Today is A level results day and we are congratulating all those who worked hard for their grades. We also look at higher education and sugar in schools.

A levels

Today, Thursday 15 August, students across the country are receiving their A level results. 

This year’s results show an increase in entries to STEM subjects, up 26.2% since 2010, whilst maths remains the most popular A level with a 20% rise in the same period.

Today’s data also shows a rise in entries to history, Spanish and geography this year.

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson said:

Receiving your A level results is a huge day for all involved so I want to congratulate pupils, parents and teachers on all their hard work.

I’m delighted to see more pupils choosing science-related subjects. This is encouraging particularly as we look to boost science in this country and the skills we’ll need in the future.

Overall the reforms we’ve put in place since 2010 and increasing rigour in our schools are giving pupils more opportunities.

Higher Education

 Today, the Sutton Trust is publishing its annual polling of young people aged 11-16 on their university aspirations. This year’s research shows that 65% of young people think it is important to go to university. 

Further and higher education choices are important for young people so that they can develop the skills they need and provide themselves the foundation needed to go on and enjoy a successful career. We are carrying out a review of post-17 education and funding, including the role of student loans and interest rates to make sure we have a system that delivers for both students and taxpayers.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We have introduced reforms to both higher and technical education so that all young people have quality options available to them no matter which route they choose.

This includes the introduction of T Levels from 2020, boosting the quality of post-16 qualifications and working with industry to create more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities so more people can gain the skills they need to get on the path to a great career.

For those who do opt to go to university, the current student finance system is progressive, where students contribute an affordable amount based on their income, not on the interest rate, and any outstanding amounts are written off.

Sugar in schools

Today, the Faculty of Dental Surgeons issued a press notice calling on all schools in England to go sugar-free. 

The government’s plans to reduce childhood obesity are the most ambitious of their kind. We have cut sugar from half the drinks on sale and are funding more opportunities for children to exercise in schools.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

By law, schools must provide pupils with a nutritious school meal and restrict foods high in sugar from being served as part of school lunch options. This includes a ban on drinks with added sugar, chocolate or sweets in school meals and vending machines.

Additionally we are in the process of updating these standards to further reduce the sugar content of school meals.

You can read more information about School Food Standards here.

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