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Three of the week's headlines ...
More than 10,000 children left school in one year - and councils don't know where they are
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Underfunded government free nursery place scheme driving providers out of business

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Academics win claim against Oxford University over sham contracts
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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 ...
Childhood matters. The Association of Directors of Children’s Services published an update on its 2017 report into childhood and family life, arguing that things had worsened rather than improved for many families in the interim, and urging a future government to prioritise children and families and deliver on the seven priorities it had originally listed around funding, support and partnership working.
Lost in transition. The children’s commissioner reported on the large numbers of children and young people seemingly lost or to have ‘fallen through the cracks’ as they leave the state school system, calling for tighter protection, controls and data as a result.
Child abuse. The government set out new requirements to help protect children from sexual abuse including making it a legal requirement for those working with children in England, such as teachers, to report cases of concern.

Mobile phones. The government issued its guidance for schools on prohibiting mobile phone use during the school day, pointing to some of the ways in which schools can, and in many cases already have done this, but calling for ‘a clear and consistent approach’ with staff, parents, pupils and sanctions all having a role to play.
11 – 16 response. The government published its response to the House of Lords Committee report into provision for 11 – 16 yr olds published at the end of last year, pushing back on most of the recommendations and pointing instead to many of its current reforms although acknowledging some issues around careers guidance, GCSE resits and the burden of assessment generally.
Secondary Review. Exam board OCR announced that former education secretary Charles Clarke would lead a review of secondary education looking in particular at issues like the burden of assessment around GCSEs, digital assessment and English and maths provision, and reporting back in the summer.

Colleges Week. The Association of Colleges (AoC) published a briefing covering facts and figures about the sector along with funding issues ahead of the forthcoming Budget, for MPs to use when they discuss colleges in a set debate next week..
Skills Bootcamps. The government banged the drum for digital Skills Bootcamps as it published new research showing that for young people working in tech areas with the requisite skills, average salaries can be double or more the UK average.
Post-16 provision. The Education Policy Institute and SKOPE published initial findings from their collaborative work looking into how post-16 education and training operates across the four nations, pointing to worries about growing inequality, poor data and policy ‘churn’ and calling for a more settled, joined-up policy approach for the future.

Manifesto wish list. Universities UK published its list of asks for the forthcoming general election calling among other things for reinstating maintenance grants for those most in need, maintaining the graduate visa route, and ensuing adequate funding support.
Franchise provision. The HE Policy Institute (HEPI) and Buckinghamshire New University published a new Debate Paper on franchising in higher ed, pointing to some of the benefits such as offering greater choice while acknowledging some of the challenges, and calling for a code of practice and proportionate regulatory system to ensure quality in such provision.
New taskforce. University and Health mission groups responded to last week’s disappointing figures from UCAS on student recruitment for healthcare courses by calling for a new ministerial taskforce to be set up to look at ways of bolstering student recruitment in healthcare and generally help meet targets in the NHS’s Long-Term Workforce Plan.
Access all issues of Steve Besley's Education Eye
Latest research, reports and studies
Enhancing high school video-based learning: Insights for educators | BERA
Modern universities a vital part of the higher education landscape | MillionPlus
What are the public's priorities on education spending? | Public First
Student accommodation: The state of the nation in 2024 | HEPI
Crafting inclusive research approaches | BERA
Does teacher coaching matter? Insights from 4Rs + MTP integration in SEL and literacy implementation | BEIB
Improving reading instruction for early grades with 95 Phonics Core Program | BEIB
Year Two randomized evaluation of Chapter One literacy tutoring | BEIB
Access to extra-curricular provision and the association with outcomes | EPI
What shapes upper secondary pathways and transitions? Insights for Wales | OECD
How can we improve access to healthcare careers? | UUK
Mobile phone bans in schools: Impact on achievement | BERA
Rethinking education in the context of climate change: Leverage points for transformative change | OECD
Engaging low-income families in education research: An interdisciplinary exploratory study | BERA
Scottish Budget: Higher education spending | IFS
What does the latest data tell us about the current financial situation in England's local authority maintained schools? | NFER
Recruitment and retention of senior school leaders in Wales | EPI
Growing up green: What value is placed on accessing outdoor environments across different childcare and educational settings? | BERA
Transforming early childhood: narrowing the gap between children from lower- and higher-income families | Nesta
Understanding the identities of young people in care | Nuffield Foundation
Closing the attainment gap | Sutton Trust
Comparing policies, participation and inequalities across UK post-16 Education and Training landscapes | EPI
Lost in transition | Children's Commissioner
What is wrong with franchise provision? | HEPI
The composition of MATs | FFT Education Datalab
Search our education research section
Parliament and elsewhere
Colleges Week (Monday 26 February – Friday 1 March).
Annual Apprenticeship Conference (Monday 26 February – Tuesday 27 February).
Education Committee witness session on children’s social care (Tuesday 27 February).
Westminster Hall debate on FE (Thursday 29 February).
Social Market Foundation Forum on ‘improving jobs and productivity and unlocking social mobility’ (Thursday 29 February).
Events and CPD opportunities
Monday 26 - Tuesday 27 February: Annual Apprenticeship Conference 2024 | AAC (in-person event)
Tuesday 27 February: HEPI / Advance HE Parliamentary Breakfast Seminar: ‘Have we got it right on freedom of speech on campus?’ | HEPI / Advance HE (in-person event)
Tuesday 27 February: Effective Digital Skills and Inclusion | Inside Government (online event)
Tuesday 27 February: Successful Timetable Construction - Leicester | ASCL (in-person event)
Tuesday 27 - Wednesday 28 February: MAT Show 2024 | Optimus Education (in-person event)
Wednesday 28 February: Next steps for literacy and oracy in England's schools | Westminster Forum Projects (online event)
Wednesday 28 February: Working in Partnership to Safeguard Children and Young People 2024 | Government Events (online event)
Thursday 29 February: Next steps for AI in education | Westminster Forum Projects (online event)
Thursday 29 February: Survive or thrive? Grasping the financial sustainability challenge | Universities UK (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 1797 the Bank of England issued the first £1 note to ease a shortage of gold coins in circulation.
On this day in 1881 P&O's SS Ceylon began the world's first round-the-world pleasure cruise from Liverpool.
On this day in 1991 the world's first web browser developed by Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, was presented to the public.
On this day in 1693 'The Ladies' Mercury', the first magazine aimed specifically at women, was published in London.
On this day in 1814 Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No 8 in F major premiered at a concert in the Redoutensaal in Vienna.
On this day in 1932 English physicist James Chadwick announced his discovery of the neutron for which he was later awarded the Nobel Prize.
On this day in 1953 Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.
On this day in 1991 the Gulf War ended after Iraq accepted a ceasefire following their retreat from Kuwait.
On this day in 2013 Pope Benedict XVI resigned citing advanced age as the reason for giving up his post.
On this day in 1692 Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba, a West Indian slave, were the first to be accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.
On this day in 1996 the siege of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital, was lifted after nearly four years.
On this day in 2004 Jean-Bertrand Aristide was removed as President of Haiti in a coup d'etat following the assassination of a gang leader.
On this day in 1854 SS City of Glasgow left Liverpool harbour en route to Philadelphia with approximately 480 passengers and crew; she was never seen again.
On this day in 1896 French physicist Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in one of the most well-known accidental discoveries in the history of physics.
On this day in 1932 aviator Charles Lindbergh's son was kidnapped from the family's home in Hopewell, New Jersey.
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.


Colleges Week, New Homes Week, Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Cornish Pasty Week.

National Invasive Species Week, Jewish Book Week, Peace Corps Week.

Tell a Fairy Tale Day, National Letter To An Elder Day, National Set A Good Example Day, National Pistachio Day, National Personal Chef Day, National Carpe Diem Day, Levi Strauss Day, Play More Cards Day, For Pete’s Sake Day.
Anosmia Awareness Day, National Retro Day, National Polar Bear Day, National Strawberry Day, National Kahlua Day, National Pokemon Day, The Big Breakfast Day, World NGO Day, No Brainer Day, World Spay Day.
National School Governors’ Awareness Day, Global Scouse Day.
National Chocolate Souffle Day, National Tooth Fairy Day, National Floral Design Day, National Public Sleeping Day, National Pink Day, Inconvenience Yourself Day.
Rare Disease Day, National Time Refund Day, National Toast Day, Leap Year Day, Bachelor’s Day, International Underlings Day, Digital Learning Day.
St David’s Day, Overseas NHS Workers Day.
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, Employee Appreciation Day, Self-Injury/Harm Awareness Day SIAD, National Sunkist Citrus Day, National Minnesota Day, National Dress In Blue Day, National Speech And Debate Education Day, National Dadgum That's Good Day, National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day), National Horse Protection Day, National Fruit Compote Day, National Pig Day, International Wheelchair Day, Global Day of Unplugging, Share a Smile Day, National March First Day, National Barista Day, National Welsh Corgi Day, World Compliment Day, Mountain Hare Day, Plan A Solo Vacation Day, National Salesperson Day, National Wedding Planning Day, Refired Not Retired Day.
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