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Manually compiled from over 300 sources - covering mainstream media, education press, education unions, professional bodies, government departments and agencies, and key education commentators and bloggers. 

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Three of the week's headlines ...
Free childcare plan needs 40,000 new staff, ministers warned
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Dyson donation of £6m to Malmesbury primary given go-ahead
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Open University academic wins tribunal case over gender-critical views
Read more
Visit EdNews to filter all the education news by phase or topic
Three pieces of policy news - by phase
Follow this link to view the full version of Steve Besley's popular policy round-up - including an overview of all the important stories, his top headlines of the week, tweets and posts of note, the most memorable quotes, not-to-be-missed statistics and what to look out for next week.
As your starter for ten, we've chosen three items from each phase below ...
DfE research. The Dept for Education listed its current areas of research interest with a list of key questions in each case for researchers and analysists wishing to engage, with the list covering growth through skills, driving up standards and closing the gap in schools, early years support, vulnerable children support and AI development.
Council funding. MPs across the board wrote an open letter to the PM ahead of the government’s Local Government Finance Settlement due next month, expressing concern about the dire state of local council finances and calling on the government to provide emergency funding to avoid further cuts to services or councils going bust.
Poverty in the UK. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation published its latest comprehensive analysis of poverty in the UK based on 2021/22 data and painting a troubling picture of increasing and deepening poverty, variable by region and age but with a number of social groups hugely struggling and with the report calling for a long-term vision and range of immediate protections to salvage the situation.
Bett address. The education secretary addressed the 2024 Bett Conference where she pointed to the work the government was doing to support and regulate AI while learning from best practice, before going on to encourage innovation and opportunity, and support the development of digital skills.
The role of AI. The government reported on its survey evidence among teachers and other experts about the use of GenAI in education, finding an increase in its use and potential benefits but also some concerns about managing future risks, with a recommendation ultimately for a long-term strategy to ‘future-proof’ further development.
Budget 2024. The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) called for the Chancellor to set aside sufficient funds to tackle RAAC, make up the shortfall in high needs, and introduce a VAT reimbursement scheme for colleges, as it published its submission to the Treasury ahead of the forthcoming Budget.
Sixth form funding. The Sixth Form Colleges Association reported on new research undertaken by London Economics showing a significant (15%) drop in funding over the last ten years, calling among other things for increased investment, retention of BTECs and plans to tackle teacher recruitment and retention, as part of a pre-election manifesto.
Apprenticeships. The House of Commons Library Service published an update on apprenticeship starts in England for 2022/23, noting that the majority were at advanced or higher level but that the overall total was down 3% on the previous year.
Skills shortages. William Hague highlighted the continuing problem of skills shortages in the country in a comment piece in The Times, calling on political parties to identify strategies such as funded apprenticeships and accessible work experience to help tackle this when they make grand promises about future infrastructure projects in the future.

Enhancing assessment. Advance HE set out a new framework for enhancing assessment, pointing to the importance of cyclical review, planning and action and involving the three core participants of the institution, educators and students.
Accommodation matters. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator published case studies of some the issues around student accommodation that it had been called on to deal with over the year, acknowledging that while these were small in number, they mattered to individuals for whom early resolution was important.
Maintenance loans. MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis included a call to raise the current rate of student maintenance loans as one of the five major requests he was submitting to the Chancellor ahead of the forthcoming Budget.
Access all issues of Steve Besley's Education Eye
Latest research, reports and studies
Immersive self-regulated learning: Unveiling the VR experience | BERA
Character building: Why character is essential for career readiness | SMF
Fair funding for Wales: New report sounds alarm over budget cuts | NAHT
Cognitive load and motivation: When is learning effortful? | Teacher Toolkit
Inequality in early years education | Sutton Trust
What's Cooking? A review of evidence and discussion on the Free School Meals (FSM) measure in the National Pupil Database | EPI
Breaking the cycle: The mediating effects of reading, mathematical and ICT literacy skills on financial success in youth | BERA
How can we make CPD work better for teachers? | Teacher Tapp
New report finds significant shortfall in funding for sixth form students | SFCA
School improvement architecture: Building an intelligent, proportionate, and connected system of improvement | CSTUK
Search our education research section
Parliament and elsewhere
MPs Education Questions (Monday 29 January).
EDSK think tank launch new report on reform of the school system (Monday 29 January).
Big Education and CFEY ‘Rethinking Leadership’ report event (Monday 29 January).
Education Committee evidence session on financial education (Tuesday 30 January).
Westminster Hall debate for Children’s Mental Health Week (Tuesday 30 January).
Second Reading of School Attendance Private Members Bill (Friday 2 February).
Events and CPD opportunities
Monday 29 January: Conference for Pastoral Leaders 2024 | ASCL (in-person event)
Tuesday 30 January: TDT National Conference 2024 | TDT (in-person event)
Tuesday 30 January: Driving Up Participation in Horizon Europe | UUK (in-person event)
Tuesday 30 January: Embedding Trauma Informed Practice Across the Public Sector | Inside Government (online event)
Tuesday 30 January: Successful Timetable Construction - Northern Ireland | ASCL (in-person event)
Tuesday 30 January: National curriculum tests (SATs): Test development and standards maintenance | ASCL (online event)
Wednesday 31 January: Improving Behaviour in Schools Conference 2024 | Government Events (online event)
Wednesday 31 January: 2024 National Primary English Conference | HFL Education (online event)
Wednesday 31 January: Leading On - Skills Policy: Where has it all gone wrong? | ASCL (online event)
Friday 02 - Saturday 03 February: Nursery World Show 2024 | Nursery World (in-person event)
Running an education-related event that you'd like to see included in our calendar? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details and a link to the booking info.
See all events
Three interesting daily facts
On this day in 1595 William Shakespeare's play 'Romeo and Juliet' was first performed.
On this day in 1856 the Victoria Cross was established to acknowledge valour in the face of the enemy.
On this day in 1996 French President Jacques Chirac announced the 'definite end' to France's nuclear testing program.

On this day in 1661 Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, was ritually executed after having been dead for two years.
On this day in 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse in New Delhi.
On this day in 1969 the Beatles performed their last live concert on the roof of their Apple Corps headquarters in London.

On this day in 1679 Jean-Baptiste Lully's opera 'Bellerophon' premiered at the Palais-Royal in Paris.
On this day in 1950 US President Harry Truman publicly announced support for the development of the hydrogen bomb.
On this day in 1985 South African President PW Botha offered to free Nelson Mandela if he denounced violence.

On this day in 1587 Queen Elizabeth I of England signed the death warrant for her cousin Mary Queen of Scots.
On this day in 1979 the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran in triumph after fifteen years in exile.
On this day in 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it returned to Earth killing all seven astronauts on board.

On this day in 1852 the first public flushing toilets opened at 95 Fleet Street, London.
On this day in 1922 James Joyce's 'Ulysses' was first published by Sylvia Beach in Paris.
On this day in 1971 Major General Idi Amin ousted Milton Obote and declared himself president of Uganda.
Awareness days from around the world

Love Your Liver Month, Veganuary, Dry January, Big Schools Birdwatch.
Walk Your Dog Month, National Mentoring Month, National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, World Health Esteem Month, National CBD Month, National Soup Month, National Slow Cooking Month, National Braille Literacy Month, Veganuary, Dry January, National Hobby Month, Hot Tea Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Blood Donor Month, National Menudo Month, National Bath Safety Month, National Black Diamond Month, National Sunday Supper Month, Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Red January (Beat The Winter Blues), Ginuary.


LGBT History Month, Raynaud’s Awareness Month.
National Children’s Dental Health Month, Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, Boost Your Self Esteem Month, LGBT History Month, National Self-Check Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Cancer Prevention Month, Chinese New Year, National Fasting February, National Enrolled Agents Month, National Embroidery Month, National Weddings Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Cherry Month, National Bake for Family Fun Month, Great American Pies Month, National Self-Care Month, Creative Romance Month, National Canned Food Month, An Affair to Remember Month, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, American Heart Month, National Grapefruit Month, National Library Lover's Month, Free and Open Source Software Month, National Snack Food Month.


National Storytelling Week.
National School Choice Week, Meat Week, National CRNA Week, National Catholic Schools Week, World Interfaith Harmony Week, International Networking Week, National Patient Recognition Week, Pride In Foodservice Week, Snow Sculpting Week, Women’s Heart Week, Solo Diners Eat Out Week, African Heritage and Health Week.


National Puzzle Day, National Bubble Wrap Day, National Corn Chip Day, Freethinkers Day, Curmudgeons Day, National Carnation Day.


National Draw A Dinosaur Day, National Croissant Day, National Plan For Vacation Day, National Escape Day, National Inane Answering Message Day, Yodel for Your Neighbors Day, School Day of Non-violence and Peace.


National Bug Busting Day.
National Backwards Day, National Hot Chocolate Day, Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, Eat Brussel Sprouts Day, Scotch Tape Day, National Gorilla Suit Day, Hell is Freezing Over Day, Nauru Independence Day, Brandy Alexander Day, Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day.


Dignity Action Day, Time To Talk Day.
National Freedom Day, National Texas Day, National Get Up Day, National Baked Alaska Day, National Serpent Day, National Dark Chocolate Day, Optimist Day, National Unclaimed Property Day, World Hijab Day, Decorating With Candy Day, Car Insurance Day, Federal Territory Day, Spunky Old Broads Day, Robinson Crusoe Day.


Wear Red Day, NSPCC Number Day.
Groundhog Day, Lung Leavin Day, World Wetlands Day, National Tater Tot Day, Bubble Gum Day, National Heavenly Hash Day, National Crepe Day, World Play Your Ukulele Day, National River Day, National Catchers Day, 2FA Day, Candlemas Day, National Hedgehog Day, National Working Naked Day, National Give Kids a Smile Day, National Sled Dog Day, Marmot Day, National Brown Dog Day.
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