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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GENERAL Mental health support. The government announced as part of World Mental Health Day, an additional £122m to provide employment and mental health support for those who need it to stay in or return to work. Science and Technology Council. The government announced the creation of a new National Science and Technology Council, to be chaired by the Chancellor, and with a brief to “deliver a plan to harness science and technology to support economic growth and the UK’s position on the geopolitical stage.” Global growth. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published its latest World Economic Outlook projecting global growth to slow for 2022 to 3.2%, inflation to rise to 8.8% and the overall outlook for countries remaining weak, but for the UK a more promising forecast of 3.6% growth next year, falling to 0.3% the year after, albeit with some concerns about higher levels of borrowing.
SCHOOLS ITT funding 2023/24. The government outlined funding provision for initial teacher training (ITT) 2023/24 with ‘generous’ bursaries and scholarships available, particularly in STEM subjects, computing and modern foreign languages. SATs. The Standards and Testing Agency published details on SATs arrangements for 2022/23 with statutory assessments for KS1 due to take place for this one more year, KS2 school level assessment performance data due to be published, and the multiplication tables check dates taking place slightly later. Digital assessment. The director-general of the International Baccalaureate confirmed that they were working on plans to shift to online assessment for the future, with the precise timing dependent on system development but with schools to be given time to adapt as need be.
FE/SKILLS Sixth Form Colleges. The NEU announced it was launching a ballot on industrial action for members working in sixth form colleges to vote on the latest pay offer, with the ballot due to run from 18 October – 11 November. FE cuts. Martin Doel, Visiting Professor at the Institute for Education, reflected in a blog on the Campaign for Learning site about the prospect of further cuts to FE funding, concluding on balance this was unlikely given the current political “priority around skills. T levels. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) heralded National T Levels Week with series of promotional activities and case studies highlighting the potential of T levels.
HIGHER EDUCATION World Universities. The Times Higher reported on the latest version of the world university rankings with the UK having three in the top ten (Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial) but with suggestions of an increase in research performance by Chinese institutions at the expense of US universities. International students. Dame Janet Beer followed up the challenging comments made about international students at last week’s Conservative Conference by highlighting the net contribution they make to the UK economy (£25.9bn pa) and their importance to the country’s growth agenda and to communities generally. No platforming. The HE Policy Institute (HEPI) published a new report looking at freedom of speech in universities and in particular the role of union debating societies, where the concept of pre-emptive cancelling of events for fear of causing offence appears to have been growing, with speakers from Tony Blair to Harry Enfield among those ‘quietly’ cancelled.
MONDAY 17 OCTOBER On this day in 1651 Charles II fled to France after his defeat at Worcester. On this day in 1814 eight people died when 323,000 gallons of beer flooded the streets around Tottenham Court Road in London. On this day in 1854 French and British forces bombard Sevastopol for the first time during the Crimean War.
TUESDAY 18 OCTOBER On this day in 1016 the Danes defeated the Saxons at the Battle of Assandun. On this day in 1867 the US officially took possession of Alaska from Russia with the exchange of the ratified treaty at Sitka, having paid $7.2 million. On this day in 1931 American gangster Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion.
WEDNESDAY 19 OCTOBER On this day in 1914 the first Battle of Ypres began. On this day in 1987 stock markets around the world crashed, including the Dow Jones stock index, which fell 508.32 points (22%) – four-and-a-half times the previous daily record. On this day in 1989 the murder convictions of the Guildford Four, jailed since 1975 for IRA bomb attacks, were quashed.
THURSDAY 20 OCTOBER On this day in 1097 the first Crusaders arrive in Antioch. On this day in 1973 Sydney Opera House opened. On this day in 2011 President Gaddafi was killed by rebel forces in Libya.
FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER On this day in 1797 the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) was launched in Boston. On this day in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar, British Admiral, Horatio Nelson, defeated the combined French and Spanish fleet. Nelson was shot and killed during battle. On this day in 1854 Florence Nightingale, with a staff of 38 nurses, was sent to the Crimean War.
SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER On this day in 1746 Princeton University received its royal charter. On this day in 1877 the Blantyre mining disaster in Scotland killed 207 miners. The miners widows and orphans who were unable to support themselves were evicted by the mine owners. On this day in 1962 Nelson Mandela pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial for treason in South Africa.
SUNDAY 23 OCTOBER On this day in 42 BC three weeks after Cassius met the same fate, Brutus committed suicide after being defeated by Mark Antony and Octavian at Philippi Macedonia. On this day in 1707 the first parliament of Great Britain met. On this day in 1956 an uprising against Soviet rule began in Hungary.
Awareness days from around the world
UK: Go Sober for October, Book Month, Black History Month, Unblocktober, Arts and Humanities Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Mental Health Month, Museums and Galleries Month, Learning and Development Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cholesterol Month, Pituitary Awareness Month, Lupus Awareness Month, UDEP Action Month, Crime Prevention Month, Fire Prevention Month, Computer Learning Month, Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month, Seed Gathering Season.
INTERNATIONAL: Global Diversity Awareness Month, School Libraries Month, Walk to School Month, The Big Draw, Fair Trade Month, World Animal Month, World Autism Month, World Habitat Awareness Month, World Menopause Month, ADHD Awareness Month, AIDS Awareness Month, Blindness Awareness Month, Bat Appreciation Month, Dyslexia Awareness Month, CMT Awareness Month, Family History Month, Halloween Safety Month, Healthy Lung Month, Health Literacy Month, Dysautonomia Awareness Month, Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Eat Better-Eat Together Month, Emotional Wellness Month, Head Start Awareness Month, Long Term Care Planning Month, Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Critical Illness Awareness Month, Liver Awareness Month, Spina Bifida Awareness Month, Prenatal-onset GBS Disease Recognition Month, Rett Syndrome Awareness Month,
US & CANADA: Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Canadian Library Month, LGBTQ+ History Month, Cyber Security Awareness Month, Depression Education and Awareness Month, Dental Hygiene/Orthodontic Health Month, Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, Black Cat Awareness Month, Pet Wellness Month, Physical Therapy Month, Work and Family Month, Indigenous Peoples Month, Polish American Heritage Month, Italian-American Heritage Month, German-American Heritage Month, Filipino American History Month, Pasta Month, Pizza Month, Pescatarian Month, Disability Employment Awareness Month, Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month, American Cheese Month, American Pharmacists Month, Country Music Month, Church Library Month, Contact Lens Safety Month, Eye Injury Prevention Month, Financial Planning Month, Hog Out Month, Animal Safety and Protection Month, Apple Month, Caramel Month, Chili Month, Chiropratic Month, Cookbook Month, Cookie Month, Audiology Awareness Month, Dessert Month, Ergonomics Month, Medical Librarians Month, Non-GMO Month, Pickled Petters Month, Pitbull Awareness Month, Pretzel Month, Protect Your Hearing Month, Sausage Month, Squirrel Awareness Month, Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15).
THIS WEEK IS: UK Coffee Week (UK), National Baking Week (UK: until 20 October), Chocolate Week (UK), Adoption Week (UK).
MONDAY 17 OCTOBER Shemini Atzeret (Religious – Jewish), International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (UN), World Trauma Day (International), International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (International), Day of the Races (Columbia), Black Poetry Day (US), Pasta Day (US), Mulligan Day (US), Edge Dy (US), Forgive an Ex Day (US), Wear Something Gaudy Day (US), Spreadsheet Day (US), Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day (US), Playing Card Collection Day (US).
TUESDAY 18 OCTOBER Simchat Torah (Religious – Jewish), Kati Bihu (Religious – Bihu), World Menopause Day (International), Pharmacy Technician Day (International), National Prayer Day (Zambia), Health Care Aide Day (Canada), Legging Day (International), Anti-Slavery Day (UK), Epilepsy Action Virtual Tea and Cake Break 2022 (UK), No Beard Day (US), Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day (US), Chocolate Cupcake Day (US), Exascale Day (US).
WEDNESDAY 19 OCTOBER Global Dignity Day (International), SUDEP Action Day (International), Gin and Tonic Day (International), Pediatric Bone and Joint Day (International), Day of Unity (US), Seafood Bisque Day (US), Evaluate Your Life Day (US), Hagfish Day (US), Kentucky Day (US).
THURSDAY 20 OCTOBER World Statistics Day (International), World Values Day (International), Conflict Resolution Day (International), Credit Union Day (International), World Osteoporosis Day (International), Sloth Day (International), Spirit Day (International), Get Smart About Credit Day (US), Office Chocolate Day (US), Brandied Fruit Day (US), Informational Overload Day (US), Suspender’s Day (US), Conflict Resolution Day (US), Get to Know Your Customers Day (US), Chicken and Waffles Day (US), Youth Confidence Day (US).
FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER Reptile Awareness Day (International), Chefs Day (International), International Day of the Nacho (International), Global Champagne Day (International), World Iodine Deficiency Day (International), Trafalgar Day (UK), Wear It Pink Day (UK), Apple Day (UK), Apple Day (US), Count Your Buttons Day (US), Reptile Awareness Day (US), Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (US), Witch Hazel Day (US).
SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER Stammering/Stuttering Day (International), Police Commemoration Day (India), Loud Shirt Day (New Zealand), Mammography Day (US), Back to the Future Day (US), Make a Difference Day (US), Nut Day (US), Color Day (US), Smart is Cool Day (US), Make a Dog’s Day (US).
SUNDAY 23 OCTOBER Snow Leopard Day (International), Mole Day (International), MassKara Festival (Philippines), Paralegal Day (US), Croc Day (US), SUDEP Action Day (US), Mother-in-Law Day (US), iPod Day (US), Boston Cream Pie Day (US), Event Organizers Day (US), Swallows Depart from San Juan Caistrano Day (US), TV Talk Show Day (US).