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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Developing workforce skills. The National Audit Office NAO) called for a more strategic and better monitored approach to developing workforce skills in a new report, acknowledging the ratcheting up of policy enthusiasm in recent years but questioning how far the government’s preferred model of an employer-led system will work. Hybrid working. The consultancy company PwC reported on its survey conducted among employers in April about office working, with most (71%) agreeing that being in the office can be beneficial especially for the less well-off who often miss out on opportunities, with 76% agreeing that employers have a learning and development responsibility to encourage office workers back in. Employment relations. CIPD, the professional body for HR, published new research suggesting that employment relations were likely to become more fraught in the coming months as the cost-of-living crisis and a tight labour market take hold.
Pupil numbers. The government published the latest data on pupil numbers and projections indicating that numbers in nursery and primary peaked in 2019, those in secondary along with special education are set to peak in 2024, while those in alternative provision are dropping although the data here is less secure. Exam errors. Rob Halfon, Chair of the Education Committee, wrote to the (new) Education Secretary expressing concerns about errors in exam board papers this year, recommending that Ofqual not only ensures full marks are given but that fines are imposed on boards where necessary. SEND Review. The Chair of the Education Committee also wrote to the Education Secretary raising a number of concerns about proposals in the government’s SEND Review, pointing in particular to issues around future funding, inclusion, early intervention, and forms of accountability.
Impact report. The Education and Training Foundation published a commissioned report into the impact of its work over the last year showing, against a context of the pandemic, continuing volumes of courses and high levels of attendance, both actual and online, for training events as the Foundation sought to deliver on its 5 strategic ‘GLIDE’ objectives of ‘Grow, Lead, Influence, Develop, and Evolve.’ T level overlap. The Education Policy Institute examined the 2021 cohort of T level students to assess the impact of overlapping qualifications, concluding that about a third of students were taking tech/voc qualifications that could be defunded given overlaps with a T level and that a similar number were not ready for T levels largely because of poor English/maths GCSE grades. Apprenticeship reach. The 5% Club and the School Outreach Company announced a new partnership that would see them working together to support more opportunities for young people.
Student loans. The government published latest data on student loans in England indicating that those who started f/t undergraduate courses this year will borrow £42,000 over the 3 years of their course, with 20% set to pay the loan back in full and the number of loan-borrowers likely to grow 5.2% over the next 5 years. UCAS update. UCAS published its latest set of data on university applications this year reflecting the picture as of the end of June, showing record application numbers from UK 18yr olds including those from disadvantaged areas as well as an increase in international applicants and the first showing of T level applicants. Exam cheating. Alpha Academic Appeals, a law firm that specialises in student appeals, reported the results of a survey indicating that “approximately 1 in every 6-university student in the UK has cheated in online exams this academic year” with a third convinced it was not always morally wrong.
MONDAY 18 JULY On this day in 64 the great fire of Rome began, while Nero reputedly played the fiddle. On this day in 1870 Pope Pius IX promulgated the dogma of papal infallibility. On this day in 1955 Disneyland opened in California.
TUESDAY 19 JULY On this day in 1545 the Mary Rose, pride of Henry VIII’s fleet, sank in the Solent with the loss of more then 350 lives. On this day in 1595 astronomer Johannes Kepler has an epiphany and develops his theory of the geometrical basis of the universe. On this day in 1588 the Spanish Armada was sighted off the Cornish coast.
WEDNESDAY 20 JULY On this day in 1837 Euston railway station opened in London as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway, the city’s first intercity railway station. On this day in 1881 Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull surrendered to US federal troops. On this day in 1969 Apollo 11 lunar module carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the surface of the Moon, both Aldrin and Armstrong walked on the moon seven hours later.
THURSDAY 21 JULY On this day in 365 an earthquake in Crete was followed by a tsunami around the Eastern Mediterranean which allegedly destroyed Alexandria. On this day in 1904 the 4,607-mile Trans-Siberian railway was completed after 13 years. On this day in 1970 the Aswan High Dam opened in Egypt, enabling human control of the flooding of the Nile.
FRIDAY 22 JULY On this day in 1298 King Edward I’s English troops defeated the Scots led by William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk. On this day in 1933 American pilot Wiley Post completed the first solo round-the-world flight in seven days, 18 hours and 49 minutes. On this day in 1963 Sarawak achieved independence from British colonial rule.
SATURDAY 23 JULY On this day in 1952 a military coup took place in Egypt, led by General Muhammad Naguib, who deposed King Farouk I. On this day in 1995 the Hale-Bopp comet was discovered. On this day in 1998 a team of scientists, led by Ryuzo Yanagimachi of the University of Hawaii, announced in the science journal Nature that they had produced three generations of cloned mice.
SUNDAY 24 JULY On this day in 1534 Jacques Cartier landed in Canada, claiming the territory for France. On this day in 1567 Mary Queen of Scots abdicated and was succeeded by her infant son, James VI. On this day in 1847 the Mormons, driven from Illinois, reached the Salt Lake valley.
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, Independent Retailer Month, Fishing Month, 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), National Marine Week (UK: July 23 July to August 07).
MONDAY JULY 18 Nelson Mandela Day (International), World Listening Day (International), Insurance Nerd Day (US), Caviar Day (US), Get Out of the Dog House Day (US), Global Hug Your Kids Day (US), National Sour Candy Day (US).
TUESDAY JULY 19 World Product Day (International), Daiquiri Day (US).
WEDNESDAY JULY 20 Chess Day (International), World Jump Day (International), Space Exploration Day (US), Moon Day (US), Lollipop Day (US), Hot Dog Day (US).
THURSDAY JULY 21 Junk Food Day (US), Lamington Day (US), Be Someone Day (US), Lamington Day (AUS).
FRIDAY JULY 22 Ask an Archaeologist Day (UK), Hammock Day (US), Crème Brulee Day (US), Mango Day (US), Penuche Fudge Day (US).
SATURDAY JULY 23 Birthday of Haile Selassie: A holiday in Rastafarianism that celebrates Emperor Haile Selassie, an individual believed to be the incarnation of God. Yada, Yada, Yada Day (International), Hot Enough For Ya Day (US), Gorgeous Grandma Day (US), Vanilla Ice Cream Day (US), Peanut Butter and Chocolate Day (US), Sprinkle Day (US).
SUNDAY JULY 24 Pioneer Day: A Utah state holiday that celebrates the settling of the Mormon pioneers in the Great Salt Lake area where they established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Cousins Day (US), Tequila Day (US), Parents’ Day (US), Amelia Earhart Day (US), Tell and Old Joke Day (US), Drive-Thru Day (US), Thermal Engineering Day (US).