Spring Statement. The CBI called on the Chancellor to boost productivity growth in his forthcoming Spring Statement prioritising in particular business investment, energy efficiency and skills, the latter through a new Skills Challenge Fund and an Independent Skills Challenge Fund. Worker surveillance. The TUC reported on what it called ‘the creeping role of surveillance,’ involving the use of webcams and the monitoring of employee movements, many adopted for remote working arrangements during the pandemic, calling for digital rights to be enshrined in legislation and employers required to consult before adopting such equipment. Digital Skills Partnership. The government launched a new Digital Skills Partnership for East Yorkshire and the Humber region with match funding from the DCMS, intended to boost digital skills in schools and digital jobs in the region.
Schools’ Costs. The government outlined schools’ funding and costs for the years 2021-2024 in a new technical note, pointing to the front-loading of extra funding (9.8%) from the current funding settlement, and suggesting as a result that schools reserve some of this for pay and other priorities in 2023/24. Schools’ finances. The Public Accounts Committee published its report into school finances expressing “concern about the financial sustainability of the school system and about how more deprived schools are faring” and the impact on some children’s education, calling on the government to look into Academy reserves, geographical variations and spending on SEND. Hitting the target. FFT Education Datalab examined the prospects of 90% of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at the end of KS2 by 2030 as proclaimed in the recent Levelling Up White Paper, suggesting that although success rates in one or two of these subject areas were reasonably high, hitting all three by 2030 would require considerable support and investment.
FURTHER EDUCATION & SKILLS
L2 and below qualifications.The government launched further consultation on L2 and below qualifications, proposing to divide them into distinct groups defined by purpose and implying that many of the current qualifications will not be funded in future. Staffing matters. The Association of Colleges (AoC) pointed to a staffing crisis in many colleges as it published the results of a new survey, showing average vacancies per college running at 30, leading to delivery pressures and calling on the government to flex funding rules. Future skills. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) published an initial literature review of ‘essential workforce skills for tomorrow’ as part of a major research programme funded by Nuffield, highlighting the importance of transferable skills like critical thinking as automation and digitalisation transform jobs in the future.
Quality and standards. The Office for Students published the responses and outcomes from its recent consultation on its quality and standards conditions, with proposals around the various B conditions due to be implemented from May 2022, duly giving the Office for Students (OfS) greater muscle in dealing with standards, expectations and outcomes. On reflection. Former universities minister, David Willetts, reflected on the government’s proposed HE reforms announced last week, supporting the case for more young people going to university and against any numbers cap and arguing that along with the Chancellor’s Mais Lecture on the same day, the package “adds up to a coherent strategy for the public finances and also boosting productivity.” Freshers Week. UCAS published its latest annual Student Freshers Report showing average spend rising to over £400, with Tesco, Aldi and Lidl remaining the top supermarket choices and Amazon, Netflix and Instagram the top brands. You can catch up with previous policy round-ups and/or sign up to receive an email version every Friday via this link.
Teach First Research Round Up: Spring 2022 | Teach First The Skills Imperative 2035: What does the literature tell us about essential skills most needed for work? | Learning & Work Institute Researchers spot massive retrospective change on student loans | THE Report: Illicit drug use in universities: zero tolerance or harm reduction? | HEPI Investigating strategies to increase teachers' adherence to evidence-based social-emotional behaviour practices | Best Evidence In Brief Insights from Skills Builder Partnership's Essential Skills Tracker | Rethinking Assessment Does one more year in kindergarten matter? | Best Evidence In Brief To what extent does grammar teaching help children learn to write? | IOE Bridging the gap: What can we learn about social mobility from engineering? | Sutton Trust International report highlights impact of casualisation on academic freedom | UCU Using the debrief to support structured reflection on mathematical problem-solving | Education Endowment Foundation How can the government's target of 90% of pupils achieving the expected standards at Key Stage 2 be achieved? | FFT Education Datalab Flexible learning: a literature review 2016-2021 | Advance HE Understanding the relationship between implementation and professional development | Education Endowment Foundation Excellence for learners, value for employers: New research, highlighting the importance of independent training providers | AELP How the pandemic has affected ongoing education research, and how we've responded | Education Endowment Foundation Lexia Reading Core5 - What does the research tell us? | Education Endowment Foundation
On this day in 1918 the Bolsheviks changed their name to the Russian Communist Party.
On this day in 1936 Adolf Hitler broke the Treaty of Versailles by sending troops into the Rhineland.
On this day in 1987 Sunil Gavaskar, of India, became the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket.
TUESDAY 08 MARCH:
On this day in 1531 Henry VIII was recognised as supreme head of the Church in England by the Convocation of Canterbury.
On this day in 1702 on the death of her brother-in-law King William III, Queen Anne acceded to the throne.
On this day in 1917 the February Revolution (so called because of the old-style calendar used in Russia) began with rioting at Petrograd (now St Petersburg).
WEDNESDAY 09 MARCH:
On this day in 1959 a doll called Barbara Millicent Roberts (Barbie for short) was exhibited for the first time at the American International Toy Fair.
On this day in 1967 Joseph Stalin's daughter defected to the West, requesting asylum at the US embassy in India.
On this day in 1973 the people of Northern Ireland voted to remain within the UK in a referendum.
THURSDAY 10 MARCH:
On this day in 1624 England declared war on Spain.
On this day in 1801 the first official Great Britain census took place, revealing a population of approximately 10 million.
On this day in 1862 the US issued the first paper money in the form of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000 notes. .
FRIDAY 11 MARCH:
On this day in 1930 the Lowell Observatory in Arizona announced the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh's discovery of the planet Pluto.
On this day in 1702 the first English daily newspaper the Daily Courant was published.
On this day in 1744 English auction house Sotheby's held its first ever auction (of books).
SATURDAY 12 MARCH:
On this day in 1894 Coca-Cola, originally invented as a cure for morphine addiction, was bottled and sold for the first time by Joseph A Biedenharn.
On this day in 1939 Gandhi started his 300-mile march to the sea, in protest against British monopoly on the production of salt.
On this day in 1994 the Church of England ordained its first women priests.
SUNDAY 13 MARCH:
On this day in 1639 Cambridge College, Massachusetts, was renamed Harvard for clergyman John Harvard.
On this day in 1881 Alexander II of Russia was assassinated by members of the far-left group 'People's Will' who threw a bomb at him in St Petersburg.
On this day in 1921 Mongolia (formerly Outer Mongolia) declared independence from China.
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: National Careers Week, British Pie Week, National Butchers Week, National Feet Week, No More Week, Cultivation Street Week, Crufts 2022 (10-12 March), British Science Week (11-19 March), Programming for primaries (11-20 March). INTERNATIONAL: International Parental Mental Health Awareness Week, world Orphan Week, Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, World Glaucoma Week. US: National Schools Social Work Week, Newspapers in Education Week, Read an E-Book Week, Words Matter Week, Teen Tech Week, National School Breakfast Week, Women in Construction Week, Girl Scout Week, Endometriosis Awareness Week, National Consumer Protection Week, National Procrastination Week, National Groundwater Awareness Week, National Dental Assistants Recognition Week.
MONDAY 07 MARCH IS: National Cereal Day (US), National Be Heard Day (US), National Crown of Roast Pork Day (US), National Flapjack Day (US).
TUESDAY 08 MARCH IS: International Women's Day (International), National Peanut Cluster Day (US), National Proofreading Day (US), National Oregon Day (US).
WEDNESDAY 09 MARCH IS: National No Smoking Day (UK), World Panic Day (International), National Barbie Day (US), National Crabmeat Day (US), National Get Over it Day (US), National Meatball Day (US), National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day (US).
THURSDAY 10 MARCH IS: World Kidney Day (International), International School Meals Day, Social Prescribing Day (International), National Blueberry Popover Day (US), National Mario Day (US), National Pack Your Lunch Day (US), National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (US).
FRIDAY 11 MARCH IS: National 311 Day (US), National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day (US), National Johnny Appleseed Day (US), National Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day (US), National Promposal Day (US), National Worship of Tools Day (US).
SATURDAY 12 MARCH IS: National Baked Scallops Day (US), National Girl Scout Day (US), National Plant a Flower Day (US), National Working Moms Day (US).
SUNDAY 13 MARCH IS: Daylight Saving Time (UK), National Good Samaritan Day (US), National Coconut Torte Day (US), National Earmuff Day (US), National Jewel Food Day (US), National K9 Veterans Day (US), National Open an Umbrella Day (US).