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 Mission education. The Labour Party set out its plans for education and skills as part of its fifth great mission for the country, claiming to ‘break down the barriers to opportunity for every child’ through the three stages of improved early learning goals, improved young people’s school outcomes, and expanded training and employment routes over the next ten years. Keegan interview. The House magazine interviewed education secretary Gillian Keegan where she talked about her family, her background, her views on gender guidance (should be age appropriate,) teacher strikes (‘I got them what they wanted in the Autumn Budget,’) and degree apprenticeships (‘I just think it’s a win-win.’) Cultural education. The government confirmed the remit and names of the 22 experts who will advise the government on the creation of a plan to help develop cultural education and opportunities for young people, with the plan due by the end of the year.
SCHOOLS Chief inspector’s address. Amanda Spielman, Ofsted chief inspector looked both back and forward as she gave her final address at the Festival of Education as chief inspector, arguing that changes such as the revised inspection framework and the focus on the curriculum had helped move inspections on for the better but that the role of grading and reports remained an issue for any future inspection system. Industrial action. The House of Commons Library Service reported on the current state of teacher disputes – what the government has offered, what the unions are calling for and the current position on teacher pay – as NEU members staged two more days of strikes. Independent schools. The EDSK think tank followed up its recent report into the effectiveness or otherwise of levelling VAT on private school fees by examining the issue of charitable status, suggesting that while calls to remove it might appear popular, it would be better to make schools that benefit from it demonstrate how they supported local schools and disadvantaged families.
FE/SKILLS Post-16 qualifications. The government published its response to the Education Committee’s report into the future of post-16 qualifications leaving the Committee disappointed that concerns, raised in the report about the defunding of applied general qualifications like BTECs, about the T Level Transition Programme and about post-16 funding generally had not been properly addressed. Tertiary system. The Association of Colleges called for a reformed tertiary system in England with colleges, learning providers and universities working together to deliver a workable apprenticeships system, a statutory right to lifelong learning, and a curriculum for all, aided by improved investment and workforce support. GCSE resits. The Education Endowment Foundation published its commissioned report into post-16 GCSE English and maths resits suggesting that while different learning approaches were often helpful, the biggest issue was a shortage of qualified staff in these key areas.
HE Funding Guide. The Office for Students (OfS) published its Funding Guide for 2023/24 setting out the funding available, how allocations are calculated and the accompanying rules and regulations. LEO Data. The government published LEO data (Longitudinal Education Outcomes) for graduates in 2020/21 at a provider level, indicating that ‘most providers and subjects have seen their graduates’ earnings increase at or above the rate of inflation since 2014/15’ albeit with provider variations evident in subjects such as Computing and Law, and with those in the North East typically seeing lower salaries. STEM and SHAPE. The British Academy launched a new communications campaign to highlight the importance, in terms of research and other activities, of the collaboration between STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths) and SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts, Economy) disciplines.
MONDAY 10 JULY On this day in 1040 Lady Godiva rode naked on horseback to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes. On this day in 1940 the Battle of Britain began as Nazi forces attacked shipping convoys in the English Channel. On this day in 1985 Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior sank when it was bombed by French government operatives in a New Zealand harbour.
TUESDAY 11 JULY On this day in 1533 Pope Clement VII excommunicated England's King Henry VIII over his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. On this day in 1960 Harper Lee's classic and Pulitzer Prize-winning book 'To Kill a Mockingbird' was first published. On this day in 1979 parts of Skylab, America’s first space station, came crashing down on Australia and into the Indian Ocean.
WEDNESDAY 12 JULY On this day in 1389 King Richard II appointed Geoffrey Chaucer to the position of chief clerk of the king’s works. On this day in 1843 Mormon leader Joseph Smith proclaimed that God had commanded him to restore the practice of polygamy. On this day in 1962 the Rolling Stones performed for the first time as a group at the Marquee Club in London.
THURSDAY 13 JULY On this day in 1568 Alexander Nowell, Dean of St Paul's London, perfected a way to bottle beer. On this day in 1832 the source of the Mississippi River was discovered by American geographer Henry Schoolcraft. On this day in 1985 the first Live Aid concert was held to raise money for famine relief in Africa.
FRIDAY 14 JULY On this day in 1789 the French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille Prison in Paris. On this day in 1946 Dr Benjamin Spock's 'Common Sense Book of Baby & Child Care' was published. On this day in 1988 WYHY radio in the USA offered $1 million to anyone who was able to prove that Elvis was still alive.
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: National Transplant Week.
MONDAY 10 JULY WORLDWIDE: Don’t Step on a Bee Day, Chronic Disease Day, Global Energy Independence Day, National Pina Colada Day, National Kitten Day, International Town Criers Day, National Clerihew Day, Teddy Bear Picnic Day, Pick Blueberries Day.
TUESDAY 11 JULY WORLDWIDE: World Population Day, Cow Appreciation Day, World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day, National 7-Eleven Day, National Mojito Day, All American Pet Photo Day, National Blueberry Muffin Day, National Rainier Cherry Day, National Cheer Up The Lonely Day, National Free Slurpee Day, National Swimming Pool Day.
WEDNESDAY 12 JULY UK: National Simplicity Day. WORLDWIDE: Malala Day, Eat Your Jello Day, Paper Bag Day, National Pecan Pie Day, National Different Colored Eyes Day, Etch A Sketch Day, New Conversations Day.
THURSDAY 13 JULY WORLDWIDE: National Barbershop Music Appreciation Day, National Beans 'n Franks Day, National Delaware Day, National French Fry Day, International Rock Day, Beef Tallow Day, Embrace Your Geekness Day.
FRIDAY 14 JULY WORLDWIDE: National Mac And Cheese Day, World Kebab Day, National Nude Day, National Tape Measure Day, Bastille Day, Collector Car Appreciation Day, National Grand Marnier Day, Shark Awareness Day, Pandemonium Day.