Our Weekly Round-Up aims to keep you up to date by looking back at the week that was and taking a peek at the week coming up.

So as not to overload you we've limited the majority of the sections to three, but provided links to further info if you want to delve deeper.


We hope you find this round-up useful. It's a work in progress, so don't forget to tell us what you think by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any comments – whether good, bad or indifferent. It's the only way we'll be able to improve it.

Have a great week ahead.

The EdCentral Team

P.S. If you missed out on our first edition last week, you can catch up here ...

LOOKING BACK AT THE WEEK THAT WAS
The three biggest headlines of the week
315,000 pupils miss class in the first week of term because of COVID.
Read more
State school teachers report higher staff absences than private school peers.
Read more
Study finds that parents in England feel 'disempowered' by school choice.
Read more
View all this week's education news headlines
Policy news in brief (compiled by Steve Besley)
SCHOOLS

Staff absences. The Sutton Trust and Teacher Tapp reported on trends in Covid-related staff absences as the new term got under way, highlighting differences by region with for example schools in the NW hit the hardest, as well differences between school types with state schools, especially the most deprived, harder hit than private schools.
Coping with recovery: Part 1. The government published interim findings from its commissioned report into how schools were coping with education recovery, looking in this first instance at the 2020/21 academic year. The ‘innovative’ curriculum and pastoral responses adopted by many were noted, but it highlighted the continuing need for funding, support and a ‘return to normality’ where possible.
School improvement grant. The government responded to its autumn 2021 consultation on removing the current council grant for school improvement in favour of top slicing from school budgets, confirming it will now go ahead with the proposals in the coming financial year despite the many critical responses.


FURTHER EDUCATION AND SKILLS

The BTEC route. Researchers at UCL and Oxford Brookes examined differences in higher education outcomes between BTEC and A level students, finding that while more of the latter tend to stay the course and secure higher degrees, many BTEC students equally achieve high degrees, but that low module programme scores often act as a factor in limiting success.
T level progression. FE Week reported that many universities are stalling on accepting T level students for university admissions with elite universities suggesting they need more time for the qualifications to become established.


HIGHER EDUCATION

Research Bureaucracy. Professor Adam Tickell, who was appointed by the government last year to look into the bureaucracy around research, published an interim report highlighting the key issues identified so far and grouped under six headings including the application process; assurance reporting and monitoring; and in-grant management. 
International studentsUCAS reported on its research into international students and what attracts/detracts from their wish to study in the UK, finding academic reputation and welcoming atmosphere big draws, but a lack of information on funding, accommodation and employment options drawbacks. 
Student EngagementJISC and Emerge Education offered a range of insights and tips in a new report on using AI and other technological solutions to enhance student engagement, setting out a number of steps that could be used to deliver progress.


GENERAL

UK labour market. The Migration Observatory published its latest briefing on migrants in the UK labour market indicating that as of Quarter 3 last year, they constituted 18% of the employed population largely in sectors like hospitality, transport, and ICT.
Global Risks. The World Economic Forum published its latest hefty Global Risks Report pointing to vaccine inequality and uneven economic recovery as major global risks with others, including technological risks, international risks and risks to the planet big concerns as well.
Local council finances. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IfS) examined the financial impact of the pandemic on councils last year in a new commissioned report, pointing to a varied picture with a fall in income for some but reported higher spending on non-education services for others, indicating a need to rethink allocations for any future crises.


Want to know more? You can view all Steve Besley's weekly policy round-ups and/or sign up to receive an email version every Friday via this link.
Read Steve's complete education policy news for this week
Research, reports and studies published this week
FFT Education Datalab: Briefing re patterns in pupil absence - based on evidence from last term.
Sutton Trust and Teacher Tapp: State schools twice as likely as private schools to report high staff absences due to COVID.

FFT Education Datalab: Inspection has become tougher for primary schools (analysis of Ofsted's monthly management information update).
Social Market Foundation: New research has found that policies to increase school choice have not given parents a greater sense of control over their children's education.
FFT Education Datalab: An analysis of publicly available data on students in state-funded schools aged 16-18 who completed A-Levels in 2021.
Search our education research section
COMING UP IN THE NEXT WEEK
In Parliament
  • Education Committee meeting (Tuesday, 18 January).
  • Professional Qualifications Bill debate (Tuesday/Thursday, 18/20 January).
  • Work and Pensions Committee session on ‘Children in Poverty’ (Wednesday, 19 January).
  • Publication of stats on skills shortages in DCMS sectors (Thursday, 20 January).
Upcoming conferences, webinars and CPD opportunities
Inside Government: Understanding School Admissions and Appeals (18 January - one-day online course). This event qualifies for a 20% EdCentral reader discount.

Bett 2022 - 19-21 January at the ExCeL

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 booking info.
 
See all events
Facts of the day
MONDAY 17 JANUARY:
  1. On this day in 1773 Captain Cook's Resolution was the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle.
  2. On this day in 1912 Captain Robert Scott reached the South Pole, to discover his rival, Roald Amundsen, had got there first.
  3. On this day in 1983 the BBC introduced breakfast television. 
TUESDAY 18 JANUARY:
  1. On this day in 1882 and 1884 respectively, children's authors A A Milne and Arthur Ransome, were born.
  2. On this day in 1911 the first aircraft to land on a ship touched down on the cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco harbour.
  3. On this day in 1919 the Versailles Peace Conference opened.
WEDNESDAY 19 JANUARY:
  1. 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.
  2. On this day in 1937 aviator Howard Hughes set a new record by flying from Los Angeles to New York in 7 hours and 28 minutes.
  3. On this day in 1966 Indira Gandhi became India's first female prime minister.
THURSDAY 20 JANUARY:
  1. On this day in 1972 unemployment in the UK rose above one million for the first time since the 1930s.
  2. On this day in 1981 Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States of America.
  3. On this day in 1987 Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy in Lebanon, was kidnapped in Beirut.
FRIDAY 21 JANUARY
  1. On this day in 1924 Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov), Russian revolutionary, Died at Gorki, Moscow, aged 53.
  2. On this day in 1954 the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched.
  3. On this day in 1976 Concorde made its inaugural commercial flight, from London to Bahrain in 3 hours 37 minutes.
SATURDAY 22 JANUARY
  1. On this day in 1771 Spain ceded the Falkland islands to Britain.
  2. On this day in 1901 Queen Victoria, Britain's monarch since 1837, died.
  3. On this day in 1973 the US Supreme Court legalises most abortions (Roe Vs Wade).
SUNDAY 23 JANUARY
  1. On this day in 1552 the second version of the Book of Common Prayer became mandatory in England.
  2. On this day in 1570 the Early of Moray, regent of Scotland was assassinated, leading to civil war breaking out.
  3. On this day in 1859 the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii began an eruption that lasted 300 days.
Awareness days from around the world
THIS MONTH IS: 

UK: 
Veganuary, Dry January, Love Your Liver Month, Big Schools Birdwatch, National Blood Donor Month, National Hot Tea Month.
US:
National Hobby Month, National Mentoring Month, National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, National Slow Cooking Month, National Soup Month, National Sunday Supper Month, 
International:
National Braille Literacy Month, Walk your Dog Month, Clean up Your Computer Month, International Brainteaser Month, Celebration of Life Month, Get a Balanced Life Month, International Creativity Month.


THIS WEEK IS:
Big Energy Saving Week (UK), Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (UK), Hunt for Happiness Week (International), National Health Weight Week (International), No Name-Calling Week (International), International Hoof Care Week (International).

MONDAY 17 JANUARY IS:
Brew Monday (UK), Blue Monday (International), Tu B'Shevat (International), Ditch New Year's Resolution Day (US), Martin Luther King  Jr. Day (US), Benjamin Franklin Day (US), National Bootleggers' Day (US), National Hot Buttered Rum Day (US).

TUESDAY 18 JANUARY IS:
National Winnie The Pooh Day (International), National Thesaurus Day (International), Mahayana New Year (International), Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (International), National Peking Duck Day (US), National Gourmet Coffee Day (US). 

WEDNESDAY 19 JANUARY IS:
National  Popcorn Day (US), Museum Selfie Day (International), Tenderness Toward Existence Day (International), World Quark Day (International).

THURSDAY 20 JANUARY IS:
Spring School Census Day (UK), International Day of Acceptance, Women's Healthy Weight Day (International), Take a Walk Outdoors Day (International), Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti (International), National Cheese Lovers' Day (International), National Disc Jockey Day (International), National Buttercrunch Day (US), Get to Know Your Customers Day (US).

FRIDAY 21 JANUARY IS:
International Sweatpants Day, Playdate Day (US), One-Liners Day (US), National Hugging Day (International), Squirrel Appreciation Day (International), National Granola Bar Day (US), National Cheesy Socks Day (US).

SATURDAY 22 JANUARY IS:
Celebration of Life Day (International), National Sanctity of Life Day (US), Roe vs. Wade Day (US),  National Blonde Brownie Day (US), National Answer Your Cat's Questions Day (US), National Polka Dot Day (US), .

SUNDAY 23 JANUARY IS:
National Handwriting Day (UK), National Reading Day (US), National Pie Day (US), Measure Your Feet Day (US).
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