From education to employment

FE Soundbite Edition 687: Updates on Ofsted, LGBT+ Inclusion, Teacher Labour Market, and EDI

finley and holly

Welcome to Soundbite Edition 687!

This is the weekly e-newsletter and e-journal brought to you by FE News: ISSN 2732-4095. We know life is busy, so here is a snapshot of the latest announcements and epic thought leadership articles from sector influencers and cool thinkers across FE and Skills this week on FE News.

This week, the apprentices are back again! Danielle is unable to jump in today, so you’ve got Holly and Finley today! Now, get ready! It is time to grab your coffee (or whatever drink you like!) and get comfy…

Exploring the Latest Developments in the FE Sector: Ofsted, LGBT+, Teacher Labour Market, and Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

This week has held some major announcements, shocking statistics being released and even the questioning of Ofsted.

Campaign for Learning kicked off their latest series last week, which you can keep up to date with here. This series is about their latest report ‘Driving-up employer investment in training – pressing the right buttons’. This report considers how to increase employer investment in training in England through analysis and recommendations from 21 leading organisations and experts including representative bodies, think tanks and independent experts.

NFER have also released their new teacher labour market in England annual report for 2023. This report is calling for a long-term strategy on teacher pay to halt the growing school workforce crisis.

These statistics reveal that the number of teacher vacancies posted by schools, an indicator of staff turnover, was 93 per cent higher in the academic year up to February 2023, than at the same point in the year before the pandemic. The TeachVac data also shows that vacancies were up 37 per cent compared to 2021/22.

We have also had Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, write for us discussing how further education has shown ‘great commitment and enthusiasm’ for making Wales an anti-racist nation by 2030.

Finally, with the devastating news released about headteacher Ruth Perry, school leaders have called for a pause to Ofsted inspections, with claims of insensitivity to the matter for continuing their inspections.

On Friday (24th), Ofsted released a statement on the matter, in which unions and school leaders have reacted to. With Dr Mary Bousted (NEU) saying “Given recent events and widespread concerns about leaders’ wellbeing, it’s the height of insensitivity for Ofsted to be going into schools or colleges this week” on why inspections need to be paused. Paul Whiteman (NAHT) added that “We are not against inspection per se, we simply believe that a fairer, more humane approach is possible”, while explaining why a reform is needed to improve the way that Ofsted inspects and ensures quality in educational establishments.

What have our thought leaders written this week?

To start off the week, we had Jenny Pelling, Director of Apprenticeship Development and Diversity, Kaplan explaining why WorldSkills UK Competitions benefit apprentices and their tutors. In this article, Jenny also asks that all learning providers and employers encourage their apprentices and learners to be ambitious and go for it this year!

Professor Catherine Lee (MBE) then delved into the impact of state-sanctioned homophobia created by Section 28, and practical ways FE schools and colleges can move forward from that legacy towards inclusion. She does this by giving her 5 steps for success of LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Social media entrepreneur Ryan Williams explores the state of business education in the UK. He explains how Business Studies is failing promising A-Level students, how it’s putting students off entrepreneurship, and the changes that are desperately needed. Ryan discusses how business studies shouldn’t be a heavily academic and how teaching skills should be tailored to suit modern business skills and give students opportunities for encouragement from local entrepreneurs who have found success.

To round off the week, we then had Stephen Lambert, who discussed how ”Mass unemployment not only led to a loss of income and role but resulted in a sense of hopelessness, apathy, fatalism and depression. How successful was state social and economic policy in tackling the two social problems?” This article goes into depth about how Inter-war state social policy was dominated by the problem of worklessness. By 1921 the scheme covered 11 million adults. Stephen also discusses how two factors led to the government’s response:

  • One – the impact of World War One.
  • Two – the government feared that rising unemployment could lead to urban unrest.

Concluding this week’s Soundbite…

This week has been a busy one, shining light on flaws within the Ofsted inspection system. However, it also shines a light on how we can improve the system, and therefore the experience of teacher’s across the country.

Professor Catherine Lee’s article also shows that there are still areas within equality, inclusion and diversity within schools and colleges that can be worked an improved upon.

Together, we can come up with solutions to these problems. Have your voice be heard and join our epic thought leaders and experts on highlighting these issues, but also suggesting solutions and improvements that we can make as a collective.

Now that you are up to date with the latest goings-on from the FE Eco-System, get ready for your radical rest this weekend!

By Finley Vile, Digital Project Manager, and Holly Wheaton, Junior Digital Project Manager at FE News

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