Education: Standards

Department for Education written question – answered on 29 June 2023.

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Photo of Ben Bradley Ben Bradley Conservative, Mansfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps her Department has taken to improve learning outcomes for boys.

Photo of Ben Bradley Ben Bradley Conservative, Mansfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department plans to take to improve learning outcomes for boys.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Government is committed to improving outcomes for all pupils no matter their gender, and raising attainment is a priority. The Government has successfully driven up standards over the past decade. In 2010, only 68% of schools were rated good or outstanding compared to 87% today.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence from the Education Endowment Foundation, Star Assessments and Renaissance Learning shows attainment for all pupils, including boys, has fallen compared to pre-pandemic levels. In response to this, the Department is taking action to support schools, increasing core schools funding in the Autumn Statement 2022. The additional funding will mean that the core schools’ budget is a net £2 billion higher than published at the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 in each of 2023/24 and 2024/25.

The Department continues to deliver the proposals set out in the Schools White Paper, which aim to improve outcomes for all pupils, including boys. This includes providing an excellent teacher for every pupil, securing high standards in curriculum, behaviour and attendance, and providing targeted support for every pupil who needs it.

For teachers, the Department remains committed to delivering £30,000 starting salaries to attract and retain the very best teachers. In addition, the Department will deliver 500,000 teacher training and development opportunities by the end of 2024 and has recently announced a £181 million incentive package for Initial Teacher Training. This package of support will secure more high quality teaching, which is the single most important in school factor on attainment.

The Department continues to promote the use of phonics and supports schools to offer a high quality, knowledge rich curriculum, both of which are critical to ensuring boys are able to achieve well in later life. In addition, the Government has established the Oak National Academy, setting aside up to £43 million over the next three years to support it to provide high quality resources to schools.

The Department continues to support schools through the Pupil Premium, National Tutoring Programme and Recovery Premium. More than £1 billion is available to support tutoring up to 2023/24, with a further £1 billion of Recovery Premium funding in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years.

The Government remains committed to raising overall attainment, and reducing the number of pupils in underperforming schools, by creating a stronger and fairer school system. The Department will continue to support schools, trusts and authorities to deliver excellent outcomes for every pupil.

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