Policy Tracker - Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in July 2014

You start the month with one team and end up with another, the election must be getting nearer.

Key headlines from the month

  • Ed Depts. Changing of the guard in both
  • Ofsted. Issues guidance to inspectors on evaluating new assessment regime
  • School buildings. Facing an £8.5bn backlog of repair according to architects
  • Maths hubs. 32 pace-setters announced
  • English/maths. GCSE Eng/maths seen as future national standard, stepping stone quals listed
  • English and maths GCSE. NIACE commissioned to look at functional aspects
  • Core maths. Government responds on the technical guidance
  • School sixth forms. Will receive separate Ofsted grading from Sept 2014
  • Master teachers. Labour looking at recreating
  • Headteacher Boards. Elected members announced
  • Tech Levels. Latest listing for 2016 tables confirmed
  • Tech/voc ed. The Education Committee prepares for final major review
  • Careers guidance. The Education Committee confirms follow-up inquiry
  • 14-16 yr olds. More colleges bid to take on young recruits
  • 16/19-24 funding. Labour considers shift to local commissioning
  • QCF/GLH. Ofqual confirm consultations coming
  • Apprenticeships. Public see them as degree alternatives in poll for Pearson/Sutton Trust
  • Growth Deals. Government signs off first instalment
  • FE. The IfL throws its lot in with the ETF
  • Tech degrees. Labour lines up new high-level voc route
  • UCAS. Uni applications up by 4% at end of June deadline

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

Speeches of the month

  • Elizabeth Truss’s 2 July Maths Support speech makes the now familiar passionate pitch for both the importance of maths and the government’s enthusiasm for it
  • Ed Miliband’s 3 July speech to the Policy Network supports the theme of inclusive prosperity and identifies 5 core challenges around skills, trust and reformed markets
  • Liam Byrne’s 7 July City of Westminster College speech sets out Labour principles for a locally commissioned skills system including per-student funding
  • Ed Miliband’s 8 July Pearson/Sutton Trust event speech points Labour HE policy in the direction of employer endorsed tech degrees
  • Matthew Hancock’s 8 July Pearson/Sutton Trust event speech highlights apprenticeship reforms as a key part of the government’s reforms of the skills system
  • Matthew Hancock’s 9 July Change Board speech rehearses familiar lines about how the government is opening up opportunity by bridging the academic/vocational divide
  • Michael Gove’s 10 July Education Foundation speech stresses (perhaps presciently) the importance of keeping the government’s school reforms going not least for social mobility

Quotes of the month

  • “There is no question of reversing his policies; the point is to preserve them with a little less controversy.” An unnamed colleague on the brief facing the new Education Secretary
  • “I am tremendously privileged and luck and happy to be given this job. Like poor Manuel, I know nothing at the moment but am keen to learn.” The new Skills Minister faces up to his new job
  • “Let us link hands and embrace the future together.” The Chancellor gets friendly on a trade mission to India
  • “My priority for expansion of university places will be tech degrees.” Ed Miliband on Labour’s HE plans
  • “Only 10 out of 120 institutions will charge maximum fees of less than £9000 in 2014/15.” The HE Network reflects on the steady spread of the fee max
  • “By 2023 the number of state-funded secondary pupils aged up to and including 15 is projected to be 17% higher than in 2014.” The DfE on the pupil numbers bulge
  • “Of the 29,000 schools in Britain, 80% of the stock is beyond its shelf life.” The Royal Institute of British Architects eyes future school building work

Word or phrase of the month

  • ‘Whiteguymageddon.’ Apparently what the Ministerial reshuffle was all about.

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.