No Easter break yet for MPs and the week has also brought the usual late rush of reports and announcements for schools, FE and HE as they look forward to theirs.
Top of the pile this week has been the launch of the government’s EdTech strategy. Officially announced in a speech by the Education Secretary, it has been some time coming and has led to concerns that the UK is behind the curve but as the chair of Edtech UK put it: ‘it is a sensible steps strategy.’ It feeds off the government’s Industrial and International Education Strategies and broadly identifies five areas of opportunity ‘where technology can drive a step change in education.’ These include: admin processes, assessment processes, teaching practices, professional development and learning throughout life. It all comes with a set of challenges, 10 in total, with a delivery target date of 2021. It’s an important read.
In other education developments this week, MPs debated FE funding at the start of the week and questioned the FE and Schools Minister about funding and technology at the Education Committee the day after. If nothing else, it seems that serious consideration is being given to five-ten year funding plans for education. In other political news this week, the Education Secretary launched consultation on a new registration and support system for children not educated in school while the government has been hosting an extensive summit on knife crime with the Home Secretary launching a more contentious consultation proposing a specific set of duties for public sector workers like teachers and nurses when it comes to assessing risk.
More specifically this week.
In higher education, the Education Secretary made his third promised intervention, this time calling for action on unconditional offers. The HE Policy Institute and JISC published an important Paper on cyber security in HE, and the Office for Students reported on the financial health of HE providers in England; ‘reasonable’ but need to be realistic in your planning assumptions.
In FE, the week has seen another apprenticeship report this time from the Union and College Union, and there’s been a lot of activity as indicated around funding, including a Paper on devolved funding from the Campaign for Learning and NCFE. A standout Paper this week has been a new document from the DfE, setting out how it intends to supervise colleges; preventative intervention the approach here.
Finally, a number of developments for schools. They include Ofqual’s latest survey on how qualifications are perceived and recommendations that careers education should begin earlier, while a new think tank, EDSK, and the NAHT have helped bring the Ofsted consultation to a close today with a bump.