More children and young people are now performing better at school, have access to outstanding further education providers and more than 90% of graduates are in work or study.

These are just some of the marked improvements the Department for Education will highlight today as it publishes its single departmental plan for the year ahead, which provides an overarching picture of the department’s work and direction of travel across children’s services, early years, 16-19 education, and schools.

The departmental plan includes performance indicators and demonstrates the positive progress made by the Department for Education since the publication of its previous plan.

Improvements across various areas of the education system have been made, including a rise in the number of the number of children achieving the Government’s early years benchmark of development and an increase in the number of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at the end of Key Stage 2.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

“We want all children to have access to world-class education, training and care.

“To achieve this, we are supporting pupils to thrive at every stage by setting a 10-year ambition to boost children’s early reading and communication skills, transforming technical education and introduced reforms to make sure that higher education is open to everyone who has the talent and potential.

“It is encouraging to see the progress that the Department has made and we will continue to strive towards making sure everyone has the chance to reach their potential and live a more fulfilled life.”

The Department for Education’s departmental plan outlines its intention to ensure that education builds character, resilience and well-being, while ensuring academic standards match and keep pace with key comparator nations and technical education standards are in line with leading international systems.

Since last year’s departmental plan, the Department has demonstrated positive performance in a variety of areas, including:

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  • The proportion of children’s services rated good or outstanding has increased to 43% from 36% last year and 25-29% the year before that.
  • The proportion of children reaching a good level of development in the early years foundation stage profile assessment has continued to increase year-on-year to 72% last year.
  • Pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at the end of KS2 has increased from 61% to 64% and the proportion reaching the higher standard has increased from 9% to 10%
  • The disadvantaged pupil attainment gap has narrowed at key stage 2, although it has widened slightly at key stage 4.
  • The proportion of FE providers rated good or outstanding in August 2018 has increased to 81%
  • The % of UK-domicile HE first-degree leavers in work or further study remains at record highs: 90%

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