Education insights: Autumn exams announced and a glimmer of hope for teacher retention figures

Whether it’s policy updates or teacher insights, once again this week we’re bringing you useful updates and notable news from the education sector so you can stay up to date.

Students dissatisfied with teacher grades will have chance to retake in autumn

For students awaiting exam results in August, the plot thickens. A-Level and GCSE students who aren’t happy with their teacher assessment grades will have the option to take their exams in the autumn term. This added element of choice will be a welcome announcement for many who feared that they would lose control over their exam results; however, it feels like schools have a difficult job ahead of them to ensure that this can work logistically.

A light at the end of the tunnel for teacher recruitment and retention?

Teacher recruitment and retention is an issue that has troubled the profession for a long time. However, new analysis by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) shows that for the first time in a decade, there has been a rise in the proportion of early career teachers staying in their jobs after one and two years. This is a fantastic development, and one that we could see strengthen in the years to come: it has been suggested that teacher recruitment shortages could fall by 40% as a result of Covid-19.

Inquiry report on equity in STEM education shows there is work to be done

An All-Party Parliamentary Group have uncovered serious shortcomings regarding the provision of equal opportunities in STEM education. According to the group, equity in STEM cannot be considered in isolation from equity in other parts of the education system or society at large. They highlighted the importance of wider access to good careers education for raising aspirations around STEM, and the need to make STEM education more relevant to the lives of all young people. We welcome this recommendation as an agency that champions the power of STEM education to inspire young people about their future career options.

Research reveals the importance of remote learning in mitigating the attainment gap

The latest work from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has revealed some difficult truths about the effect of school closures on the attainment gap: in their findings, these closures are likely to reverse progress made to close the gap in the last decade since 2011. However, all is not lost. Whilst there is lots of hard work to do, the development of effective remote learning could help mitigate the extent to which the gap widens. Those within the education sector will have to innovate to meet these challenges; this is something we’re excited to be taking further at Hopscotch through our education programmes.

Oak Academy commits to filming 10,000 lessons as “Plan B”

With all students theoretically returning to school in September, Oak National Academy has devised a back-up plan with 10,000 online lessons being recorded throughout the summer. There has been a great deal of scepticism over all schools reopening fully in September, and an online solution isn’t perfect: there are thousands of students around the country who are affected by digital poverty and broadband issues. However, the Oak National Academy has achieved a commendable amount in a short space of time: since lockdown began, they have delivered 14 million lessons to around four million pupils.

About the author

Eleanor Johnston

Before joining Hopscotch, Eleanor taught English in Germany, worked as a Widening Participation ambassador at Bristol University and interned at the Young Westminster Foundation. Since securing a first class honours degree in History, Eleanor has enjoyed bringing her passion for education to projects including Bupa and LifeSkills created with Barclays.

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