Follow this linkto 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. As your starter for ten, we've chosen three items from each phase below ...
GENERAL Priorities for 2023. The PM kicked off the new year with a set piece speech, setting out five priorities for the coming months (halving inflation, growing the economy, reducing debt, cutting waiting lists, and stopping small boats), emphasising the importance of innovation, levelling up, family and community values, and numeracy for young people. Labour vision. Sir Keir Starmer also made a keynote speech at the start of the year, promising an end to ‘sticking-plaster’ politics, and in its place ‘a decade of national renewal’ based around modernising central government and devolving power over key delivery areas to local communities. Future Education. The World Economic Forum highlighted the importance of education and skills ahead of its forthcoming Annual Summit at Davos, pointing to three skills – problem-solving, collaboration, adaptability – that should form part of what it’s calling ‘a re-imagined education system’ for the future, labelled Education 4.0.
Careers guidance. The government followed up its recent consultation on careers guidance by issuing new statutory guidance designed to boost to careers provision in schools, with strengthened work-related careers sessions in secondary schools, and the launch of a programme for primary schools in disadvantaged areas intended ‘to open children’s eyes’ to future opportunities. School buildings. In a new report, the House of Commons Library Service examined school capital funding, and, in particular, the schools building programme, noting that the latest departmental annual report had listed ‘the condition of school buildings' as one of six significant risks, with concerns remaining about the planned levels of capital funding in the future. Disadvantage. FFT Education Datalab published a useful summary of its recent report into the long-term impact of disadvantage at school (submitted to the Northern Powerhouse Partnership), highlighting how by the time of employment, those currently on free school meals tended to end up with ‘less positive’ outcomes – with the long-term disadvantaged facing the poorest outcomes, and with the North East being one of the regions suffering the most.
Maths ambition. In a set piece speech outlining government priorities for the year ahead, the PM highlighted the importance of maths and the need for young people to continue developing their numeracy skills until at least the age of 18. Learning another language. The British Council reported on its poll re learning another language, carried out at the end of last year. It found that more than a quarter of adults, particularly those aged 18 – 24, regretted never learning another language fluently. Spanish, French and Chinese were seen as the top languages likely to improve UK skills and productivity.
Student numbers. The House of Commons Library Service published a useful briefing paper on UKHE student numbers – taking in the key trends over recent years, including the latest application round, but noting that while things may appear positive on f/t undergraduate numbers, they are less healthy for other groups such as /t students, EU students, and some mature learners. Graduate route. Ahead of a webinar on the matter, the HE Policy Institute (HEPI), published a briefing note on issues around the Graduate Route – including a lack of transparency and take-up, and with broader concerns from employers about the visa system generally. The year ahead. Sarah Stevens, Policy Director at the Russell Group, reflected in a blog on the HEPI website on the state of UKHE at the start of a new year, suggesting it was broadly ‘in good health’, but that funding and regulation, the Augar reforms, and global positioning were among the issues needing resolution.
Parliament returns (Monday 9 January 2023). Education Committee witness session on careers education (Tuesday 10 January). The think tank Onward hosts an event with the minister on the UK’s Global Science Strategy beyond Horizon Europe (Wednesday 11 January). Westminster Hall debate on skills and labour shortages. (Thursday 12 January). Further End of Cycle data from UCAS on 2022/3 applications. (Thursday 12 January).
MONDAY 09 JANUARY On this day in 1799 income tax was introduced by William Pitt the Younger to raise funds for the Napoleonic Wars On this day in 1816 Sir Humphry Davy’s safety lamp was first used in a mine. On this day in 1873 Napoleon III, French Emperor, died in exile in England.
TUESDAY 10 JANUARY On this day in 1839 the first tea from leaves of indigenous plants of Assam, India arrives in the United Kingdom. On this day in 1840 the Penny Post was introduced. On this day in 1946 the inaugural session of the UN general assembly opened in London.
WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY On this day in 1864 Charing Cross Station opens in London. On this day in 1919 Romania annexed Transylvania. On this day in 1981 a three-man British team, led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, completed the longest and fastest crossing of Antarctica after 75 days and 2,500 miles.
THURSDAY 12 JANUARY On this day in 1583 Holland began the use of the Gregorian calendar. On this day in 1806 the French evacuated Vienna. On this day in 1816 France decreed the Bonaparte family to be excluded from the country forever.
FRIDAY 13 JANUARY On this day in 1610 Galileo Galilei discovers Callisto, 4th satellite of Jupiter. On this day in 1794 Congress changed US flag to 15 flag to 15 stars and 15 stripes. On this day in 1938 the Church of England accepted the theory of evolution.
SATURDAY 14 JANUARY On this day in 1514 Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery. On this day in 1724 Spanish King Philip V abdicated the throne. On this day in 1977 Anthony Eden, prime minister from 1955-57, died.
SUNDAY 15 JANUARY On this day in 1559 Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England. On this day in 1759 the British Museum opened at Montague House, London. On this day in 2001 the Wikipedia website went online.
Awareness days from around the world
WORLDWIDE: Dry January, Manuary, Veganuary Month, Ginuary, World Health Esteem Month, International Brainteaser Month, International Creativity Month, International Quality of Life Month, International Change Your Stars Month, International Child-Centred Divorce Month, International Wayfinding Month, International Wealth Mentality Month. UK: Walk Your Dog Month, Love Your Liver Month, Big Schools Birdwatch (runs from January 06 to February 20). US & CANADA: Mentoring Month, Get A Balanced Life Month, Self-Love Month, Poverty in America Awareness Month, Little Things Mental Health Campaign, Clean Up Your Computer Month, Get Organized Month, Be On-Purpose Month, Celebration of Life Month, Oatmeal Month, Soup Month, Be Kind to Food Servers Month, Hot Tea Month, Hobby Month, Apple and Apricot Month, Artichoke and Asparagus Month, California Restaurant Month, Children Impacted by Parent’s Cancer Month, Cervical Health Awareness Month, Clap 4 Health Month, Family Fit Lifestyle Month, Financial Wellness Month, March of Dimes Birth Defects Prevention Month, Adopt a Rescued Bird Month, Bath Safety Month, Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, Black Diamond Month, Blood Donor Month, Book Blitz Month, Braille Literacy Month, CBD Month, Co-dependency Awareness Month, Conscience Month, Eye Care Month, Fiber Focus Month, Glaucoma Awareness Month, Mail Order Gardening Month, Meat Month, Menudo Month, Personal Trainer Awareness Month, Polka Music Month, Pre-Pregnancy Awareness Month, radon Action Month, Skating Month, Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Slow Cooking Month, Stalking Awareness Month, Staying Healthy Month, Sunday Supper Month, Thank You Month, Train Your Dog Month, Wheat Bread Month, Poverty Awareness Month, Prune Breakfast Month, Receding Gums Awareness Month, Retail Bakers Month, Rising Star Month, Shape Up US Month, START Child Health Campaign, Teen Driving Awareness Month, Thyroid Awareness Month, Tubers and Dried Fruit Month, Unchain a Dog Month. OTHER COUNTRIES: Get Ireland Active Month (Ireland).
THIS WEEK IS: WORLDWIDE: Universal Letter Writing Week UK: Houseplant Week, Home Office Safety and Security Week US & CANADA Obesity Awareness Week, Pizza Week, Mocktail Week, Folic Acid Awareness Week, Cuckoo Dancing Week (from 11 January), Hunt for Happiness Week (from January 15), Fresh Squeezed Juice Week (from January 15), Healthy Wright Week (from January 15).
MONDAY 09 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: Coming of Age Day, International Choreographers Day. US & CANADA Fourth Graders Day, Clean Your Desk Day, Gluten Free Day, Word Nerd Day, Cassoulet Day, Apricot Day, Play God Day, Balloon Ascension Day, Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Static Electricity Day, Faith Day, WONK Day, No Pants Subway Ride Day, Plough Monday. OTHER COUNTRIES: Martyrs’ Day (Panama).
TUESDAY 10 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: World Hindi Day, League of Nations Day. US & CANADA: Peculiar People Day, Poetry at Work Day, Cut Your Energy Costs Day, Save the Eagles Day, Shop For Travel Day, Oysters Rockefeller Day, Houseplant Appreciation Day, Bittersweet Chocolate Day, Shareholders Day.
WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: International Parity at Work Day, International Thank You Day, World Sketchnote Day, No Longer New Year’s Day Day. US & CANADA: Take the Stairs Day, Heritage Treasures Day, Arkansas Day, Girl Hug Boy Day, Secret Pal Day, Milk Day, Hot Toddy Day, Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day, Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day. OTHER COUNTRIES: Constitution Day (Kosrae), German Apples Day (Germany).
THURSDAY 12 JANUARY
US & CANADA: Work Harder Day, Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution Day, Youth Day, Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day, Healthy Weight, Healthy Look Day, Kettlebell Day, Curried Chicken Day, Kiss a Ginger Day, Lard Day, Pharmacist Day, Marzipan Day, Hot Tea Day (Canada). OTHER COUNTRIES: Remembrance Day (Tahiti).
FRIDAY 13 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: Lohri Maghi (Sikh), Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday (Buddhism), International Skeptics Day, Quitters Day UK: Calennig (Wales). US & CANADA: Korean American Day, Stephen Foster Memorial Day, Make Your Dream Come True Day, Blame Someone Else Day, Sticker Day, Poetry Break Day, Rubber Ducky Day, Public Radio Broadcasting Day, Peach Melba Day,. OTHER COUNTRIES: Lohri (india), St. Knut’s Dau (Sweden).
SATURDAY 14 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: Othodox New Year, International Kite Day, World Logic Day. UK: STIQ Day. US & CANADA: Ratification Day, Vision Board Day, Take a Missionary to Lunch Day, Caesarean Section Day, Dress Up Your Pet Day, Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day, Organize Your Home Day. OTHER COUNTRIES: Novy God (Russian New Year), Undhiyu Day (India), Flag Day (Georgia), Children’s Day (Thailand).
SUNDAY 15 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: Makar Sankranti (Hindu), World Religion Day (Baha’i), World Snow Day. US & CANADA: Alpha Kappa Alpha Day, Elementary School Teacher Day, Wikipedia Day, Bagel Day, Booch Day, Freshly Squeezed Juice Day, Hat Day, Strawberry Ice Cream Day, Pothole Day. OTHER COUNTRIES: Day of International Recognition (Croatia), Pongal (India), Indian Army Day (India), Day of Sanctity and Protection of Human Life (Philippines).