Inclusive Britain. The government published its response to last year’s report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, agreeing with much of what proved to be a contentious report, and setting out a detailed Action Plan covering most aspects of public life, including education, policing, health and labelling. Online Safety. The Online Safety Bill formally began its process through Parliament following draft proposals last year, with the government claiming it as ‘a landmark moment’ in terms of protecting children and public safety, with new requirements on social media companies and new powers for the regulator. DfE matters. The Dept for Education confirmed that it was bringing together post-16 skills policy and delivery into a new Skills Group as recommended by the recent review of the Education and Skills Funding Agency and later this year would be creating a new Regional Group to dovetail with the nine English regions.
Inclusive curriculum. The government included a number of proposals for developing a more inclusive curriculum, including developing a Model History curriculum by 2024, improving careers guidance, and incorporating more training for teachers as part of its Inclusive Britain report, School digital maturity. The government published a commissioned report on its work monitoring digital maturity in schools and of any relationship between this and pupil attainment, concluding that the majority of schools were ‘somewhere in the middle in terms of their digital maturity journey’ and that there was no obvious relationship between a school’s level of digital maturity and pupil attainment. Learning loss. The education company, Juniper Education, published a follow-up report on the impact of the pandemic on primary children’s learning, using attainment data for up to last autumn indicating that performance has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels with current Yr3 and disadvantaged children the hardest hit.
FURTHER EDUCATION & SKILLS
Skills Bill. The House of Commons Library Service published a helpful summary of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill as it reached its final stages, outlining the purpose the Bill, amendments suggested and much of the debate around it. MPs discussed the status of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) following the Levelling Up White Paper with many asking for clarity on their status in the future and the minister reassuring them that LEPs would be here to stay. Youth employment. The All-Party Parliamentary Group or Youth Employment published its report into the impact of vocational qualifications on young people’s employability, acknowledging support for government plans on raising the profile of voc quals but raising concerns about the defunding of some, such as BTECs, and calling for a carefully managed roll out of T levels, a review of careers provision, and a variety of provision at L2. Levelling Up Everyone, Everywhere. The Campaign for Learning published a new series of comment pieces by leading commentators on post-16 skills and levelling up covering aspects affecting young people, lifelong learners, training and local provision, and concluding with 15 recommendations addressing many of the White Paper missions.
International education. The skills minister, Alex Burghart, set out the government’s thinking on the UK International Education Strategy in a speech to the International Education Forum, praising the sector for meeting the international recruitment target early, confirming the focus around 5 countries including India and Saudi Arabia, and highlighting the importance of TNE. Call for evidence. The Office for Students (OfS) launched a Call for Evidence from higher ed providers and organisations on the experiences of international students in UK education and how they might best be supported as the government and sector seek to strengthen their international education strategy for the future. Setting the context. The Office for Students (OfS) published a briefing on international students and the current status of the government’s international education strategy showing the importance of international students to UKHE and the contribution they make while looking at options for further development in a post-pandemic, post-Brexit world.
You can catch up with previous policy round-ups and/or sign up to receive an email version every Friday via this link.
Annual Apprenticeship Conference (Monday 21 March – Tuesday 22 March). AoC ‘Safe Students, Safe Colleges’ Conference (Tuesday March 22). Education Committee witness session on universities and HE (Tuesday 22 March). Westminster Hall debate on the rollout of the School Rebuilding Programme (Tuesday 22 March). The Chancellor’s Spring Statement (Wednesday 23 March). Youth Employability Conference (Wednesday 23 March). BETT Conference (Wednesday 23 March – Friday 25 March). Westminster Hall debate on PE as a core subject in schools (Wednesday 23 March). Westminster Hall debate on LEPs (Wednesday 16 March).
On this day in 1935 Persia was renamed Iran by Reza Shah Pahlavi.
On this day in 1946 Aneurin Bevan announced proposals for a National Health Service.
On this day in 2006 the social media site Twitter was founded.
TUESDAY 22 MARCH:
On this day in 1790 Thomas Jefferson became the first US Secretary of State under President Washington.
On this day in 1832 Parliament passed the Reform Act, introducing wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales, increasing the electorate from around 500,000 to over 813,000.
On this day in 1903 a drought caused Niagara Falls to dry up.
WEDNESDAY 23 MARCH:
On this day in 1657 France and England formed an alliance against Spain, with England given Dunkirk.
On this day in 1839 the use of 'OK' (oll korrect) was recorded in Boston's Morning Post.
On this day in 1861 London's first tramcars, designed by Mr Train of New York, began operating.
THURSDAY 24 MARCH:
On this day in 1550 France and England signed the Peace of Boulogne.
On this day in 1603 King James VI of Scotland became James I of England on the death of Queen Elizabeth I, joining the English and Scottish crowns.
On this day in 1906 a 'Census of the British Empire' showed that Great Britain ruled one fifth of the world.
FRIDAY 25 MARCH:
On this day in 1306 Robert the Bruce was crowned Robert I, King of Scots, having killed his rival John Commyn, Lord of Badenoch.
On this day in 1924 Greece became a republic.
On this day in 1957 the Treaty of Rome was signed, bringing into being the European Economic Community.
SATURDAY 26 MARCH:
On this day in 1780 the first British Sunday newspaper appeared, The British Gazette and Sunday Monitor.
On this day in 1885 in Woking, Surrey, Jeanette Pickersgill became the first person in modern times to be legally cremated in England.
On this day in 1973 women were admitted to the London Stock Exchange for the first time.
SUNDAY 27 MARCH:
On this day in 1782 Charles Watson-Wentworth, second Marquess of Rockingham, became Prime Minister of Great Britain.
On this day in 1871 the first international rugby match ended in a win for Scotland against England.
On this day in 1915 Mary Mallon (known as Typhoid Mary) an Irish cook identified as an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid, was quarantined for life in New York.
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, International Ideas Month. US: Music in our Schools Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Cheerleading Safety Month, Umbrella Month, Brain Injury Awareness Month, Nutrition Month, Frozen Food Month, Noodle Month, Flour Month, Peanut Month, Caffeine Awareness Month, Celery Month, Sauce Month, Rising Star Month, Small Press Month, Haemophilia Awareness Month, Kidney Month, Credit Education Month, Asset Management Awareness Month, Social Work Month, Craft Month, Moustache March, Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, Save Your Vision Month, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Trisomy Awareness Month, National Athletic Training Month, Breast Implant Awareness Month.
THIS WEEK IS:
UK: Salt Awareness Week (26 March to 01 April). INTERNATIONAL: World Salt Awareness Week. US: Introverts Week, Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination, National Physicians Week (March 25-31), National Cleaning Week, Nano Days (last weekend in March through to the first weekend in April).
MONDAY 21 MARCH IS: World Poetry Day (International), World Down Syndrome Day (International), World Forestry Day (International), World Vermouth Day (International), Fragrance Day (International), Healthy Fats Day (UK), Slytherin Pride Day (UK), Memory Day (US), California Strawberry Day (US), Common Courtesy Day (US), Countdown Day (US), Fragrance Day (US), French Bread Day (US), Single Parent Day (US).
TUESDAY 22 MARCH IS: Gryffindor Pride Day (UK), World Day for Water (International), Bavarian Crepes Day (US), Goof Off Day (US), West Virginia Day (US), American Diabetes Association Alert Day (US), Ag Day (US), 30D Day (US).
WEDNESDAY 23 MARCH IS: World Meteorological Day (International), Chia Day (US), Chip and Dip Day (US), Near Miss Day (US), Melba Toast Day (US), Puppy Day (US), Tamale Day (US).
THURSDAY 24 MARCH IS: World Tuberculosis Day (International), Flatmate's Day (US), Chocolate Covered Raisin Day (US), Cheesesteak Day (US), Cocktail Day (US).
FRIDAY 25 MARCH IS: Waffle Day (International), Lobster Newburg Day (US), Medal of Honor Day (US), Tolkien Reading Day (US).
SATURDAY 26 MARCH IS: World Purple Day (International), Good Hair Day (US), Epilepsy Awareness Day/Purple Day (US), Nougat Day (US), Spinach Day (US).
SUNDAY 27 MARCH IS: Mothering Sunday (UK), British Summer Time begins and clocks move forward one hour (UK), World Theatre Day (International), Medical Science Liaison Day (International), Whiskey Day (International), Neighbour Day (US), Joe Day (US), Scribble Day (US), Spanish Paella Day (US).