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July 11, 2022
Featured news item
The proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard in writing at key stage 1 has seen a significant fall since before the pandemic, research from FFT Education Datalab suggested. 

It fell from 70 per cent in 2019 to 59 per cent in 2022. In reading, the percentage of pupils achieving this standard fell from 76 per cent to 68 per cent and in maths it dropped from 77 per cent to 70 per cent.

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The BERA Annual Conference 2022 will give an opportunity to celebrate and disseminate research that has been undertaken in recent years by our members.

Perhaps even more importantly this year, the BERA Annual Conference 2022 will give us the opportunity to network in person with colleagues.

We hope to see you in Liverpool
What's been in the news in the past week?
Politics & Policy
Schools minister Robin Walker resigned from his post, saying he could not “in good conscience” serve in prime minister Boris Johnson’s government. Will Quince also resigned, leaving the Department for Education with three ministerial vacancies. Michelle Donelan was promoted to Education Secretary after Nadhim Zahawi was made Chancellor, but she resigned after less than two days in the job. James Cleverly was appointed Education Secretary and Brendan Clarke-Smith and Andrea Jenkyns were appointed junior ministers at the Department for Education. Andrea Jenkyns, who was appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state, was then criticised after making a rude gesture while entering Downing Street

Union leaders warned newly appointed cabinet ministers that many teachers and nurses would quit their professions in the coming weeks if public sector pay deals were further delayed by chaos at the top of government.

Ministers were being forced to reveal how their flagship tutoring programme performed during its inaugural year. The order from the Information Commissioner’s Office came after a 15-month transparency battle. More here.
Early Years & Primary

‘One in four’ primaries struggles with weekly language teaching. A new report highlighted staffing issues as well as ‘significant challenges’ the pandemic had created for languages teaching. The report is here.

Heads expressed ‘deep concerns’ over SATs missing papers

The Covid pandemic and disruption undid many of the improvements in primary school test results within the last five years, according to this year’s Sats assessments taken by pupils in England. More here.

School caterers warned more children were “falling through the cracks” because of the cost of living crisis, reporting a steep fall in the number of pupils able to pay for school meals amid rising food costs and shortages. More here.

Plans to ease childcare staffing ratios in nurseries in England drew an angry response from providers and parents who said their concerns had been ignored. More here.

Entries for A-level English fell by more than one-third in the past decade in England, the latest statistics showed, prompting calls for the government to roll back on key reforms in order to tackle this “crisis”. More here.

Amanda Spielman said she regretted Ofsted not going into schools sooner in 2020. She also said teachers should not be campaigners in the classroom, in a keynote speech to education leaders. More here.

‘They saw me as calculating, not a child’: how adultification leads to black children being treated as criminals.

Providers of sex education in schools are teaching children that prostitution is a “rewarding job” and failed to advise a 14-year-old girl having sex with a 16-year-old boy that it was illegal, it was claimed.
Further and adult education
More than 90 per cent of the first T Level learners completed their work placements, according to unpublished internal data held by former skills minister Alex Burghart. 

Awarding giant Pearson appealed to keep one-third of its BTEC courses under threat of being axed by the government as part of plans to reform level 3 qualifications. 

Providers were blocked from updating their apprenticeship offer to prospective employers for a month after the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s course directory crashed.  Leaders described the situation as “incredibly frustrating”.
Higher education
The proportion of top degree grades awarded to undergraduates in England could fall by nearly 25 per cent, after universities said they wanted to reverse the grade inflation seen during the Covid pandemic. More here.

Students are less satisfied with their universities than before the pandemic, research suggested (£). More here.
Special needs and vulnerable children
Councils are failing to put adequate alternative education in place for growing numbers of children in England who cannot attend school because of social anxiety, according to a report by the local government ombudsman. More here.

Complaints by parents desperate to get help for their vulnerable children look set to double compared with five years ago, new figures on the SEND system showed. More here.

A report by MPs identified “a host of indefensible system failings” behind the educational disadvantage affecting children in care, and called for academies that illegally turn them away to be punished by Ofsted. More here.
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