A pretty mixed bag of education stories this week.
In Westminster, the EU Withdrawal Bill with clauses on citizens’ rights, workers’ rights and the recognition of professional qualifications was laid, then paused, with much now hinging on transition and Political Declaration arrangements. The government responded to the Education Committee’s earlier report on funding. And the Education Committee itself released a profound report on special educational needs, (‘right reforms, appallingly wrong implementation’) and kicked off its Inquiry into adult skills and lifelong learning, with some interesting witness evidence on how adult education provision is now looking – needing some resuscitation according to Professor Wolf.
In higher education, late last week the Office for Students published its ‘Value for Money’ strategy. This week there’s been a further foray into money matters with a report from the HE Stats Agency (HESA) and Warwick University comparing financial returns on degrees between two age cohorts and finding quite a drop. Elsewhere Universities UK has also been looking at money matters with a new guide for institutions on how best to brief students and others about how fee and other income money is used.
In FE, ahead of its Autumn Conference, the Association of Employment and Learning providers (AELP) has been looking at reform of the National Retraining Scheme while the CBI followed up last week’s Durham Commission on creative subjects by highlighting in a new report the importance of the UK’s creative industries now generating over £1bn for the UK economy.
For schools, aside from that report on special educational needs, Ofqual has launched consultation on proposed new design rules for Technical Awards at Key Stage 4, the National Association of Head Teachers has been looking at the pressures facing middle leaders in schools and Professor John Jerrim published a thought provoking blog about children’s reading, suggesting a diet of good fiction helps.
In other news this week, there’ve been a number of fascinating reports. The consultancy group Capgemini for instance highlighted the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) as a skillset for AI while the National Cyber Security Centre’s Annual Review listed the most hacked passwords among its survey of cyber challenges. Also the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their projections on population growth over the next decade or so while Deloitte and the Reform think tank provided a fairly sober assessment of UK public services and social inequality.
But at least our average happiness ratings are up a little according to the latest ONS survey.