Two weeks to catch up on with Policy Watch away last week.
Let’s start first with this week which has seen the government’s intended programme for the future laid out in a new Queen’s Speech. It was a speech according to the Prime Minister to get things moving with Bills on Brexit, seven in all, the NHS, Law and Order, the Environment and Infrastructure.
There was little new on education but there were some useful snippets, perhaps five in all, in amongst the details. They included confirmation of a new White Paper on regional devolution, due out shortly with details on local growth funding, plans for institutions and the Shared Prosperity Fund, so potentially quite important. Second, knife crime, clearly a worrying issue currently and where the government is looking to legislate on its Serious Violence Strategy. How far schools and other bodies will be required to share data and intelligence as the proposals suggest, remains to be seen.
Third, R/D, where the Speech promised a new agency, Space Council, and fast-track immigration route for top researchers along with potential additional funding to be announced in the Budget. Fourth, legislation promised to improve broadband connection and ensure online safety through the regulation of internet companies. And fifth the government has committed to increasing the National Living Wage and supporting the ‘Taylor’ Good Work Plan for changing employment practices. The Prime Minister referred to it all as going through the gears but a lot depends now on future circumstances.
In other education news this week, the National Audit Office reported on the work of the BEIS Dept, the DfE published provisional data on this summer’s exam results and the Schools Standards Minister issued a Written Statement on School Funding. The week has also seen the latest LoveOurColleges Week while Sixth Form Colleges handed in a petition calling on the government to provide an additional £700m. Elsewhere, the Office for Students has published new guidance on monitoring providers, the Education Policy Institute has published a new report on Free Schools and Ofsted has been looking at home education and the implications of the new inspection framework for initial teacher education.
Finally, listed later are some of the main developments from the previous week. Standouts include the IfS’s Green Budget analysis, HEPI/YouthSight’s latest student survey, the government’s latest papers on T level activity, the Education Policy Institute’s report into unexplained pupil exits and a new, and more hopeful report out on Children’s Wellbeing. Plenty going on in other words.