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Lucy Lee, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education, offers a few thoughts on the government’s proposed tax-free childcare scheme. Whilst expressing support for greater support for working parents, Lucy voices concerns that the scheme will favour wealthier parents when it is poorer families that need the support most. On top of this, families earning under £10,000 will not be eligible for the scheme, nor for the proposed increase in working tax credits that would increase childcare assistance.
Harriet Waldegrave, Education Research Assistant at Policy Exchange, argues that International Women’s Day is a good time to challenge the idea that childcare is a just a woman’s issue. Harriet notes that childcare is an economic issue and a child development issue, and should be seen as a women and a men’s issue.
Dr Owen Corrigan, Education Research Fellow at Policy Exchange, sets out findings from his report on vocational education Technical Matters. Dr Corrigan argues that students should be offered an alternative route through the education system that focuses on high quality technical and vocational provision to help meet the needs of pupils better suited to practical subjects.
Lucy Lee, Head of Education at Policy Exchange, argues that the government needs to address the quality of childcare in the UK. Citing upcoming research by Policy Exchange, Lucy shows that there is a huge discrepancy between the quality of childcare in wealthier areas compared to deprived parts of the country.
James O’Shaughnessy, author of recent Policy Exchange report Competition Meets Collaboration on ways to tackle failing schools in the UK, argues that failing schools should join successful Academy chains to drive up standards. If this is ineffective, then he suggests education management organisations, including both profit and not-for-profit, should take on the running of these schools.
Deregulation is not necessarily the solution to the childcare crisis: we must keep in mind what parents want
With the childcare debate seeing several new developments recently, Policy Exchange Education Research Fellow Harriet Waldegrave examines the issues that have arisen around care quality, regulation and funding. Harriet warns against the debate sliding into an ideological argument on deregulation.
James O’Shaughnessy, former Head of Policy for No. 10 and author of recent Policy Exchange report Competition Meets Collaboration, argues that following the new Ofsted inspection scheme, an increasing number of schools in Britain will be told they are failing. James suggests new ways to tackle this problem, including creating more academy chains.
Writing in the Sunday Times, Sean Worth, Senior Consultant to Policy Exchange, proposes ideas to turbo-charge the Government’s plans to free up the supply of schools in poorer urban areas by removing restrictions on who could provide schools, as well as lengthy planning requirements.
David Skelton, Deputy Director at Policy Exchange, argues that A-levels should be judged on the esteem in which they are held by employers and businesses. He argues that schools should use autonomy over their curriculum to teach subjects that are academically rigorous, with real world application, potentially working in conjunction with local universities and businesses.
Policy Exchange Director Neil O’Brien highlights the fact that, despite legal provisions giving children in care top priority for schools admissions, they are more likely to be in failing schools than other children. He then examines a scheme previously implemented by Andrew Adonis which placed children in care in boarding schools and the positive effects this had.