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What the 2016 Budget Speech means for education

18 March 2016

This week the Budget speech has caused debate and concerns as the impact of tax and benefit reforms appear are not what the British public were hoping for. There are many policies that have been put forward that have started big discussions but what about education? How does the 2016 Budget Speech affect schools, nurseries and academies over the next few years? We’ve summarised the main points to help you see around the jargon…
 
All schools to become academies. The new plan states that schools must become academies by 2020 or have official plans to do so by 2022. This is a particularly big project for Primary Schools as currently only 2,440 of 16,766 in the country have academy status. Osborne has promised an extra £500m for a ‘fair funding formula’ to help address imbalances in the system.

 

Longer school days. The new education plan will allow headteachers to choose to get rid of the traditional ‘home time’ of 3:30pm and keep their schools open longer. This is becoming a big concern for students who are already feel swamped with extracurricular activities and homework.

 

Focus on Northern England education. Osborne also suggested briefly that the government would focus on the performance of schools in the north of England, where results have not been as strong as expected.

 

Maths could become compulsory until the age of 18. We’re no strangers to saying that maths is important, in fact we’ve been talking about it a lot recently. Osborne has announced a new review to determine whether the subject should be studied by all children until they leave education. This is with the hope of ensuring that the next generation gets the ‘best start’ in life for employment.
 
And while not strictly under the topic of education but EXTREMELY important nonetheless…

 
Introduction of the sugar tax. A sugar tax is something that has been talked about and hoped for for a long time. Finally, it has been introduced in an attempt to help combat childhood obesity. The levy on the soft drinks industry is expected to raise £520m, the proceeds of which will be put towards improving sports in primary schools. Fantastic news for everyone who has been supporting active and healthy lifestyles for children - including us!

 

There have been a lot of mixed reactions about this year’s education plans. How do you feel about the shift to academies or the longer school days? Do you think maths should be compulsory until 18? And will the sugar tax really help combat childhood obesity? Get involved in the conversation on Twitter and Facebook



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