, improving competition, choice and quality. To their detractors, they are a distraction and a further step away from local democracy and accountability. This debate, as with so much in education, has lacked evidence and impartial analysis. Today, the Education Policy Institute fills that gap. Our report is the first of its kind – bringing together data on where free schools are located, whether they are popular with parents, and how they serve disadvantaged children. The report also provides a more scientific approach to any early findings on the impact of free schools on pupil attainment and progress. No surprise then, that both sides of the debate have expressed a particular interest in our report. It is unusual in the research space for both the proponents and opponents of a policy to be equally nervous about the results; they usually have a hunch. If free school supporters really want...

Free school meals rule change will leave disadvantage data ‘completely useless’

A “triple track” of changes to free school meal entitlements proposed in the government’s benefits reforms will render school data “useless” for years, experts have warned. The Department for Education is consulting on plans to restrict children’s eligibility for free school meals if their parents claim universal credit, the new one-size-fits-all system that will replace several other benefits from 2022. The department’s original plan, as reported in the last edition of Schools Week, was to extend the meals to every child of a family that claimed any part of universal credit, something charities argued would “poison” national data on disadvantaged pupils, for which free meals eligibility is used as an important yardstick. It’s a dog’s breakfast But the government’s newly proposed changes won’t come in until April, too late to prevent the corruption of data on thousands of pupils due to be collected in the January school census. The number of pupils on free meals is one of the main indicators of disadvantage used by schools. It affects GCSE results data, pupil premium funding and other important statistics. Universal credit is being rolled out gradually, and will reach around 80 areas of the country by January. As the roll-out begins,...

ESFA ‘postpone’ results of second attempt at non-levy apprenticeship tender due to ‘high volume’ of applications

After extended delays and ultimately an aborted first attempted at a tender for funding apprenticeships with small employers (non-levy), the second attempt by the Education and Skills Funding Agency has been ‘postponed’. This evening the ESFA told providers more time was needed to evaluate a ‘high volume’ of applications and was unable to say when the results of the £650m tender round would be known. The full message sent tonight via the tendering website reads: “The Agency has been pleased to receive a high volume of tenders following a very positive response to the Invitation to Tender for this procurement, and is currently finalising the evaluation process. “In accordance with paragraph 8.2 of the Invitation to Tender (Attachment 1), the Agency is making a change to the procurement timetable as set out in paragraph 8.1 (Attachment 1). The intention to issue award notifications to successful and unsuccessful Potential Providers is postponed, and will not now be issued on 21 November 2017. “Potential Providers will be contacted again shortly with further information on the new date for the issue of award notifications.” The postponement will be frustrating but may not come as a surprise, as tender process was controversial for it’s...

Skills Show 2017: Welcome home Team UK

A welcome home reception was put on for the 34 heroes who made up Team UK and competed in Abu Dhabi last month, on day two of The Skills Show. Hundreds of visitors and VIPs headed to the spotlight stage at Birmingham’s NEC Arena to celebrate and welcome back the team (pictured above) who retained our country’s top 10 position at WorldSkills this year, winning one gold, three silvers, three bronzes, and 13 medallions of excellence. The event, which was hosted by Will Torrent, a former Team UK member who this week celebrated his 10-year anniversary since competing in Japan, included heartfelt speeches from WorldSkills UK’s official delegate and chief executive of the ESFA, Peter Lauener, and chair of WorldSkills UK Carole Stott. “Today we have some really important people to celebrate,” Mr Lauener said. “I had the great privilege of being out in Abu Dhabi where we experienced a combination of high emotion, real pride in the team’s achievements, and a lot of pleasure just seeing how much everyone can achieve with a lot of team work.” The welcome home reception was also used to recognise several individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty when...