Top PDF House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 7070, 9 March 2017: Recent policy developments: Grammar schools in England

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 7070, 9 March 2017: Recent policy developments: Grammar schools in England

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 7070, 9 March 2017: Recent policy developments: Grammar schools in England

achieved solely by increasing the PAN in line with the School Admissions Code. 14 In the case of community, foundation and voluntary schools, local authorities can also propose that a school’s premises be enlarged by following a streamlined statutory process set out in regulations. 15 Academies wishing to enlarge their premises need to seek approval from the Secretary of State, through the Education Funding Agency (EFA). They are not required to submit a formal business case to the EFA unless the expansion is very large scale or increases pupil numbers to 2,000 or more. Further information is contained in advice published by the Department for Education in March 2016, Making significant changes to an open academy. 16
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 7070, 21 June 2017: Grammar schools in England

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 7070, 21 June 2017: Grammar schools in England

achieved solely by increasing the PAN in line with the School Admissions Code. 14 In the case of community, foundation and voluntary schools, local authorities can also propose that a school’s premises be enlarged by following a streamlined statutory process set out in regulations. 15 Academies wishing to enlarge their premises need to seek approval from the Secretary of State, through the Education Funding Agency (EFA). They are not required to submit a formal business case to the EFA unless the expansion is very large scale or increases pupil numbers to 2,000 or more. Further information is contained in advice published by the Department for Education in March 2016, Making significant changes to an open academy. 16
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 6972, 13 March 2017: Faith Schools in England: FAQs

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 6972, 13 March 2017: Faith Schools in England: FAQs

In a Westminster Hall debate on school transport in June 2015, the Schools Minister Nick Gibb expanded on the Government position: We believe that [local authorities] are best placed to determine how resources should be used in the areas that they serve and to balance the demands of a broad range of discretionary travel against their budget priorities. If we were to remove this discretion from local authorities’ responsibilities, it would hugely increase the number of eligible children at a substantial cost to the taxpayer. Therefore, it is much more practical and helpful to allow local authorities to continue to make these important decisions locally, but they still need to make the right decisions locally. 12
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07070, 15 May 2018: Grammar schools in England

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07070, 15 May 2018: Grammar schools in England

achieved solely by increasing the PAN in line with the School Admissions Code. 14 In the case of community, foundation and voluntary schools, local authorities can also propose that a school’s premises be enlarged by following a streamlined statutory process set out in regulations. 15 Academies wishing to enlarge their premises need to seek approval from the Secretary of State, through the Education Funding Agency (EFA). They are not required to submit a formal business case to the EFA unless the expansion is very large scale or increases pupil numbers to 2,000 or more. Further information is contained in advice published by the Department for Education in March 2016, Making significant changes to an open academy. 16
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 6103, 2 March 2017: Sex and Relationships Education in Schools (England)

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 6103, 2 March 2017: Sex and Relationships Education in Schools (England)

8.3 Of the remaining responses there were 516 on whether the changes to the SMSC [spiritual, moral, social and cultural] standard are required to ensure the active promotion of fundamental British values and respect for other people. A significant number of respondents indicated that they disagreed with the proposed changes, but analysis of the related comments revealed that this was because of misunderstanding the effect or raising issues that were not part of the consultation. For example, some responses questioned the definition of the fundamental British values and requested that this be opened up for further debate; others maintained that the changes extend the equality agenda and will result in the marginalisation of Christianity; and others considered that the changes are not necessary, that the standards were only amended in January 2013, and that many schools are already doing this.
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 1398, 10 March 2017: Grammar School Statistics

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 1398, 10 March 2017: Grammar School Statistics

In 2008 the then Department for Children, Schools and Families looked at the intake of grammar schools in comparison to that of their local area. This found that free school meal rates in grammars were not representative of their local areas. They were around one-fifth of the level in their local area in 2007. In addition they also had fewer pupils from the low attaining ethnic groups, Black African, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi and Pakistani, than their local area. The gap varied somewhat by ethnic group, but was typically around half the rate in their local area in 2007. This study also looked at the level of deprivation affecting children in the areas that different types of schools took their pupils from. In grammar schools in 2007 the proportion of pupils from the least deprived quartile was just over 40%, compared to around 25% in their local area. The proportion of their intake from the most deprived quartile was around 8%, compared to just over 20% in their
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 6836, 1 March 2017: School Sport in England

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 6836, 1 March 2017: School Sport in England

The findings of this study have also highlighted challenges for the future of PE and sport in primary schools. To sustain the impact of the premium, schools have used it to invest in training for existing staff. However, a question remains over how to maintain this investment in CPD for new teachers entering the profession, once premium funding ends. Schools also raised issues related to sourcing good quality provision in their local area, and may need further support to robustly assess the quality of the provision available. The survey also found that monitoring and evaluation of the premium was not consistent and schools may require further advice and guidance to support them to first assess impacts and then put in place strategies for continuing quality improvement. 19
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 06962, 31 March 2017: GCSE, AS and A level reform (England)

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 06962, 31 March 2017: GCSE, AS and A level reform (England)

In a Westminster Hall debate on AS levels and A levels in April 2013, the then Schools Minister, David Laws, explained why the Government were making the changes: ...We want to give students a better experience of post-16 study, ensuring they are studying for rigorous qualifications that will provide them with the right skills and knowledge to allow them to progress. Students currently start A-levels in September and then they immediately start preparing for examinations in January. They and their teachers have spent too much time thinking about exams and re-sitting them, encouraging in some cases a “learn and forget” approach. A student taking A-level maths would need to sit six exams: three papers for their AS-level, and three for their A2. The old rules allowed multiple re-sitting of those papers, so a student might sit some papers in January, and if they wanted to improve their grades they could re-sit them in June and again the following year, while sitting and then re-sitting their A2 papers. In 2010, 74% of maths A-level students re-sat at least one paper.
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 6962, 31 March 2017: GCSE, AS and A level reform (England)

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 6962, 31 March 2017: GCSE, AS and A level reform (England)

In a Westminster Hall debate on AS levels and A levels in April 2013, the then Schools Minister, David Laws, explained why the Government were making the changes: ...We want to give students a better experience of post-16 study, ensuring they are studying for rigorous qualifications that will provide them with the right skills and knowledge to allow them to progress. Students currently start A-levels in September and then they immediately start preparing for examinations in January. They and their teachers have spent too much time thinking about exams and re-sitting them, encouraging in some cases a “learn and forget” approach. A student taking A-level maths would need to sit six exams: three papers for their AS-level, and three for their A2. The old rules allowed multiple re-sitting of those papers, so a student might sit some papers in January, and if they wanted to improve their grades they could re-sit them in June and again the following year, while sitting and then re-sitting their A2 papers. In 2010, 74% of maths A-level students re-sat at least one paper.
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number CBP 03052, 29 June 2017: Apprenticeships Policy in England: 2017

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number CBP 03052, 29 June 2017: Apprenticeships Policy in England: 2017

In the consultation document, the Government estimated that all but the smallest 30 English local authorities will be set apprenticeship targets based on their headcount in 2016, along with all police forces, almost all fire and rescue services, all NHS trusts, all the armed forces, the majority of ministerial departments and some schools and other public sector bodies. 15

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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07303, 2 March 2017: Personal, social, health and economic education in schools (England)

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07303, 2 March 2017: Personal, social, health and economic education in schools (England)

3.2 Teaching The 2013 Ofsted report, stated that the teaching of PSHE required improvement: Teaching required improvement in 42% of primary and 38% of secondary schools. Too many teachers lacked expertise in teaching sensitive and controversial issues, which resulted in some topics such as sexuality, mental health and domestic violence being omitted from the curriculum. This was because subject-specific training and support were too often inadequate. In 20% of schools, staff had received little or no training to teach PSHE education. Teaching was not good in any of these schools. 17 The report recommended that schools should “ensure that staff teaching PSHE education receive subject-specific training and regular updates, including in the teaching of sensitive issues.” 18
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07059, 30 March 2017: FAQs: Academies and free schools

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07059, 30 March 2017: FAQs: Academies and free schools

Secondary academies are not currently required 26 to offer sex and relationship education (SRE) but if they do, they must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State on this issue. 27 In March 2017, the Government announced that it intended to make relationships and sex education mandatory in all English secondary schools including academies. 28 Relationships education would be mandatory in all primary schools. Further background can be found in a linked Commons Library briefing paper, Sex and relationships education in schools (England).
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07169, 20 April 2017: The School System in England

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07169, 20 April 2017: The School System in England

1. The School System in England This briefing offers a short introduction to the types of state-funded schools in England and how they differ from each other. Schools policy is a devolved area, and different arrangements are in place in the other countries of the UK.

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House of Commons Library : briefing paper : number 07972, 28 June 2019 : Independent schools (England)

House of Commons Library : briefing paper : number 07972, 28 June 2019 : Independent schools (England)

Independent schools are also, as educational institutions, able to take charitable status, which has associated advantages including relief from business rates. The Government states that around half of independent schools have this status. This is a politically contentious issue, with recent proposals from both Labour and the Conservatives seeking respectively to remove independent schools’ ability to take charitable status, or place conditions on their ability to do so.

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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07972, 30 May 2018: Independent schools (England)

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07972, 30 May 2018: Independent schools (England)

6 However, the DfE has stated that clarification is being sought on “the age at which a young person may have the right to make their own decisions,” and that a blanket right for parents to withdraw their child from sex education is no longer consistent with English caselaw (or with the ECHR and UNCRC). The outcome will be set out in regulations which will be subject to consultation and debate. See Department for Education, Policy Statement: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Personal, Social, Health, and Economic Education, March 2017
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07914, 29 March 2017: Medical school places in England from September 2018

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07914, 29 March 2017: Medical school places in England from September 2018

A further question asked about the postcode of the area they grew up in and the report assigned these to one of five levels of deprivation. This evidence is easier to set in the context of the overall population, if not similar postgraduate training. Were deprivation to have no impact on access to medicine we would expect, over time, rates of around 20% in each band. However 39% of those in medical training grew up in the least deprived fifth of local areas and 6% in the most deprived areas. 35 The latest data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) shows that in 2016 26% of students accepted to pre-clinical medicine in the UK were from independent schools. This rate has fallen somewhat from just over 30% at the end of the last decade. In addition 8% of those accepted to these courses were from grammar schools in 2016, down from 10% in 2010. Both rates were substantially higher than the proportion of students across all subjects from these schools in
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 05396, 25 October 2018: Constituency casework: schools in England

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 05396, 25 October 2018: Constituency casework: schools in England

This note gives a very brief overview of the structure of the state-maintained school system, including an outline of the different categories of schools, as often an answer to a school-related constituency question may depend upon the type of school in question. The note provides brief background and key sources on a selection of issues that are typically raised with Members by constituents. Members who have questions on topics not covered here may contact the Social Policy Section for information.

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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07388, 19 December 2018: Language teaching in schools (England)

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 07388, 19 December 2018: Language teaching in schools (England)

During a March 2018 debate in Parliament, the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, set out that the Government did not plan to introduce any new subjects at GCSE level during the current Parliament, although it was open to a BSL GCSE in the longer term. The bar on new qualifications was intended to allow schools a period of stability, following wide- ranging reforms to GCSEs that have taken place in recent years. 46 However, the Government has recently reversed this position. The Schools Minister stated that the Government was prepared to make an exception to the broader prohibition, and consider proposals for a GCSE in BSL more quickly than previously indicated, opening the door for a GCSE to be introduced ahead of 2022. 47
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House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 5440, 20 March 2017: Higher Education Finance Statistics

House of Commons Library: Briefing paper: Number 5440, 20 March 2017: Higher Education Finance Statistics

The financial impact on the sector as a whole need not be negative if they can raise enough through additional tuition fees (backed by publicly subsidised loans). The impact on individual institutions is much more open to question and it depends on what fee levels they charge and changes in student numbers. These in turn depend on the types of courses they offer, the ‘value’ placed on a degree from that institution by potential students and the extent and type of student choice and competition introduced into the sector. Changes to higher education funding and student support from 2012/13 gives some background to the freeing up of places from 2012 and more recent detail is given in HE in England from 2012: Student numbers and Higher Education Student Numbers.
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House of Commons Library: Briefing Paper:  Number 07819, 8 March 2018: Constituency casework: schools in Scotland

House of Commons Library: Briefing Paper: Number 07819, 8 March 2018: Constituency casework: schools in Scotland

This note gives a very brief overview of the structure of the state-maintained school system, including an outline of the different categories of schools, as often an answer to a school-related constituency question may depend upon the type of school in question. The note provides brief background and key sources on a selection of issues that are typically raised with Members by constituents. Members who have questions on topics not covered here may contact the Social Policy Section for information.

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