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Soundbite Edition 734 – Is Policy Churn Being Detrimental to FE?

Finley and Danny soundbite

Welcome to FE Soundbite Edition 734, February 24th 2024: Is Policy Churn Being Detrimental to FE?

This is the weekly e-newsletter and e-journal 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

Gavin’s Reflective Perspective

I’m really excited about the potential for WorldSkills Africa. We all know that skills, social mobility and productivity all go hand in hand, so exploring the impact of skills competitions for an entire continent is seriously exciting. Couple this with Agenda 2063, which is a visionary framework for Africa’s future development. Especially looking at Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063, which aims to create a people-driven Africa by harnessing the talents of all Africans, especially women and youth. This is massively exciting.

Something big is kicking off, marking the start of a new era… But at the same time, the National Tutoring Programme is about to wrap up.

Thinking of EPI’s latest report on inequalities in post-16 education outcomes across the UK, there were some genuinely interesting and surprising findings – definitely worth a read! One not-so-obvious finding is that there has been a very high level of policy churn experienced within UK E&T and this has been detrimental… I 100% agree!

Our Top 3 Thought Leadership Articles This Week

Firstly Improving students’ mental health with EdTech, by Nicola Pearce, BenQ discusses the importance of implementing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) practises in schools.

Secondly, How can businesses use apprenticeships as a workforce planning tool? By Nichola Hay, BPP explores the latest Global CEO Survey from PwC on how CEOs are expecting the global economy to strengthen.

Lastly, Mastering Employability, Building Resilience, by Kerry Boffey, Fellowship of Inspection Nominees, advocates teaching employees new skills and measuring their progress. This cultivation of continuous learning improves workforce productivity.

This week, we have also had some other epic exclusives:

What’s New in the World of FE?

Danni Rush spoke about Navigating Workforce Shifts

  • Understanding changing priorities around work-life balance, mental health, rewards etc.
  • Helping employees navigate digital transformation and its impacts Supporting next-generation managers dealing with heavier workloads
  • Refreshing recognition programs to focus less on financial incentives and more on tailored, non-financial motivators

WorldSkills Africa is Launched

  • In February 2024, WorldSkills Africa was officially launched at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa.
  • This new initiative aims to advance vocational education and training across Africa.
  • The next WorldSkills Africa skills competition will take place in Zambia in 2025.

Differences in Post-16 Education Across the UK

  • A report found major differences and divergence in post-16 education policy between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland since devolution in 1999.
  • Wales has the worst outcomes – the highest NEET rate, worst qualifications and employment rates for working-class youth. Urgent action is needed.
  • Fewer young people do apprenticeships in England/Wales compared to Scotland/Northern Ireland.
  • The English system has the highest higher education participation for deprived students.

National Tutoring Programme in England Coming to an End

  • The National Tutoring Programme, set up to help disadvantaged pupils catch up from pandemic disruption, is ending in summer 2023.
  • Education groups warn this will harm efforts to close the widening attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their peers.

Work Your Proper Hours Day.

  • TUC’s 20th annual Work Your Proper Hours Day
  • UK employers claimed £26 billion of free labour last year because of workers doing unpaid overtime

Ofsted Review Findings – Preparing SEND Students for Career Success

  • Ofsted has released an independent review of career guidance in special schools, independent specialist colleges (ISCs), and pupil referral units (PRUs).
  • The report outlines challenges faced by these settings in providing career guidance for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
  • The report emphasises that a young person’s voice is central to effective career guidance in specialist settings.

In The Know

People to look out for next week for exclusive thought leadership on FE News:

  • Suraj Mohandas and Mat Pullen from Jamf
  • Ruby Parmar from Milton Keynes College Group
  • Al Kingsley, NetSupport

Finley Vile, Platform Growth Manager, FE News

Danny O’Meara, Junior Digital Project Manager, FE News

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