Your Weekly Sector News 24/05/24

Following the Prime Minister’s decision to call the general election on Thursday 4 July, education policy is set to play a key role in the coming weeks of political campaigns and debates. Stay up to date with the latest developments with your Weekly Sector News.  
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Unions urge government to confirm the teachers’ pay offer 

This week, the Association for School and College Leaders (ASCL), National Education Union (NEU), NASUWT teaching union, and NAHT the school leaders’ union published a joint letter calling on the education secretary to publish the School Teachers’ Review Body recommendations and the government’s response. Last year, the government promised to ‘align the timing of the STRB process with the school budget cycle’ to allow schools to plan effectively. Union leaders claim that any further delay will ‘undermine this commitment,’ whilst continuing to call for a fully funded, above-inflation pay increase for all teachers and school leaders. 

However, the Prime Minister has since announced that the General Election will take place on Thursday 4 July. This means the teachers’ pay deal is likely to be delayed until mid or late July, as the government prepares to enter the pre-election “purdah” period which restricts announcements. It also means that the pay deal may be delivered by a new government. 

In a manifesto published by the Headteachers’ Roundtable group, school leaders have called for reform to the system of teacher pay in order to bring an end to the ‘annual circus of delay and disappointment.’ The manifesto points to research which shows only 59% of teachers expect to still be teaching in three years’ time, a significant decrease from pre-pandemic figures of 74-77%. Further data indicates that the percentage of deputy and assistant heads expressing an interest in headship has fallen to 43%. To tackle the problem of teacher shortages, headteachers say a long-term approach to reliable pay and progression is needed. This will allow leaders to plan strategically and holistically over time for pay progression, whilst giving school staff the reassurance that the sector can provide ‘consistently competitive salaries for all to pursue a rewarding career.’ 

With a breadth of knowledge and expertise, our HR team can work with you to recruit and retain the best talent for your school. Get in touch to find out more about our training and consultancy services. 

Education Committee calls on government to expand financial education

Financial literacy was formally introduced to the National Curriculum in 2014 as part of the maths curriculum in primary and secondary schools, as well as citizenship education in Key Stages 3 and 4. Now, a decade later, ministers are calling on the government to urgently expand the provision and relevance of financial education to reflect the way financial pressures on children and consumer habits have changed. 

In a new report, the Education Select Committee urges the government to make the financial elements of PSHE statutory, much like the PSHE content on relationships, sex and health education. The report states this would effectively expand financial education whilst ‘signalling the increased importance of the subject to all students.’ The report also suggests that each school and academy trust should appoint a financial education lead, who may be a teacher of maths, PSHE or citizenship, to coordinate the subject across the school curriculum. Furthermore, the Department for Education (DfE) is encouraged to work with Ofsted to review its evaluation of financial education. The report recommends that citizenship provision is inspected under the “quality of education” key judgement and personal development. 

The Committee recognises that a lack of teaching resources often acts as a barrier to financial education. Therefore, it encourages the DfE to curate and promote a selection of high-quality financial education teaching materials in consultation with subject associations, professional bodies, the Money and Pensions Service, and other government departments. Additionally, the Committee argues that teachers should receive training in financial education through initial teacher training provision, with opportunities for continued professional development and subject knowledge enhancement as they continue through their careers. 

Sarah Hannafin, head of policy at school leaders’ union NAHT, welcomes the recommendations for improved training and access to high-quality resources. However, she warns that ‘currently the curriculum is overcrowded and unmanageable,’ and therefore any expansion of financial education must be accompanied by a formal review of the curriculum and qualification offer.

One Education is proud to support schools in shaping the next generation of thinkers, innovators, and leaders, ensuring they are ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the future.  

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