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Education. A basic human right that should be accessible to all by all. Education involves the process of facilitating the learning of an individual. Learning for all these enables the learner to have greater opportunities to see and understand the world as others live. Learners that attend school develop in confidence, are taught morals and values, and foster decision-making skills as well as critical thinking. Apart from contributing to the development of interpersonal skills and promoting a healthy lifestyle, education helps to combat poverty. It prepares a person for a wider range of jobs, giving them the ability to change the cycle of poverty for their families. Well, this sounds very straightforward and an easy right to fulfill. However, as with any right, it is not as straightforward to fulfill without policies and specific ways of practice to ensure the learner is engaged. (UN Secretary, 2016)
Funding mechanisms in education:
Funding for education is primarily from the government. Local authorities get a grant known as the Designated Schools Grant (DSG). There are many political processes that determine the overall spending on education. The funding is made up of
• SCA- School condition allocations. This is given to bodies responsible for the maintenance of school buildings.
• DFC- Devolved formula capital. This is allocated to schools and other educational institutions.
• CIF- Condition improvement fund. This amount is for single-academy trusts, multi-academy trusts, voluntary aided groups, and sixth-form colleges.
How it works
Until 2015, there wasn’t a specific national formula to calculate the amount of revenue funding that mainstream schools in England would get. The National Funding Formula (NFF) was proposed by the government in 2015 and was expected to be implemented in September 2020. This formula was intended to address disparities in funding between local authorities.
Currently, funding allocation amounts are calculated per pupil. However, the amount for each local authority is not consistent. The DSG dedicated schools grant was introduced in 2006. It was based on the previous costs of local authorities, and that is how some areas receive more funding, and others receive less. Factors such as deprivation and additional educational needs, population sparsity, ethnicity, and income-related benefits. This formed the baseline for the structure of the DSG, and therefore, areas with lesser deprivation and needs received a lesser amount.
Based on data from 2017-2018, local funding formulas were based on the following factors.
• Per pupil amount
• Deprivation- based on data used last from free school meal data.
Other factors include
• A lump sum payment
• Children in care
• English as an additional language
• Sparsity (schools in rural areas)
Most schools also generate a proportion of their income themselves. Parent bodies and associations help with this finance generation.
The United Kingdom’s educational system is based on a system that was established well over 100 years ago. Our children of today, from a world that is constantly changing at an increasingly fast rate, are sent to educational institutions that were primarily established during the industrial age, where their main priority was to have them educated as factory workers. During the Industrial Age, children were taught by repetition and concise instructions that were rote taught to them so they could then go into the factories and further follow instructions. Once they were working in the factories, their success depended on following these instructions and producing what they were taught to produce. Over the years of education, the values of education have shifted. There are many factors and influences affecting these values as well as causing contemporary issues in education. Issues emanating from politicians as well as those arising from the students themselves.
Some current issues in education include:
Government policies and spending
– How do current issues such as Brexit affect education?
– What will happen after the coronavirus passes?
– How are budgets spent?
– What happens to class sizes as the population increases?
Technology and its use in education
– Should technology be a part of the curriculum?
– Should learners be able to access their devices in order to learn?
– Is technology ideal in all classroom settings?
Assessment and attainment
– Should learners be assessed by sitting exams?
– How effective are SATS?
– Should the assessment be based on a formative or summative assessment?
– Should schools be changed into academies?
– How successful are academies?
– How can schools be changed to accommodate global changes?
Health and child development
– How are learners’ mental health needs met?
– Is there enough balance between work and sports at school?
Education and the Curriculum
– Should arts and drama be included in the school curriculum?
– Should education be free?
– Are school libraries a necessity in schools?
The list is exhaustive; however, these are some of the key issues to which I will refer and which link to the current topic I am researching. A successful student is one that is creative, a person who can collaborate with others. For this kind of person to be the outcome of the education system, there has been a growing recognition of the need in schools to require effective leaders and managers. As well as needing trained and committed teachers, a successful school needs to have a leadership of highly effective principals as well as support from other senior and middle managers who work together effectively as a team. These leaders are responsible for creating an education system that is not only concerned with the outcomes of the students. They must consider all the stakeholders.
A stakeholder is someone who has a vested interest in the well-being and success of a school. This includes anyone involved at the school, such as administration staff, teachers, pupils, parents, and their families, as well as local businesses, teachers’ unions, and councils. Basically, it is anyone who has a professional, personal, civic, or financial interest or concern in an institution. There are two types of stakeholders. They are Internal and external.
Internal stakeholders are the teachers, students, parents, teaching assistants, and lunch assistants. All within the business.
The External stakeholders are the government, SENDCOs, local authority, social workers, neighbors, trainers, suppliers, community, and agencies. (outside of the business)
Stakeholders are also interested in the curriculum and help shape the school curriculum operation, which has been designed for the learners and will be the ones influenced by it. The teacher’s primary role is to write the curriculum with a daily lesson plan, weekly lesson plan, term plan, and yearly plan to ensure that the children learn all the information they need to learn to be able to progress to the next year and to understand the information within the next class. This is all done by adapting to meet the needs of the individual within the class. Parents are stakeholders as they pay for their children’s education through their taxes. The teacher relies on parents to help their children learn by sitting with them to read, practice their writing as well as help with homework.
The stakeholders take various forms, reflecting on the different ways in which the life and work of schools are governed locally and kept up nationally.
As there are so many people, organizations, and bodies involved as stakeholders, a common impact that can be found is that they can’t all meet at the same time, therefore not being able to share information effectively. One way to overcome this problem is by having a group email for all the stakeholders so they can receive all the relevant information when needed. Stakeholders can then be informed with enough time to try and allow everyone to be able to join in with the meeting, discussion, a change to an idea event, or even the curriculum.
Stakeholders all have different roles and are required to work in a partnership, with the ultimate focus being the education of the learners. Communication is key to making sure everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities. It is also imperative that the correct information is shared, updates are given in writing or verbally, and that everyone is kept up to date regarding changes. This way, positive and improved outcomes are supported.
Following guidelines that are implemented, along with policies that are put in place, Stakeholders can refer to these if issues or clarity is needed to progress forward with new ideas or if issues arise that can be resolved. Any one action taken by a stakeholder can impact everyone, from the children to the government and everyone in between.
In order to create the structure and function necessary to provide the educational needs of students, policies are implemented. They help a school establish rules and procedures as well as create standards of quality for learning and safety. It is important to have policies to help establish standards in learning and the way the learning is presented.
The bearing of key policy variations on teaching, learning, and assessment:
As already discussed, it is clear to deduce that policies help a school establish rules and procedures as well as create standards of quality for learning and safety; they create structure and function necessary to provide the educational needs of the students and apply accountability. Changes in policies, be that at the national or school level, take effect by the policymakers. They play a significant role in the education system as every part of the system is a result of their decisions. Education policies made by the government take into consideration the diversity of the country.
Education policy can directly affect the education of people involved at all ages.
In education, the term continuous improvement implies any school improvement process that exposes progressively. It does not have a fixed or ending point, and it is sustained over long periods of time.
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