As we kick off a new academic year, we explore the new statutory RSHE curriculum, a new media campaign launched to reassure returning pupils and the short courses created to accommodate ‘flexible training’ in 2022.
Tutoring revolution builds as students return to class
Schools will have greater flexibility to offer high-quality, 15-hour tutoring courses that meet the needs of their pupils, in a major expansion of the National Tutoring Programme backed by £1 billion. Just one course of high-quality tutoring has been proven to boost attainment by three to five months, so tutoring will be vital for young people in recovering the teaching hours lost in the last year. The programme is expected to reach up to six million pupils across the country in total over the next three years to ensure students receive the quality catch up support needed. New guidance has also been published to support schools to offer their own teacher-led tuition, expected to reach over one million students this academic year. At Hopscotch, we have first-hand insight into the impact courses and programmes can have on in-curriculum learning and thus, support the expansion of the national tutoring programme which will help thousands to receive the catch-up learning they need.
Media reassurance campaign to get pupils back to school
A cross-channel campaign has been launched to reassure parents and pupils it’s safe to return to school in England has been launched by the government. The campaign will feature Matt Richards, gold medal-winning swimmer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, who will draw on his own experience of regular covid testing as part of Team GB to encourage secondary and college students to continue testing from September. The campaign will also feature Dr Ranj Singh, NHS consultant paediatrician and TV presenter who will reassure students and families about the return to school. Even though cases are still on the rise, we feel that the access to covid-vaccines, the instalment of £25million worth of carbon dioxide monitors and ventilation across schools will allow staff, parents, and teachers to feel more reassured about the safe return of classroom learning.
Short university courses to provide flexible training
People looking to study or train at any stage of life will have access to short university or college courses in a recent reshuffling of traditional education. Universities and further education colleges have been invited to bid for a share of £2million to create new ‘short courses’ across five important subject areas: STEM, healthcare, digital innovation, education, and supporting Net Zero. Providers will be tasked with developing courses under these topics, and these can be as short as six weeks or as long as a year if studied part-time. The plans aim to shake the perception that traditional three- and four-year degree courses are the only routes for those who want to pursue further education or training and the first short courses will be available from September 2022. We at Hopscotch are hopeful that these flexible courses will lead to greater access to top jobs among those who choose to go down non-traditional educational routes.
‘Operation Warm Welcome’ underway to support Afghan arrivals in the UK
A significant cross-government effort is underway, dubbed ‘Operation Warm Welcome’, to ensure Afghans arriving in the UK receive the vital support they need to rebuild their lives, find work, pursue education, and integrate into their local communities. To give children and young adults the best start in life the government is making at least £12 million available to prioritise additional school places so children can be enrolled as soon as possible, and to provide school transport, specialist teachers and English language support to assist with learning. Further funding will be provided for up to 300 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for Afghans at UK universities and adults will also be able to access English language courses free of charge. While many will speak English through their work with the British Forces and as translators, these language classes will ensure all their family members can fully integrate into their local communities.
Relationships and sex education: What you need to know
The statutory content referred to as ‘RSHE’ will now make up the majority of schools’ PSHE education. Notably, RSHE came into effect in September 2020 following fears of increased sexual misconduct, however many schools were not ready to implement this new curriculum because of the enormous pressure and challenges of the pandemic. The Department for Education gave schools more time as a result and advised that all schools should have the curriculum in place by September 2021. Schools and colleges will now be obligated to publish their relationships education/relationships and sex education policy on the school website alongside an overview of how content will be covered. This is summary piece from TES is a great overview of the new approach.