In this week’s Education insights, we explore proposed improvements to Level 3 qualifications, recovery campaigns to help families 'rediscover summer', and a decline in speech and social understanding among young people.
Thousands more children to benefit from free breakfast clubs
Thousands of children in disadvantaged areas across England will be offered free breakfasts in the next two academic years to better support their attainment, wellbeing, and readiness to learn. Backed by up to £24 million of government investment, Family Action will source and deliver breakfast food products to schools from September, supporting up to 2,500 schools between 2021-22 and 2022-23. Through Hopscotch's work with Kellogg's to reach their network of school breakfast clubs, we've seen first hand how important a healthy start to the day is to help alleviate hunger and support pre-school care.
Every UK job has the potential to be green
The Independent Green Jobs Taskforce has issued a call to action on how the UK can deliver a green industrial revolution with the government, business and education sector working together. On the 13th June, the government announced its ambition to create 2 million skilled green jobs by 2030, with a crucial part of this plan being to work with employers to boost green apprenticeship opportunities and support more adults to gain the skills they need to progress through training programmes. Sustainability and the Green Economy are high growth sectors, so these plans will be crucial for equipping young people with the skills required for their future job roles.
Clearer choice of high-quality post-16 qualifications
According to the Department for Education, 16+ School leavers will now have “clearer qualification and training routes”, as the government plans to scrap ineffective qualifications that "lead to low job prospects”. The new system put in place will create two clearly defined paths for people who have completed GCSEs or similar courses; both academic and technical. The DfE states that “Great qualifications are essential to helping everyone - no matter their age or background - to get good jobs,” and hope to maximise the potential of Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, T Levels and BTECs. The education programmes we work with brands to develop empower young people to recognise the clear link between their educational pursuits and career choices. With the broadening of 16+ qualifications, young people can choose an array of routes that suit their unique qualities and skills.
Government launches campaign encouraging families to Rediscover Summer
The government’s ‘Rediscover Summer' campaign has been launched to help inspire families to get out and about safely, and make the most out of summer. A Save The Children survey has shown how the pandemic has negatively impacted the social lives of our young people, with a third of children playing alone more, and a quarter having played less sport since the pandemic. The campaign highlights a range of activities and opportunities for families, children and young people, such as exploring a local museum or discovering a National Cycling Network Trail. We know members of the Hopscotch team with families and young children are delighted to be able to take part in activities again, so it's reassuring to have guidance on how this can be done safely.
Lockdown: Children behind in speech and understanding
New research has suggested up to 1.5 million children face being left behind in their speaking and understanding due to disruption caused by Covid. Sarah Murphy, Head Teacher at Northwood Community Primary School, highlights how students are showing reluctance to engage in purposeful play and display more behavioural disruption compared to pre-lockdown. The government has planned a £3bn catch-up programme to help the drop in social skills and lost learning. At Hopscotch, we see social interaction and engagement as a key part of young people’s personal development. During our Education Matters Webinar last week, we covered the adverse impact of the pandemic on students, reinforcing the continued need to secure teachers and students with tailored programmes that nurture the social skills of young people.