Another week of big reports this week pretty much covering every corner including: value for money in higher education, international students, employer views on education and skills, data management in schools and teachers working longer, that’s years rather than hours.
A lot of other activity also going on this week. Higher education has been reflecting on some big issues at this year’s annual Wonkfest where bail-outs and free speech have attracted wider comment. School funding has continued to be in the news with both the Chancellor and sector leaders appearing before Parliamentary Committees and with three of the teacher bodies announcing plans to consult their members on next steps while the Office of the Children’s Commissioner has published an important report showing how much data on young people is being collected, much through social media, and the need for greater protection.
And further afield this week, a new professional development programme for T level teachers was announced, Ofqual launched consultations on assessment for digi and computer science skills respectively, the government published the latest, more detailed Academy accounts, and the Varkey Foundation published an interesting update on how teachers are viewed in different parts of the world. Finally, moneysavingexpert Martin Lewis has released a new handbook on financial matters for young people, with free copies going to secondary schools in England, while BBC 2’s new documentary on schools has apparently brought some viewers to tears and was given a 4-star rating by The Guardian: ‘an excellent if grim six-part documentary’ their verdict.
Plenty to take in therefore so here are a few pointers.
A few headlines from those various big reports first starting with the Education Committee’s Inquiry into value for money into education. This steered clear of financing, that’s being considered elsewhere but did have some strong views on access (‘need better targeting and a clampdown on unconditional offers,’) on income returns (‘ holding up but need more transparency at a course level,) and BTECs and T levels (unsure about the latter, need to support the former.) On the CBI/Pearson skills report, the good news is employers appear keen to recruit and train more but concerns about the apprenticeship levy, skills mismatches and business engagement remain, all well summarised by the CBI’s John Cope and Pearson’s Rod Bristow. The Workload report on data management in schools included a useful set of principles for schools to consider while the good or bad news, depending on your point of view from the DfE report on teachers working longer, is that those that have to, are coping well. And, it should be said, according to the Varkey Foundation survey on global teacher status, people think UK teachers deserve better pay.