Three of the week's headlines ...
Ofsted says one-word ratings to stay after headteacher's death
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Coursework will deliver less trustworthy grades than exams in age of ChatGPT
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Sunak's maths to 18 plan misguided, says man asked to promote it
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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 ...

Maths to 18. The Prime Minister set out his latest thoughts on maths up to the age of 18 in a keynote speech acknowledging that it could take time to fully implement any changes but stressing that it was important both to individuals and the country to change mindsets about maths.
Childcare. The parents’ organisation Parentkind published the results of its poll undertaken in the wake of the Budget showing that a majority of parents of young children supported the government’s proposals on extending free childcare.
Strategic Plan. The British Academy published its Strategic Plan for 2023 – 2027 focusing on ‘championing the humanities and social sciences and shaping a brighter future’ and supporting research and knowledge exchange generally.

Ofsted reforms. Amanda Spielman, he chief inspector, outlined some initial reforms Ofsted was considering in light of the recent tragic death of Ruth Perry, which would see inspectors returning more quickly following safeguarding concerns, clearer briefing and peer support during inspections and a more responsive complaints system but no change to the single-word grading system to the disappointment of critics.
Industrial action. The ASCL announced that for the first time in its history and ‘with a heavy heart,’ it would hold a ballot for industrial action in England over pay, conditions and staff shortages with any action likely to take place in the autumn term.
Examining Exams. The think tank EDSK looked, in a new report, at the current status of written exams which despite the preponderance of alternative forms of assessment, most notably recently ChatGPT, continue to dominate the assessment system in schools and colleges, arguing that on balance they should remain as suchbut that 16-19 students should be required to undertake project work as well to develop a wider set of skills beyond knowledge recall.

L2 developments. The government issued further guidance for awarding organisations on the detailed approval process for four L2 technical qualifications (construction and the built environment, education and early years, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science,) for use from Sept 2025, with further approval cycles to follow.
Apprenticeship numbers. The Chancellor highlighted a rise in apprenticeship take-up and government commitment in encouraging greater levels of private sector investment in employee training, in a letter to the Chair of the Lords Economic Affairs Committee.
Numeracy skills. The charity National Numeracy published research undertaken last year showing that low maths skills and confidence is holding back UK productivity and social mobility with women particularly hard hit, calling for number confidence, work and gender to be key priorities in the future.

Journey to a Million. UCAS published a further batch of contributions from leading figures looking at options for managing the challenge of a projected major increase in applications to university by 2030 (Journey to a million,) with suggestions including creating more universities in so-called cold-spots, increased advice and guidance, enhanced partnerships both here and abroad, more degree apprenticeships and exploiting the potential of technology – based learning.
Horizon Europe. The minister confirmed that the government was holding ‘productive conversations’ with the EU over UK association with Horizon Europe and collaborative research arrangements generally but that it had positioned the Pioneer programme as an alternative should one be necessary as he rounded off a Westminster Hall debate with MPs on the matter.
International students. IDP reported on its latest global survey on international students intentions showing Canada as the favoured destination with the UK 4th, and with the quality of the education and post-study employment seen as key factors.

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Latest research, reports and studies
Starting strong: Empowering young children in the digital age | OECD
Weaving a green thread of climate change education: Primary and secondary school teachers' current practice | BERA
Jisc shines spotlight on Welsh digital trailblazers to help others on their journey to Digital 2030 | Jisc
Mission 44 Report: Ethnic diversity and the teaching workforce | Teach First
Education that listens to those most affected by climate change | UKFIET
Experimental statistics: Degree attainment by socioeconomic background | HESA
The British Council looks into the Future of English | British Council
The long-term outcomes associated with Key Stage 4 science options | FFT Education Datalab
Q: What's the hidden link between maths and social mobility? A: Women, new research suggests | National Numeracy
Complex realism and educational research | BERA
Russell Group universities - delivering skills for future growth | Russell Group
Examining exams: Are there credible alternatives to written exams? | EDSK
How does school spending per pupil differ across the UK? | IFS
Are MATs getting bigger? | FFT Education Datalab
Retrieval strategies in children with developmental language disorder | Learning Scientists
Revisiting the role of case knowledge in teacher development | BERA
The deployment of science teachers | FFT Education Datalab

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Parliament and elsewhere
Westminster Hall debate on universal infant free school meals (Tuesday 25 April).
Westminster Hall debate on the Office for Students (Wednesday 26 April).
Learning and Work Institute Green Paper Launch: VocTech Challenge 2023 (Wednesday 26 April).
HEPI and Advance HE webinar on ‘Shifting priorities: has the teaching and learning agenda slipped off the sector’s radar?’ (Wednesday 26 April).
Launch of IPPR Commission Report on ‘Healthy Prosperous Lives’ (Thursday 27 April).
IES Annual Conference ‘Shaping a fairer world of work’ (Thursday 27 April).
NAHT Annual Conference (Friday 28 – Saturday 29 April).

Events and CPD opportunities
Tuesday 25 April: Next steps for alternative provision in England | Westminster Forum Projects (online event)
Tuesday 25 April: National Suicide Prevention Conference 2023 | Government Events (online event)
Wednesday 26 April: Next steps for the reform of level 3 qualifications | Westminster Forum Projects (online event)
Wednesday 26 April: Independent Schools SEND Conference 2023 | Inside Government (in-person event)
Wednesday 26 April: The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Conference 2023 | Government Events (online event)
Wednesday 26 April: Utilising School Data to Implement Effective Improvement | Inside Government (online event)
Wednesday 26 April: The Rise of Southeast Asia | The PIE (online event)
Wednesday 26 April: Shifting priorities: has the teaching and learning agenda slipped off the sector’s radar? | HEPI (online event)
Thursday 27 April: Higher Education Governance Conference 2023 | Inside Government (online event)
Thursday 27 April: The Preventing Child Sexual Exploitation Conference | Government Events (online event)
Thursday 27 April: Improving Reading Attainment in Primary & Early Secondary | Nuffield Foundation (in-person event)
Friday 28 April: NAHT Annual conference 2023 | NAHT (in-person event)
Saturday 29 April: researchEd Berkshire | ResearchED (in-person event)

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Three interesting daily facts
On this day in 1957 the Suez Canal reopened after the Suez Crisis.
On this day in 1990 the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into Earth orbit.
On this day in 2005 Joseph Ratzinger was inaugurated as Pope Benedict XVI.

On this day in 1792 the guillotine was first used in France to execute highwayman Nicolas Pelletier.
On this day in 1953 Francis Crick and James Watson's discovery of the double helix structure of DNA was published in "Nature" magazine.
On this day in 1983 the German news magazine, "Stern", announced the discovery of Hitler's diaries.

On this day in 1954 polio vaccine trials began in the United States.
On this day in 1986 the worst nuclear disaster in history occurred in Chernobyl.
On this day in 1994 Germany made Holocaust denial illegal.

On this day in 1667 blind and impoverished, English poet John Milton sold the copyright of "Paradise Lost" for £10.
On this day in 1810 Ludwig van Beethoven composed his famous piano piece "Für Elise".
On this day in 1994 South African citizens of all races were allowed to vote in a general election for the first time.

On this day in 1770 British Captain James Cook, aboard the Endeavour, landed at Botany Bay in Australia.
On this day in 1945 deposed former dictator of Italy, Benito Mussolini, was executed.
On this day in 1969 Charles de Gaulle resigned as President of France.

Awareness days from around the world
Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Stress Awareness Month, National Autism Awareness Month, Child Abuse Awareness Month, Pet Month.
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.

National Stop Snoring Week, Schools Alumni Week, Allergy Awareness Week, MS Awareness Week, Bake For Dementia, World Immunisation Week.
Global Intergenerational Week, Every Kid Healthy Week, Sky Awareness Week, Preservation Week, Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, National Infant Immunization Week.

Drive It Day, Scream Day. 
National Bucket List Day, National Pigs-in-a-blanket Day, Firefly Day.


National DNA Day.
World Malaria Day, Anzac Day, National Hug A Plumber Day, National Zucchini Bread Day, National East Meets West Day, National Telephone Day, National Library Workers Day, National Lingerie Day, World Penguin Day, National Financial Awareness Day. 


Brake Zebra’s Beep Beep Day.
Stop Food Waste Day, Denim Day, National South Dakota Day, National Dissertation Day, National Help A Horse Day, National Library Outreach Day, National Pretzel Day, National Kids And Pets Day, National Richter Scale Day, National Audubon Day, National Administrative Professionals Day, International Guide Dog Day, Get Organized Day, Alien Day, Hug an Australian Day, National Chernobyl Remembrance Day, World Burlesque Day. 


National Gummi Bear Day, National Devil Dog Day, National Teach Children To Save Day, National Prime Rib Day, National Tell A Story Day, National Babe Ruth Day, National Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day, National Poem In Your Pocket Day, Marine Mammal Rescue Day, Thank You Thursday, Morse Code Day, Stop Food Waste Day, Love Your Thighs Day, World Tapir Day.


World Day for Safety & Health at Work, National Historic Marker Day, National Superhero Day, National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, National Bravehearts Day, Workers’ Memorial Day, National Hairball Awareness Day, National Blueberry Pie Day, National Great Poetry Reading Day, National Arbor Day, Biological Clock Day, National Cubicle Day, Global Pay It Forward Day, National Shrimp Scampi Day, Clean Comedy Day, Workers' Memorial Day.
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