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.
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Ukrainian researchers. The Prime Minister announced a package of measures to support Ukrainian science, technology and research including providing for 130 Ukrainian researchers to continue their research in the UK under the ‘Researchers at Risk’ programme, supporting university partnerships with Ukrainian institutions, and prioritising Ukrainian researchers under the Global Talent visa scheme. Spending plans. The House of Commons Library Service published a helpful briefing on the government’s spending plans for 2022/23 which show the spending plans for each dept such as the DfE and for related bodies including Ofqual and Ofsted and which are subject to parliamentary debate next week under the Main Estimates debate procedure. Local councils. The Local Government Association held its Annual Conference highlighting concerns about growing funding pressures and the potential for cuts to vital local services such as social care and early intervention.
Academy trusts. The government followed up proposals in the Schools Bill by announcing a review into the academy trust system and in particular operational standards, intervention thresholds and expansion capacity. Better broadband. The government announced further funding to help extend broadband coverage to rural primary schools as part of its mission for every school in England to have access to high-speed internet by 2025. GCSE grades 2021. FFT Education Datalab reflected further on the issue of why independent school students received higher GCSE grades last year than their state school counterparts, suggesting from the data available, whether as a result of less disrupted teaching or not, that their teacher assessed grades appeared more generous.
Apprenticeship Achievement. Alex Burghart, the skills minister, set a new target of ensuring an achievement rate of 67% on apprenticeship standards by 2025, up 15% on the current rate, in an address to the AELP Annual Conference. Apprenticeship funding. Kathleen Hennehan argued the case for ringfencing apprenticeship levy funding for young people in a blog on the AoC website, noting that the current system tends to favour those already in work or requiring higher-level training leaving many young people left out. T level alternatives. The Association of Colleges (AoC) highlighted issues around the potential loss of a number of alternative qualifications to T levels under the current rationalisation programme, calling on the government to ensure that ‘no successful qualification should be defunded until a better alternative is well established’ and for greater clarity on what will be available in 2026 and where it will leave young people.
Financial health. The Office for Students (OfS) reported on the financial health of HE institutions in England based on latest data and forecasts indicating most providers were in “sound” financial health despite the challenges of recent years but that an overreliance on overseas income, fluctuations in student recruitment and pensions issues, remained among the risks. Annual Report and Accounts. The Office for Students published its detailed Annual Report and Accounts for 2021/22 covering progress made against its five objectives (participation, experience, outcomes, value for money, efficiency and effectiveness,) its future work around regulation and lifelong learning, along with its financial performance and accounts for the year. Marketing messaging. The government issued guidance for higher education providers on how they should best advertise and promote data and information about their institution and its provision, with a review set for early next year on how it’s all working.
Education Questions in the House of Commons. (Monday 4 July.) Education Committee evidence session with the children’s commissioner. (Tuesday 5 July.) Release of initial data on this year’s KS2 results. (Tuesday 5 July.) The Education Secretary addresses the Conservativehome ‘Future Jobs’ Conference. (Tuesday 5 July.) MPs debate education spending. (Wednesday 6 July.) OECD Webinar on ‘How education systems have coped with the second year of the pandemic.’ (Wednesday 6 July.) The 2022 Festival of Education. (Thursday 7 July – Friday 8 July.)
MONDAY 04 JULY On this day in 1054 Chinese astronomers recorded a supernova, visible for almost two years. On this day in 1776 the Continental Congress approved the US Declaration of Independence. On this day in 1826 former US presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died.
TUESDAY 05 JULY On this day in 1948 the NHS was created. On this day in 1954 the BBC broadcast its first daily news bulletin. On this day in 1975 Arthur Ashe became the first black tennis player to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title, defeating Jimmy Connors.
WEDNESDAY 06 JULY On this day in 1885 Louis Pasteur successfully tested his anti-rabies vaccine, saving the life of 9-year-old Joseph Meister. On this day in 1952 trams disappeared from London’s streets after being in use for almost a century. On this day in 1957 John Lennon (16) and Paul McCartnery (15) met for the first time as Lennon’s rock group Quarrymen performed at St. Peter’s, Woolton’s parish church in Liverpool.
THURSDAY 07 JULY On this day in 1865 Mary Surratt was hanged for conspiring to kill President Lincoln. On this day in 1967 Francis Chichester, who in in May had completed his epic single-handed voyage around the world, was knighted by the Queen using Sir Francis Drake’s sword. On this day in 1981 the first solar-powered aircraft, Solar Challenger, crossed the Channel.
FRIDAY 08 JULY On this day in 1497 the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon in search of a sea route to India. On this day in 1884 the first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded, later becoming the NSPCC. On this day in 1892 fingerprints were found at a murder scene in Buenos Aires, leading to the first conviction on fingerprint evidence.
SATURDAY 09 JULY On this day in 1868 Louisiana and South Carolina are the last states to ratify the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing civil rights. On this day in 1971 Henry Kissinger visited the People’s Republic of China to negotiate a détente between the US and China. On this day in 2001 The Office mockumentary created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Marchant, premiered on BBC2.
SUNDAY 10 JULY On this day in 138 the Emperor Hadrian died at Baiae in the Gulf of Naples, aged 62. On this day in 1947 the engagement was announced between Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. On this day in 1962 the world’s first communications satellite, Telstar, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Awareness days from around the world
UK: Talk To Us Month, Plastic Free July, Good Care Month, Picnic Month.
INTERNATIONAL: Global Enterprise Agility Month, Group B Strep Support Awareness Month, Sarcoma Awareness Month, World Watercolor Month, Plastic Free July, Picnic Month, Horseradish Month.
THIS WEEK IS: Great British Pea Week (UK: July 04 to July 10), Children’s Art Week (UK: June 29 to July 19), World Wellbeing Week (International: June 27 to July 01), World Female Ranger Week (International: June 23 to June 30), Love Your Lungs Week (International: June 21 to June 27), Write a Letter Appreciation Week (US: July 01 to July 07), Clean Beaches Week (US: July 01 to July 07).
MONDAY JULY 04 Alice in Wonderland Day (UK), Independence Day (US), Independence From Meat Day (US), Barbecued Spareribs Day (US), Caesar Salad Day (US), Jackfruit Day (US).
TUESDAY JULY 05 Apple Turnover Day (US), Mechanical Pencil Day (US), Graham Cracker Day (US), Bikini Day (US).
WEDNESDAY JULY 06 Tisa B’Av (a Jewish holiday that remembers the destruction of the Jewish temple, once in 56 BCE and once in 70 CE in Jerusalem), Kissing Day (International), Fried Chicken Day (US), Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day (US), Virtually Hug a Virtual Assistant Day (US), Umbrella Cover Day (US).
THURSDAY JULY 07 The Hajj (the name for the annual pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca required for all Muslims at least once: from 07 July to 12 July), World Chocolate Day (International), Global Forgiveness Day (International), Strawberry Sundae Day (US), Tell the Truth Day (US), Macaroni Day (US), Dive Bar Day (US).
FRIDAY JULY 08 World Kebab Day (International), Video Game Day (US), Chocolate with Almonds Day (US), Math 2.0 Day (US), Be a Kid Again Day (US), SCUD Day (US).
SATURDAY JULY 09 Eid al-Adha: A Muslim holiday that marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage (July 09 to July 10), Fashion Day (International), Sugar Cookie Day (US).
SUNDAY JULY 10 Martyrdom of the Bab – The day of the execution of the co-founder of the Baha’i faith, Don’t Step on a Bee Day (International), Kitten Day (US), Teddy Bear Picnic Day (US), Pina Colada Day (US), Pick Blueberries Day (US).