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 Energy relief. The government announced a discount scheme for high energy non-domestic users including business, charities and public sector bodies such as schools and colleges, that will replace the current energy relief scheme when it closes at the end of March and provide support with discounts to March 2024. Back to work. Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth used a keynote speech to outline a number of reforms around job centres and employment support that the Labour Party was currently considering, including ‘modernising’ job centres so that they became community hubs, helping early retirees back to work, and expanding employment support schemes. 2021 Census data. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data from the 2021 Census showing the number of recorded pupils and students in England and Wales (11.5m) the number with L4 or above qualifications (16.4m) and the region with the greatest number of people with high level qualifications (London).
SCHOOLS Teachers’ pay. Luke Sibieta, Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IfS) examined teachers’ pay in the context of current recruitment concerns and talk of industrial action, concluding that for most teachers inflation was likely to mean salaries would fall by 5% in real terms this year, following a decade or more of real-term salary reductions. Primary intake. London Councils reported that 29 out of 32 London Boroughs were expecting a 4% drop in demand for reception places over the next three years with a 3.5% drop in demand for Year 7 places over the same period, largely due to a fall in the birth rate and changing migration patterns. Pupil absentees. The Education Committee announced a new Inquiry to look in depth at pupil absentees, notably the most persistent and the most disadvantaged, including how some schools and families were tackling this and what further data and support was needed, calling for evidence submissions by 9 Feb 2023.
FE/SKILLS: 16-19 funding. The government announced a 2.2% increase in the 2023/4 funding rate for 16/17-year-olds and for 18 + year-olds with high needs, plus a 10% increase in the cost weightings for some technical/vocational programmes, allocated from last year’s Spending Review and intended to help with 16-19 provision and support. Qualification reform. The government issued an important update report on the reforms around L2 and 3 qualifications which will see new quality criteria and approval processes implemented with awarding body needing to register their intent by 10 Feb 2023, submissions this July, confirmation of approval decisions and funding the summer after and a new formulated qualification system at L3 and below in place from 2025. Skills Survey. The CBI published the results of its latest employer survey of education and skills showing employers more concerned with tackling inflation and recession than training and skills initiatives with many unaware of recent government skills developments such as T levels and Local Skills Improvement Plans.
HE Fees and loans. The government announced that tuition fees would be frozen for a further two years, maintenance loans would increase by 2.8% for the coming year, an additional £15m would be made available in hardship funding for the current financial year, and those starting Higher Tech Qualifications in 2023/4 would qualify for fee and maintenance loans for the first time. Graduate tax. Nick Hillman, director at the HE Policy Institute (HEPI,) outlined the context around any likely graduate tax such as that reportedly being considered by the Labour Party at present, pointing in particular to a seminal old DFES paper on the matter, now available on the HEPI website. University applications. UCAS reported on its current work on reforming and improving the admissions process, where it’s proposing from 2024 to transform the personal statement from an ‘open box’ to a series of standard questions around things like course motivation and preparedness and extenuating circumstances and preferred learning styles
Deadline for primary school applications (Sunday 15 January 2023). MPs’ Education Questions (Monday 16 January). World Economic Forum in Davos (Monday 16 Jan – Friday 20 January). International Higher Education Commission Evidence Session on ‘The Real Economic Value of International Students’ (Tuesday 17 January). Institute for Government Annual Conference on key questions facing the government this year (Tuesday 17 January). HMC/ASCL/Edge and partners conference on ‘Next Generation Assessment’ (Tuesday 17 January). Free School Meals (Primary Schools) Bill Second Reading (Friday 20 January).
MONDAY 16 JANUARY On this day in 1604 the Hampton Court Conference ended, in which King James 1 authorised a new translation of the Bible. On this day in 1920 prohibition of the sale of alcohol began in America. On this day in 1979 the Shah of Iran was forced into exile in Egypt.
TUESDAY 17 JANUARY On this day in 1773 Captain Cook’s Resolution crossed the Antarctic Circle, the first ship to do so. On this day in 1874 cojoined Thai-American brothers Chang and Eng Bunker, regarded as the original Siamese Twins, died, aged 62, in North Carolina – within two hours of one another. On this day in 1912 Captain Robert Scott reached the South Pole, to discover his rival Roald Amundsen had reached it first.
WEDNESDAY 18 JANUARY On this day in 1486 King Henry VII married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV. On this day in 1882 children’s writers A A Milne and Arthur Ransome were born On this day in 1919 the Versailles Peace Conference opened.
THURSDAY 19 JANUARY On this day in 1363 King Edward III introduced his Sumptuary Laws to preserve social status, restricting what people ate and wore. They were largely ignored. On this day in 1915 in the first air raid on Britain, a German zeppelin crossed the Norfolk coast and bombed Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn. On this day in 1966 Indira Gandhi became India’s first woman prime minister.
FRIDAY 20 JANUARY On this day in 1793 King Louis XVI of France was executed (by guillotine). On this day in 1841 Britain and China signed the Convention of Chuanbi, which ceded Hong Kong to the British. On this day in 1954 the first nuclear -powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched.
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: Family Mediation Week, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. US & CANADA International Hoof Care Week, No Name-Calling 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). OTHER COUNTRIES: European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.
MONDAY 16 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: World Religion Day (Religious – Baha’i), Religious Freedom Day, Blue Monday, International Hot and Spicy Food Day. UK Brew Monday US & CANADA Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Quinoa Day Idaho Human Rights Day, God Teen Day, Appreciate a Dragon Day, Nothing Day, Book Publishers Day, Civil Rights Day, Elementary School Teacher Day, Boston Day, Fig Newton Day, Without a Scalpel Day, Prohibition Remembrance Day, OTHER COUNTRIES: Signing of the Peace Accords (El Salvador).
TUESDAY 17 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: International Mentoring Day, International We Are Not Broken Day. US & CANADA: Bootleggers Day, Popeye Day, Benjamin Franklin Day, Kid Inventors Day, Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day, Cable Car Day, Judgment Day, Hot Buttered Rum Day, Hot Heads Chili Day, Printing Ink Day, Rid the World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day. OTHER COUNTRIES: James Leonard Tagle Gordon Day (Philippines).
WEDNESDAY 18 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: Thesaurus Day, Winnie the Pooh Day. US & CANADA: Classy Day, Forrest Day, Weedless Wednesday, Gourmet Coffee Day, Peking Duck Day, Michigan Day, Museum Selfie Day.
THURSDAY 19 JANUARY WORLDWIDE: Feast of Theophany (Religious – Orthodox Christian), Tin Can Day, World Quark Day. US & CANADA: Brew a Potion Day, Get to Know Your Customers Day, Artist as Outlaw Day, Good Memory Day, Popcorn Day, Women’s Healthy Weight Day, Gun Appreciation Day, Rebert E. Lee Day, Tenderness Towards Existence Day.
FRIDAY 20 JANUARY
WORLDWIDE: Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti Day (Religious – Sikhism), International Day of Acceptance, International Fetish Day, Penguin Awareness Day. UK: Cheese Lovers Day. US & CANADA: Inauguration Day, Coffee Break Day, Penguin Day, Buttercrunch Day, Disc Jockey Day, Camcorder Day, Take a Walk Outdoors Day.