Some important reports out this week. They include a new strategy for teacher recruitment and retention from the DfE, the first report from the newly constituted Social Mobility Commission and on adult skills, a new report from the CBI on sorting out apprenticeships, a report on future engineering skills from the Royal Academy of Engineering, another report on Degree Apprenticeships, the final set of reports from UCAS on 2018 uni entry and the latest report in the DfE’s School Snapshot series. And that’s just a selection.
In other news this week the House of Lords discussed and agreed new regulations for accelerated degrees, the Science and Technology Committee questioned the newish HE Minister about his priorities, the Education Committee examined post-16 SEND and the government issued its advice on teachers’ pay to the Pay Review Body. In addition, the DfE launched its application process for T level capital funds from the pot announced by the Chancellor in his Budget last autumn and issued guidance on the new insolvency regime for colleges, which came into effect at the end of January.
Elsewhere, the Institute for Apprenticeships formally added T levels to its responsibilities, Ofqual confirmed some changes to assessment arrangements to GCSE/GCE music and drama, the Children’s Commissioner wrote an open letter to social media companies calling on them to tackle harmful online content, and Clark’s shoe shops reported that its assistants were to be trained to help children hold conversations with them as they did a shoe fitting to help support language skills. Education from head to toe this week.
Here’s a few pointers from the first two of those reports.
The new teacher recruitment and retention strategy first, launched at the start of this week, and described in a Guardian editorial as ‘containing much that is sensible and desperately needed.’ The Education Secretary highlighted teacher R and R as one of his top priorities early on in his tenure with added urgency coming from the rise in pupil numbers now hitting secondary schools and likely to run through to 2025. The most eye catching proposal in the strategy is the creation of an Early Career Framework, designed to stem the loss of teachers in the early stages of their career and to offer such teachers more in the way of support and reduced teaching time at such a crucial time. It comes with the promise of £130m new money to oil the wheels and in the words of ASCL’s Geoff Barton ‘has the potential to be a game-changer.’
Second, the first report from the new re-convened Social Mobility Commission which has promised to dig into education and skill issues in its initial work. This one covered adult skills and exposed the difference between the virtuous circle where high-skilled employers get plenty of training opportunities and the vicious cycle in which the low-skilled get very few. It’s not a new problem but if they can crack that...