This article breaks down what you need to know about the government’s newly-published white paper, ‘Levelling Up the United Kingdom’.

The white paper outlines the levelling-up mission for the Education sector as follows: “By 2030, the number of primary school children achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths will have significantly increased. In England, this will mean 90 percent of children will achieve the expected standard, and the percentage of children meeting the expected standard in the worst performing areas will have increased by over a third.”

The key points are as follows:

  1. The new ‘UK National Academy’ will be created to support schools
  2. Schools will need to publish their approach to food on their websites
  3. An increase in school funding has been confirmed
  4. £5 million dedicated to new cooking curriculum and training
  5. The DfE will launch a joint project with the Food Standards Agency (FSA)
  6. 55 new Education Investment Areas (EIAs) have been added
  7. The DfE will launch new consultation on ‘requires improvement’ (RI) schools joining MATs
  8. Reforms to support young people announced
  9. Forthcoming Schools White Paper will focus on improving literacy and numeracy

The new ‘UK National Academy’ will be created to support schools

 

The government has committed to the creation of a new online education service to support pupils from all backgrounds and areas of the UK to succeed at the very highest levels.

The completely free service, named the ‘UK National Academy’, will allow pupils to acquire additional advanced knowledge and skills, and ensure every child is offered more opportunities to thrive.

 

Schools to publish their approach to food on their websites

 

With the aim of promoting accountability and transparency of school food arrangements, the government will be encouraging schools to publish their “whole-school approach to food” in a statement on their school websites.

The government intends for this to become mandatory in the future, “when schools are able to do this effectively”. We will make sure to notify you once more information is released about when this will come into effect.

 

An increase in school funding has been confirmed

 

The white paper has confirmed that, in order to spread opportunity around the country, an extra £4 billion of funding will be dedicated to schools next year, rising to £4.7 billion in 2024/2025.

 

£5 million dedicated to new cooking curriculum and training

 

Up to £5 million will be invested in the launch of a “school cooking revolution”, which will include brand new curriculum content and bursaries for teacher training and leadership.

To support this, the government will invest up to £200,000 to pilot new training for school governors and academy trusts on a whole-school approach to food.

These interventions support the government’s aim to have every pupil leave secondary school knowing at least six basic recipes that will support healthy living into adulthood.

 

The DfE will launch a joint project with the Food Standards Agency (FSA)

 

The DfE and FSA will be joining forces to design and test a brand-new approach for LAs in assuring and supporting compliance with school food standards.

The project will include multiple LAs in March 2022, with pilots expected to launch in September 2022.

 

55 new Education Investment Areas (EIAs)

 

School improvement will be driven through 55 new EIAs in places where educational attainment is currently lowest. The DfE will support strong MATs to expand into these areas and offer retention payments to help schools with supply challenges to retain the best teachers in high-priority subjects. More intensive investment will be available across some EIAs to tackle wider issues that limit school improvement.

The government aims to ensure that talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to a post-16 provider with a track record of progress on to leading universities by opening new 16-19 free schools, targeted in areas where they are most needed.

 

DfE to launch consultation on ‘requires improvement’ (RI) schools joining MATs

 

A consultation will be launched to gather views on moving schools in EIAs rated ‘requires improvement’ (RI) successively into strong MATs, in order to provide better access to the support they need to improve.

These plans were originally announced last year by former Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

 

Reforms to support young people

 

The white paper also confirmed that the government will be funding a reformed National Citizen Service programme for the next three years, with a year-round offer for thousands of young people.

It will also be ensured that the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Awards Scheme is offered to every state secondary school in England.

 

Forthcoming Schools White Paper will focus on improving literacy and numeracy

 

The Schools White Paper that has been promised by the DfE will have a strong focus on improving literacy and numeracy for those furthest behind.

It will set out a clear vision for a system in which schools are strong MATs that are able to drive improvement for all their pupils. The DfE will take a place-focussed approach and work with local partners to build strong trusts and invest in diocesan trusts to ensure every type of school will benefit.

 

What’s next?

 

  • Read the ‘Levelling Up the United Kingdom’ White Paper here.
  • Add this article to your ‘watch list’ to be notified of any further changes.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (2022) ‘Levelling Up the United Kingdom’