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July 25, 2022
Featured news item

A report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi), said there was currently not enough data on student homelessness despite evidence of “hidden homelessness” among students who “sofa surf” for somewhere to stay.

Universities should do more to monitor the problem, which is expected to rise due to the cost-of-living crisis, the report said.

More here.

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This month Edge held their first event on Good Policy-Making in partnership with FED. They invited a panel of 3 former permanent secretaries to have a discussion with BBC Education Editor Branwen Jeffreys on what Good Policy-Making looks like.

You can watch the full discussion on their website now. 
What's been in the news in the past week?
Politics & Policy
Campaigner Scarlett Westbrook,18, produced the first student-written bill for Parliament; a private members’ bill to change the Education Act to "reflect the climate emergency". It will require primary and secondary schools to teach climate change in all subjects. More here.

Education publishers, authors and resource suppliers of six industry organisations wrote to ministers warning plans to take Oak National Academy into public hands risk the “collapse of the commercial education resources sector”. More here.

The government was forced to update guidance for schools on dealing with the heatwave because it contained incorrect information about heat exhaustion symptoms. But schools were not advised to close, prompting criticism from school leaders. More on the guidance here

Most teachers will get  a 5 per cent pay rise next year, an increase on the 3 per cent originally put forward, but still well below current inflation. More here.

The government announced schools will get a 1.9 per cent hike in per-pupil funding next year, despite official predictions inflation will hit double digits this autumn. More here
Covid-19
Ofsted published the third in a series of briefings  looking at the pandemic’s continued impact on education providers. The reports draw on evidence from more than 100 inspections and on focus groups with inspectors, and set out how early years settings, schools and further education and skills providers are helping children and learners catch up, while dealing with the ongoing challenges of COVID. More here.
Schools
Summer-born children will no longer get the automatic right to defer their reception school place following a Government U-turn. Ministers had planned legislation to force all councils to accept deferrals. More here.

Public health experts called for an urgent cap on ultra-processed food at schools after research found the products made up nearly two-thirds of the average UK school lunch. Packed lunches typically contained more of the foods than meals provided by schools themselves. More here.

Schools will only be allowed to hire tutoring organisations pre-approved by the Department for Education under the National Tutoring Programme from September. Guidance issued by the department earlier this month revealed the change to funding conditions for the school-led tutoring route. More here.

The Chief Rabbi appealed for parents to help as Jewish schools across the UK struggled to make ends meet amid the worsening cost-of-living crisis. Donations have slumped as the pandemic is replaced by rising inflation and retail prices.

The number of academies switching trusts fell to its lowest level since 2016, despite a government drive for standalone schools to join larger trusts. New Department for Education figures showed only 176 academies moved to a different trust in the 2020-21 financial year, making up 1.8 per cent of all academies. More here.

Exam results will be lower this year in most schools and colleges, the body responsible for qualifications in Wales warned. Jo Richards, Director of Regulations for Independent regulator Qualifications Wales said comparisons should be made with 2019 results, the last year papers were sat.

Schools in Southwark agreed not to exclude students for behaving badly, according to council documents. Secondary schools in the south London borough will agree to keep disruptive children unless they put another child's safety at risk. The council is said to be the first local authority in the UK to have schools sign up to such an agreement.

Is critical race theory being taught in American schools? In the second of a three-part Economist podcast series investigating the fight over the  theory Tamara Gilkes Borr, a former public-school teacher, asks how the anti-CRT movement became such a powerful new social, legislative and political force.
Further and adult education
A Durham college launched a career trust in an aim to address a skills gap after it was revealed the North East with need an extra 9,250 construction workers by 2026. New College Durham launched the Career College Trust Digital Construction Framework for its further and higher education Construction and Built Environment learners.

Over £74 million was awarded to colleges to develop 86 T Level projects set to launch in September 2023, the Department for Education announced. The funding will be used to refurbish or upgrade buildings as colleges prepare to deliver new T Levels in courses such as agriculture, animal care and catering. More here.

Strike action was confirmed at 29 more colleges across England, bringing the total that will be picketing this autumn to 39. The University and College Union confirmed 29 of the 33 colleges balloting on strikes have agreed to industrial action, after refusing to accept a 2.5 per cent pay offer recommended by the Association of Colleges.

Proposals for multi-year adult education budgets, “simplified” funding bands and public provider performance dashboards were firmed up as the government pressed ahead with its overhaul of adult education funding in England. The Department for Education published proposals to reform funding and accountability models a year ago but have now released a second stage consultation with more detail. More here
Higher education
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education relinquished its role assessing higher education providers in England amid concerns about non-compliance with European standards. From March 2023, the body will no longer be the Designated Quality Body for the sector, a role it has held since a new regulatory framework was created in 2018.

The UK and India signed an agreement to recognise each other’s higher education qualifications in a move welcomed by British universities. The Memorandum of Understanding means A-levels and their equivalents, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees will now be recognised in India. More here.

Universities in Scotland are offering a range of financial incentives to attract students from the rest of the UK in what promises to be “a clearing campaign like no other”. Tens of thousands of pounds in bursaries and scholarships are being offered to students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to entice them to take up places to study in Scotland this September.
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