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GENERAL Six-month anniversary. The Dept for Science and Innovation marked its six-month anniversary by outlining the progress it has made so far including the launch of the new Science and Technology Framework, and by inviting research institutes, businesses and others to showcase their work at the Dept’s HQ early next year. Economic Outlook. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) published its latest Economic Outlook pointing to ‘low economic growth and stagnant productivity’ coupled with high core inflation and low real wages, all making for a difficult number of years ahead. Labour market. KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation published their latest survey report into the UK jobs market pointing to a continuing slowdown in permanent hiring and an increase in candidate availability as business confidence among firms remained fragile.
SCHOOLS A level 2023. Professor Alan Smithers published his regular annual projections ahead of this year’s A level exam results pointing among other things to a likely fall in top grades, girls continuing to outperform boys, and familiar subject trends, such as a decline in languages, continuing. Exams 2023. English teacher and journalist Kristina Murkett reflected in an article in The Spectator on some of the challenges involved in ‘returning to normal’ for this year’s exam results, acknowledging that there are no quick fixes but that depoliticising exam results would help. Alternative provision. The Centre for Social Justice reported on young people in unregistered alternative provision calling in a new report for ‘a new statutory registration framework’ for unregistered alternative providers, overseen by local authorities, inspected by Ofsted and subject to minimum standards.
FE/SKILLS Project qualifications. Senior policy manager at the AoC Eddie Playfair, blogged about the importance of project qualifications for many young people listing ten reasons, such as helping to develop critical skills and personal development, as to why they can add value. Skills Profile. FE News reported on Mindstone’s new Skills Profile for learning, which charts an individual’s interaction with online content and maps it on to a Skills Profile. Free meals. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) updated the guidance for free meals for eligible 16–19-year-olds incorporating a slight increase to the funding rate.
HE University places. UCAS reported initial figures on university acceptance following the release of exam results in Scotland showing that 72% of young Scottish applicants have gained a place at their first-choice university, up from 69% last year. Student Survey. The Office for Studies (OfS) published the results from its latest National Student Survey pointing to a number of positive responses on teaching (84% said the course was stimulating,) learning (82% agreed their course had helped develop their knowledge and skills,) and wellbeing (75% felt support services were well communicated.) OU pitch. The Open University published commissioned research showing that nearly half of young people surveyed have re-considered going to university in the last year because of the cost-of-living, with many considering distance learning as a viable alternative.
MONDAY 14 AUGUST On this day in 1281 Kublai Khan's fleet of 3,500 vessels disappeared in a typhoon during the second Mongol invasion of Japan. On this day in 1980 17,000 workers went on strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Poland marking the beginning of the Solidarity movement. On this day in 2010 the first Youth Olympics was held in Singapore.
TUESDAY 15 AUGUST On this day in 1620 the Mayflower set sail from Southampton carrying 102 Pilgrims bound for the Americas. On this day in 1947 India gained independence from Great Britain. On this day in 1961 East German authorities begin building the Berlin Wall to permanently close off access to the West.
WEDNESDAY 16 AUGUST On this day in 1743 Jack Broughton the Champion of England titleholder published the earliest boxing code 'Rules of the Ring'. On this day in 1977 music icon and 'King of Rock and Roll' Elvis Presley died in Memphis, Tennessee aged 42. On this day in 1989 a solar flare created a geomagnetic storm that affected micro chips which led to a halt of trading on Toronto's stock market.
THURSDAY 17 AUGUST On this day in 1903 Joe Pulitzer donated $2 million to launch the Columbia University School of Journalism which oversees the Pulitzer Prize. On this day in 1945 Korea was divided into North and South Korea along the 38th parallel. On this day in 1987 Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s former deputy, died in Spandau Prison in Berlin at the age of 93.
FRIDAY 18 AUGUST On this day in 1612 the UK's Pendle witch trials began with 11 people tried and eventually executed for practicing witch craft. On this day in 1868 French astronomer Pierre Janssen discovered helium in the solar spectrum during a much-anticipated total eclipse. On this day in 2008 Belarus weightlifter Andrei Aramnau broke three world records at the Beijing Olympics.
Awareness days from around the world
AUGUST IS UK: National Road Victim Month. WORLDWIDE: Psoriasis Awareness/Psoriasis Action Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Fishing Month, National Dog Month, National Hair Loss Awareness Month, National Wellness Month, MedicAlert Awareness Month, Children’s Eye Health And Safety Month, National Brownies At Brunch Month, Black Business Month, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month, Motorsports Awareness Month, International Peace Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, National Panini Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Sandwich Month, Happiness Happens Month, National Back To School Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Golf Month, National Eye Exam Month, National Catfish Month, National Water Quality Month, Romance Awareness Month, Family Fun Month, National Peach Month, National Inventors Month, National Anti-Frizz Month.
THIS WEEK IS WORLDWIDE: National Balayage Week, National Management Training Week, Elvis Week.
MONDAY 14 AUGUST UK: Falklands Day. WORLDWIDE: National Navajo Code Talkers Day, World Lizard Day, National Creamsicle Day, National Social Security Day, Pakistan Independence Day, National Tattoo Removal Day.
TUESDAY 15 AUGUST UK: Cavernoma Awareness Day. WORLDWIDE: VJ Day, National Leathercraft Day, National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, National Relaxation Day, National Acadian Day, National Check The Chip Day.
WEDNESDAY 16 AUGUST WORLDWIDE: National Airborne Day, National Rum Day, National Roller Coaster Day, National Tell A Joke Day, National Finance Brokers Day, World Bratwurst Day, Surveillance Day, World Calligraphy Day.
THURSDAY 17 AUGUST UK: A-level results day, Cupcake Day. WORLDWIDE: National Hazy Ipa Day, Congressional Startup Day, National Black Cat Appreciation Day, National Massachusetts Day, National Nonprofit Day, National I Love My Feet Day, National Thrift Shop Day, National Vanilla Custard Day.
FRIDAY 18 AUGUST WORLDWIDE: Never Give Up Day, National Pinot Noir Day, National Fajita Day, National Ice Cream Pie Day, National Mail Order Catalog Day, National Couple’s Day, National Bad Poetry Day, Serendipity Day, Men’s Grooming Day.