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June 27, 2022
Featured news item
Ministers warned students were showing “shocking growth in support for censorship” after a study revealed many favoured safety and avoidance of discrimination over unrestrained free speech.

The study, by the Higher Education Policy Institute found current students were more likely to support measures that restrain freedom of speech or expression on campus, and approve of removing offensive materials and memorials, compared with their predecessors six years ago, when it last conducted the survey.

Michelle Donelan, the higher education minister for England, said the report showed "a shocking growth in support for censorship across a wide range of indicators”. 
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Edge’s new Learning from the Past report is out 
Before Incorporation is a timeline of key initiatives and policies shaping Further Education in England prior to 1992 by Professor Ewart Keep (Oxford) and Professor Lorna Unwin (UCL)
Inspired by FETL’s Honourable Histories Edge have developed a ‘prequel’ identifying policy interventions and the significant activities that contributed to the development of FE prior to 1992.

Many of these interventions are still relevant today and to the future of FE and vocational education in England. Find out more and read the report here.
What's been in the news in the past week?
Politics & Policy
New funding will give schools the chance to buy musical instruments for tens of thousands of pupils, the Department for Education said. Further details here.

The Department for Education will rebrand its school performance website to “reduce the emphasis on comparison” after a backlash among school leaders at resuming league tables despite Covid’s impact.

Nadhim Zahawi: said axing Larkin and Owen poems for GCSE was 'cultural vandalism.' Education secretary denounced the OCR exam board's decision to replace the two poets in English literature course.

The government’s plans to hand teachers lower pay rises than the average UK worker are likely to “exacerbate” already-growing recruitment and retention problems, according to experts. The report is here.

The Department for Education was accused of using a “telesales” campaign in an attempt to bolster its flagship tutoring programme, after figures showed that government staff called schools more than 2,600 times in a week.

The Department for Education was offering up to £100,000 a year for a senior policy adviser to support Nadhim Zahawi’s school reforms. More here.

job advert says the appointed person would “help to shape advice to ministers relating to schools’ policy”.

The school Cat Stevens built: how Conservative politicians opposed funding for Muslim schools in England.

A cleric who promoted “offensive” and “inappropriate” views about women and gay people was banned from running schools. More here.
Students held sleepovers with classmates, parents organised car-sharing rides and teachers drove minibuses to ensure that those affected by the national rail strike would make it to their exams on time.

Students experienced “infuriating” and “unacceptable” mistakes to GCSE and A-levels this year, headteachers said, after a series of errors - including pupils being given wrong information about what would be on exams.

About 60,000 fewer top A-level grades will be awarded this summer, compared with last year, meaning thousands of teenagers will miss their university offers (£).

How many pupils fall below the proposed national thresholds for legal intervention due to absence? A blog from FFT Education Datalab.

Schools will be ordered to provide pupils with six “encounters” with further education and apprenticeship providers, or risk being hit with a legal direction from government. More here.

There were fears that UK Mandarin teaching is too dependent on China's "very dangerous’ Confucius Institutes (£).

Attainment 8 in 2022 - a new blog from FFT Education Datalab.
Further and adult education
Plans to develop a new T Level in marketing were announced. Ministers want the qualification up and running from 2025. It would become the 24th available T Level. Further details here.

A training provider dropped High Court action against the Department for Education after an undisclosed settlement was agreed.  Abis Resources Limited launched a challenge in 2019 after the firm’s FE loans and apprenticeship contracts were “unconscionably” terminated.
Higher education
Staff are asking universities to set up food banks because they are struggling with rising bills and say they cannot afford to eat properly. Young academics on casual contracts and low-paid support workers such as porters and cleaners are on the breadline.

Figures from the Department for Education showed a 22% increase in English-domiciled students studying Master’s-level courses. More here.
Industrial disputes
The National Education Union, the largest teaching union, has warned of industrial action over pay and workload unless the Government responds to its concerns (£). More here.

Students face delays in receiving their exam results this summer as staff at England’s largest exam board were balloted to strike over a pay dispute. Unison and Unite unions are rejecting a 3% pay rise, plus a £500 payment, for staff at AQA.

A fresh pay offer for college staff was rejected by union bosses, who branded the 2.5 per cent recommendation “totally unacceptable”. More here.

Union bosses warned about the prospect of strike action among teachers and NHS staff if the government does not boost pay amid soaring inflation.
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