Education insights: Schools closed, exams cancelled and skills for working remotely

It has been an eventful start to 2021 with the news of lockdown 3.0 and schools closing across the UK. So, as many of us stay at home once again, we’ve pulled together some of the top news and announcements in education this week.

England's schools closed with heaviest of hearts - Gove

This week, the government made the decision to close all schools in England as Gove confirmed this year’s GCSE and A-level exams have been cancelled. The mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region stated it would have been “unfair” to ask students to go into schools or colleges causing “unnecessary anxiety”. Students have already experienced so much disruption to their education this year, it is really concerning for their academic progress as well as social development. We’re sure parents, teachers and children across the country will be welcoming schools to be opened again as soon as it is safe to do so.

Education Secretary outlines plans to support young people

The Education Secretary has put remote education expectations in place, with schools expected to provide a set number of hours of remote education for pupils and Ofsted will inspect any concerning areas. Although schools and colleges may be much more prepared to deliver online learning this time, teachers are still under a lot of pressure to adapt their initial lesson plans to be taught remotely and continue to teach in-person lessons to vulnerable and key-worker children. We hope they’re given the support they need during this challenging time.

BBC to put lessons on TV during lockdown

BBC TV has announced that it will broadcast curriculum-based lessons on BBC Two and CBBC starting from Monday (11th January 2021). This is great news for teachers, parents and children up and down the country who we’re sure will welcome any teaching support this year. The programmes will include three hours of programming every weekday on CBBC and at least two hours for secondary pupils on BBC Two. Hopefully we’ll see other channels and companies releasing more remote learning resources over the next few months to help engage more students.

Covid creating ‘career lockdown’ for workers under 30

New insights from Sharp reveal that a significant number of office workers are concerned for their career prospects. 51% expressed anxiety about keeping skills up to date, lack of training and future career opportunities. It is a worrying time for young employees as many continue to have their prospects of progression put on hold, 61% find it harder to stay informed on what is going on in the company and 55% feel cut off from their team. It’s important during this time to help create a supportive and inclusive culture at work while working remotely, even though it may be trickier.

Employers look for jobseekers with leadership skills for 2021

With many employees still working remotely, the world of work has dramatically changed in the last few months. Now it’s been revealed leadership skills, including coaching, onboarding and decision-making, top the list of most sought-after skills employers are looking for in potential candidates, according to job search engine Adzuna. Unsurprisingly, candidates with digital marketing skills, GDPR knowledge and IT skills are also in growing demand as the internet remains our main method of communication. It may be worth brushing up on these skills for this year and beyond.

About the author

Georgia Shiels

Georgia began her career in marketing while racing competitively in motorsport where she then gained her degree in automotive engineering. Georgia’s passion for encouraging young girls into STEM subjects grew from here. She volunteered as a STEM ambassador and she brings her STEM passion alongside many years of marketing and comms experience to her work at Hopscotch.

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