This Week in Education

Top headlines this week

  • ‘Proportion of teenagers entering university at record high.’ (Monday)
  • ‘Most primary classes get less than two hours of science a week.’ (Tuesday)
  • ‘Unions ‘disappointed’ by colleges’ 1% pay offer.’ (Wednesday)
  • ’Teaching in England is not ‘interesting’ enough, says PISA boss.’ (Thursday)
  • ’Teachers spending hundreds of pounds a year on classroom supplies.’ (Friday).


  • Entries to arts subjects at KS4. The Education Policy Institute (EPI) investigated the take-up of arts subjects at GCSE and concluded that entries had fallen to their lowest level in ten years and that the pressures of funding, the EBacc and Progress 8 were largely to blame
  • Funding primer. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IfS) issued a helpful little explainer on the funding reforms announced last week by the Secretary of State
  • Thumbs up. John Blake, Head of Education at the Policy Exchange think tank reflected on the government’s recent announcement on primary assessment suggesting that it amounted to good news for most teachers and schools
  • Short inspections. Osted reported back on its summer consultation on short inspections confirming an improved conversion process and launching consultation on three further proposals
  • Dear head teacher. Ofqual confirmed that the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is about to start sending out letters to participating schools about next year’s National Reference Test which will take place between 19 Feb and 2 March 2018
  • Cutting down on waste. Ofqual announced that it was working to reduce paper and excessive regulation as part of the work on its new handbook due out in preview form next month
  • Mental health and wellbeing. The Education Support Partnership, a charity providing support and guidance to education professionals, published the results of its latest research, using evidence supplied by YouGov, and highlighting a fairly bleak picture of stress and pressure in the profession
  • Bring back Becta? EdTech ‘expert’ Tony Parkin called for a return to some kind of overseeing body to help guide edtech developments given the current rapid pace of change and the need for strategic planning
  • Appliance of science. The Wellcome Trust launched Explorify, a new free digital resource to help teachers and pupils alike with all things scientific, as their latest survey revealed that many primary schools struggled to provide more than two hours of science a week
  • More maths. The Director of the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths (NCETM) urged schools to re-consider their entry requirements for their A’ level maths courses so as to encourage more students to take up post-16 maths courses in a blog on this summer’s maths performance.

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