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 Workforce Plan. The government prepared to launch a major 15-year NHS workforce plan that would see a significant increase in training involving more university places and a big rise in apprenticeships including for the first time those for doctors from next year. Creating a scientific superpower. The Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology addressed the Scientific Superpower Conference where she outlined government work in this area including Life Sciences, where she announced a new initiative on brain injuries, Horizon, where negotiations are ‘progressing’ and access to capital generally. Learning at Work. The HR professional body CIPD published its latest report into learning at work indicating that while tackling the skills gap remained a big priority for many, heavy work pressures, and a lack of time, resources and prioritisation made this increasingly difficult.
SCHOOLS School buildings. The National Audit Office (NAO) highlighted the poor state of many school buildings in a new report indicating that 38% of buildings were past their ‘initial design life,’ 700,000 pupils were being taught in buildings that needed major work and that many rebuilding works were falling behind. Careers education. The Commons Education Committee published the results of its Inquiry into the quality of careers education information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) pointing to the important role it plays for young people and society but calling for the government to publish by next year an updated strategy to meet the ‘Gatsby’ benchmarks with (direct funded) support for careers advisers, further work experience and potential rollout in primary schools as part of this. Languages. The British Council published its latest report into Language Trends in schools in England showing Spanish remaining the most popular subject at A level and French at GCSE as well as some positive developments with more primary schools teaching languages and international engagement ‘improving’ but continuing worries over how much time and support is actually being given to languages provision generally.
FE/SKILLS FE funding. The House of Commons Library Service published a useful briefing on FE funding in England, running through the different funding streams along with latest trends and developments and acknowledging that they are ‘in a particularly difficult position at present’. T level learner survey. The government published second year results of a commissioned report into learner choices and experiences in technical education finding a number of positives from initial T level learners and those on the Transition Programme but also some concerns about the Health and Science route and about employer contact generally. Ex offender support. Sodexco, which currently manages a number of UK prisons, announced that it would use £100,000 of its annual apprenticeship levy to support ex-offender training this year as part of its ‘Starting Fresh’ campaign.
HE Student loans. The government published its latest set of forecasts on the costs of student loans, showing that full-time undergraduates who started in 20222/23 are expected to borrow on average over the three years a total of £42,100 with 27% expected to pay it back in full over time. Disabled students. The Office for Students (OfS) announced that following a report from the Commission looking into disabled students, it would be setting up a Disability in Higher Education Panel to hear and take on board the views of disabled students and provide expert advice for them. NSS data. The Office for Students (OfS) confirmed that it intended to publish the results from the 2023 National Students Survey on 10 August.
MONDAY 3 JULY On this day in 1844 the last pair of Great Auks were killed off the coast of Iceland. On this day in 1863 the Battle of Gettysburg ended with a decisive Union victory. On this day in 1962 Algeria gained its independence from France after 132 years of French rule.
TUESDAY 4 JULY On this day in 1892 Western Samoa changed the International Date Line so that year the country experienced 367 days. On this day in 1934 Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard patented the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb. On this day in 2012 the Higgs Boson particle discovery was announced by scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
WEDNESDAY 5 JULY On this day in 1946 Louis Reard's design for a bikini swimsuit debuted at the Paris fashion show. On this day in 1954 the BBC broadcast its first television news bulletin. On this day in 1996 the world's first live cloned mammal Dolly the Sheep was born.
THURSDAY 6 JULY On this day in 1912 King Gustaf V officially opened the fifth Summer Olympics in Stockholm. On this day in 1946 George W Bush, American politician and 43rd President of the United States, was born. On this day in 1964 Malawi gained its independence from Britain.
FRIDAY 7 JULY On this day in 1930 Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish physician, author and creator of the character Sherlock Holmes, died. On this day in 1947 a UFO crashed near Roswell, New Mexico raising speculation that it contained alien life forms. On this day in 2005 coordinated terrorist bomb blasts struck the London transit system during morning rush hour, killing 52 and injuring 700.
Awareness days from around the world
JULY IS UK: Good Care Month, Talk To Us, National Picnic Month, Plastic Free July. WORLDWIDE: Sarcoma Awareness Month, Group B Strep Support (GBSS) Awareness Month, Independent Retailer Month, National Fragile X Awareness Month, National Hemp Month, National Contract Sewing Month, National Anti-boredom Month, National Grilling Month, World Watercolor Month, National Peach Month, National Picnic Month, National Blueberry Month, National Ice Cream Month, National Hot Dog Month, National Horseradish Month, National Culinary Arts Month, National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, National Baked Bean Month, National Anti-Boredom Month, Bank Account Bonus Month.
THIS WEEK IS UK: Youth Employment Week, Alcohol Awareness Week, Great British Pea Week. WORLDWIDE: Clean Beaches Week.
MONDAY 3 JULY UK: National Bereaved Parents Day. WORLDWIDE: International Plastic Bag Free Day, International Drop A Rock Day, National Fried Clam Day, National Chocolate Wafer Day, National Eat Your Beans Day, National Compliment Your Mirror Day, National Stay Out of the Sun Day, Disobedience Day, Air Conditioning Appreciation Day.
TUESDAY 4 JULY WORLDWIDE: National Tom Sawyer Day, Independence Day, Alice In Wonderland Day, National Caesar Salad Day, National Barbecued Spareribs Day, Independence From Meat Day, Jackfruit Day.
WEDNESDAY 5 JULY WORLDWIDE: Research Appreciation Day, National Hawaii Day, National Bikini Day, National Graham Cracker Day, National Apple Turnover Day, National Workaholics Day, Mechanical Pencil Day.
THURSDAY 6 JULY WORLDWIDE: International Kissing Day, National Hand Roll Day, National Fried Chicken Day, Umbrella Cover Day, Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day, Virtually Hug a Virtual Assistant Day.
FRIDAY 7 JULY WORLDWIDE: World Chocolate Day, National Day Of Rock 'n Roll, Global Forgiveness Day, National Dive Bar Day, National Macaroni Day, National Strawberry Sundae Day, National Father Daughter Take A Walk Day, Tell the Truth Day.