Key mentions

Dan Jarvis asked four parliamentary questions on the findings of our Access to Advantage report, asking about the proportion of state school pupils applying to Oxbridge, regional inequalities in gaining a place, and the findings that independent school pupils are more likely to gain a place, and that 8 schools are responsible for 75% of admissions.

Rushanara Ali asked a parliamentary question on what steps the government are taking to tackle the decline in mature and part-time students, as set out in the Sutton Trust’s the Lost Part-timers report.

The Sutton Trust’s ‘Science Shortfall 2017’ report was mentioned in a House of Commons briefing on teacher recruitment and retention in England.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton announced that ‘Blaze a Trail’ will be the theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2019, mentioning the Sutton Trust / BBC event in March 2018.

Key appointments

Chris Skidmore has been announced as the new Minister of State for Universities and Science, replacing Sam Gyimah.

Lord Agnew has confirmed the board of education and business experts tasked with raising education outcomes for young people in the North East of England.

Key announcements

The Social Mobility Commission has relaunched with 12 new commissioners and the Government has committed £2m for research and evidence from April next year.

The Government announced a £9 million fund to provide more disadvantaged pupils with free school meals over the summer holidays.

Damian Hinds announced that school league tables that have previously only measured pupils going on to university will now measure young people going into higher learning on any route.

Skills Minister Anne Milton announced that 36 colleges will receive funding totalling £5.5 million from the first round of the strategic college improvement fund to help drive up standards in FE.

Under Secretary of State Nadhim Zahawi launched a scheme between independent schools and councils to improve opportunities for looked after children, including mentoring and scholarships to private schools.

New DfE statistics have been published showing the disadvantage gap index for primary school pupils falling slightly for the seventh year in a row.