With a newly elected majority Government in power, change is likely to take place across the UK, and the education sector is sure to see some transformation. This article will take a look at some of the policies that are likely to come into effect regarding English and maths and the secondary sector, and the people who will enforce them.
Who’s in charge?
Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough, has already been confirmed as Education Secretary. Having taken up the post in July of last year, Ms Morgan is perceived to have done a good enough job to retain her position in the cabinet, and is likely to force through a new education bill early in this parliament.
What was included in the Conservative Manifesto?
The Conservative Manifesto, released prior to the election, outlined a number of intentions relating to education standards, funding and teaching. Let’s start with the points relating to English and maths:
- The Conservatives have pledged to train an extra 17,500 maths and physics teachers over the course of the parliament.
- It will be a requirement for every primary-school leaver to know their times tables off by heart, as well be able to perform long multiplication and division. 11 year olds will also have to have the ability read books and write short stories.
- Secondary school pupils will be required to study ‘English Baccalaureate’ GCSE subjects which includes English, maths, science, history/geography, and a modern foreign language. Schools that chose not to offer the complete Baccalaureate will be limited to a grade two Ofsted rating.
Making sure that there are enough school places in all areas of the UK is also high on the agenda. The Conservatives pledged to open at least 500 new free schools, as well as expand University Technical Colleges (which offer technical education alongside typical school education) academies, studio and schools.
In terms of funding, the Tories have earmarked an £18bn investment for new school buildings, and have pledged to protect pupil premium rates. They also hope to continue to provide free school meals to all infant pupils, and increase the pay of good teachers. As is the case now, state schools will not be allowed to make a profit.
Reducing the ‘burden’ that Ofsted brings to teaching has been cited as something the Conservatives would like to address. The new government has also pledged to reduce the time teachers spend completing paperwork and support a ‘College of Teaching’. Teachers will be expected to be trained in managing and reducing serious behavioural issues and classroom disruption. Finally, the Conservatives will continue to support and grow the ‘Teach First’ pathway into the profession, and bursaries will be introduced for subjects that need most investment.