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 Eurovision reception. The Prime Minister praised Liverpool as host city for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest at an eve of event reception at Number 10, and went on to present Points of Light Awards to two Liverpool children’s authors for their work in developing learning resources to help children read and develop creative skills. EWF speech. The education secretary addressed the Education World Forum (EWF) where she highlighted the importance of international collaboration in education, citing in particular student exchanges, and called in addition for a global effort to face the challenges of AI and to exploit its benefits especially for teachers and learners. Early years. Claire Coutinho, the children’s minister, confirmed in a witness session with the Education Committee that the government would consult with the early years sector before expanding the 30-hours offer.
SCHOOLS Exams 2023. Ofqual continued its build-up to this summer’s exams, many of which begin in earnest from next week, by publishing an open letter reminding schools, colleges and pupils of the arrangements for this year including the extra support available, grading procedures and results day expectations. Resilience arrangements. The government and Ofqual launched consultation on procedures for any future major cancellation of exams and assessments, proposing that schools and colleges be issued where necessary with guidance on collecting evidence of student performance for qualifications such as GCSEs AS and A levels and that awarding bodies issue similar guidance for those taking technical and vocational qualifications. School costs. The Child Poverty Action Group and partners reported on the growing burden of costs facing families when it comes to ‘fully participating’ in school life with homework resources, sports, uniform and trips among other things all adding up to a weekly total of £18.69 for primary age children and £39 for secondary age children.
FE/SKILLS Digital Skills. Ofqual reported on progress around the development of Essential Digital Skills qualifications with eight organisations so far having now completed Ofqual’s technical evaluation process for respective qualifications. New partnership. The 5% Club and the Brathay Trust announced a new partnership to work with and support young people as they move into work, including notably those on earn and learn schemes. Committee report. The Edge organisation published its response to the Education Committee’s recent report into post-16 qualifications adding its support to the Committee’s recommendation to pause the planned defunding of some applied general qualifications such as BTECs, supporting the Committee’s stance on more apprenticeships for young people and underlining its own interest in examining the potential for a Bacc model in England.
HE Free speech tsar. The Telegraph led media reports that Arif Ahmed, a philosophy professor at Cambridge, had been selected to head the new role of monitoring and reporting on free speech in universities in England and Wales. Tuition fees. The consultancy, Public First, announced that it was working with four universities (Greenwich, Manchester, Warwick, York) to undertake a major public opinion survey into possible options for reforms for student finance, with a final report set for this autumn in time for the Party Conference season. The LLE. HEPI and the OU published a new briefing on the Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE) arguing that it had the potential of becoming an important mechanism in helping raise lifelong learning and skills but that currently it fell short by excluding groups such as distance learners and by limiting options for p/t learners, calling for a number of changes to be made before going live in 2025.
Education Committee witness sessions on ‘Persistent absence and support for disadvantaged pupils’ (Tuesday 16 May). Schools and Academies Show (Wednesday 17 May). National Numeracy Day (Wednesday 17 May). British Chambers of Commerce Global Annual Conference (Wednesday 17 May). IFS Annual Lecture: ‘Does working from home have a future?’ (Thursday 18 May).
MONDAY 15 MAY On this day in 1618 German astronomer, Johannes Kepler, discovered his "Harmonics law", the third of his three planetary laws. On this day in 1718 James Puckle, a London lawyer, patented the world's first machine gun. On this day in 1928 Mickey Mouse made his first ever appearance in the silent film "Plane Crazy".
TUESDAY 16 MAY On this day in 1920 Joan of Arc was canonised as a saint by Pope Benedict XV. On this day in 1929 the first Academy Awards ceremony was held at a dinner party in Hollywood, California. On this day in 2013 human embryonic stem cells were successfully made using cloning techniques.
WEDNESDAY 17 MAY On this day in 1792 the New York Stock Exchange was formed at 70 Wall Street. On this day in 1961 Fidel Castro offered to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers. On this day in 1990 the World Health Organization took homosexuality out of its list of mental illnesses.
THURSDAY 18 MAY On this day in 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of France by the French Senate. On this day in 1980 Mount St Helens erupted in Washington state, causing the largest landslide in history. On this day in 2012 Facebook raised $16 billion in the largest tech IPO in US history.
FRIDAY 19 MAY On this day in 1536 Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, was beheaded at the Tower of London. On this day in 1743 Jean-Pierre Christin invented the Celsius thermometer. On this day in 1962 Marilyn Monroe performed her famous rendition of Happy Birthday at a party for US President, John F Kennedy.
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, National Smile 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, Tourettes Awareness Month.
THIS WEEK IS UK: National Weaning Week, Water Saving Week, Mental Health Awareness Week, Coeliac UK’s Awareness Week, National Vegetarian Week, Foster Care Fortnight, Walk To School Week, Dementia Action / Awareness Week, National Stationery Week, Action For Brain Injury Awareness Week, Learning At Work Week. WORLDWIDE: World Salt Awareness Week, National PEO Week, National EMS Week, National Public Works Week, National Police Week.
MONDAY 15 MAY WORLDWIDE: Peace Officers Memorial Day, Bring Flowers To Someone Day, International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day, International Day Of Families, National Nylon Stocking Day, National Chocolate Chip Day, National Straw Hat Day, International Vascular Birthmarks Awareness Day.
TUESDAY 16 MAY WORLDWIDE: National Classic Movie Day, National Check Your Wipers Day, International Day Of Living Together In Peace, International Day Of Light, National Mimosa Day, National Barbecue Day, National Do Something Good For Your Neighbor Day, Honor Our LGBT Elders Day, National Piercing Day, National Coquilles Saint Jacques Day, National Biographer’s Day, National Sea Monkey Day, National Love A Tree Day, Drawing Day, National Waiters Day, Horse Rescue Day.
WEDNESDAY 17 MAY UK: Idling Awareness Day. WORLDWIDE: World Hypertension Day, World Telecommunication And Information Society Day, National Idaho Day, National Graduation Tassel Day, Emergency Medical Services For Children Day, National Walnut Day, National Cherry Cobbler Day, National Pack Rat Day, World Stationery Day, National Work From Home Day, National Pinot Grigio Day, National Numeracy Day, World Baking Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, World Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day.
THURSDAY 18 MAY WORLDWIDE: World AIDS Vaccine Day, International Museums Day, National Cheese Souffle Day, National No Dirty Dishes Day, National Visit Your Relatives Day, National Notebook Day, Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
FRIDAY 19 MAY WORLDWIDE: Hepatitis Testing Day, National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV / AIDS Awareness Day, NASCAR Day, National Pizza Party Day, National Bike To Work Day, National Devil’s Food Cake Day, National May Ray Day, National Defense Transportation Day, National Endangered Species Day, International Virtual Assistants Day.