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 Student mobility. The House of Lords European Affairs Committee highlighted problems faced by school and student groups seeking to move freely between the UK and EU post-Brexit, calling in a new report for a reciprocal student exchange element under the Turing scheme and a youth travel scheme for school parties along with improved youth mobility programmes to support cultural exchange and opportunities in the future. Employment Support. The Institute for Employment Studies published initial themes emerging from the nearly 250 pieces of evidence submitted to its Commission on the Future of Employment Support, with clearer guidance, more joined up thinking, new entitlements, and local skills provision and career support among the views expressed. Work absences. PwC reported on long-term sickness in the workforce, pointing to mental health and concerns about the cost-of-living crisis as key factors with increasing numbers of employers putting in support measures to help workers especially those with complex needs.
SCHOOLS Examining the examiners. Ofqual published the results of its survey of examiners last year report showing most examiners having at least ten years’ experience in examining, confident in their abilities to examine and keen to carry on not least because it can help with preparing students with their own exams where need be. Sowing the seeds. The government outlined the resources and teaching materials being offered to schools as part of the coronation including working with the Eden Project to provide wildflower seeds to primary schools as part of the King’s commitment to the environment. Children’s physical activity. The Early Years Alliance published research from the University of Bristol showing that children’s physical activity had returned to pre-pandemic levels but that equally many children were still not getting enough physical activity each week.
FE/SKILLS Energy costs. The Association of Colleges (AoC) announced it was working with energy consultants Inenco to support colleges in managing their energy costs and help the sector with energy issues generally. Coronation apprenticeships. The government announced that to mark the King’s Coronation six green apprenticeships, selected for their contribution to green skills and including a L2 Countryside Worker and L7 Sustainability Business Specialist, had been bestowed with the Coronation emblem. Technology centre. Dyson announced it was planning to open a new R/D hub as part of a new Technology Centre in Bristol and would be looking to create ‘hundreds of jobs in software and AI’ as a result.
HE Tuition fees. Sir Keir Starmer acknowledged that while the current tuition fee system was unfair, his previous pledge to scrap them altogether was now ‘unlikely’ to happen and instead the Party was reviewing other options. Taking the pulse. The HE Policy Institute (HEPI) published the results of its recent (April 2023) political polling of UK undergraduates finding the majority registered and expecting to vote in the next general election with nearly half likely to support Labour but with mixed views on what to do about tuition fees. More student views. The Student Room published the latest round-up of student views covering hopes for the future (improvements to climate change and the cost-of-living), student finances (need more info), and 2023 applications (most had received offers).
SATs week (Tuesday 09 May – Friday 12 May). Education Committee evidence session on support for childcare and the early years (Tuesday 09 May). Westminster Hall debate on centre assessed grades (Wednesday 10 May).
MONDAY 8 MAY On this day in 1886 Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta sold the first glass of Coca-Cola. On this day in 1945 World War II ended in Europe after Germany signed an unconditional surrender. On this day in 1980 the World Health Organization announced the eradication of smallpox.
TUESDAY 9 MAY On this day in 1914 US President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Mother’s Day holiday. On this day in 1941 British intelligence at Bletchley Park broke German spy codes after capturing Enigma machines. On this day in 1960 the United States became the first country to legalize the birth control pill.
WEDNESDAY 10 MAY On this day in 1869 the first coast-to-coast railroad in the United States was completed. On this day in 1941 Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, flew to Scotland to broker a peace agreement. On this day in 1994 Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa's first Black president.
THURSDAY 11 MAY On this day in 868 the earliest surviving dated printed book, the “Diamond Sutra”, was produced in China. On this day in 1812 the Waltz was introduced into English ballrooms with some observers branding it 'disgusting and immoral'. On this day in 1981 Reggae star Bob Marley died in Florida aged 36.
FRIDAY 12 MAY On this day in 1789 William Wilberforce made his first major speech on abolition in the UK House of Commons. On this day in 1932 the body of the kidnapped Lindbergh baby was found less than a mile from the family home. On this day in 1982 a Spanish priest attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II.
Awareness days from around the world
MAY IS UK: Local And Community History Month, National Share A Story Month, National Walking Month, Make May Purple / Action On Stroke Month. WORLDWIDE: National Clean Air Month, National Teen Self Esteem Month, Zombie Awareness Month, May Measure Month, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Maternal Mental Health Month, National Barbecue Month, National Bike Month, National Hamburger Month, National Get Caught Reading Month, National Photography Month, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month, National Military Appreciation Month, Golf Month, Better Speech and Language Month, National Deck Safety Month, Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month, Lupus Awareness Month, National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month.
THIS WEEK IS UK: Dying Matters Week, Food Allergy Awareness Week, Coeliac UK’s Awareness Week, ME Awareness Week, Foster Care Fortnight. WORLDWIDE: Go Public Gardens Days, Red Cross Week / Bucket Shake, American Craft Beer Week.
MONDAY 8 MAY UK: World Donkey Day. WORLDWIDE: World Red Cross Day / Red Crescent Day, National Amyloidosis Day, World Ovarian Cancer Day, International Thalassaemia Day, Time Of Remembrance And Reconciliation, National Student Nurse Day, National Women’s Checkup Day, National Have A Coke Day, National Coconut Cream Pie Day, Iris Day, Golf Day, Free Trade Day, No Socks Day.
TUESDAY 9 MAY WORLDWIDE: National Lost Sock Day, Europe Day, National Home Front Heroes Day, National Alphabet Magnet Day, National Sleepover Day, National Butterscotch Brownie Day, National Moscato Day, National Teacher Day.
WEDNESDAY 10 MAY WORLDWIDE: World Lupus Day, National Washington Day, National Clean Up Your Room Day, National Lipid Day, National Third Shift Workers Day, National Shrimp Day, National School Nurse Day, National Receptionists Day, World Facilities Management Day, Mother Ocean Day, Stay Up All Night Night, One Day Without Shoes Day, National Root Canal Appreciation Day, Donate A Day’s Wages To Charity Day.
THURSDAY 11 MAY UK: Somerset Day. WORLDWIDE: National Twilight Zone Day, Eat What You Want Day, World Ego Awareness Day, National Foam Rolling Day, National Technology Day.
FRIDAY 12 MAY UK: National Limerick Day, World Topiary Day. WORLDWIDE: ME Awareness Day, World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, International Nurses Day, National Sapphire Segulah Day, International ME / CFS Awareness Day, National Nutty Fudge Day, National Odometer Day, National Military Spouse Appreciation Day, National Provider Appreciation Day, Shades Day, National Public Gardens Day, Fintastic Friday.