Three of the week's headlines ...
VIctims of sexual harassment at some UK universities will no longer be silenced by 'gagging' clauses.
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Lecturer Dr Annette Plaut, 59, has won £100k in damages after she was fired after 30 years for being 'too loud'.
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Heads opt to keep face coverings in class ‘for time being’ after lack of notice from Government.
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View all this week's education news
Three pieces of policy news - by phase

The view from hereParentkind published the results of a survey of parents in England, undertaken in the first week of term and pointing to pretty split views on masks and vaccinations but a general desire to see schooling return to normal as soon as possible.

Pupil disadvantage. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) published new research pointing to increased numbers of disadvantaged pupils eligible for free school meals as a result of more flexible welfare measures introduced under the pandemic, in turn making future measurement of attainment gaps for such pupils difficult to discern. 

Sixth Form Numbers. FFT Education Datalab looked into staying rates on rates for 16 yr olds following the exams issues of summer 2020 when the number of students in English state schools achieving higher grade GCSEs increased but the number staying on in school sixth forms hardly increased without any obvious reason.


Latest Covid guidance. The government issued amended guidance following the lifting of Plan B restrictions principally to reflect the removal of guidance on wearing facemasks in class this week and in communal areas from next week. 
Post-16 qualifications. Edge published its response to the Education Committee’s Inquiry into Post-16 qualifications pointing among other things to the constant state of churn around such qualifications, concern about the emergence of a divisive binary system, and examples of good practice abroad, concluding with a proposal to consider a Bacc model as an alternative.
BTEC petition. The petition on protecting BTECs and other similar qualifications edged towards the required number for it to lead to a debate in Parliament on the matter.


Setting the benchmark. The Office for Students set out plans to tackle course quality by setting thresholds including retention and progression rates which could lead to sanctions if not met, along with new requirements under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Freedom of Speech Bill. Former (Conservative) minister Jesse Norman proposed a new clause to the HE Freedom of Speech Bill which would require providers to declare details of foreign donors who donate £50,000 or more and for the OfS to maintain an annual register of donations.

No NDAs. Government, universities and campaigners came together to commit to scrapping the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) in dealing with cases of sexual misconduct, bullying and harassment. 


Restart Scheme. The government updated its Restart Scheme, announced 18 months ago to help claimants who have been out of work for a year to find local jobs, to provide 12 months support for those who have been out of work for 9 months.

Help to Grow. The government invited applications from small businesses to its Help to Grow: Digital Scheme, which provides such businesses with discounts off eligible digital products and free tailored support to help their business grow.

Broadband rollout. The Public Accounts Committee published the results of its Inquiry into the promised rollout of superfast gigabit broadband, concluding that while there has been some progress, this has been down to commercial companies rather than government, leaving it short of its downgraded targets.

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Read all the policy news for this week (compiled by Steve Besley)
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Parliament and elsewhere
  • 4th annual International Day of Education (Monday 24 January).
  • Education Committee evidence session on the governments catch-up programme (Tuesday 25 January).
  • Westminster Hall debate on the role of early years educators (Tuesday 25 January).
  • Education Policy Institute virtual panel discussion on ‘Putting Sustainability at the Heart of Education’ (Tuesday 25 January).
  • UCAS End of Cycle Report (Thursday 27 January).
  • Launch of the Institute for Government’s 2022 Whitehall Monitor Report (Thursday 27 January).
Events and CPD opportunities
Bett 2022 - Please note that Bett has moved from January to 23-25 March at the ExCeL

25 January: Optimus Education: Developing character, confidence and skills for life (online training)

26 January: Forum Training: School Attendance Conference (one-day conference).

26 January: Teacher Toolkit: The Revision Revolution - How to build a culture of effective study in your school (online evening webinar).

27 January: EHCPs - Developing and delivering effective education, health and care plans (online training). This event qualifies for a 20% EdCentral reader discount.

27 January: Optimus Education: Leading SEND Provision (2-day online conference).

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.
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Three interesting daily facts
  1. On this day in 41 Claudius succeeded his nephew Caligula as Roman Emperor after the latter's assassination by officers of the Praetorian Guard.
  2. On this day in 1965 Sir Winston Churchill, prime minister from 1940-45 and from 1951-55 died aged 90. On the same day 70 years earlier his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, died aged 45.
  3. On this day in 1984 the Apple Macintosh personal computer went on sale.
  1. On this day in 1327 King Edward III acceded to the English throne.
  2. On this day in 1533 King Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn in secret.
  3. On this day in 1819 the University of Virginia was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President, was one of its founders.
  1. On this day in 1340 King Edward III of England was proclaimed King of France.
  2. On this day in 1531 Lisbon was hit by an earthquake, killing over 30,000 people.
  3. On this day in 1666 France declared war on England and Munster.
  1. On this day in 1591 Scottish schoolmaster Dr John Fian was burned for witchcraft at Castle Hill, Edinburgh by order of King James VI as part of the Berwick witch trials.
  2. On this day in 1945 the Soviet army liberated 5,000 inmates of Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
  3. On this day in 1967 astronauts Virgil Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chafee died after an electrical fault ignited pure oxygen in their Apollo 1 spacecraft.
  1. On this day in 1547 9-year-old Edward VI succeeded Henry VIII as King of England. Henry died aged 55 having reigned since 1509.
  2. On this day in 1807 London's Pall Mall became the first street in the world to be illuminated by gaslight.
  3. On this day in 1896 the first speeding fine was imposed on a British motorist for exceeding 2mph in a built-up area.
  1. On this day in 1856 the Victoria Cross was established by royal warrant to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War.
  2. On this day in 1886 Karl Benz patented the first automobile.
  3. On this day in 1942 Desert Island Discs was first broadcast by the BBC.
  1. On this day in 1649 King Charles 1, who had reigned since 1625, was executed in Whitehall.
  2. On this day in 1790 the first lifeboat was tested by Henry Greathead of Sough Shields.
  3. On this day in 1933 Hitler was sworn in as German chancellor.
Awareness days from around the world

Veganuary, Dry January, Love Your Liver Month, Big Schools Birdwatch, National Blood Donor Month, National Hot Tea Month.
National Hobby Month, National Mentoring Month, National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, National Slow Cooking Month, National Soup Month, National Sunday Supper Month.
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.

National School Choice Week (UK), Tax Identify Theft Week (UK), National Catholic Schools Week (International), Meat Week (International), National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week (US).

International Day of Education, National Compliment Day (UK), Global Belly Laugh Day (International), Beer Can Appreciation Day (International), National Peanut Butter Day (US), National Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day (US).

Burns Night (International), A Room of One's Own Day (International), National Irish Coffee Day (US), National Opposite Day (US). 

Australia Day (International), International Customs Day, National Green Juice Day (US), National Peanut Brittle Day (US), National Spouses Day (US).

Parent Mental Health Day (UK), Holocaust Memorial Day (International), Chocolate Cake Day (International), Geographic Day (International).

International Logo Day, Global Community Engagement Day, Fun at Work Day (International), Data Privacy Day (International), National Blueberry Pancake Day (US), National Kazoo Day (US).

Curmudgeons Day (UK), Freethinkers Day (International), Library Shelfie Day (International), Puzzle Day (International), National Corn Chip Day (US), National Seed Swap Day (US).

Croissant Day (International), National Inane Answering Message Day (US).
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