Policy Watch

Education’s always changing, and it can be hard to keep track. Policy Watch is the easy way to make sure you stay up to date with the latest developments.

Keep up with what’s happening in education policy

Policy Watch is our regular policy update service, covering national and international developments in the world of education. We try to keep things simple, sharing the latest news and information with you through weekly updates, monthly summaries, papers and events.

You can access the Policy Watch service through Steve's Twitter feed @SteveBesley or by signing up for email updates.

About Steve

As head of UK education policy at Pearson, Steve’s been running the Policy Watch service for almost 20 years. He’ll keep you informed on all things education, along with the rest of his subscribers – there were more than 10,000 at the last count!

The latest from Policy Watch

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  • Policy Tracker - Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in December 2012

    The key set piece development this month was the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement where in an effort to help stimulate growth, the government put money into school and college capital building but equally significantly signalled a shift towards local devolution of skills training and provision through Local Enterprise Partnerships. 

    Main talking points

    Elsewhere, the latest batch of international test results for 10 and 14 yr olds saw England and in particular Northern Ireland performing well in reading and maths though less well in science; the Bacc movement continued with new two variants emerging; colleges gained the right to set up new 14-16 centres from next September; and universities saw a drop in entrants this year confirmed in UCAS’s end of year report.

    Key headlines from the month

    • Key Stage 2 tests. Test results confirm performance up and underperforming schools down
    • Schools. The Chancellor puts in £980m to help create new free schools and academies
    • School teachers. Prospects of a performance linked pay structure move a step closer
    • Baccs. 2 more emerge: a (Ken) Baker Bacc and a Government based post-16 Tech Bacc
    • 14-16 yr olds. Colleges prepare to take on 14+ yr olds from Sept 2013
    • Post-16 maths. New 2-yr problem solving based course proposed
    • Ofsted. Education Committee announces witness session to consider latest Annual Report
    • Wales. Prepares to set up a new qualifications and regulatory body
    • Chartered status. Consultation launched for new college status
    • FE. Additional £270m provided for college estate
    • Adult skills funding. SFA confirm teaching and learning budget of £3.2m for 2013/14
    • Employer Ownership Pilots. Topped up by £90m to £340m
    • LEPs. Granted key role and funding to lead development of local skills plans
    • HE. New partnership emerges to develop MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

    Reports/Publications of the month (in order of publication)

    • Engineering UK 2013. The engineering sector’s latest landscape Report points to considerable demand and job opportunities in the future
    • Responses to the consultation on extending access to independent careers guidance. The Dept confirms an extension of the current model to year 8 and to 16-18 yr olds
    • Specialisation in public and private FE. The Skills Commission’s inquiry into FE concludes with a call for more branded specialist colleges: Dyson; Google; even Virgin perhaps
    • Autumn Statement 2012. All the gory details and proposals for the economy laid out in this latest Treasury’s latest Report
    • Economic and Fiscal Outlook. The number crunching provided for the Chancellor’s Statement in this latest outlook Report from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)
    • Update on the Growth Plan. An update on how the 5 year rolling Growth Plan is taking shape, 3 of the 12 education and skills measures now complete, others on course
    • Skills Funding Statement 2012-2015. BIS and the SFA set out the funding available for adult skills for 2013/14
    • FE College Capital Investment Strategy. BIS and the SFA include three new elements in the enhanced capital improvement programme for colleges for 2013/14
    • History for all? The All Party Parliamentary Group call for ‘a connected narrative’ of history teaching through to age 16
    • Post-16 maths. The Advisory Committee on Maths Education (ACME) make the case for an alternative post GCSE maths qualification with an emphasis on problem solving
    • PIRLS 2011: Reading achievement in England. The DfE publish analysis of the latest international benchmark test results in reading for 10 yr olds
    • TIMMS 2011: Maths and science achievement in England. The DfE publish analysis of the latest international benchmark tests in maths and science for 10 and 14 yr olds
    • End of Cycle Report 2012. UCAS bring to a close a momentous year for university applications with a Report suggesting a 54,000 drop in numbers starting university in 2012.

    Speeches of the month

    • David Laws’ 4 December LGA speech extols the role of Local Authorities as agents of crucial services and performance in the new, autonomous education system
    • The Chancellor’s 5 December Autumn Statement puts the emphasis on growth and capital investment as he continues to administer the economic medicine
    • Liz Truss’s 11 December Reform speech sets out the context for the latest batch of international test results.

    Quotes of the month

    • “It’s a hard road but we’re getting there.” The Chancellor on the long and winding road to economic recovery
    • “The headline numbers in this report signal the challenging environment for recruitment in 2012 for some parts of the UKHE.” UCAS on the difficult recruiting context in which UKHE is operating
    • “I am keen to ensure the best possible provision for young people that meets their need.”The FE Minister opens the door for FE recruitment of 14+year olds
    • “If you did not exist, you would need to be invented.” The Minister of State for Schools sees a continuing role for Local Authorities
    • “For some the arrival of Christmas is signalled by a party or a tree. For me the arrival of 3 freshly minted (international benchmarking) tomes marked the beginning of the festive season.” The Dept’s Under Secretary gets her festive pleasures where she can
    • “My very, very strong view is that we should stick to the timetable we have set but of course if a red light flashes, we will take account of it.”  The Secretary of State tells the education Committee he’s going to stick with his reforms to GCSEs unless he sees flashing lights
    • “These recommendations are a significant step towards the destruction of the current national system governing teachers’ pay and conditions.” The profession rounds on proposals to link teachers’ pay with performance.

    Word or phrase of the month

    •  ‘Prozac leadership.’ An observed form of leadership not found in the textbooks but observable apparently in some corridor.
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  • Policy Tracker - Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in November 2012

    A big month for learning and skills with the CBI Conference, the AoC Conference and this year, the Skills Show following in quick succession and provoking a range of announcements. 

    Main talking points

    Not much quieter elsewhere with notable developments on performance tables, A levels and apprenticeships and Reports from the CBI, Ofsted, Ofqual, NAO and both Education Committees amongst others all helping to keep the lights burning.

    Key headlines from the month

    • Primary Schools. 400 underperformers to be converted to Academy status by end of 2013
    • Calculators. Banned for KS2 tests from 2014
    • Performance Tables. The Dept publishes the KS4 list for 2015
    • GCSE English. Raw grades only to be issued for Jan 2013 assessments
    • EBacc. 22 academics sign an open letter expressing concern
    • RE. Cross party MPs get together to stop the subject being marginalised
    • Engineering Diploma. Royal Academy of Engineering work up new model
    • English and maths. SFA confirm additional monies for adults and apprentices
    • A levels. Jan resits to go from Sept 2013
    • School Governors. Education Committee announce new Inquiry
    • 16-19 VQs. Government to consult on criteria for performance table recognition
    • College estate. Further ‘renewal grant’ money allocated
    • FE Guild. Project team put together, consultation due Jan 2013
    • Employer Ownership Pilots. Round 2 bids launched
    • Earn or learn. Scheme proposals due early next year
    • Work Programme. Latest data indicate target likely to be missed
    • Graduate jobs. Futuretrack survey reports job market remaining challenging
    • University status. 10 more Colleges await university nomenclature
    • University access. HEFCE and OFFA prepare report for mid Jan
    • University freedom. New group set up to defend the freedom of British universities
    • Unemployment. Drops to 2.51m, 963,000 for 16-24 yr olds but p/t working up.

    Reports/Publications of the month (in order of publication)

    • GCSE English 2012. Ofqual offer a second and more detailed surmise on the issues afflicting this year’s GCSE English
    • Governance and leadership of the DfE. The Education Committee reports on its inquiry into the running of the Dept and considers some of the impact of rapid change
    • Skills Survey 2012. The Chartered Institute of Insurers report on strengths and weaknesses in the skills supply chain to their industry
    • Financial Health of the HE sector. HE passes the HEFCE medical but it seems that much depends on the strength of future student recruitment cycles
    • BIS Committee Inquiry into Apprenticeships. The BIS Committee complete its 11 month Inquiry into issues around apprenticeships and come up with 32 recommendations
    • DfE Review Report. The Dept follows up its own internal review by proposing some important changes to the future size, structure and workings of the Dept
    • Tracking the decision making of high achieving HE applicants. BIS and the Sutton Trust identify the barriers facing particular groups of students
    • Analysis of the consultation on A level reform. Ofqual report on the 1,000 or so responses to its summer consultation on A level reform and announce some initial change to resits
    • Decoding learning. NESTA reflect on the promised land of digital education and see schools purchasing a lot of kit with little regard to how it can best be used
    • First Steps. The CBI turn their attention to schools and throw their weight behind a streamlined curriculum, a balance between skills and knowledge and testing at 18 not 16
    • Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot. BIS and the UKCES release the Prospectus for Round 2 bids following the successful approval of over 30 bids from Round 1
    • Annual Innovation Report. The latest Foresight Report highlights over 50 new and developing technologies that could help stimulate future economic growth
    • Managing the expansion of the Academies Programme. The NAO report on how the Dept is managing a rapid expansion of the Programme and the effect on Dept budgets
    • Regulating AO Training Events for Teachers. Ofqual follow up their initial report by launching a consultation on some new regulatory measures for ‘exam’ board teacher seminars
    • Consultation on Chartered Status for FE Institutions. BIS follow up the Lingfield Report by asking for views on what should constitute the criteria for chartered status
    • Choice and Competition in FE. The Institute of Government offer a history lesson on the various attempts at reforming FE
    • The Richard Review of Apprenticeships. The latest Apprenticeship Report proposes a stronger shift towards funded employer ownership of standards and delivery
    • Ofsted Annual Report. Ofsted’s latest Annual Report sees 70% of providers performing well but concerns about provision in some parts of the country
    • Review of Qualifications for 14-19 yr olds in Wales. The Welsh Government go for a single Qual Body but keep GCSEs, A levels and voc quals as part of a strengthened Welsh Bacc.

    Speeches of the month

    • Elizabeth Truss’s 9 November speech sets out how the Government is setting about raising maths standards such as removing the use of a calculator in KS2 tests
    • Michael Gove’s 9 November speech offers a stout defence of external exams and tests as helping ensure equal treatment and social justice
    • Glenys Stacey’s 14 November speech considers some of the challenges faced by the regulator when confronted by significant reform of the qualification system
    • Vince Cable’s 19 November CBI speech outlines how the Government is trying to encourage growth through its long-term Industrial Strategy
    • Matthew Hancock’s 21 November AoC speech brings some new funding but also a number of reforms to: apprenticeships; traineeships; qualifications; and standards.

    Quotes of the month

    • “It is probably neither as good as the zigs suggest nor as bad as the zags imply.” The Governor of the Bank of England on the uncertain state of the economy
    • We’re not going to write great books about Joseph Conrad by getting them out sooner.”The Council for the Defence of British Universities on the pressures of market forces in HE
    • “It is complicated and off putting to an employer to have to undertake paperwork gymnastics to pigeon hole their system into a pre-defined set of curricular approaches.”Doug Richard gets the message across about freeing up the apprenticeship system
    • “Education England is not yet on the medal podium but is picking up pace.” The Chief Inspector reflects on the state of English education in his Annual Report
    • “I am as it happens a huge fan of teacher assessment, properly designed and administered but teacher assessment alone cannot bring the benefits proper external assessment can secure.”  Michael Gove makes the case for external tests and exams.

    Word or phrase of the month

    • ‘RAPID.’  Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input or Decide: a planning model adopted by the DfE
    • ‘Sandpit.’  Space away from the frontline to be creative; apparently another planning term.
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  • Policy Tracker - Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in October 2012

    October is traditionally a heavy month for policy announcements and Oct 2012 has been no different, with some significant Conference speeches and some hefty Reports.

    Main talking points

    Three Reports, all listed here, perhaps best capture where interest is at its sharpest. For schools, the Education Committee Report confirms the changes to GCSE, A level and the exam system; for FE the Lingfield Report provides an interesting overview of sector professional development while for HE, HEPI’s Paper on the financing of tuition fees raises important questions.

    Key headlines from the month

    • Key Stage 4 results. Provisional figures point to slight drop in A*- C performance
    • ABacc. Stories grow that Government is edging towards an IB type A level model
    • Northern Ireland. Launches own review of GCSE and A levels
    • Teachers. Stiffer entry tests announced for 2013
    • Apprenticeships. Higher apprenticeships up but under 19s down in latest stats
    • 24+ loans. Further round of factsheets released
    • Commission on adult voc teaching and learning. Closing date reached for evidence
    • University students. Survey suggests many spend the first term’s loan in first month
    • UCAS. Early figures for 2013 university suggest entry up 2% on previous year
    • Numeracy. Details of new National Challenge announced, launch next spring
    • National Minimum Wage. Edges up to £6.19 an hour for adults, £3.68 for 16/17 yr olds
    • Unemployment. Down to 2.53m in latest stats, down to 957,000 for 16-24 yr olds
    • Growth. Increased by 1% over the summer according to latest figures
    • Transparency. Review of public sector data launched.

    Reports/Publications of the month (in order of publication)

    • Baseline designs for Schools. The Dept issues new building blueprints for austere times, multi functional but no follies
    • Introducing the HEAR. The Steering Group recommend universities develop Achievement Records (HEAR) for graduates
    • Young participation rates in HE. The latest update points to considerable variation in rates around the country with the N.E suffering most
    • How to develop, strengthen, improve and increase the number of apprenticeships. AELP update their policy paper on apprenticeships and call for a more ambitious approach
    • The effects of the English Bacc. DfE commissioned research suggests most schools now adopting EBacc subjects but concerns remain about the impact on different types of schools
    • World Economic Outlook: Coping with High Debt and Sluggish Growth. Not much more to add to the title of the IMF’s latest quarterly Report which downgrades growth forecasts again
    • What do Graduates do? Apparently many, 62% find jobs within six months of graduating but not all of them in traditional graduate employment areas according to the latest stats
    • Competition meets Collaboration. The think tank PolicyExchange propose a 3 strike process for school improvement: Ofsted inspection; Academy chain; private sector involvement
    • How HE Can Advance Social Mobility. Alan Milburn’s latest social mobility report suggests diverting bursary funds to schools and lowering some offers to boost participation
    • New Qualifications for Teachers and Trainers in FE. LSIS consult on a ‘simpler’ system of prof quals, 4 levels of generic quals, 3 specialist, implementation from Sept 2013
    • Postgraduate education. The HE Commission argue that it’s time to bring post grad education in from the cold and fund it properly through a loan scheme
    • Professionalism in FE. The Final Report from the independent Inquiry sets out a new professional structure for FE around a Guild, a Covenant and chartered institutes
    • Ensuring quality in apprenticeships. Ofsted report on sub contracting in the apprenticeship system and call for closer monitoring and better value for money
    • The cost of the Government’s reforms of the financing of HE. HEPI do the maths and question some of the assumptions made about fee levels and debt repayment
    • Jewels in the Crown. The Russell Group of universities claim the title and call for greater investment if such ‘jewels’ are to withstand global competition
    • A risk-based approach to quality assurance. HEFCE feeds back on the recent consultation on QA in the new HE system and outline a new QAA based review cycle
    • Response to the Education Committee Report on the Exam System for 15-19 yr olds. The Government confirms its reforms to EBCs, A levels and the operation of the exam system
    • No stone unturned. Michael Heseltine’s comprehensive economic plan argues that the skills system isn’t working and calls for better alignment with local needs.

    Speeches of the month

    • Ed Balls’s 1 October Conference speech sticks with his 5-point growth strategy but acknowledges that Labour would have to conduct a tough Spending Review
    • Chuka Ummanna’s 1 October Conference speech announces that Lord Adonis will lead a business team to help develop a stronger enterprise capacity for BIS
    • Ed Miliband’s 2 October Conference speech identifies changes to apprenticeships and voc provision as part of a plan to raise skill levels in the new ‘One Nation’ Britain
    • Stephen Twigg’s 4 October Conference speech announces that Chris Husbands will lead a review of 14-19 qualifications
    • David Cameron’s 10 October Conference speech highlights growth, welfare reform and education performance as key ingredients of a new aspiration nation
    • Glenys Stacey’s 10 October Cambridge Assessment Conference speech highlights some of the major risks involved in qualification design and reform
    • Stephen Twigg’s 22 October National Numeracy Challenge speech identifies three specific challenges: no can do attitudes; early intervention; adult engagement
    • Michael Gove’s 23 October Politeia speech seizes the mantle of Blairism to propel reforms of the education system and portray critics as reactionaries.

    Quotes of the month

    • “Those school reforms are the single most important long-term economic investment we can make.” The Chancellor singles out the education reforms in his Conference speech
    • “We cannot succeed if we have an education system that only works for half the country.”Ed Miliband calls for an education system for the whole nation in his Conference speech
    • “There’s nothing fluffy about transparency.” The Cabinet Office Minister calls for increased data and transparency to help stiffen the backbone of reform
    • “A levels will not be replaced under any circumstances.” The DfE clarifies the position as ABacc rumours increase
    • “We work in an area that is high volume, complex, high stakes and where media interest is high risk and risk tolerance low.” The Chief Executive of Ofqual on life in a pressure cooker
    • “We were a cocksure crew of precociously assertive boys.” Michael Gove apologises for his behaviour at school.

    Word or phrase of the month

    •  ‘Jinxed Generation.’ 20 yr olds who now face being worse off than their parents
    • “I can do maths.”  The National Numeracy Group want us to keep saying it.
     
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  • Policy Tracker - Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in September 2012

    A month which has seen some new faces at both Education Depts, but some familiar challenges continuing.

    Main talking points

    For schools, GCSE issues still prevail with the added twist that consultation on a successor qualification is now under way. Elsewhere the month has seen more money announced for the pupil premium and new teacher appraisal systems arrive. For FE, the challenge remains the funding and operation of the skills system with September seeing the launch of a new Industrial Strategy and the announcement of the first Employer Ownership Pilots. Elsewhere, the wheels are beginning to move under the 24+ fee loan system with a series of developments due. For HE, the month has seen fierce debate about the impact of fees on student numbers with a projected 54,000+ fewer students arriving to take up places. Elsewhere, the month has seen the emergence of a battery of ‘go-compare’ data for students as two new websites are launched.

    Key headlines from the month

    • Pupil premium. Rises to £900 per eligible pupil next year
    • Catch up cash. Announced to help with English and maths
    • GCSE. Inquiries continue as long term replacement proposed
    • 16-19. Advisory Panel holds first meeting
    • 24+ loans. New comms campaign about to start
    • ESOL. Ofqual launch consultation
    • HE. UKHE takes 4 of the top 6 global rankings
    • Which? Launches its university comparison website for students
    • Student numbers. Potential 50,000+ drop this year
    • Polytechnics. Celebrate 20 years since becoming universities
    • Employer Ownership Pilots. 269 bids received, first 34 ‘winners’ announced
    • Local Enterprise Partnerships. Core funding announced
    • Unemployment. Down to 2.59m but up for 16-24 yr olds to 1.02m.

    Reports/Publications of the month (in order of publication)

    • Local Pay, Local Growth. The Policy Exchange think tank support the case for local pay arrangements arguing that, as the title implies, it can lead to local growth
    • Collaborations, alliances and mergers in HE. HEFCE trawl the case studies to see what lessons can be learned from working together in the HE sector
    • Plan I: The Case for Innovation-Led Growth. The charity NESTA identify 12 innovation-based strategies that could help get the economy going
    • A Long Division. The think tank IPPR argue that narrowing the attainment gap in England’s secondary schools requires targeted interventions especially early on
    • Meeting Employer Skills Needs. The National Apprenticeship Service launch a one month consultation on the statutory requirements for Higher Apprenticeships
    • Top marks? School performance across UK cities. The Centre for Cities point to the importance of English and maths in improving employment prospects in depressed areas
    • Education at a Glance 2012. The OECD’s latest annual audit of different education systems points to the importance of investing in education even though times may be tough
    • Industrial Strategy: UK Sector Analysis. A BIS Economics Paper analyses the role and importance of some of the key sectors in the economy
    • Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Role of Group Training Associations. The Commission call for a level funding playing field and stronger strategic role for GTAs
    • Raising aspirations and smoothing transitions. The Work Foundation’s latest Report in its ‘Missing Millions’ series expresses concerns about what’s happening to careers provision
    • Reforming Key Stage 4 Qualifications. The DfE launch its anticipated consultation on long term replacements for GCSEs
    • Getting to good. Ofsted report on how enterprising school leaders have helped transform schools
    • How colleges improve. Ofsted do the same for colleges highlighting 10 characteristics that can help colleges improve
    • The Pupil Premium. Ofsted survey over 250 school leaders to see how they’re spending the pupil premium money and come back with some disconcerting answers
    • Youth Unemployment and the Youth Contract. The DWP Select Committee report on their recent inquiry and conclude youth unemployment requires more than a one off strategy
    • When qualifications fail. The Centre for Market Reform of Education takes a forensic look at 14-19 education reform
    • ICT in secondary schools. The NASUWT find little positive in the changes to ICT
    • Learning to Work. The CIPD examine the prospects for the youth labour market and find a hard road ahead.

    Speeches of the month

    • David Davis’s 4 September CPS speech concludes that the economy needs some ‘shock therapy’ to help stimulate growth
    • Ed Miliband’s 6 September Policy Network speech hints at some new Labour thinking on the economy and skills
    • Vince Cable’s 11 September Imperial speech launches a new Industrial Strategy intended to support the growth of key sectors, skills and technologies
    • David Willetts’ 13 September UUK speech finds three positives in the new fee regime: more money: more choice; more informed ‘customers’
    • Michael Gove’s 17 September Statement to the House sets out the Government’s case for reform of the exam system at Key Stage 4
    • Vince Cable’s 24 September Conference speech reflects on how things are going in the economy and announces the introduction of a new business lending bank.

    Quotes of the month

    • “I came back to Parliament more determined than ever to cut through the dither that holds this country back.” The Prime Minister claims he’s no mouse
    • “If you want to change anything for the better in Britain it’s best not to waste too much time trying to reform existing institutions.”  Lord Baker speaks from experience in his review of Lord Adonis’s recent book on education
    • “At the end of this new term there will be many students returning home where parents will be asking what they got for £3000.” David Willetts reminds the UUK Conference about the power of the new consumer culture in HE
    • “Those who are able to predict the future are lying, even if it turns out they are right.”Vince Cable adapts an old proverb for his new Industrial Strategy
    • “The GCSE was conceived and designed for a different age and a different world.“ Michael Gove’s requiem for the GCSE heralds the birth of the EBacc.

    Word or phrase of the month

    •  ‘Pre distribution.”  Not sure either but it’s the latest economic slogan to cross the Atlantic
    • ‘Redoublement.’ Resitting a school year, one international practice the EBacc hopes to avoid.
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  • Policy Tracker - Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in August 2012

    A month as ever dominated by exam results with, at the time of writing, a number of issues still under scrutiny as Ofqual takes in responses to its interim report on GCSE English.

    Main talking points

    Elsewhere, the month saw a new body proposed for FE, the latest in a series of Reviews completed for the Apprenticeship system, further evaluation of the impact of fees on undergraduate recruitment, continuing uncertainty about the nature of economic recovery and growing indications that the government will announce a series of economic recovery measures, let alone measures to the exam and qualification system, throughout the autumn. It could be a busy few months.

    Key headlines from the month

    • GCSE. 69.8% gain A*-C, slight drop amidst concerns about grading issues
    • A levels. 98% gain A*-E, slightly up but slight decrease in numbers gaining top grades
    • Free Schools. 50+ new ones open but Bradford told to postpone
    • School sport. Worries emerge about playing fields and lack of hours spent
    • School guidance. Government claim to have cut official edicts down to 6,978 pages
    • Apprenticeships. AELP invite bids for new £450,000 Support Fund for 16-20 yr olds
    • Apprenticeship Grant for Employers. NAS flex up the rules
    • Catalyst Fund. New ‘strategic’ fund for HE invites bids
    • HE. Independent Commission suggest 1 in 20 not applied this year
    • HE. Pearson prepares to launch its new degree College
    • International Graduates. BIS issues call for evidence to identify impact
    • NEETs. 968,000 under latest (June) stats, slight increase for 16-18 yr olds
    • Jobless. London to pilot new unpaid work scheme for 18-24 yr olds
    • Work schemes. High Court rules out challenges
    • Unemployment. Latest quarterly total down to 2.56m, 1.01m for 16-24 year olds
    • Economy. Bank of England confirms flat outlook
    • Growth. Government gears up for a series of new announcements
    • Olympics legacy. Government looking for £13bn economic bounce
    • Quangos. 106 gone, 150 to be merged, target remains to cut 204 by 2015.

    Reports/Publications of the month (in order of publication)

    Speeches of the month

    Deliberately left blank this month.

    Quotes of the month

    • “Unlike the Olympians who have thrilled us over the past fortnight, our economy has not yet reached full fitness..” The Governor of the Bank of England awards few gold medals in his latest assessment of the economy
    • “We’re only half way through the first phase of our programme.” Cabinet Minister Francis Maude sharpens the knife for further quango reform
    • “I believe there is an appetite for a modern Guild approach in the sector.” The Skills Minister guilds the FE sector
    • “It is one of the great joys of my job that so many young people refuse to be held back by the enemies of promise.” Michael Gove spreads the pleasure at the start of another results season
    • “I don’t think I’ll be missing out on much. I love my job.” An 18 year old explains why he is opting for work rather than university
    • “Our findings present strong evidence that the centralised wage setting of teachers’ pay has a negative impact on pupils’ learning.” The University of Bristol report on their findings as things hot up around national pay scales.

    Word or phrase of the month

    • ‘Britannia Unchained.” The iconic future according to a new generation of Conservative MPs whose forthcoming publication continues to attract interest.
    read more