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 ...
GENERAL World Economic Outlook. The IMF issued its latest World Economic Outlook’ pointing to things remaining tight with projections on growth and inflation hardly improving and the UK set to see contraction this year and only slight growth (1%) next year. The Jobs market. KPMG and REC published their latest report on the UK jobs market pointing to ‘a relative improvement’ in hiring conditions and starting pay albeit with a fall in permanent placements against a sharp rise in temporary ones. Early Years. TheirWorld and partners called, in the words of Sarah Brown their Chair, for a revolution in early years provision as it launched a major ‘Act for Early Years’ national and international campaign encompassing access to affordable childcare, a trained workforce and global investment kickstarted by an internal Financing Summit set for 2025.
SCHOOLS A teacher’s life. The government published the initial findings from its inaugural commissioned report into the working lives of teachers and leaders, conducted last spring and covering such features as workloads (51.9 hrs a week,) pupil behaviour (good according to 62%,) job satisfaction (58% content) and pay (61% dissatisfied.) Strike action. The House of Commons Library Service published an updated briefing on the current position around teacher union strikes, listing the main demands, the position in other parts of the UK and the next planned strike days. Free school meals. The Education Endowment Foundation invited proposers to submit bids to lead an evaluation of the impact on pupil attainment of the London Mayor’s universal free school meals initiative, with submissions of interest to be in by 28 April 2023.
FE/SKILLS Construction industry. The CITB announced the launch of its new Industry Impact Fund which will support employers in developing ‘innovative training and skills solutions’ to issues like productivity, inclusion and equality.
HE Degree apprenticeships. The Times Higher reported on degree apprenticeships, the challenges involved particularly in matching quality and expectations, and how some universities have gone about developing their programmes. Cost-of-living. Jo Richards Insight Lead at UCAS reflected in a blog on the HEPI site about what impact the cost-of-living was having as applicants considered their university options, suggesting that it was a mixed picture with some deferring entry so that they could earn some income before starting, others looking carefully at course costs and options but with many generally continuing to prize the university experience. Funding seminar. Wonkhe provided a useful summary of the Policy Exchange event this week on university funding which was chaired by Sir Philip Augar and which took in such issues as a graduate tax, the value of the current fees, maintenance loans and caps and subsidies.
Education Questions in the House of Commons (Monday 17 April). Education Policy Institute and OECD event to launch the OECD report on ‘Empowering Young Children in the Digital Age’ (Monday 17 April). Education Committee evidence session on childcare and the early years (Tuesday 18 April). Westminster Hall debate on R/D funding and Horizon Europe (Tuesday 18 April). Wonkhe online event: ‘HE and the AI revolution’ (Wednesday 19 April). Edge online event: ‘What is the future role of universities?’ (Wednesday 19 April).
MONDAY 17 APRIL On this day in 1387 Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" characters began their pilgrimage to Canterbury. On this day in 1970 Apollo 13 safely returned to Earth after suffering a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon. On this day in 1986 the world's longest war between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ended without a single shot having been fired.
TUESDAY 18 APRIL On this day in 1506 construction began on the current St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. On this day in 1906 a massive earthquake destroyed over 80% percent of San Francisco and killed thousands. On this day in 1924 the first crossword puzzle book was published by Simon & Schuster.
WEDNESDAY 19 APRIL On this day in 1770 British explorer Captain James Cook first sighted Australia. On this day in 1909 Joan of Arc received beatification by the Roman Catholic Church. On this day in 1971 the Soviet Union launched the world's first manned space station, Salyut 1.
THURSDAY 20 APRIL On this day in 1841 the first detective story, Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" was published. On this day in 1902 Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element radium. On this day in 1978 Soviet air defence shot down a Korean Airlines jet after it mistakenly ventured into Soviet airspace at the height of the Cold War.
FRIDAY 21 APRIL On this day in 753 BC according to legend, Romulus and his twin brother Remus founded Rome. On this day in 1918 World War I German fighter pilot Baron Manfred von Richthofen known as "The Red Baron" was shot down and killed over France. On this day in 1989 thousands crowded into Beijing's Tiananmen Square cheering students demanding greater political freedom.
Awareness days from around the world
APRIL IS: UK: Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Stress Awareness Month, National Autism Awareness Month, Child Abuse Awareness Month, Pet Month. WORLDWIDE: Move More Month, Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, International Cesarean Awareness Month, IBS Awareness Month, Active for April, National Pet Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Autism Acceptance Month, Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Cancer Control Month, Celebrate Diversity Month, Child Abuse Awareness Month, Counseling Awareness Month, Defeat Diabetes Month, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Earth Month, Emotional Overeating Awareness Month, Fair Housing Month, Financial Literacy Month, Genocide Awareness Month, National Adopt a Greyhound Month, National African-American Women's Fitness Month, National Alcohol Awareness Month, National Car Care Month, National Deaf History Month, National Donate Life Month, National Foot Health Awareness Month, National Heartworm Awareness Month, National Internship Awareness Month, National Minority Health Month, National Multiple Birth Awareness Month, National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, National Rebuilding Month, National Safe Digging Month, National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, National Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Education and Awareness Month, National Sjogren's Syndrome Awareness Month, National Volunteer Month, National Youth Sports Safety Month, Occupational Therapy Month, Pharmacists War on Diabetes Month, Poetic Earth Month, Primary Immunodeficiency Awareness Month, Rosacea Awareness Month, Sarcoidosis Awareness Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, Step up for 30 For Bowel Cancer Month, STI Awareness Month, Stress Awareness Month, SunSmart Skin Cancer Prevention, Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, Workplace Conflict Awareness Month, Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month, National Sexual Assault Awareness Month's Day of Action, Limb Loss And Limb Difference Awareness Month, National Afternoon Tea Month, Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, National Brunch Month, National Tar Syndrome Awareness Month, Sarcoidosis Awareness Month, National Financial Literacy Month, National Alcohol Awareness Month, English Language Month, National Month Of Hope, National Volunteer Month, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, National Landscape Architecture Month, Scottish-American Heritage Month, Canine Fitness Month, Occupational Therapy Month, National Internship Awareness Month, Month Of The Military Child, National Donate Life Awareness Month, National Fair Housing Month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, National Cannabis Awareness Month, National Safe Digging Month, National Welding Month, National Pecan Month, National Poetry Month, Straw Hat Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Jazz Appreciation Month, National Inventor’s Month, National Humor Month, National Garden Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Decorating Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Stress Awareness Month, Records And Information Management Month, Lawn And Garden Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, International Guitar Month.
THIS WEEK IS: UK: National Feet Week. WORLDWIDE: International Dark-Sky Week, Coin Week, National Pet ID Week, Neurodiagnostic Week.
MONDAY 17 APRIL UK: Malbec Day. WORLDWIDE: World Haemophilia Day, Nothing Like A Dame Day, National Cheeseball Day, International Bat Appreciation Day, Blah Blah Blah Day, International Haiku Poetry Day, National Ford Mustang Day, National Crawfish Day, National Ellis Island Family History Day.
TUESDAY 18 APRIL WORLDWIDE: Pet Owners Independence Day, World Heritage Day, National Columnists’ Day, National Lineman Appreciation Day, National Piñata Day, International Amateur Radio Day, National Animal Crackers Day.
WEDNESDAY 19 APRIL UK: National Early Years Teacher Day. WORLDWIDE: National Banana Day, National Hanging Out Day, Bicycle Day, National Garlic Day, National Amaretto Day, Poetry And The Creative Mind Day, National Rice Ball Day, National North Dakota Day, National Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day.
THURSDAY 20 APRIL WORLDWIDE: National Cheddar Fries Day, College Student Grief Awareness Day, National Auctioneers Day, National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day, National High Five Day, Volunteer Recognition Day, Chinese Language Day, 420 Day, National Lima Bean Respect Day, National Look Alike Day, Get to Know Your Customers Day.
FRIDAY 21 APRIL UK: Pyjamas For PanCan Day, National Tea Day. WORLDWIDE: National Rendering Day, National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day, National Yellow Bat Day, National Chocolate-covered Cashews Day, National Kindergarten Day.