Commenting on the education proposals in the Queen’s Speech today, Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
“The Government has wisely backed away from compulsory academisation, but the plan to require many more schools to become academies requires more excellent multi academy trusts. Our research has shown that the quality of existing chains is variable with more chains underperforming the average of all schools than overperforming. If this policy is to support those schools with significant numbers of disadvantaged pupils, it is vital that schools should link up with multi academy chains that have demonstrated their ability significantly to improve school performance.
“As the government introduces a national funding formula for schools, it is important that they preserve the pupil premium, properly recognise the high cost of teaching pupils living in disadvantaged areas and consider rewarding schools that make a real difference to the results of their poorest pupils.
“We welcome the stronger focus on teaching quality in a new higher education bill, but remain concerned at the impact that the abolition of grants from this autumn and changes to the repayment terms of fees will have on access. With the new Office for Students, we welcome the independence promised to the Director of Fair Access but are concerned that he is not being given the powers to ensure that access targets are delivered. As a matter of urgency consideration should also be given as to how to reverse the massive decline in part-time (-40%) and mature students (-18%) as these are engines of social mobility.”
NOTES TO EDITORS