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GENERAL Recruitment problems. The British Chambers of Commerce published its latest Quarterly Recruitment Outlook showing that 76% of businesses were still having problems finding staff, with manufacturing facing the biggest problems, followed by hospitality, logistics and construction/engineering. Rising poverty levels. The TUC called for benefits to be increased in line with inflation and for the minimum wage to be increased to £15 an hour as it published survey evidence at its annual Congress showing that I in 7 people across the UK were having to skip meals to make ends meet. Cost-of-living. Barnardo’s highlighted the impact of the cost-of-living as it published a new report and YouGov survey showing that increasing numbers of families were struggling to cope, with just over half cutting back on food spending over the last year.
SCHOOLS GCSE performance. The government released provisional data on GCSE KS4 performance this summer showing that 49.6% of pupils achieved a 5 or above in English and maths, down on last year but up on the pre-pandemic year, but also a further widening of the overall disadvantage gap. School meals. Leading education organisations wrote to ministers urging them to extend free school meals, particularly to all families on benefit, given the current cost-of-living crisis. National Tutoring Programme. The NFER reported on its commissioned evaluation of the first year of the National Tutoring Programme where two ‘pillars,’ one on tuition support and one on mentoring, were offered especially to pupils most in need, finding some evidence of improved scores in English and maths in the former but less evidence of positive impact from the latter, pointing generally to the need for greater clarity around design and approach in future.
FE/SKILLS Skills Coalition. The AoC, AELP and City and Guilds announced they had joined forces to create a ‘Future Skills Coalition,’ that would campaign on and promote the importance of technical and vocational education and seek to see it as a fully funded priority for the country. L2 and below qualifications. The government issued its response to the March 2022 consultation on post-16 qualifications at level 2 and below, confirming that it will proceed with the main proposals which will see a number of qualifications defunded although it will now fund vocational taster courses at Entry 1 and 2, allow for more flexibility for employment qualifications at L2 and move the first teaching of reformed qualifications to 2025 rather than 2024. Improving skills. Rob Halfon, Chair of the Education Committee outlined in a comment piece on comservativehome four ways in which skill levels could be improved despite the current economic difficulties, listing introducing a Skills Tax Credit, reforming the apprenticeship levy, building on the apprenticeship programme and focusing on careers guidance.
HIGHER EDUCATION International students. Universities UK highlighted the vital economic and social contribution that international students make to the UK, following concerns that the government is considering limiting their numbers. R/D. The Russell Group called on the government to prioritise science, and research and development as it prepares to publish its medium-term fiscal plan, calling in particular for simpler bureaucracy when it comes to funding along with targeted support for spinouts and start-ups and innovation hubs focused around research-intensive universities. Work and wellbeing. The Institute of Student Employers reported on research being undertaken by HESA and others into the correlation between the nature of work and worker wellbeing, with the latest evidence suggesting a strong relationship between the two especially among Gen Z employees.
Education Questions to ministers (Monday 24 October). Education Committee evidence session on Careers Guidance (Tuesday 25 October). UCAS undergraduate applicant statistics as of the October deadline (Thursday 27 October). Next UK PM announced (Friday 28 October).
MONDAY 24 OCTOBER On this day in 1604 King James VI of Scotland was proclaimed James I, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland. On this day in 1929 in what became known as Black Thursday, panic selling began in earnest on the New York Stock Exchange, leading to the Wall Street Crash five days later. On this day in 1945 the United Nations was formally established.
TUESDAY 25 OCTOBER On this day in 1415 English bowmen secured the defeat of a French army at the Battle of Agincourt. On this day in 1760 King George III ascended the throne. On this day in 1854 the Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War.
WEDNESDAY 26 OCTOBER On this day in 899 Alfred the Great died, aged 50. On this day in 1907 the Territorial Army was founded. On this day in 1951 Winston Churchill became prime minister again after a narrow election win.
THURSDAY 27 OCTOBER On this day in 1904 the New York subway opened to the public. On this day in 1968 an estimated 6,000 marchers, protesting US involvement in Vietnam, confronted police outside the US Embassy in London. On this day in 1977 former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe denied conspiring to have his homosexual lover murdered.
FRIDAY 28 OCTOBER On this day in 1957 the BBC news and current affairs programme Today aired on the Home Service for the first time. On this day in 1958 the State Opening of Parliament and the Queens Speech were televised for the first time. On this day in 1971 MPs voted in favour of Britain joining the European Economic Community.
SATURDAY 29 OCTOBER On this day in 1863 the International Committee for the Relief of the Wounded (later to be known as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement) was founded. On this day in 1929 the Depression began after the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange. On this day in 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to become Tanzania.
SUNDAY 30 OCTOBER On this day in 1485 the Yeomen of the Guard, more commonly known as Beefeaters, was founded by King Henty VII. On this day in 1922 Mussolini’s fascist government was formed in Rome. On this day in 1938 Orson Welles’s production on US radio of H G Wells’s The War of the Worlds panicked listeners who believed its story of a Martian invasion to be true.
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: Global Media and Information Literacy Week (International) Brain Tumour Awareness Week (International: from 29 October to 05 November), Disarmament Week (UN), Bat Appreciation Week (International), Polar Bear Week (International), Digital Parenting Week (International), Grandparents Week (International), International Brain Tumour Awareness Week (International), Temperature Check Week (US).
MONDAY 24 OCTOBER Kali Puja (Religious – Hindu), Lakshmi Puja (Religious – Hindu), Diwali (Religious – Hindu), Naraka Chaturdashi (Religious – Hindu), World Development Information Day (International), World Polio Day (International), World Meningitis Day (International), World Tripe Day (International), United Nations Day (UN), Food Day (US), Bologna Day (US), Senior UTI Awareness Day (US), Jamaican ***** Day (US), Elizabeth Day (US), Chulalongkorn Day (Thailand), Kangaroo Awareness Day (Australia), Labour Day (New Zealand), Independence Day (Zambia).
TUESDAY 25 OCTOBER Laxmi Puja (Religious – Hindu), Dwarfism Awareness Day (International), International Artist Day (International), World Pasta Day (International), World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day (International), MDS World Awareness Day (International), World Opera Day (International), I Care About You Day (US), Merri Music Day (US), Crisp Sandwich Day (US), Greasy Foods Day (US), Sourest Day (US), Punk for a Day (US), Chucky The Notorious Killer Doll Day (US), Danielle Day (US), Yasmin Day (US), Fine Art Appreciation Day (US), Hope for Henry Day (US).
WEDNESDAY 26 OCTOBER Bhai Dooj (Religious – Hindu), Black Cat Day (UK), Cheese Toastie Day (UK), Austrian National Day (Austria), Pumpkin Day (US), Chicken Fried Steak Day (US), Microneedling Day (US), Mule Day (US), Mincemeat Day (US), Lung Health Day (US), Day of the Deployed (US), Financial Crime Fighter Day (US), Noah Day (US), Tennessee Day (US), Transgender Children Day (US).
THURSDAY 27 OCTOBER World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (International), Cheese Toastie Day (UK), Black Cat Day (UK), Cranky Co-Workers Day (UK), Mentoring Day (UK), Navy Day (US), American Beer Day (US), Henry C Ramos Day (US), St Vincent and the Grenadines Independence Day, Turkmenistan Independence Day, Civics Day (US).
FRIDAY 28 OCTOBER Chhath Puja (Religious – Hindu), Animation Day (International), World Lemur Day (International), Global Champagne Day (International), Plush Animal Lover’s Day (US), Breadstick Day (US), Immigrants Day (US), Chocolate Day (US), First Responders Day (US), Frankenstein Friday (US), Pharmacy Buyer Day (US), Wild Foods Day (US), Internal Medicine Day (US), Chucks-N-Pearls Day (US), Czech Founding Day (Czechoslovakia), William Day (US), Bandana Day (Australia).
SATURDAY 29 OCTOBER World Psoriasis Day (International), World Stroke Day (International), RSPB Feed the Birds Day (UK), Republic Day (Turkey), Indigenous People’s Thanksgiving Day (Philippines), Pit Bull Awareness Day (US), Martina Day (US), Cat Day (US), Prescription Drug Take Back Day (US), Internet Day (US), Oatmeal Day (US), Hug a Sheep Day (US), Muddy Dog Day (US), Hermit Day (US).
SUNDAY 30 OCTOBER Mischief Night (International), Daylight Saving Time (British Summertime) Ends (UK), Pension Tracing Day (UK), Haunted Refrigerator Night (US), Create a Great Funeral Day (US), Candy Corn Day (US), Speak Up for Service Day (US), Treat Your Pet Day (US), Text Your Ex Day (US), Checklist Day (US), Publicist Day (US), Pastor Appreciation Day (US), Visit a Cemetery Day (US).