The evenings are getting lighter, not sure about the political mood yet.
For education it’s been a week of reports, Parliamentary Committee hearings, high profile events and some leading speeches and developments. A bit of everything in fact.
The reports include a new review of apprenticeships, this time from the Social Market Foundation raising concerns about the quality and nature of some provision and in particular the different wage returns evident at some levels. Among its solutions, the proposal to re-title apprenticeships as master crafts men and women attracted some media attention. Earlier in the week, Wonkhe published the results of its commissioned survey into campus life. It’s a disquieting read: many students are lonely and don’t have friends they can call on. There’s a clear link here to student wellbeing and mental health.
Elsewhere, and it wouldn’t be a week without something on future work, automation and artificial intelligence, we’ve had two reports. One, a fascinating report which actually came out at the end of last week from the RSA on the future of work, outlining four possible scenarios by 2035, ranging from a fairly frenetic Big Tech economy to a more soothing empathy economy. And the other, a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the potential effects of automation on future occupations. A lot depends on your age and where you live but education professionals emerge here as essential roles.
On to Parliamentary Committee hearings where the Public Accounts Committee hosted a witness session on apprenticeships in England with concerns raised about future investment, programme diversity and quality provision. And, the Education Committee looked into knife crime with a range of reps including the police. Partnership working, stop and search, and school security were among the topics raised here.
It’s also been a busy week of events and conferences. At the start of the week, Wonkhe held its symposium on student life where the Minister outlined his model of STEP support (student transition, experience and progression.) An excellent summary of the event is here. There’ve been other important events. The Education Policy Institute held a session on EdTech, the FE sector held its annual big Apprenticeships Conference, the British Chambers of Commerce held their Annual Conference and we’re finishing the week with the Headteachers’ Roundtable Group in session as they host their 2019 Summit.
Finally those speeches and other developments. Plenty stand out but it’s worth noting in particular the Chief Inspector’s speech to the Apprenticeship Conference, the launch of the Independent Commission on Colleges of the future and Headteachers’ Roundtable response to the Ofsted consultation.