Three of the week's headlines ...
Student loan debt in England surpasses £200bn for first time
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Six UK schools named on global prize shortlist
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UK university staff only read students' personal statements for two minutes
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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 ...

Chancellor’s speech. The Chancellor highlighted the importance of growth to the UK economy in a presentation to the Centre for Policy Studies, pointing to measures the government was taking to tackle this including the work of Sir Michael Barber on skills reform, a review by the Chief Secretary of public sector productivity, and a review of how to measure productivity better generally.
Education Secretary’s speech. Gillian Keegan also addressed the Centre for Policy Studies Conference where she talked about her journey to becoming education secretary, highlighted the work they were doing to raise standards in education and improve options for young people, and claimed that this was all at risk currently from union action and a wasteful Labour Party.
Economic Outlook. The CBI published its latest Economic Forecast suggesting that the UK economy would grow by 0.4% this year and avoid recession but that the economy ‘will be around 7% smaller at the end of next year compared to pre-Covid trends’.

Ofsted inspections. Ofsted announced a package of reforms to its current school inspection system, drawn up in the light of the recent tragic death of Ruth Perry and including quicker and clearer re-inspections when issues of safeguarding have been raised, de-personalising some of the language around inspection reports and consulting on a more transparent and responsive complaints system.
Sign Language. The government launched consultation on what should go into a new GCSE in British Sign Language (BSL) with a view to making this available for first teaching from September 2025.
KS2 progress measures. FFT Education Datalab looked at options for alternative progress measures for KS2 next year given the fact that KS1 data won’t be available as a baseline s it wasn’t collected under lockdown, suggesting the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile as a possible alternative.

L3 VTQ Results. Ofqual confirmed the procedures in place this year to ensure that all students taking vocational and technical qualifications (VTQ) at L3 get their results on time, highlighting the importance of sticking to information deadlines.
Mergers and inspections. Ofsted examined the impact of college mergers on inspections pointing to the importance of context but concluding that “most colleges either maintained or improved on the grades of their constituent institutions at their first inspection after merging”.
End Point Assessment. The AELP reported on its recent consultation on end point assessment (EPA) with issues about a lack of consistency, availability of slots and poor feedback among the top concerns raised.

UCAS Personal Statement. The HE Policy Institute (HEPI) published a report on the personal statement used in UCAS applications which is currently under review and which researchers indicated from a survey was only briefly read by admissions officers, concluding that adopting a brief question format would be a better alternative.
REF 2028. Research England outlined a number of initial changes as part of the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) intended to help define research excellence more clearly and shift the assessment emphasis away from individuals to ‘broader contributions’ such as the research culture of the institution as a whole.
English studies. The British Academy reported on how English studies were faring in UKHE noting that despite a drop in numbers of first-degree undergraduates and of staff in many parts of the UK, the subject fares well when it comes to employment prospects and in skills valued by employers.
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Latest research, reports and studies
Paying the price? Financial inequalities in the aftermath of the pandemic | COSMO
Teacher crisis: the latest data | Nuffield Foundation
Can attendance data be used to identify pupils on part-time timetables? | FFT Education Datalab
Research interrupted: Reflections on school-based interventions during Covid-19 | BERA
Three takeaways from the evidence on improving teacher recruitment and retention | EEF
Luck is a key factor for working class young people's social mobility | IOE
Six charts that explain the state of the teaching workforce in England | EPI
How do admissions professionals use the UCAS personal statement? | HEPI
How could Key Stage 2 progress measures be calculated in 2024? | FFT Education Datalab
The potential of mobilising interdisciplinary peer-to-peer mentoring between PhD students | BERA
Ethnicity and additional needs in the pandemic: Intersections between ethnicity and additional needs (part 1) | EPI
Reduced engagement in extra-curricular activities post-pandemic: Should we be worried? | COSMO
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Parliament and elsewhere
HEPI Annual Conference (Thursday 22 June).
National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) Annual Conference (Saturday 24 June – Sunday 25 June).
Events and CPD opportunities
Tuesday 20 June: Improving Data Protection and Safeguarding Compliance in Your School | Inside Government (online event)
Wednesday 21 June: Driving an Efficient and Sustainable Trust - Manchester | Optimus Education (in-person event)
Wednesday 21 June: National SEND Conference 2023 | Inside Government (in-person event)
Wednesday 21 June: The National Degree Apprenticeships Conference 2023 | Government Events (online event)
Thursday 22 June: Higher Education Marketing Conference 2023 | Inside Government (in-person event)
Thursday 22 June: HEPI Annual Conference 2023 | HEPI (in-person event)

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Three interesting daily facts
On this day in 1829 Robert Peel introduced the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 into Parliament.
On this day in 1917 Britain’s King George V changed the royal surname to Windsor.
On this day in 2006 the ceremonial first stone of the Global Seed Vault was laid on the remote island of Spitsbergen.

On this day in 1840 Samuel Morse was granted a patent for his dot-dash telegraphy signals known to the world as Morse code.
On this day in 1963 the Red Telephone hotline between the US and Soviet Union was established following the Cuban Missile Crisis.
On this day in 2020 the highest-ever temperature of 38C/100F was recorded in the Arctic circle, in Verkhoyansk, Siberia.

On this day in 1788 the US Constitution came into effect when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.
On this day in 1895 the Kiel Canal connecting the North Sea with the Baltic Sea was opened by German Emperor Wilhelm II.
On this day in 1993 English mathematician Andrew Wiles proved the last theorem of French mathematician Pierre de Fermat after 356 years.

On this day in 1675 the Royal Greenwich Observatory was established in England by King Charles II.
On this day in 1990 Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing point between East and West Berlin, was dismantled.
On this day in 2013 Japan’s Mount Fuji became a UNESCO World Heritage site.

On this day in 1894 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded.
On this day in 1974 the first extraterrestrial message carrying basic information about humanity was sent from earth into space.
On this day in 2013 Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk a high wire across the Grand Canyon.
Awareness days from around the world

SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity) Awareness Month, National Age Without Apology Month, National Candy Month, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month.
National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, National PTSD Awareness Month, National Homeownership Month, National Give A Bunch Of Balloons Month, National Pollinators Month, National DJ Month, National Safety Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, National Soul Food Month, National Papaya Month, National Iced Tea Month, National Great Outdoors Month, National Dairy Month, National Country Cooking Month, National Camping Month, National Fresh Fruit And Vegetables Month, National Adopt A Cat Month, National Accordion Awareness Month, Turkey Lovers Month, National Rose Month, LGBTQIA Pride Month, Fight The Filthy Fly Month, Aquarium Month, Care For Your Grandparents Month, Guitars On The Beach, Audiobook Month, International Mud Month.


Cervical Screening Awareness Week, Learning Disability Week, National School Sport Week, Rose Awareness Week, Love Your Lungs Week.
World Continence Week, Refugee Week, LDN Awareness Week, Animal Rights Awareness Week, National Play Catch Week, National Day Flavor, Universal Father’s Week.


World Martini Day, International Day For The Elimination Of Sexual Violence In Conflict, World Sickle Cell Day, World Sauntering Day, Juneteenth, National Watch Day, National Freebsd Day, National Garfield The Cat Day, Real Food Day, National Take Your Cat to Work Day, International Box Day.


World Refugee Day, Global Car Recycling Day, World Productivity Day, International Nystagmus Awareness Day, National Hike With A Geek Day, National Kouign Amann Day, National Ice Cream Soda Day, National Vanilla Milkshake Day, National American Eagle Day, National Cherry Tart Day.


Reserves Day, National Writing Day, National Ice Cube Day.
Summer Solstice, National Peaches and Cream Day, World Music Day, National Indigenous Peoples Day, Global MND Awareness Day, World Humanist Day, World Hydrography Day, National Smoothie Day, World Peace And Prayer Day, International Day Of Yoga, World Giraffe Day, National Arizona Day, National Seashell Day, National Day Of The Gong, National Selfie Day, Go Skateboarding Day, National Daylight Appreciation Day, Anne and Samantha Day, National Peaches ’n Cream Day, World Motorcycle Day.


National Windrush Day.
Rare Chromosome Awareness Day, National Kissing Day, World Rainforest Day, National Hvac Tech Day, National Onion Ring Day, National Chocolate Eclair Day, B Kinder Day, Positive Media Day.


Public Service Day, International Passwordless Day.
Bring Your Dog To Work Day, International Widows Day, International Women In Engineering Day, National Detroit-style Pizza Day, United Nations Public Service Day, National Take Your Dog To Work Day, National Hydration Day, National Pecan Sandies Day, National Pink Day, National Porridge Day, National Let It Go Day, National Typewriter Day.
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