Interesting headlines this week on housing, Muslims in education an how universal credit has negative effect on supporting poorer pupils.
New housing policy discussed
Anne Ashworth and Rosamund Urwin comment on David Cameron’s new housing policies in the Times and the Evening Standard respectively. Ms Ashworth argues that the changes could be a chance for local authorities and housebuilders to collaborate in the provision of more attractive developments. Ms Urwin says the only viable option to solving the housing crisis is a new programme of council house building, which Mr Cameron refuses to acknowledge in favour of helping the private market.
Fewer Muslims in top jobs and HE
Muslims are missing out on top jobs and are the least likely to hold a professional or managerial position of any religious group, according to research by think tank Demos. A-level performance was also weaker than other ethnic groups, despite a very large proportion of Muslims staying on at school after GCSEs. As a result, half as many British Pakistani and Bangladeshi applicants to a Russell Group university were offered a place as white applicants. Louis Reynolds, author of the report, said: “Changes in education, local authority support and renewed commitments from Muslim communities and employers could go a long way.”
PAC calls for education funding changes
A new report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called for a shakeup of Government funding for poor pupils to ensure more is done to help these youngsters to succeed at school. It also warns that the roll out of Universal Credit will make it more difficult to identify which children are eligible for extra funding – and says that the Department for Education has no plan to deal with this. The report did note that in the last four years, head teachers have started to pay more attention to closing the achievement gap and there are examples of schools using Pupil Premium money on schemes that are successful in boosting results, but more still needs to be done.
This is for UNICEF
Thanks for reading.