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July 18, 2022
Featured news item
Record numbers of disadvantaged students from across the UK are set to enter higher education this autumn, new UCAS data showed. Figures from June 30, which was the final date for applications, showed the application rate for 18-year-old students from the poorest areas of the UK was 28.8%, up from 27% in 2021 and more than 10 percentage points higher than in 2013. This meant 38,300 students from the most disadvantaged areas of the country had applied to university this year, Ucas said. More here.
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Featured Charity

Young Lives vs Cancer

When a child is diagnosed with cancer it threatens everything, for them and their family. At a time when they should be busy being children, enjoying their rollercoaster teenage years or finding their feet at uni, life becomes full of fear. Fear of treatment, but also of families being torn apart, of overwhelming money worries, mental health stretched to breaking point, of having nowhere to turn, no one to talk to.

At Young Lives vs Cancer, we get that. We are the charity that helps children and young people (0-25) and their families find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them.

Cancer and School Life Pack

This award-winning pack has been developed for schools where a child has been diagnosed with cancer. It is designed to help teachers communicate confidently with schoolchildren about childhood cancer, as well as help pupils understand the illness and how they can support their classmate. Download


Young Lives vs Cancer are updating their Schools Resource Pack, and would like your help. Please could you spare a few minutes to complete a survey here.
What's been in the news in the past week?
Politics & Policy
More than half of schools seeking building replacements or repairs will not get cash under prime minister Boris Johnson’s flagship rebuilding programme. More here.

Keir Starmer vowed to end charitable status for private schools. The speech is here.

Ofsted reviewed and updated its inspection framework and handbooks for September 2022, as it prepared to end a curriculum grade period for schools in place since 2019. Further details can be found here.

The government was warned against treating the evidence base for early career framework reforms like “some kind of Bible”. Professor Sam Twiselton, a government adviser on initial teacher training, said she was worried about such reverence, including amongst staff at the Department for Education. 

Faith schools and academisation - a new blog from FFT Education Datalab.

Ministers often have a “limited policy agenda” to improve teaching, with structural reform considered more “easy”, a former Department for Education head, Jonathan Slater said. He was speaking on a panel at the Foundation for Education Development national summit.

England’s school population is set to shrink by almost a million children over the next 10 years, according to the government’s latest data.
School attendance in England fell to the lowest level since January, according to the latest government data. More here.

The impact of long Covid among academics is causing problems for universities

The former education recovery commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, accused the government  of burying its head in the sand over the loss of learning among children in England due to Covid, warning the problem will not just “go away.”
Early Years & Primary

Heads called for an ‘immediate investigation’ into missing Sats papers. The Department for Education had not yet given a clear answer on the scale of missing and incorrect key stage 2 results (£). More here. The also called for an inquiry into incorrect marking.

Key Stage 2 2022: How have things changed since 2019? A new blog from FFT Education Datalab.

Plurilingual parenting: why many experts think families who speak multiple languages should just go with the flow.

Award-winning head teacher, Mahzia 'Pepe' Hart, is suing the NEU for conspiracy to injure and harass and Bath and North Somerset Council for misfeasance in public office and harassment, following claims she was forced out of her career.

More than half of school staff felt pressured from either senior leaders or parents and pupils to change teacher assessed grades (TAGs) last year, an Ofqual survey found. Further details can be found here.

School-based mindfulness training does not appear to boost wellbeing or improve the mental health of teenagers, according to research that found many pupils were bored by the course and did not practise it at home. More here.

Defibrillators are to be supplied to all state schools in England by next summer following a campaign by the family of Oliver King, who died of a sudden cardiac arrest during a swimming race.
Further and adult education
The NHS will miss out on recruiting thousands of nurses every year as a direct result of the government scrapping BTec courses in health and social care, hospital bosses warned.

Teething problems and tweaks notwithstanding, FE providers are unexpectedly positive about the biggest new technical and vocational qualifications in generations. How can the Department for Education get them right in the long term?

A large London college group announced another “landmark” pay deal for staff – its second in the past four years. Capital City College Group agreed to an inflation-busting 9% rise for staff on £30,000 and under, following strike action last year.

Learners who could struggle with study-related costs such as books and childcare fees can now apply for up to £2.5 million worth of targeted bursary funding to help them access new higher education ‘short courses’,  as part of the government’s pledge to offer tens of thousands of adults the chance to retrain in later life. More here.

A third of the first T Level students have applied for university. More here.

Higher education
Cambridge University was holding a review after five students died in recent months. One of the deaths, which all happened between March and June, has been confirmed as a suicide, while four others are suspected suicides.

More than one in 10 students are using food banks because they cannot make ends meet during the cost of living crisis, according to a survey by the National Union of Students. More here.

Freedom of speech is at risk of being stifled on campuses after a record number of speakers and events were rejected last year, the universities watchdog has warned. More here.

Why aren’t more university graduates going into SMEs? A new HEPI analysis. More here:

A squeeze on university places could hold back a generation, Labour warned.
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