Not much let up for Christmas yet. Westminster has perhaps been the busiest this week but there’s been plenty going on in education as well.
Key developments have included the latest report on quality curriculum from Ofsted, a series of important reports from Ofqual, publication of the funding rate for 16+ and 19+ provision for 2019/20, the updated 2018 primary school performance data, a letter from the Minister on Functional Skills and the relaunch of the Social Mobility Commission.
Elsewhere, UCAS published its latest batch of data on this year’s uni entry trends this time covering geographical and qualification trends, the Office for Students set out new plans to improve access and participation following consultation, the new ‘tougher’ Register for Apprenticeship Training Providers opened for business, JISC and Eduserve announced a merger, and some important research was published on disadvantaged and vulnerable children. And there’s still a week to go before Parliamentary and school terms draw to a close.
Here’s a few details on just three of these developments.
First that curriculum report from Ofsted. As part of its field work, Ofsted has teased out a 25 point inventory of good practice which has given it a rich source of intelligence about how high performing institutions tick. In a word, a big problem for many is the gulf between intent and implementation, not always easy to resolve but where best schools succeed. The Chief Inspector’s commentary to the report is a useful guide.
Second, those Ofqual reports, three in all. One an update on implementation arrangements for Technical Qualifications following consultation, another a roundup on this summer’s exams and the third, a report on internal assessment and grade inflation in pre 2016 Applied General qualifications, pointing to some evidence of grade inflation but also corrections being undertaken as part of the new, reformed qualifications.
Third, the funding details for 16+ and 19+ provision for 2019/20 which has brought disappointment particularly to 16-18 providers. Four points stand out. First, this year will start to see changes to the adult education budget; second, we’re waiting for a Ministerial decision on the continuation of the low wage trial; third, the ESFA intends to consult on the post ESF fund; and fourth, providers need to watch out for the new Insolvency regime which comes in as of 31 January 2019.
Finally as this is the last Policy Watch for 2018, thank you so much for reading and Happy Christmas.