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ARIA appointments. The government announced the appointments of the first CEO and Chairman of the new Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) due to be set up later this year with a remit to fund and lead on innovative research and scientific activity. STEM Inquiry. The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee announced an Inquiry into people and skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with a call for evidence by 6 Sept. Media literacy. The government encouraged organisations and local government bodies to apply for funds from its new Media Literacy Task Force Fund to help with media literacy initiatives and projects for the hard-to-reach.
Teachers’ salaries. The government announced pay levels for teachers from this September representing an increase of 8.9% starting salary for teachers outside London, 5%-8% for early career teachers and 5% for more experienced teachers, but from existing budgets. Pay Review Body. The Teachers’ Pay Review Body set out the context and thinking behind its recommendations on pay this year, noting the potential for further review particularly around pay progression, career paths and pay structures, and teacher shortages. Education recovery. Ofsted published its third and final report into the effects of the pandemic on schools based on latest inspection evidence, acknowledging the increased catch-up work being undertaken by schools but pointing to continuing concerns in some cases about the effects on Yr 6 transition, SEND pupils, those taking exams and recovery generally.
Dear Education Secretary. The Association of Colleges (AoC) wrote to welcome the new Education Secretary setting out five priorities for consideration covering staff pay and recruitment, an inflation upgrade for capital funding, ONS reclassification, employer partnership workings, and T levels. Education recovery. Ofsted published its third and final report into the effects of the pandemic on the FE sector based on latest inspection evidence noting the efforts being made by providers to aid recovery but highlighting continuing concerns about the continuation of some remote learning, programme disruption facing apprentices, the squeezing of English/maths time, pressures on those taking exams and the difficulties of recruiting staff. BTECs. MPs held a Westminster Hall debate on BTECs and their role within a reformed L3 qualification system with many MPs citing case study evidence about the importance of BTECs to learners and providers in their constituencies with the government acknowledging in summary that BTECs still had a role to play, albeit within a reformed system.
QAA demits. The QAA announced that it was rescinding its role as the Designated Quality Body (DQB) in England, citing the fact that the current approach in England is “not consistent with standard international practice for quality bodies” as laid out in the European Standards and Guidelines. Student loans. The House of Commons Library Service published a helpful primer on student loans in England setting out the background to loans, current trends, repayment and level of student debt and arguments for reform in the light of Augar. Grade inflation. The Office for Students (OfS) outlined in a new briefing, the context around the increase in the awards of 1stand 2:1 degrees particularly under the pandemic, the issues around this and what it and the sector was doing to address the implications through data and monitoring.
MONDAY 25 JULY On this day in 1814 British engineer George Stephenson introduced his first steam locomotive, named Blucher, a travelling engine designed to haul coal on the Killingworth wagonway. On this day in 1978 the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Joy Brown, was born at Oldham General Hospital in Greater Manchester. On this day in 1992 the Olympic Games opened in Barcelona with all countries present for the first time in modern history.
TUESDAY 26 JULY On this day in 1803 the Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world’s first public railway, opened in south London. On this day in 1945 Labour Party leader Clement Attlee was elected prime minister, toppling Winston Churchill. On this day in 1956 President Nasser of Egypt nationalised the Suez Canal, provoking a confrontation with Britain, France and Israel.
WEDNESDAY 27 JULY On this day in 1586 Walter Raleigh brought the first tobacco to England from Virginia. On this day in 1694 the Bank of England’s royal charter was sealed. On this day in 1789 US Congress established the Department of Foreign Affairs, now referred to as the State Department.
THURSDAY 28 JULY On this day in 1588 the English fleet used fire ships to scatter the Spanish Armada. On this day in 1868 the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, granting citizenship to former slaves. On this day in 1917 a silent parade of 10,000 African-Americans, organised by James Weldon Johnson, marched on 5th Avenue in New York City to protest against lynching.
FRIDAY 29 JULY On this day in 1565 Mary Queen of Scots married her cousin, Lord Darnley. On this day in 1921 Adolf Hitler became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party. On this day in 1949 the BBC broadcast its first weather forecast.
SATURDAY 30 JULY On this day in 1935 the first Penguin book, a biography of Shelley, was published, beginning the paperback revolution. On this day in 1966 England won the football World Cup. On this day in 2006 after 42 years, Top of the Pops was broadcast for the last time.
SUNDAY 31 JULY On this day in 1498 Columbus, on his third voyage of exploration, arrived at an island which he named Trinidad. On this day in 1970 the daily rum ration was distributed for the last time in the Royal Navy. On this day in 2007 after 38 years, the longest continuous operation in its history, the British Army left Northern Ireland.
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 25 Wine and Cheese Day (UK), Carousel Day (US), Hot Fudge Sundae Day (US), Thread the Needle Day (US), Day (US), Culinarian’s Day (US), Christmas in July (US).
TUESDAY JULY 26 Apple Turnover Day (US), Mechanical Pencil Day (US), Graham Cracker Day (US), Bikini Day (US).
WEDNESDAY JULY 27 International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem (International), Bagelfest Day (US), Milkshake Coffee Day (US).
THURSDAY JULY 28 World Chocolate Day (International), World Hepatitis Day (International), Milk Intern Day (US), Chocolate Day (US), Buffalo Soldiers Day (US), Chilli Dog Day (US), Refreshment Day (US).
FRIDAY JULY 29 Tiger Day (International), Talk in an Elevator Day (US), System Administrators Appreciation Day (US), Chicken Wing Day (US), Lasagna Day (US), Lipstick Day (US).
SATURDAY JULY 30 World Day against Trafficking in Persons (International), International Day of Friendship (International), Food Day Canada (CAN), Whistleblower Appreciation Day (US), Father-in-Law Day (US), Cheesecake Day (US).
SUNDAY JULY 31 Navy Day (RUS), Avocado Day (US), Raspberry Cake Day (US), Mutt Day (US).