No Policy Eye last week so two weeks’ worth of news to catch up on with three themes evident. First, how education looks to be shaping up under the new government, second, the Spending Review rollover and any potential impact for education, and third more pressing for many, the onset of exam results days.
Other education news from over the last ten days or so includes the release of a progress report from the Labour Party’s Lifelong Learning Commission. The report at this stage is concerned more with the identifying issues than solutions but has started to boil these down to some core themes which will be tackled over the next month by four working groups. The aim is to have a final report ready for the Party’s Annual Conference next month.
Elsewhere, university admissions continues to bubble around the higher ed sector with UCAS highlighting continuing upward trends in unconditional offers in a report last week. Elsewhere the Office for Students published a useful paper on why people choose degree apprenticeships, with the attractions of ‘earn while you learn’ an obvious factor, the HE Policy Institute looked again at what Brexit might mean for student demand while a Lords Select Committee worried about a number of the Augar proposals.
In FE and Skills where devolved adult education budgets became a reality last week for six mayoral combined authorities and Greater London, the issue of skill shortages was highlighted in the Edge Foundation’s latest Bulletin and the importance of attracting talent in a news article by William Hague.
For schools, two reports from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) have caught the eye. First, the EPI’s annual report on the state of education in England which painted a fairly bleak picture about the extent of the disadvantage gap in secondary: ‘by the time they leave secondary, disadvantaged pupils are now over 18.1 months behind non-disadvantaged pupils.’ And second, the EPI’s assessment of the new PM’s claim on levelling up school funding which in their view, could mean disadvantaged schools missing out.
Finally, back to those two leading themes.
First how education looks to be shaping up under a new government where of course there’s been no shortage of advice but where one of the main talking points has been just how the skills responsibilities will play out as part of the new Education Secretary’s brief; it’s fair to say views are mixed. Final advisory posts are just being filled but this autumn’s funding manoeuvres remain the big test for the new team.
And second, for those awaiting results next week and the week after, heartfelt best wishes to all.