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.
We've chosen three items from each phase to include below for starters ...
Digital strategy. The government heralded London Tech Week by launching a new UK Digital Strategy, bringing together current policies and developments into ‘one unified roadmap’ with the creation of a new Digital Skills Council and a set of ‘ambitions’ across six areas including infrastructure, financing, skills and IP. Loneliness. The government published new research as part of Loneliness Awareness Week showing that 16-34 yr olds, those with disabilities and LGBTQ communities along with those suffering from mental health tended to be more at risk of chronic loneliness, promising in response renewed cross-government efforts and a new delivery plan by early next year. Education Commission. The Times Education Commission published the final report from its year-long Inquiry into the education system in Britain, highlighting a number of ‘flaws’ in the system and setting out a 12-point plan to ‘transform’ things.
School Trusts. The Education Secretary addressed the Confederation of School Trusts Annual Conference where he highlighted the importance of Academy Trusts and set out to allay fears that the latest Schools Bill would impose further burdens or restrictions on them. Missing children. The Children’s Commissioner for England published a new report into children missing from school, building on evidence gathered through last year’s Big Ask and this year’s Attendance Audit, setting out six priorities including making attendance everyone’s business and establishing a ‘Back to School’ portal, to help ensure children return in Sept. Admissions Appeals. The government confirmed following consultation that it would move forward on proposals to make some amendments to admissions law that would allow appeals to be held remotely and, where necessary, with a panel of two.
Funding adult education. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IfS) with support from the Nuffield Foundation examined adult education funding as part of the build-up to the government’s Lifelong Loan Entitlement, concluding that this will make only limited difference and that current funding commitments will see funding returned to 2015 levels only. Improving access to apprenticeships. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) examined access to apprenticeships particularly for young people around L2 and 3, pointing to ‘a myriad of barriers,’ including English and maths requirements, wage levels, careers support and relevant work experience, calling for better promotion and financial incentives. New strategic partnership. The Collab Group and Chartered Institute for FE announced a new strategic alliance that will see them work together on such areas as talent management and professional development as well as create a powerful combined voice for the sector.
Committee concerns. The Public Accounts Committee raised a number of concerns about future financing and oversight of higher education in its latest Inquiry report, calling on the Office for Students to report back in the coming months on actions taken over sector performance, financing and student satisfaction. Loan cap. The government moved to cap loan interest rates for current graduates at 7.3% rather than the higher 12% anticipated RPI rate, with the rate capped for those starting in 2023, as the cost of living continued to bite. Admissions 2022. Clare Marchant, chief executive of UCAS, outlined some important context for this year’s admissions cycle in a blog on the HEPI website, listing in particular five key current factors including what’s likely to be a competitive year with applicants expected to take full advantage of the choices on offer.
MONDAY 20 JUNE On this day in 1248 Oxford University gained its royal charter. On this day in 1791 King Louis XVI was captured attempting to flee from revolutionary Paris. On this day in 1984 it was announced that O-Levels would be replaced by the GCSE ecam.
TUESDAY 21 JUNE On this day in 1675 the foundation stone of the new St Paul’s Cathedral was laid. On this day in 1937 lawn tennis at Wimbledon was televised for the first time. On this day in 2005 Klu Klux Klan member Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of having murdered three civil rights workers in Mississippi on this day in 1964.
WEDNESDAY 22 JUNE On this day in 1633 the Inquisition forced Galileo Galilei to den his belief that the sun was the centre of the Universe. On this day in 1940 France and Germany signed an armistice. On this day in 1990 Checkpoint Charlie closed.
THURSDAY 23 JUNE On this day in 1626 a religious treatise found in the stomach of a fish was delivered to the University of Cambridge and eventually printed under the title Vox Piscis. On this day in 1757 British troops under Robert Clive defeated the Nawab of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey. On this day in 1956 Gamal Abdel Nasser was elected president of Egypt.
FRIDAY 24 JUNE On this day in 1314 Robert Bruce’s forces defeated the English under King Edward II at Bannockburn. On this day in 1717 the Grand Lodge of English Freemasons was formed. On this day in 1971 the Mersey Tunnel was opened by the Queen, who named it Kingsway in honour of her father, King George VI.
SATURDAY 25 JUNE On this day in 1876 General George Custer made his Last Stand as the 7th Cavalry were defeated by Sioux and Cheyenne warriors at Little Bighorn River, Montana, US. On this day in 1925 a prototype car telephone was exhibited in Germany. On this day in 1950 North Korean forces invaded South Korea.
SUNDAY 26 JUNE On this day in 1483 Richard III became King of England. On this day in 1857 the first Victoria Crosses were awarded in Hyde Park, London. On this day in 1906 the first motor racing grand prix took place at Le Mans, France.
Awareness days from around the world
UK Smile Month, Step Up for 30 for Bowel Cancer, SANDS (Stillbirth and neonatal death) Awareness Month, National Candy Month, My Marathon, Age Without Apology Month.
INTERNATIONAL: Pride Month, Tourettes Awareness Month, Care for Your Grandparents Month, International Mud Month, Audiobook Month.
US: Guitars On The Beach Month, PTSD Awareness Month, Candy Month, Soul Food Month, Great Outdoors Month, Country Cooking Month, Dairy Month, Camping Month, Iced Tea Month.
THIS WEEK IS: National School Sport Week (UK) Children’s Hospice Week (UK), Rose Awareness Week (UK), March For Men Week (UK), Love Your Lungs Week (UK), Glad To Care Awareness Week (UK), English Wine Week (UK), Drowning Prevention Week (UK), Learning Disability Week (UK), Cervical Screening Awareness Week (UK), Diabetes Awareness Week (UK), Refugee Week (International), Men’s Health Week (International), Picnic Week (International), World Continence Week (International), World Female Ranger Week (International: Thursday 23 to Thursday 30 June).
MONDAY JUNE 20 World Refugee Day (International), World Productivity Day (International), American Eagle Day (US), Ice Cream Soda Day (US), Vanilla Milkshake Day (US), Kouign Amann Day (US).
TUESDAY JUNE 21 Daylight Appreciation Day (UK), Yoga Day (International), World Giraffe Day (International), World Humanist Day (International), World Music Day (International), World Motorcycle Day (International), Global MND Awareness Day (International), Go Skateboarding Day (US), Canada’s National Indigenous Peoples Day (US), Smoothie Day (US), Selfie Day (US), Peaches ‘N’ Cream Day (US), Make Music Day (US), Cherry Tart Day (US).
WEDNESDAY JUNE 22 World Rainforest Day (International), Kissing Day (US), B Kinder Day (US), Onion Ring Day (US), Chocolate Éclair Day (US), Positive Media Day (US).
THURSDAY JUNE 23 Porridge Day (UK), Public Service Day (UK), National Writing Day (UK), Women in Engineering Day (International), Widows Day (International), Typewriter Day (US), Let it Go Day (US), Public Service Day (US).
FRIDAY JUNE 24 Litha (Pagan and Wiccan festival to celebrate midsummer), Feast of the Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic feast day(, Fairy Day (International), Take Your Dog to Work Day (US), Swim a Lap Day (US), Upcycling Day (US), Pralines Day (US).
SATURDAY JUNE 25 UK Armed Forces Day (UK), Beatles Day (International), Day of the Seafarer (International), World Sand Dune Day (International), Goats Cheese Day (US), Strawberry Parfait Day (US), Colour TV Day (US), Leon Day (US), Catfish Day (US).
SUNDAY JUNE 26 Cream Tea Day (US), Chocolate Pudding Day (UK), International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (International), United National International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (International), World Refrigeration Day (International), Beauticians Day (US), Log Cabin Day (US).