ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 24 April 2024

Principal of performing arts school voices concerns over Labour's tax plans

Independent sector

In an interview with iNews, principal of Tring Park School for the Performing Arts Simon Larter-Evans warns of the impact of Labour's tax policy on families attending schools like his, where nearly half of pupils receive financial support. On the specialist provision offered at Tring Park, Mr Larter-Evans explains: "There’s only a handful of schools in the UK that specialise in music, dance and theatre. Schools like ours are expensive to run because we’re physically set up to do something very particular." With families coming to the school from "literally every walk of life", Mr Larter-Evans warns: "By rising the fees for independent schools, it reduces the possibility that a selection of young people will access this specialist training." By Eleanor Peake.

Speaking to Independent School Management Plus, chairman of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) Barnaby Lenon talks about the potential impact of Labour's plans to impose VAT on fees and other pressures facing independent schools. Referencing the abolition of Direct Grant schools, Mr Lenon warns that taxing fees will also affect middle income families. He says: "The same thing will happen with VAT, in that it will make our schools more exclusive, with less money to spend on bursaries and partnerships." He adds that individual schools will have to make "hard decisions", which may include cutting A-level subjects with low numbers and introducing charges for extra-curricular activities. The article takes a closer look at how cross-sector partnerships work and their value to both state and independent schools. In conclusion, Mr Lenon urges schools to continue talking about the findings of the ISC’s Economic Impact Report, which highlight the vital economic contribution of independent schools. A number of schools in membership of the ISC's constituent associations are mentioned in the interview. By Zoe MacDougall.

Poor mental health ‘fuelling’ school absence crisis, report suggests

Attendance

Poor mental health and long waiting times for support are “fuelling” the school absence crisis, according to a new report by the Centre for Mental Health and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. The report warns that “punitive approaches to improving attendance”, such as fining parents, do not work and could risk worsening the situation for families facing cost of living pressures and unmet mental health needs. By Cerys Turner, Tes. 

Pandemic impact likely to affect GCSE results into 2030s, researchers warn

Examinations

The “damaging” legacy from school closures during the Covid pandemic will mean worse GCSE results for pupils in England well into the 2030s, researchers from the Nuffield Foundation have warned. Cohorts of students affected by the pandemic face the “biggest” decline in GCSE outcomes in decades and an “unprecedented” widening of the socio-economic gap, according to the study. Tes.

Empowering students to navigate post-school life

General education

Writing in Schools Week, two former heads of sixth form offer a conceptual approach to help school leavers navigate life in the outside world. They suggest: "For those headed into jobs or work-based learning, teach workplace etiquette through scenario-based learning." By Maja Trachonitis, assistant head (wellbeing) at Sutton Valence School, and university admissions specialist Luke Ellmers.

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