Three of the week's headlines ...
Regulator: Too many first-class degrees awarded in England.
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Schools Bill: The 15 new laws proposed.
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Surge in number of children with EHCPs.
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View all this week's education news
Three pieces of policy news - by phase


  • Mental health support. The government announced an additional £7m for schools, colleges and universities to train extra mental health leads as part of its contribution to Mental Health Awareness Week, with further money also going to charities to tackle bullying and develop respect.
  • Education Commission. The Times hosted an Education Summit as part of the build-up to the launch of its Commission’s Final Report, looking at the exam system and future needs, and highlighting employer evidence about the need to provide young people with the basic skills needed for future employment. 
  • Work Review. The PM appointed Matt Warman MP to lead a review of the labour market and the future of work generally, building on the Taylor Review, and to consider how best to support employer needs and skills, create a productive workforce and examine the impact of automation.


  • Queen’s Speech and Schools. The government announced a new Schools Bill in the Queen’s Speech, intended to encourage more schools to join multi-academy trusts as well as tackle the issues of pupil attendance and unregistered schools.
  • School attendance. The Children’s Commissioner for England outlined some of the initial findings from her Attendance Audit, launched after last year’s Big Ask to try to understand more about school absentees, with the full findings due to be published next month. 
  • School system. The Local Government Association published a commissioned report into school types using Ofsted inspection grading to compare performance, arguing that schools that stick with their local council are more likely to perform better than academies and that a one-size-fits-all approach is not a necessary guarantor of success
  • Defunding qualifications. The government published the list of L3 qualifications, including 38 BTECs, that overlap with the first T levels for which it proposes to withdraw funding for new starters from August 2024, with appeals allowed up to 8 July 2022.
  • Digital Skills Training. Google launched a further wave of digital skills training with its Digital Garage scheme which will deliver free in-person digital skills training for individuals and businesses at locations around the country.
  • WorldSkills 2022. WorldSkills UK announced the list of 29 young people who will represent the country in the 2022 WorldSklills competition in China.


  • Queen’s Speech and HE. WONKHE provided a useful run down of Bills proposed in the Queen’s Speech that could affect higher education including the rollover HE (Freedom of Speech) Bill and Online Safety Bill but also an HE Bill covering recent funding proposals, a Levelling Up Bill, Renters Reform and Social Housing Bills, and a Public Order Bill.
  • REF results. The results of the 2021 assessment of UK university research, carried out through the extensive Research Excellence Framework and signalling an important moment for UK research and university ambitions, were published, with 41% of submissions deemed world leading and 43% judged internationally excellent.
  • Degree trends. The Office for Students published a new report looking at graduate attainment rates over the last decade and showing a doubling of the proportion awarded a 1stclass honours with nearly 60% unexplained in terms of background factors leaving the OfS pointing to plans to investigate in more detail.
Catch up with the latest issues of Steve Besley's Education Eye
Latest research, reports and studies
How do learning styles affect learning predictions? | Learning Scientists
Small changes can have a powerful impact on learners with SEND, finds ETF report | Education & Training Foundation
A short reflection on a foundational programme, first-time international students and pedagogical uncertainties | BERA
Making sense of today's REF2021 results: 7 points of note | HEPI
The REF is dead, long live the REF | Wonkhe
Results of Research Excellence Framework are published | UKRI
Reading stories of struggle improves the growth mindset of young adults-to-be | Best Evidence In Brief
The effectiveness of teacher evaluation training programs | Best Evidence In Brief
Virtual reality and science learning: Two experiments | Best Evidence In Brief
Onscreen assessment has potential for truly transformational change - reveals new Pearson report | Pearson
Effects of a multitiered system of language support on kindergarten oral and written language | Best Evidence In Brief
Exploring neurodiversity and race in higher education | Advance HE
The art of partnership and the partnership of arts | Foundation for Education Development
Using worked examples to support mathematical problem-solving | Education Endowment Foundation
Study shows more time on research means lower scores for students | THE
Repeat suspensions and exclusions during compulsory schooling | FFT Education Datalab
Mapping the way to a more equitable future for education | Foundation for Education Development
The Career Development Plan: How large-group teaching helps to embed employability into the university curriculum | Edge Foundation
Peer networks: fostering a sense of belonging | Advance HE
Lessons about inclusion in higher education: A last chance to engage with Erasmus | BERA
Scotland: Improving literacy through research-informed reading instruction | TES
What international evidence can teach us about inclusion | TES
First causal evidence that degrees make people more liberal | THE
Search our education research section
Parliament and elsewhere
  • Learning at Work Week (Monday 16 May – Sunday 22 May).
  • MPs debate on the Queen’s Speech including the proposed Education Bills (Monday 16 May).
  • Education Committee evidence session on post-16 qualifications (Tuesday 17 May).
  • Skills Commission 2nd Evidence Session into Higher Technical Qualifications (Tuesday 17 May).
  • National Numeracy Day (Wednesday 18 May).
  • UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education (Wednesday 18 May – Friday 20 May).
  • Education Policy Institute and Teach First event on ‘Closing the Gap to Level Up’ (Thursday 19 May).
Events and CPD opportunities
Monday 16 May: Barber Talk – How colleges can play their role in suicide prevention and building a legacy for the Lions Barber Collective | AoC (online event)

Tuesday 17 May: AoC Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference 2022 | AoC  (online event)
Tuesday 17 May: How to build the playbook to foster student diversity at scale | The PIE  (online event)
Tuesday 17 May: Leading On - Pitfalls and Possibilities of Quality Assuring the Curriculum| ASCL  (online event)
Tuesday 17 May: Teacher and youth priorities for education for environmental sustainability | UCL (in-person event - Central London)
Tuesday 17 May: Innovation in education: systems, pedagogy and neuroscience| UCL  (online event)
Tuesday 17 May: The DfE Reading Framework: assessing the implications | Early Education  (online event)
Tuesday 17 May: Developing the big ideas of early number | Early Education  (online event)

Wednesday 18 May: Green and climate education in England - sustainability and action on climate change in the curriculum| Westminster Forum Projects (online event)
Wednesday 18 May: Agency problems in agent-based international student recruitment | UCL (online event)
Wednesday 18 May: Challenging sexual and gender-based violence in educational settings | UCL (in-person event - Central London)
Wednesday 18 May: How real-time data can help universities design efficient international school outreach |The PIE (online event)
Wednesday 18 to Thursday 19 May: Raising Standards of Literacy Across Primary Education Forum | Inside Government (online event)
Wednesday 18 May: From the Nature Table to the Allotment | Early Education (online event)
Wednesday 18 May: Music and stories to support communication, language & literacy | Early Education (online event)
Wednesday 18 May: Realising the Ambition - My Digital World | Early Education (online event)

Thursday 19 May: New Heads' Conference 2022 | NAHT (online event)
Thursday 19 May: HR Update: Practice and Law in Education | Optimus Education (in-person event - Central  London)
Thursday 19 May: Deliver Digital Lessons Easily and with Impact | TeacherToolkit (online event)

Saturday 21 May: A recipe for a Child Centred Curriculum | Early Education (in-person event - Carlisle)

Running an education-related event that you'd like to see included in our calendar? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details and a link to the booking info.
See all events
Three interesting daily facts
On this day in 1717 Voltaire was imprisoned in the Bastille after his satirical poem La Henriade riled the French administration.
On this day in 1929 the first Academy Awards were presented in Los Angeles.
On this day in 1991 the Queen, on a tour of the US, became the first British monarch to address a joint meeting of Congress.
On this day in 1792 24 merchants meeting in Wall Street founded the New York Stock Exchange.
On this day in 1916 the Daylight Saving Act was passed in Britain, creating much confusion when the clocks went forward four days later.
On this day in 1943 the Dambuster raid took place as bouncing bombs, the invention of Sir Barnes Wallis, were dropped on dams in the Ruhr valley.
On this day in 1291 Acre, the remaining Christian stronghold in the Holy Land, fell to the Saracens.
On this day in 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of France.
On this day in 1953 test pilot Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier, flying at 1050 kmh (625.5 mph).
On this day in 1536 Anne Boleyn was beheaded.
On this day in 1897 Oscar Wilde was released from Reading Gaol.
On this day in 1962 Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday at a celebration for President John F Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, New York.
On this day in 1608 Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra was entered in the Stationers’ Register.
On this day in 1873 Levi Strauss received a patent for blue jeans.
On this day in 1932 Amelia Earhart took off from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, on what would be the first transatlantic solo flight by a woman.
On this day in 1840 Captain William Hobson proclaimed New Zealand to be a British colony.
On this day in 1894 Queen Victoria opened the Manchester Ship Canal.
On this day in 1927 Charles Lindbergh Jr arrived in Paris after flying from New York in a little over 33 hours.
On this day in 1897 the Prince of Wales opened the Blackwall Tunnel under the Thames in London.
On this day in 1958 Mao Zedong started the Great Leap Forward in China.
On this day in 1972 Ceylon adopted a new constitution, and changed its name to Sri Lanka.
Awareness days from around the world

Mental Health Month, Smile Month (Monday May 16 to Wednesday June 15), Tourettes Awareness Month, Walking Month, Share a Story Month, Big Asthma Bake Sale, Make May Purple/Action on Stroke Month, Local and Community History Month.
Maternal Mental Health Month, May Measure Month, Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, Zombie Awareness Month, Clean Air Month, Teen Self Esteem Month, Better Speech and Language Month, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month, Lupus Awareness Month, Military Appreciation Month, Deck Safety Month, Bike Month, Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Get Caught Reading Month, Hamburger Month, Golf Month, Photography Month, Barbecue Month.

Learning at Work Week (UK), Safeguarding Awareness Week (UK), Walk to School Week (UK), Stationery Week (UK), Vegetarian Week (UK), Dementia Action Week (UK), Action for Brain Injury Week (UK), Foster Care Fortnight (UK: until 22 May), National Doughnut Week (UK), International Heritage Breeds Week (Sunday May 15 to Saturday May 21.

Children’s Day (UK), Vesak (International), Drawing Day (US), Waiters Day (US), Horse Rescue Day (US), Sea Monkey Day (US), Biographers Day (US). 

World Hypertension Day (International), World Telecommunications Day (International), World Hypertension Day (International), World Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day (International), World Baking Day (International), Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia Day (International), Pinot Grigio Day (US), Work From Home Day (US), Pack Rat Day.

Numeracy Day (UK), World AIDS Vaccine Day (International), Museums Day (International), Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (US), No Dirty Dishes Day (US), Visit Your Relatives Day (US).

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (International), Accounting Day (International), World IBD Day (International), Notebook Day (US), May Ray Day (US).

World Bee Day (International), Virtual Assistants Day (International), Clinical Trials Day (International), Bike to Work Day (US), Pick Strawberries Day (US), quiche Day (US), Weights & Measures Day (US), Be a Millionaire Day (US), Pizza Party Day (US), Endangered Species Day (US), Defence Transportation Day (US).

Hats for Headway (UK), FA Cup Final (UK), World Meditation Day (International), Tea Day (International), World Fish Migration Day (International), World Fiddle Day (International), World Whisky Day (International), World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (International), Waitstaff Day (US), I Need a Patch for That Day (US), Memo Day (US), Plant a Lemon Tree Day (US), Rapture Party Day (US), Learn to swim Day (US).

Sherlock Holmes Day (International), World Goth Day (International), Harvey Milk Day (US), Maritime Day (US).
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