Goodbye summer, hello autumn! Back-to-school is in full swing and as the days get colder and the nights get longer, we’ve pulled together this week’s biggest news and announcements from the education sector so you can stay up to date.
MPs to look at ‘more active’ inspection role in new home education inquiry
Home learning was a huge part of people’s day to day pre-summer holidays; children adapted to a new routine, parents stepped into the role of teacher and educators planned for the remote delivery of lessons. This week the education select committee has announced that it will be investigating how home-educated children are being supported in their learning as well as the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on children educated at home. This is a positive move should the UK face a second national lockdown, looking at duties of local authorities and the potential role for inspections in ensuring standards.
PM promises 'radical' shake-up of adult education
The coronavirus pandemic has opened the nation’s eyes to lots of things, one being the adult education system and how changes to the world of work have made training gaps ‘painfully apparent’. Speaking at a further education college in Exeter, the Prime Minister said the government cannot ‘save every job’ amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but added that better training would ‘give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs’. Education programmes such as LifeSkills created with Barclays already have a focus on adult learning, with their extension programme working to support individuals with their money and employability skills.
One in seven teachers ‘on the brink’
Wellbeing is set to be a huge priority in school children this academic year, with ongoing work needed to help them overcome the fear and anxiety caused by the pandemic. But we were shocked to read that less than a month into the new term, a survey by Tes has revealed that nearly half of teachers are ‘drained and exhausted’, a third ‘just about coping’ and 15% ‘physically and mentally on the brink’. Sinéad Mc Brearty, CEO of Education Support, said, “Schools have not been adequately resourced to do what has been asked of them. The assumption that school staff can just continue to pick up the pieces might work in the short term, but it is hardly the ground on which to build a recovery.”
Wellbeing tips for teachers
But there are ways a teacher can, and should, focus on and improve their mental wellbeing. Tes spoke to one teacher who shared her top tips, from connecting with others to setting boundaries, to help teachers’ mental health. Wellbeing is such a priority for us here at Hopscotch and we’ve loved working with clients like BUPA on this kind of work. We adapted Bupa’s successful internal wellbeing programme into one for educators so they can share their wellbeing expertise and make a difference to employees in the education sector.
Many GCSE pupils never study a book by a BAME author
New reports by education charity Teach First have revealed that the largest exam board in the country, AQA, does not feature a single book by a black author among set texts for its GCSE English literature syllabus. More than half a million pupils sit AQA GCSE English literature every year, but the syllabus features just two texts by non-white authors – Meera Syal’s Anita and Me and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. We are relieved to hear that AQA are reviewing their content so that students can learn about a diverse range of writers to make sure it is representative of a modern Britain.