Policy Tracker - Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in July 2013

MPs may have headed off for the summer but they’ve left us plenty to think about.

For schools, this includes updates on the National Curriculum and performance tables both published during July, for FE apprenticeship funding and Tech Level quals stand out while for HE, this month saw the interim Witty Report published and new regulatory arrangements outlined.

Key headlines from the month

  • Primary accountability. Government launches consultation
  • National Curriculum. Last round of changes for KS 1-3 published
  • PSHE. PSHE experts revise programme of study
  • Pupil premium. Government appoint John Dunford to champion
  • Disadvantaged white pupils. Education Committee launch an Inquiry into performance
  • Assessment. NAHT to set up community of school practitioners
  • Performance Tables. Arrangements for this year published
  • School places. Government announce more funding
  • School Hols. Government moves to de-regulate
  • School dinners. Healthy eating on the menu of latest plans
  • Tech Level Qual. New route for 16-19 yr olds confirmed for Sept 2014
  • 16-24 yr olds. New system Review announced
  • Traineeships. Extended to 24 yr olds and young disabled
  • Apprenticeships. Government launch consultation on funding options
  • LSIS Services. Lights switched off
  • Adult VQs. Funding for number of low-volume VQs cut
  • Local Growth Deals. Government issues guidance for LEPs
  • Sector Skill Plans. 5 more (Construction, Automotive, PBS, Agri-Tech, Education) out
  • HE fees. Average fee level now hits £8,650 pa
  • HE students. Gain a stronger voice as new Unit prepares to open this autumn
  • HE and regulation. Latest arrangements published
  • HEFCE chief. The HE Funding Council confirms its new Chief Exec.

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

Speeches of the month

  • Vince Cable’s 3 July LGA speech spells out how seriously the Government is taking local growth and skills planning
  • Lord Nash’s 6 July NGA speech announces further support for school governors
  • Elizabeth Truss’s 11 July ISSF speech sets out how fast technology is changing the world and the sorts of skills needed to support this.

Quotes of the month

  • “The Indian Planning Commission’s 12th Five Year Plan has set a target to create capacity for an extra 10 million students over the next five years on top of the existing 25.9 million in the system in 2011-12.” The THES reports on HE expansion in India
  • “Inevitably some people are already saying that this fund is trifling compared to Lord Heseltine’s proposal for a £50bn single pot.” Vince Cable takes up the cudgels for the new smaller Single Local Growth Fund
  • “We have repeatedly made it clear that we will not introduce for-profit schools. This story is absurd.” The DfE spells it out
  • “There may well be a piece of fluff in some corner of the curriculum that we did not manage to get to but I hope we have managed to hose down the stables effectively.”  The Education Secretary on the cleansing effects of the National Curriculum reforms.

Word or phrase of the month

  • ‘Woolly empathy.’ What’s been taken out of the History curriculum under Nat Curr reforms
  • ‘Secondary ready.’ The new acid test of primary education.

Steve Besley
Head of Policy

Policy Watches are intended to help colleagues keep up to date with national developments. Information is correct at the time of writing and is offered in good faith. No liability is accepted for decisions made on the basis of information given.