Sutton Trust/EEF Mentions:

Sutton Trust CEO, Dr Lee Elliot Major, gave evidence in front of the Education Select Committee on the quality of apprenticeships and skills. Lee discussed the three main aims of the Sutton Trust’s apprenticeship campaign: better quality apprenticeships, automatic progression from level 2 to level 3, and improved access for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

EEF CEO, Kevan Collins, has been quoted in the government announcement to raise education standards, and designated EEF research schools have been mentioned as playing a vital part in the plans for the Opportunity Areas.

The Sutton Trust is cited in the House of Commons briefing paper on careers guidance in schools, colleges and universities.

The Sutton Trust was mentioned in a debate in the Lords on access and participation in higher education as part of the orders and regulations of the Higher Education and Research Bill.

Chair of the Education Committee Robert Halfon MP mentioned the Sutton Trust when the former chair of the Social Mobility Commission Alan Millburn gave evidence in front of the Education Select Committee, along with former deputy chair of the commission Baroness Shephard, and David Johnston OBE, former commissioner and chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation.

Key appointments:

Following the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle, Justine Greening has been replaced by Damian Hinds as Education Secretary. The new line-up of the Department for Education is:

  • Minister of State for School Standards: Nick Gibb
  • Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills: Anne Milton
  • Minister for Higher Education: Sam Gyimah (jointly with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
  • Minister for Academies: Lord Agnew
  • Minister for Children and Families: Nadhim Zahawi

We analysed the educational background of the new cabinet ministers.

Key announcements:

The Office for Students came into force on 1st Jan. It is the new higher education market regulator that aims to put student interests at the heart of the market. In April, the OfS will replace the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the Office for Fair Access.

The Department for Education has announced plans to raise education standards by supporting underperforming schools and offering young people more opportunities:

  • Over £45million is to be awarded to successful MATs to drive improvement, with over £30 million of this targeted to academy trusts in areas facing the greatest challenges.
  • 75 projects will share £25million to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds, including improving numeracy and literacy skills.
  • Opportunity Area plans in Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent have also been announced.

The Prime Minister announced a £20 million investment in the new Institute of Coding and a £10 million investment in free and subsidised training courses to help adults retrain and learn new skills.

The secondary school league tables were published. They are the first results of the new GCSEs that are graded from 9 to 1, and the first use of the new measures of Progress 8 and Attainment 8. Findings include 1 in 8 secondary schools are currently below the standard deemed acceptable by ministers.

The DfE published new statistics for apprenticeships. A key finding was the drop in apprenticeship starts in the last year and that there have been 67,200 levy-supported apprenticeship starts.

Other published statistics include destinations of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students and Multi-Academy Trust performance measures .