UK General Election – politicians lining up to woo voters with education pledges

In the last few days we’ve seen pledges from both the Liberal Democrats and Labour to increase funding across education, the Liberals Democrats by £7 billion and Labour by £5.5 billion. In both Labour and the Liberal Democrat plans the lion’s share of the proposed funding would go on schools, with both planning to scrap the current Government’s plans to invest in grammar schools.

Labour are also pledging to reintroduce the university maintenance grant and may set a longer term goal of scrapping university tuition fees, something the Green Party has also indicated that they would do.

And the newly released Conservative manifesto aims to put £4 billion into the schools budget by 2022. At the same time they will establish at least 100 new free schools per year, remove the ban on grammar schools and introduce a specialist maths school in every major city across England. Theresa May also plans to require universities charging maximum tuition fees to ‘become involved’ in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools.

Interesting times… we’ll keep you updated as the policies evolve.

How Dean Associates can help with university admissions

Dean Associates is not just a schools expert but also supports relocating families in all areas of education – nursery and childcare, vocational, special educational needs and university admissions.

University applications are a crucial time in a student’s academic life and we have a clear and consistent record of success in helping students make the transition from school to higher education.

Our service is flexible and responsive to the needs of the client but key elements might include:

Reviewing a student’s academic qualifications and benchmark against expected standards within universities in the UK and around the world.  This would also include, when relevant, looking at English language levels and devising and implementing a support plan when necessary.

Expertise in identifying courses that meet a student’s professional ambitions and academic levels and to ensure candidates hold a proper range of options

Insight into completing the university application forms and sitting any standard assessment tests necessary.  In the UK this would also include working with the candidate to develop an outstanding Personal Statement – most often the keystone to a successful application.

Help with identifying and applying for funding and to ensure that UK families living abroad are allocated home-fee status rather than paying the expensive overseas fees.

The first stage, as with all our clients, would be to set up a call to discuss requirements in more detail – please contact to move this forward.


Exam season: Incentivising results?

A recent poll (of 1200 parents) from YouGov finds that 78% of parents have offered their children a reward for doing well in their exams this year, with the average spend at £205 and ranging from cash, holidays and days out to a new games console, laptops or tablet.

The poll also found that just over half of parents questioned said that their children expect rewards for getting good grades and more than a third of the parents questioned were happy to incentivise their children regardless of their eventual grade.

But do incentives it work? A recent study by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), of over 10,000 Year 11 pupils, found that financial or other benefits brought no significant overall impact on the pupil’s eventual GCSE English, maths or science results. The Foundation’s Chief Executive, Kevan Collins, commented (in the Times Education Supplement): “While promising cash for grades can seem like an easy way to motivate teenagers, our research suggests that it won’t have a huge impact on results.”

Mr Collins went on to suggest that parents and pupils would be better served by spending their money on high-quality one-to-one tutoring or improving feedback. Dean Associates are always happy to help with that!