The Commons Library has published numerous briefing papers relevant to schools in England; a selection of these are below.  This briefing page also includes several recent reports as well as some press material which Members may find useful when preparing for this debate.

Commons Library briefings

On school funding:

This note looks at the implementation of the Government’s reforms to school funding from 2018, including the introduction of a new National Funding Formula (NFF) for schools. The plans were confirmed in September 2017, with some important modifications. It also provides information on the wider school funding context.

This provides a summary of how funding for 16-19 education in England has changed since 2010, including funding for school sixth forms and trends in spending in this area.

Pupil premium is dedicated funding for schools to tackle educational inequalities. The briefing paper provides an overview of policy on the Pupil Premium since its introduction in 2011, including funding levels, eligibility criteria, and accountability.

On the teaching workforce and recruitment, retention and workload:

This paper provides information on the recruitment and retention of teachers in England, including Government initiatives to increase teacher supply. The briefing also gives an overview of attempts to reduce teacher workload.

This briefing provides information on initial teacher training (ITT) in England, including the different ITT routes, the sources of financial support for trainees, and recent policy developments.

On other areas of particular current interest

This briefing provides background on recent reforms to the special educational needs (SEN) system in England.  Section 2 (p14 onwards) covers SEN funding in England. Section 5 (p26 onwards) covers research on how the reforms are being implemented, and their success.

This paper provides information on SATs (national curriculum assessments) and other primary assessments in England. It looks at what is tested, when, and how the results are used. It also looks at changes to primary assessment since 2015.

This briefing covers recent policy developments regarding school meals in England, including the revised school food standards and provision of free school meals. Including debates around entitlement to free school meals in the context of Universal Credit roll-out.

This briefing provides information on recent reforms to examinations in England, including the introduction of new GCSEs graded 9 to 1.

These briefings provide information on the current requirements for schools in terms of these two subjects, and Government plans to reform what must be taught, and when.

This briefing provides information on academies and free schools in England. Topics covered include: academy conversion and Government plans for more schools to become academies; school places; special educational needs provision; academy land disposal and sale; funding; and accountability.


Press articles and notices

Must do better? Why parents plan boycott of school Sats tests

The Observer, 22 April 2018

Who can blame parents for boycotting Sats?

The Guardian, 17 April 2018

[Both of the articles above cover SATs]

The slow speed of emergency academisation

Schools Week, 21 April 2018 
[On academisation of schools deemed underperforming]

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