The Conservative Party Conference saw impassioned and controversial speeches from Tory movers and shakers. Airsupply examines Damian Hinds’s conference speech, outlining 4 key takeaways.
1. T-Levels are going to get more funding.
The technical alternative to the A-level, the T-level, is getting a funding boost. A further £38 million is planned to help get the qualification rolling. T-levels will cover many different vocational pathways at post-16 levels, creating a vocational qualification equivalent to conventional academic subjects. T-levels will span a range of training routes from business and administration, to childcare and education. With the courses planned to start in September 2020, the funding is to ensure that digital and technical equipment used will be cutting edge.
2. Centre for Excellence “English hubs” have been named.
32 schools have been named to split a £26.3 million funding pot for “English excellence”. Schools with a strong background in phonics training have been identified in a bid to distribute their expertise. Each hub is expected to work with 170 schools in their area to build a network good practice in phonics teaching.
3. Behaviour is going to be a national focus.
The state of behaviour in UK schools has been a source of conversation in recent years. Now £10 million is being set aside to try to improve it. There is going to be an update to the government’s behaviour guidance & training to try to improve teachers’ ability to manage it. There will be particular focus in ensuring teachers get behaviour training in their first two years of teaching.
4. Further funding and resources for government careers strategy.
In an extension to the careers strategy, which was set out in December, Hinds promised a further £5 million of funding. With the extension in funding a total of 1,300 schools will benefit, while 40 employer networks will be formed. Schools involved in the programme will receive training for ‘careers leaders’ while the employer networks will foster strong relationships between schools and businesses.
What did you think of the speech? We’ve covered the bare bones here. We could have said more, such as the increased spend on sports and “character development”. We could have also spoken about the obvious omissions. Little concrete on the issue of general funding. An elephant in the conference room. Let us know your thoughts.
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