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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 ...
New childcare staff offered £1,000 amid concerns about free hours rollout
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More than half of UK undergraduates say they use AI to help with essays
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Coalition urges rethink on schools transgender guidance

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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 ...
Vaping. The PM announced new restrictions on vaping as part of a response to recent consultation on the matter, confirming a ban on disposable vapes, restrictions on flavoured vapes often aimed at children, and confirmation of forthcoming legislation on banning the sale of tobacco to young people.
Horizon Europe. The government launched a new media campaign intended to run throughout the year and aimed at encouraging businesses and researchers to seize opportunities in the Horizon Europe research programme.
Business Council. The PM announced the launch of this year’s Business Council comprising leading business figures who will provide advice to the government during the year on productivity, job creation and the economy generally.
Ofsted. The Education Committee published its report into Ofsted’s work with schools reflecting many of the current concerns around the inspection system and recommending among other things developing a better alternative to single-word judgements, looking again at how to approach safeguarding, making sure lead inspectors have the relevant experience and reviewing the complaints procedure.
Early Career teachers. The government set out its new framework for trainee and early career teachers, designed to provide some three years or more of training and support by combining the initial teacher training core framework and the early career framework, updating it all with new content on areas such as SEND and planning for roll out from September 2025.
14-16 qualifications. Qualifications Wales announced a series of new “exciting” qualifications for 14 – 16-year-olds to go with their new GCSEs, which will be available from 2027 and include a VCSE (Vocational Certificate of Secondary Education,) Skills for Life and Work, Foundation Qualifications and a Personal Project Qualification.
Dear Prime Minister. The Association of Colleges (AoC) wrote to the PM calling for the government to take three steps including reimbursing VAT for colleges, levelling pay with teachers and extending tuition funding for young people, in the forthcoming Budget that would help colleges deliver the promised Advanced British Standard (ABS) and other government ambitions.
T levels. The government announced some changes to T level implementation plans along with a list of qualifications deemed to overlap with wave 4 T levels and thereby at risk of losing funding, giving awarding organisations until 26 March to lodge appeals.
T level concerns. The AoC raised concerns in an open letter to the minister about T level developments including specifically some chopping and changing over their introduction and delays in future funding information, calling for an urgent meeting to restore confidence in the programme.
AI survey. The HE Policy Institute (HEPI) and Kortext reported on the results of a new survey looking into how students view AI tools, finding that over half (53%) have used GenAI largely to help explain concepts, that most (66%) reckoned this was OK but using it for assessment was not, and that most (63%) believe institutions should develop a clear policy on AI use.
Election matters. HEPI director Nick Hillman set out the context around HE fees and funding in the UK for the forthcoming general election, ahead of a planned series of HEPI hosted events on the matter.
Research staff. The University and College Union (UCU) called for ‘secure forms of employment’ for research staff as it published a survey report showing that some two-thirds are on fixed-term contracts, experiencing what the report called, ‘shocking gig-economy style employment practices.’
Access all issues of Steve Besley's Education Eye
Latest research, reports and studies
Spelling it out, making it count: The current state of Functional Skills Qualifications in English and maths | Edge Foundation
Ofsted’s work with schools| UK Parliament
20 years of muddling through: Why it is time to set a new course for the state school system in England | EDSK
Spelling it out, making it count: Functional skills qualifications and their place in vocational training | AELP
The Forest School 'facilitator' identity: Dilemmas of helping or hindering learners' agency? | BERA
Education indicators in focus: How do public and private schools differ in OECD countries? | OECD
Time for a resit reset? | EPI
Ethnic diversity in the teaching workforce: evidence review | NFER
Provide or punish? Students' views on generative AI in higher education | HEPI
New report exposes 'gig-economy' reality of prestigious university research departments | UCU
The role of quizzing in learning: What does 90 years of evidence reveal? | BEIB
Demystifying robots' social behaviours in language learning | BEIB
Improving student outcomes through school meals | BEIB
Effects of later school start times on teachers | BEIB
Personality-sensitive pedagogies: A mixed-methods study of small-group interactions among 9 to 10-year-olds | BERA
The characteristics of pupils who attend Alternative Provision schools | FFT Education Datalab
Do EHC Plans prevent exclusions? | FFT Education Datalab
New analysis reveals autism assessment and support crisis with children waiting months for help | Centre for Young Lives
Search our education research section
Parliament and elsewhere
National Apprenticeship Week (Monday 5 February – Sunday 11 February).
Children’s Mental Health Week (Monday 5 February – Sunday 11 February).
OECD launch Economic Outlook, Interim Report (Monday 5 February).
Education Committee evidence session on the impact of industrial action on university students (Tuesday 6 February).
Westminster Hall debate on mindfulness in schools (Wednesday 7 February).
Events and CPD opportunities
Tuesday 06 February: Enhancing Classroom Talk in International Schools | Bell Foundation (online event)
Wednesday 07 February: Delivering Excellence in Teaching Modern Foreign Languages in Schools Conference 2024 | Government Events (online event)
Thursday 08 February: Leading through uncertainty: School leadership and business strategy - Birmingham | Optimus Education (in-person event)
Thursday 08 February: Tackling violence, harassment and hate incidents 2024 | UUK (in-person event)
Thursday 08 February: Ensuring Public Sector Website Accessibility and Compliance | Inside Government (online event)
Thursday 08 February: UUKi-SIN Horizon Europe | UUK (online event)
Thursday 08 February: EAL and SEND - overview of the new framework | Bell Foundation (online event)
Friday 09 - Saturday 10 February: Teaching & Learning Summit 2024 | InnerDrive (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 1597 a group of early Japanese Christians known as the 26 Martyrs were executed by the government of Japan for being a threat to society.
On this day in 1909 Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announced his invention of Bakelite at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.
On this day in 1924 the Royal Greenwich Observatory began broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal or the 'BBC pips'.

On this day in 1819 British East Indian administrator Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore as a British trading port.
On this day in 1952 Queen Elizabeth II succeeded King George VI to the British throne and was proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms.
On this day in 1971 American astronaut Alan Shepard was first to hit a golf ball on the moon.

On this day in 1301 Edward of Caernarfon, later Edward II, became the first English Prince of Wales.
On this day in 1992 the Maastricht Treaty was signed by twelve countries from the European Community to create the European Union.
On this day in 2005 Britain's Ellen MacArthur became the fastest person to sail solo around the world taking 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds.

On this day in 1672 Isaac Newton read his first optics paper on his observations of sunlight as it refracted through a prism before the Royal Society in London.
On this day in 1855 a series of hoof-like marks named the Devil's Footprints mysteriously appeared for over 60 km after a snowfall in southern Devon.
On this day in 1926 Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio became Walt Disney Studios.

On this day in 1540 the first recorded horse race meet was held at Roodee Fields in Chester.
On this day in 1964 the Beatles embarked on their first tour in the United States.
On this day in 1972 the British government declared a state of emergency after a month-long coal miners' strike.
Awareness days from around the world

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.


Big Schools Birdwatch, National Storytelling Week, Tinnitus Awareness Week, Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, National HIV Testing Week, Children’s Mental Health Week, National Apprenticeship Week, Schools Football Week.
Freelance Writers Appreciation Week, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, National Feeding Tube Awareness Week, International Networking Week, Boy Scouts Anniversary Week, National Patient Recognition Week, National School Counselling Week, National Burn Awareness Week, Women’s Heart Week, Pride In Foodservice Week, Solo Diners Eat Out Week, African Heritage and Health Week, National Marriage Week.


National Sickie Day.
National Weatherperson’s Day, World Nutella Day, National Shower With A Friend Day, National Primrose Day, National Fart Day, National Chocolate Fondue Day, Western Monarch Day, St Brigid’s Day.


#ReclaimSocial, Safer Internet Day.
National Chopsticks Day, Safer Internet Day, National Frozen Yogurt Day, National Lame Duck Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).


National Girls And Women In Sports Day, National Periodic Table Day, National Fettuccine Alfredo Day, National Send A Card To A Friend Day, National Giving Hearts Day, National Signing Day, Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbors Day, Rose Day, World Ballet Day, Independence Day Grenada, Isra and Mi'raj.


National Iowa Day, National Kite Flying Day, National Boy Scouts Day, Opera Day, National Molasses Bar Day, Laugh And Get Rich Day, Fat Thursday, International Scotch Day.


Toothache Day, Welsh Language Music Day.
National Pizza Day, National Cut The Cord Day, National Bagel And Lox Day, Chocolate Day, National Read In The Bathtub Day.
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