Most policy activity has been on hold given the week of national mourning, although education did gain a new minister with the appointment of Jonathan Gullis as Under-secretary at the DfE. Other education-related news has largely concerned the economy. The full version of Steve Besley's Education Eye can be accessed here.
Mourning guidance. The government published National Mourning guidance for those in education, encouraging different settings to adopt appropriate activities for during the week and noting that most will be expected to observe a Bank Holiday for the day of the State Funeral. Phishing activity. The National Cyber Security Centre issued a warning about potential scamming activity with increased opportunities arising during a period of national mourning. The economy. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the latest monthly estimate for the UK economy showing that after a flat few months, the economy grew 0.2% in July. Labour market data. The ONS published the latest set of figures on the UK labour market showing a further fall in unemployment but a marked rise in economic inactivity and a mixed picture on job vacancies and private/public sector wages. Labour market analysis. The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) published its regular analysis of the latest UK labour market figures, noting that while unemployment was down and pay (for some) was up, economic inactivity had risen ‘sharply,’ calling for more to be done both at a government and at an employer level to encourage people back into work.
Maths problems. UNICEF reported on global concerns around maths education in a new report, looking in particular at gender differences, with girls lagging behind boys when it comes to developing maths skills, but also with many children, particularly in poorer countries, struggling to reach basic numeracy skills generally.
Lifelong learning. The RSA and partners called for a ‘scaling up’ of digital lifelong learning in a new report, as they highlighted a number of barriers facing such learners, proposing local digital inclusion strategies among the recommendations. Strike action. The University and College Union (UCU) signalled ten days of strike action on pay – starting on Monday 26 September across 26 colleges and due to last ten days – unless the current pay offer is improved.
HE in-tray.The Times Higher collated thoughts from leading figures in HE about what the new administration’s priorities for the sector should be, listing funding, science and research, and mutual respect among their hopes. Changing face of HE. Nick Hillman examined some of the changes in higher education experienced during the long reign of Queen Elzabeth 11, pointing to three in particular including the rise in student/staff numbers, the growing demand for graduate jobs and the role of universities in civic communities, calling for a new university to be created in such a community bearing Queen Elizabeth’s name.
The Queen's State Funeral (Monday 19 September). UN ‘Transforming Education Summit’ (Leaders Day on Monday 19 September). MPs return to Westminster (Wednesday 21 September). UCAS release latest (Day 28) report on 2022 graduate applications (Thursday 22 September). Government ‘Fiscal Event’ (Friday 23 September). Labour Party Annual Conference (Sunday 25 September – Wednesday 28 September).
MONDAY 19 SEPTEMBER On this day in 2022 the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II took place in Westminster Abbey. On this day in 1356 English forces under Edward the Black Prince defeated the French at the Battle of Poitiers and captured the French King John II during the Hundred Years’ War. On this day in 1879 the Blackpool Illuminations were switched on for the first time.
TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER On this day in 1643 forces of King Charles I were beaten by a parliamentary army led by Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex and Philip Stapleton at the first Battle of Newbury (English civil war). On this day in 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to France from Scotland. On this day in 1931 Britain came off the gold standard.
WEDNESDAY 21 SEPTEMBER On this day in 1327 King Edward II died aged 43 at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, reputedly murdered by his wife Isabella and her lover, Mortimer. On this day in 1792 the National Convention passed a proclamation announcing the formal abolition of the French monarchy (French Revolution). On this day in 1915 Stonehenge, and the surrounding 30 acres of land, were sold at auction for £6,600 to Mr Cecil Chubb, who later presented it to the nation.
THURSDAY 22 SEPTEMBER On this day in 1692 the last eight people were hanged for witchcraft in the US. Overall, 19 were hanged, with six other deaths during the Salem witch trials. On this day in 1862 US president Abraham Lincoln declared that all slaves in rebellious states would be free from 1 January 1863. On this day in 1985 France’s prime minister, Laurent Fabius, admitted that French secret agents had sunk the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand.
FRIDAY 23 SEPTEMBER On this day in 480 BC the Greeks defeated the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis. On this day in 1459 the first major battle of the English Wars of the Roses took place – the Battle of Blore Heath in Staffordshire. On this day in 1846 the astronomer Johan Galle discovered Neptune.
SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER On this day in 1483 Christopher Columbus embarked on his second expedition to the New World, setting sail with a fleet of 17 ships. On this day in 1529 Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his Ottoman troops arrive in Vienna, beginning the siege. On this day in 1971 90 Russian diplomats were expelled from Britain for spying.
SUNDAY 25 SEPTEMBER On this day in 1340 England and France signed the disarmament treaty. On this day in 1818 the first transfusion using human blood was performed by James Blundell at Guy’s Hospital in London. On this day in 1897 Britain’s first motor bus service started in Bradford.
Awareness days from around the world
UK: Urology Awareness Month, Blood Cancer Awareness Month, Organic September, Festival of Learning Have a Go Month, Vascular Disease Awareness Month.
INTERNATIONAL: Read A New Book Month, Oddfellows Friendship Month, Piano Month, Sourdough September, Sepsis Awareness Month, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, World Alzheimer’s Month, Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month, Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15).
THIS WEEK IS: Pitru Paksha: a time when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (International, from 10 to 25 September), Adult Learners’ Week (UK), National Coding Week (UK), Fire Door Safety Week (UK), National Eye Health Week (UK), Organ Donation Week (UK), Recycle Week (UK), Wool Week (UK – from 24 September), FSC Forest Week (UK – from 24 September), International Week of Happiness at Work (International), World Reflexology Week (International), Balance Awareness Week (International – from 18 September), World Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week (International – from 18 September), European Mobility Week (EU – from 16 September).
MONDAY 19 SEPTEMBER State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II (UK), Youth Mental Health Day (UK), Jeans for Genes Day (UK), Butterscotch Pudding Day (US), Talk Like A Pirate Day (US).
TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER Get Ready Day (US), Queso Day (US), String Cheese Day (US), Fried Rice Day (US), Pepperoni Pizza Day (US), National Gibberish Day (US), Voter Registration Day (US), Punch Day (US), Raspberry Cavernoma Awareness Day (US).
WEDNESDAY 21 SEPTEMBER Telegraph Pole Appreciation Day (UK), World Gratitude Day (International), International Day of Peace (UN), World Alzheimer’s Day (International), Miniature Golf Day (US), Pecan Cookie Day (US), Chai Day (US), Escapology Day (US).
THURSDAY 22 SEPTEMBER Mabon (International), Autumnal Equinox (International), World Rhino Day (International), World Car Free Day (International), International Day of Radiant Peace (International), Doodle Day (US), Remember Me Thursday (US), Woman Rod Warrior Day (US), Responsible Dog Ownership Day (US), Dear Diary Day (US), Hobbit Day (US), Elephant Appreciation Day (US), American Business Women’s Day (US), Centenarian’s Day (US), White Chocolate Day (US), Ice Cream Cone Day (US), Chainmail Day (US).
FRIDAY 23 SEPTEMBER Seed Gathering Season (UK), International Day of Sign Languages (UN), Education Technology Day (International), Day of Sport (Slovenia), Native American Day (US), Hug A Vegetarian Day (US), Redhead Appreciation Day (US), Za’atar Day (US), Restless Legs Awareness Day (US), Celebrate Bi-sexuality Day (US), Checkers/Dogs in Politics Day (US), Great American Pot Pie Day (US), Innergize Day (US), Native American Day (US), Love Note Day (US).
SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER World Bollywood Day (International), Lace Day (International), Rabbit Day (International), Family Health and Fitness Day (US), Cherries Jubilee Day (US), Punctuation Day (US), Heritage Day (US), Bluebird of Happiness Day (US), Schwenkfelder Thanksgiving (US), Hunting and Fishing Day (US), Public Lands Day (US), Save Your Photos Day (US), Ghost Hunting Day (US), Cherries Jubilee Day (US), Lash Stylists’ Day (US).
SUNDAY 25 SEPTEMBER The end of Pitru Paksha, a time when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors, Rosh Hashana begins, the Jewish New Year beginning at sundown and encouraging reflection (Sunday 25 September to Tuesday 27 September), World Rivers Day (International), World Dream Day (International), World Pharmacists Day (International), Ataxia Awareness Day (International), European Heritage Day (Austria), Antyodaya Diwas (India), Psychotherapy Day (US), Gold Star Mother’s Day (US), Binge Day (US), Lobster Day (US), Math Story Telling Day (US), Comic Book Day (US), One-Hit Wonder Day (US), Cooking Day (US), Daughter Day (US), Better Breakfast Day (US).