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Has the education system taken a step backwards

University applications

Gone are the days where university is only reserved for the privileged few… or so we thought! Ever increasing tuition fees and the revoking of grants is making it difficult for the majority to attend university without financial help. The increase in tuition fees from £3,000 to £9,000 in 2012, left many graduates drowning in debt. Recent figures show that the number of university applicants has continued to decrease, falling by 2% since last year.

Gender pay gap

It seems like everyone’s talking about the gender pay gap, not least the education sector. In the early 20th century the average pay for male teachers was £128, whilst a female teacher earned £86. That converts to £10,500 and £7,100 in today’s financial climate. In comparison the current gender pay gap between teachers reaches a maximum of £2.9K. It’s not limited to pay, research shows male teachers are more likely to secure promotions and hold ‘head of’ roles.

Subject stereotypes

The gender divide in subjects isn’t breaking news! For generations it seems female students have opted for nursing and home economics, whilst male pupils have been pushed into engineering & science-based subjects. Shockingly, 54% of teachers claim they’ve seen female students drop STEM subjects because of parental pressure. The lack of encouragement for females to study STEM subjects has caused a significant technological skills gap in the workforce.

Government spend

In the 1950’s, 7.7% of government revenue was spent on education. That percentage has increased by 3.3% to 11% for the 2018 budget. The education budget debate has been one of the most prominent for decades, with the majority agreeing state schools are extremely underfunded & understaffed. The reality is the modern teacher is spending their own money on supplies.

Teacher shortage

While it might not seem like it, class sizes have dramatically decreased in the past century. The average school had a teacher to student ratio of 41:1 in public schools. Due to the serious teacher shortage, we are likely to see these numbers replicated. With the amount of school children estimated to increase by 19.4% between 2017 and 2025, it is estimated there will be a demand for 47,000 extra teachers. This draws concern as teacher training applications are down 15% this year.

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