Last Monday, ministers in the Department for Education (DfE) answered questions from MPs on a range of education issues. Topics included school budget pressures and reforms to GCSEs and A levels, with assurances given from ministers that the new harder maths GCSEs had not had a negative impact on the take-up of A level maths.
On the topic of relationships and sex education, Justine Greening stated that the DfE would issue interim guidance on dealing with sexual assault in schools this term and is updating the relationship and sex education guidance.
Concerns were raised about the accessibility of parental engagement meetings when academies are being ‘rebrokered’. Yvette Cooper highlighted the case of parents in her constituency who had been asked to travel to another town to discuss the future of their children’s school following the collapse of Wakefield City Academies Trust. In any school context, parents are key stakeholders and parental voice and involvement has a major influence on their children's achievement. Governing boards should do everything they can to ensure parents’ views are gathered and acted upon appropriately and that the results are reported.