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GENERAL Cabinet changes. The PM confirmed James Cleverly as the new Education Secretary following a series of resignations that saw both Nadhim Zahawi and Michelle Donelan relinquish the post. Starmer speech. Sir Keir Starmer listed mutual recognition of professional qualifications/ restoring access to funding/vital research programmes as one of five measures to ‘Get Brexit Working’ in speech to the Centre for European Reform, intended as part of a new campaign of economic policy announcements from the Opposition. Education spending. MPs discussed education spending and priorities as part of the Estimates Day procedure with the interim Education Secretary laying out the proposed spending for the dept up to next March and members variously supporting school absence, disadvantage, catch-up, mental health and skills as particular priorities.
SCHOOLS Teacher shortages. The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) published the results of a survey showing growing concerns about teacher shortages with 95% of respondents reporting difficulties in recruitment and 65% facing difficulties with teacher retention. KS2 test results. The government published headline data for this year’s KS2 national assessments, the first since 2019 showing that 59% of Yr 6 pupils had reached the expected standard in reading, writing and maths. Exam results 2022. Ofqual set out the context for this summer’s exam results in a blog listing 10 points explaining how grades are being set this year and what the implications are likely to be.
FE/SKILLS Meeting local needs. The government published the latest statutory guidance for college governing bodies on what’s required in reviewing provision to meet local needs, listing a range of principles covering timing, collaboration, evidence, and expected actions. Zahawi on Future Jobs. Nadhim Zahawi, in his final speech as Education Secretary, argued the case for T levels, future skills mapping, and skills recruitment as he addressed the Conservative Home Future Jobs Conference, citing from his own experience the importance that he and the government were currently placing on the skills agenda. Vocational Qualifications. Ofqual published a new commissioned report into perceptions of vocational-technical qualifications in England looking at views from both during the pandemic and longer-term trends, with employer awareness of the overall qualification system a continuing issue but with providers and learners more aware and valuing the provision generally.
HIGHER EDUCATION Grade inflation. Universities UK and Guild HE announced that following the return of pre-pandemic grading for A levels and GCSEs this year, they would commit to returning to pre-pandemic levels of firsts and 2:1s for undergraduate degrees by 2023, as well as continue pre-pandemic work reviewing degree classification levels, aiming to publish a progress update in January 2023. Turing scheme. The government confirmed the numbers of students expected to benefit from this year’s Turing (international exchange) scheme, pointing in particular to an increase in those included from disadvantaged backgrounds. National Student Survey. The Office for Students (OfS) published details from this year’s National Student Survey suggesting that things are picking up after the pandemic with positive ratings on access to resources and course management but concerns about teaching quality in some courses notably medicine and the sciences.
Education Committee evidence session on post-16 qualifications (Tuesday 12 July). Westminster Hall debate on eligibility for free school meals (Tuesday 12 July). Westminster Hall debate on careers guidance in schools (Wednesday 13 July). Latest data from UCAS on undergraduate applicants (Thursday 14 July). Publication of Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) Annual Report into Living Standards, Poverty and Inequality (Thursday 14 July).
MONDAY 11 JULY On this day in 1877 Kate Edger became New Zealand’s first woman graduate and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a Bachelor of Arts. On this day in 1960 the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, was published. On this day in 1975 Chinese archaeologists announced the uncovering of the terracotta army near the ancient capital of Xian.
TUESDAY 12 JULY On this day in 100 BC Julius Caesar was born in Rome. On this day in 1543 King Henry VIII married Catherine Parr, his sixth and last wife. On this day in 1776 Captain James Cook set sail on his last voyage to try to locate the Northwest Passage.
WEDNESDAY 13 JULY On this day in 1955 the convicted murdered Ruth Ellis was hanged at Holloway prison in London, becoming the last woman to be executed in the UK. On this day in 1985 Live Aid concerts took place simultaneously in London and Philadelphia to raise money for famine relief in Africa. On this day in 2016 David Cameron resigned as prime minister.
THURSDAY 14 JULY On this day in 1789 the Bastille, Paris, was stormed and destroyed by citizens. On this day in 1865 British climber Edward Whymper led the first team to reach the summit on the Matterhorn. Exactly 100 years later in 1965, Yvette Vaucher became the first woman to reach its summit. On this day in 1867 Alfred Nobel demonstrated dynamite for the first time at a quarry in Redhill, Surrey.
FRIDAY 15 JULY On this day in 1099 the First Crusade succeeded in taking Jerusalem after a five-week siege, and massacred the city’s Muslims and Jews. On this day in 1662 the Royal Society received its charter. On this day in 1933 all non-Nazi parties were banned in Germany.
SATURDAY 16 JULY On this day in 1661 the first banknotes in Europe were issued by the Bank of Stockholm. On this day in 1945 the first atomic bomb was detonated at Los Alamos, New Mexico. On this day in 1965 the Mont Blanc road tunnel opened, connecting France and Italy.
SUNDAY 17 JULY On this day in 1203 the Siege of Constantinople began during the fourth Crusade when Roman Catholic Crusaders aboard a Venetian fleet attacked the city. On this day in 1917 the royal family changed its name from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor. On this day in 1918 Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family were murdered by a Bolshevik firing squad in the basement of Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Siberia.
Awareness days from around the world
UK: Talk To Us Month, Plastic Free July, Good Care Month, Picnic Month.
INTERNATIONAL: Global Enterprise Agility Month, Fishing Month (July 1 to August 31), Group B Strep Support Awareness Month, Sarcoma Awareness Month, World Watercolor Month, Plastic Free July, Picnic Month, Horseradish Month.
THIS WEEK IS: Festival of British Archaeology (UK: July 16 to July 31), Children’s Art Week (UK: June 29 to July 19).
MONDAY JULY 11 World Population Day (International), Town Criers Day (International), Free Slurpee Day (US), Mojito Day (US), Blueberry Muffin Day (US), Swimming Pool Day (US).
TUESDAY JULY 12 Cow Appreciation Day (US), Etch a Sketch Day (US), Simplicity Day (US), Pecan Pie Day (US), Different Coloured Eyes Day (US), New Conversations Day (US).
WEDNESDAY JULY 13 French Fry Day (International), Rock Day (International), Beef Tallow Day (US), Embrace your Geekness Day (US).
THURSDAY JULY 14 Shark Awareness Day (International), Pandemonium Day (US), Mac & Cheese Day (US), Grand Marnier Day (US), Nude Day (US).
FRIDAY JULY 15 St Swithins Day (UK), World Youth Skills Day (International), Social Media Giving Day (International), Give Something Away Day (International), Orange Chicken Day (US), Be a Dork Day (US), Gummi Worm Day (US), I Love Horses Day (US), Pet Fire Safety Day (US), Tapioca Pudding Day (US).
SATURDAY JULY 16 World Snake Day (International), Corn Fritter Day (US), Guinea Pig Appreciation Day (US), Fresh Spinach Day (US), Cherry Day (US), Woodie Wagon Day (US).
SUNDAY JULY 17 World Day for International Justice (International), Ice Cream Day (International), World Emoji Day (International), Yellow Pig Day (US), Tattoo Day (US), Peach Ice Cream Day (US).