Living with Covid-19. The PM outlined government plans for living with the virus, based around four principles (protecting the vulnerable, lifting domestic restrictions, maintaining resilience, investing in life sciences) with restrictions eased including for most education settings accordingly. Chancellor’s presentation. Rishi Sunak called for ‘a new culture of enterprise’ as he outlined government’s plans in the annual Mais Lecture for the economy post-pandemic, stressing the importance of three features: capital, people and ideas with skills and training an important contributor to each as he reinforced his credentials as a free market, low tax Chancellor Levelling Up. The House of Commons Library Service provided a useful summary of the recent Levelling Up White Paper with coverage of the education and skills bits, regional data on skill levels, plus the Paper’s five pillars and 12 missions.
Qualification system . Ofqual published its latest annual report on the qualifications market covering the 2020/21 year, a year somewhat skewed by the appearance of Covid-19 but showing an increase in the number of awarding organisations and active qualifications available as well as in vocational certificates awarded but a continuing drop in AS levels. Qualification prices. Ofqual published its annual listing of qualification prices for 2021 showing a 0.5% increase overall on the previous year but minus the fee rebates provided because of the restriction on exams last year and which in turn ranged from 26% to 42% depending on exam board. Destination data. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) published a report commissioned by Edge looking into the case for generating longer-term destination data which in turn could help both young people as well as their schools and colleges assist in securing better labour market outcomes.
FURTHER EDUCATION & SKILLS
Skills Bill. The Skills Post-16 Bill completed its final stages in the House of Commons where many of the 35 amendments on matters like careers guidance, the de-funding of BTECs, local skills improvement plans and the apprenticeship levy were considered but not ultimately accepted. Skills Bill amendments. The Association of Colleges (AoC) listed four ‘key priorities’ (strengthening the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, extending benefit rules, ensuring colleges have a role in local skills improvement planning, and creating a 10-year strategy for skills) for the Skills and Post-16 Bill that it hoped MPs would support as the Bill moved into its final parliamentary stages. Kickstart problems. The Public Accounts Committee published a critical report on the government’s Kickstart job scheme for young people one year on, pointing to poor planning and monitoring and calling for a clear strategy for its future development.
Post-Augar reforms. The government launched consultation on a number of proposals outlined in its response to the Augar reforms including in particular entry thresholds and potential student number controls as well as L4/5 provision. Lifelong Loan Entitlement. The government launched a consultation on how the Lifelong Loan Entitlement, which is due to be fully in place from 2025 offering a loan entitlement for four years spread over a lifetime and intended to usher in a more flexible, responsive form of higher-level lifetime learning, might operate. Admissions reforms. John Cope, Director at UCAS, outlined in a blog on the HEPI website how, despite the toing and froing about PQA, UCAS was continuing to undertake a range of important reforms to increase the reach, transparency and responsiveness of the admissions system.
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UK Performance Indicators: Widening Participation 2020/21 | HESA The what, why, when and how of using a 'Think Aloud' in maths | Education Endowment Foundation Report: Investigating the potential use of long-term school and college destination measures | NFER Longer-term destination measures could provide key insights into young people's future careers | NFER Improving literacy in key stage 2 | Research Schools Network New episode of Evidence into Action: Teaching reading - developing fluency | Education Endowment Foundation 19 projects to explore social and cultural impacts of COVID-19 | UKRI
Education Committee evidence session on Children’s Homes (Tuesday 1 March). FT digital event for schools on climate change and its impact on the curriculum (Tuesday 1 March). Institute for Government conversation with Andy Haldane on how to make levelling up work (Tuesday 1 March).
On this day in 1749 the first edition of Henry Fielding's' novel Tom Jones was published.
On this day in 1784 evangelist, John Wesley, chartered the Methodist Church.
On this day in 1956 Jay Forrester patented random-access-coincident-current magnetic storage, which became the standard memory device for computers.
TUESDAY 01 MARCH:
On this day in 1692 Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne and Tituba were arrested for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts (the Salem Witch Trials).
On this day in 1781 following ratification by Maryland, the 13th state, the Continental Congress officially adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States of America.
On this day in 1811 Egyptian King Muhammad Ali Pasha oversaw the massacre of 500 Mameluke notables.
WEDNESDAY 02 MARCH:
On this day in 1629 English King Charles 1 dissolved Parliament against opposition and imprisoned 9 MPs.
On this day in 1882 Queen Victoria narrowly escaped assassination as she sat in her railway carriage at Windsor station - in the eighth attempt made on her life since the beginning of her reign.
On this day in 1956 Morocco declared its political independence from France.
THURSDAY 03 MARCH:
On this day in 1894 six months after his second Home Rule Bill had been defeated by the House of Lords, William Gladstone resigned as prime minister.
On this day in 1924 Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk abolished the caliphate (the Islamic leadership of the Ottoman sultans).
On this day in 1845 Florida became the 27th state of the Union.
FRIDAY 04 MARCH:
On this day in 1665 English King Charles II declared war on the Netherlands.
On this day in 1890 the last of eight million rivets – holding together 55,000 tons of steel – was driven home at the opening ceremony of the Forth Bridge.
On this day in 1966 the London Evening Standard published an interview with John Lennon in which he claimed the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
SATURDAY 05 MARCH:
On this day in 1770 British soldiers killed five men in a crowd throwing snowballs, stones and sticks at them (the Boston Massacre).
On this day in 1849 Zachary Taylor was sworn in as the 12th US President.
On this day in 1933 in what would become the last elections in a unified Germany until 1990, Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Party won 44% of the seats.
SUNDAY 06 MARCH:
On this day in 1702 upon the death of her brother-in-law King William III, Queen Anne acceded to the throne.
On this day in 1788 the British First Fleet arrived at the Australian territory of Norfolk Island to found a convict settlement.
On this day in 1974 the miners' strike ended after the Labour government offered a pay rise of 35%.
Awareness days from around the world
UK: Brain Tumour Awareness Month, Marie Curie's Great Daffodil Appeal, National Bed Month, Dechox, Veggie Month, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Walk All Over Cancer, Endo The Night. INTERNATIONAL: Endometriosis Awareness Month. US: National Irish-American Heritage Month, National Women’s History Month, National Cheerleading Safety Month, National Umbrella Month, Brain Injury Awareness Month, National Nutrition Month, National Frozen Food Month, National Noodle Month, National Flour Month, National Peanut Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Sauce Month, National Credit Education Month, Asset Management Awareness Month, National Social Work Month, Craft Month, Moustache March, Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, National Save Your Vision Month, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, National Kidney Month, National Trisomy Awareness Month, National Athletic Training Month, National Breast Implant Awareness Month. THIS WEEK IS:
UK: Endometriosis Awareness Week. INTERNATIONAL: International Parental Mental Health Awareness Week, World Glaucoma Week. US: National Invest in Veterans Week, Peace Corps Week, National Invasive Species Awareness Week, Will Eisner Week, Telecommuter Appreciation Week, National Cheerleading Week, National Professional Pet Sitters Week.
MONDAY 28 FEBRUARY IS: National Tooth Fairy Day (US), National Chocolate Souffle Day (US), National Floral Design Day (US), National Public Sleeping Day (US), Rare Disease Day (US).
TUESDAY 01 MARCH IS: St. David's Day (International), Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day (International), Self-Injury/Self-Harm Awareness Day SIAD (International), National Pancake Day (US), Fat Tuesday (US), Paczki Day (US), Fastnacht Day (US), National Pig Day (US), National Peanut Butter Lover's Day (US), National Barista Day (US), National Dadgum That's Good Day (US), National Fruit Compote Day (US), National Horse Protection Day (US), National Minnesota Day (US).
WEDNESDAY 02 MARCH IS: Ash Wednesday (International), World Teen Mental Wellness Day (International), National Old Stuff Day (US), National Read Across America Day (US), Dr Seuss Day (US)
THURSDAY 03 MARCH IS: University Mental Health Day (UK), World Book Day (International), World Hearing Day (International), World Wildlife Day (International), National Anthem Day (US), National Cold Cuts Day (US), National I Want You to Be Happy Day (US), National Mulled Wine Day (US), Soup It Forward Day (US), National Hospitalist Day (US).
FRIDAY 04 MARCH IS: National Grammar Day (UK), International HPV Awareness Day (International), Employee Appreciation Day (US), National Grammar Day (US), Marching Music Day (US), National Hug a G.I. Day (US), national Pound Cake Day (US), National Sons Day (US), Tartar Sauce Day (US), National Dress in Blue Day (US), National Speech and Debate Education Day (US), National Day of Unplugging (US).
SATURDAY 05 MARCH IS: St Piran's Day (UK), National Cheese Doodle Day (US), Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness Day/ National Multiple Personality Day (US), National Absinthe Day (US).
SUNDAY 06 MARCH IS: National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day (US), National Dentist's Day (US), National Dress Day (US), National Frozen Food Day (US), National Oreo Cookie Day (US), Finishers' Medal Day (US).
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