Policy and Practice round-up March 2020

12 March 2020

This month we bring you news of new DCMS and DfE ministers; the Music Education Plan call for Evidence; DCMS economic estimates that show the creative industries are growing at five times the rate of the rest of the economy; the teacher Early Career Framework providers and rollout areas, and an IFS report covering the impact on lifetime earnings of studying creative arts degrees.

New Culture ministers; no change at the top of the Department for Education

Following the Cabinet reshuffle in mid-February we now have new ministers at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, rather than the wholescale changes to government departments that had been predicted.

  • Oliver Dowden is the new DCMS Secretary of State
  • Caroline Dinenage is Minister of State for Digital and Culture which includes arts, museums and creative industries
  • John Whittingdale is Minister of State for Media and Data, which includes responsibility for the BBC
  • Baroness Barran is the DCMS Lords Minister: her portfolio includes Youth and Social Action and Civil Society

At the Department for Education Gavin Williamson remains Education Secretary and Nick Gibb remains Minister for School Standards. They are  joined by four new ministers:

  • Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Universities
  • Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families
  • Gillian Keegan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills
  • Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System

Robert Halfon continues as Chair of the Education Select Committee and Julian Knight is the new chair of the DCMS Select Committee.

Music Education Plan call for Evidence

In preparation for the refresh of the National Plan for Music Education which runs until 2020 the DfE has put out a call for evidence. The DfE is seeking responses from teachers, parents and pupils so please do share with your networks.

Music Mark have provided guidance on their website for responding to the call for evidence, which closes on 13 March.

DCMS economic estimates: creative industries growing at x5 rate of economy

New data out from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport shows that the Creative Industries:

  • Contributed £111.7bn to the UK economy in 2018
  • Accounted for 5.8% of UK GVA
  • Between 2017 and 2018, the Creative Industries’ had five times the growth rate of the UK economy

Early Career Framework providers announced

As we reported in January 2019, the Government is introducing the Early Career Framework as part of its Recruitment and Retention Strategy for teachers. NQTs (newly qualified teachers) will be entitled to a two-year support package which includes sections on pedagogy and curriculum. 

On 2 March the DfE announced the providers and details of the early rollout from September 2020. Early rollout areas are Greater Manchester, Opportunity North East (ONE) Area and South and West Yorkshire. Schools in these areas can opt in to access the free package of support. National rollout will be from September 2021.

The professional development package includes:

  • funded 5% time off timetable in the second year of teaching, in addition to the existing 10% in the first year
  • a range of curricula and training materials underpinned by the Early Career Framework
  • funded training for NQTs and mentors of NQTs
  • funded time for mentors to support NQTs

Read more details on the DfE website.

IFS reports studying creative arts degrees has negative impact on lifetime earnings for men, zero impact for women

New research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies commissioned by the DfE on ‘The impact of undergraduate degrees on lifetime earnings’ using Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data has reported.

The reports result show stark differences in the impact of a degree on lifetime earnings for men and women. It suggests that studying a creative arts degree has a zero impact on lifetime earnings for women, and a negative impact on earnings for men. However there are a number of caveats to the data.

The report is problematic because its data rests on the LEO data. For more information on the shortcomings of the LEO data particularly for creative subjects, where many graduates full earnings will not be included in the data sets because they set up their own companies or are self-employed, see the report from London Economics ‘Understanding the limitation of graduate outcome measures in higher education’.

The report also acknowledges ‘This is a difficult and somewhat imprecise exercise, made even more challenging by a lack of data on cohorts that are currently in the middle or near the end of their careers’ as data is only available for individuals up to the age of 30 and earnings past this point are estimates. The report also points out:

‘these results purely show the earnings benefit of HE for individuals and the tax benefits for government. Wider benefits such as increased health, happiness or job satisfaction, which may constitute an important part of the overall return to HE, are not included in our estimation.’

The report found that once taxes and student loans have been factored in net discounted lifetime additional earnings, over what individuals would have earned if they had no degree, of £130k for men and £100k for women for studying a degree. For creative arts degrees net discounted lifetime returns for women are close to zero on average and for men are negative.

Calculating the benefits to the country of individuals studying degrees the report estimates that ‘nearly half of all students receive a net government subsidy for their degrees, even after tax and National Insurance payments have been taken into account.’

Read the full report.