Education Policy and Research Service 2023-2024 Weekly Update 28 February 2024

Dear Subscribers

Looking at the DfE website this week has been rather akin to approaching a mirage in a desert. I have clicked on many links to be told that the statistics will be published in a week, a month, or several months! However, there are a few things to note, so please read on.

The new Pupil Premium guidance and accompanying documentation was published last week. The Pupil Premium allocation for the 24-25 year will be: £1,480 for pupils in reception to Year 6; £1,050 for pupils in years 7-11; £2,570 for looked after children or previously looked-after children; and £340 for eligible service children. These figures represent a small increase on those for 2023-24.

The latest attendance figures for the academic year to date were also published last week. The absence rates across the academic year 2023/24 to date were: 5.4% in state-funded primary schools (4.0% authorised and 1.4% unauthorised); 8.7% in state-funded secondary schools (5.4% authorised and 3.2% unauthorised); and 12.9% in state-funded special schools (9.9% authorised and 3.1% unauthorised). The persistent absence rate (i.e. the percentage of pupils missing 10% of sessions or more) was 20.6%.

I have, in these updates, often mentioned the government’s skills boot camps – free flexible courses of up to 16 weeks at the end of which participants are offered a job interview. They are available across the country.  The list of available bootcamps has been updated, with 3 new bootcamps in London, 18 in the Northeast, and 2 in the West Midlands.

Staying with the theme of jobs and careers, Ofsted have published an independent review of careers advice and guidance in special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs). If you don’t fancy reading the whole document, it will be included in the March summaries.

Finally, there are updates related to the national wraparound childcare programme which provides grant funding to local authorities in England to help make sure that there is sufficient childcare such as breakfast and after-school clubs in their area. The updated programme handbook provides more clarification about the role of schools as well as additional information on funding and transport. It can be found here.

I look forward to updating you again next week.

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