Welcome to the latest edition of our UK Education and Career Newsletter, where we explore the ever-changing landscapes of learning and professional growth. In this issue, we bring you a curated selection of the latest news, insights, and opportunities that are shaping the future of Britain's educational and career horizons.

Our dedicated team has meticulously compiled a diverse range of articles, expert analyses, and thought-provoking perspectives, ensuring that you remain at the forefront of the discourse that is driving the evolution of education and career pathways in the UK.

Embrace this opportunity to broaden your horizons, challenge conventional thinking, and unlock the vast potential that lies within you. Together, we will embark on an exhilarating journey of discovery, growth, and professional development, propelling our collective aspirations towards excellence.

We are grateful for your unwavering trust and for accompanying us on this enlightening expedition. Prepare to be inspired, informed, and empowered as we navigate the dynamic realms of education and career pursuits in the United Kingdom.


SCHOOLS

Nursery Finds New Home After Devastating Fire

After a large fire destroyed Wibli Wobli Nursery in Newport, it secured new premises shared with the city's Hindu temple. The owner hopes to have the nursery up and running at the new location by early summer, with a capacity for nearly 70 children.

Small Specialist School for Mental Health Issues to Open

A new independent secondary school catering to pupils with anxiety, depression and eating disorders is set to open in Preston city centre. With a maximum of 10 students and 4 staff on-site at any time, the state-funded school will offer a "diverse range of academic subjects" to those unable to attend mainstream education.

Victory for Rural School Campaigners as Mothballing Plans Halted

In a "landmark decision", campaigners fighting to save rural Dalry Secondary School have won a reprieve, with councillors voting unanimously to immediately halt the temporary closure of any secondary school in the region. However, uncertainty remains over how long this suspension will last.

Teachers Ballot on Strike Over Alleged Bullying at Lincoln School

The National Education Union is balloting members on potential strikes at Sir Francis Hill Community School in Lincoln, citing allegations of bullying, unprofessional conduct, and poor leadership. Several staff resignations have been reported at the primary school, prompting the union's call for potential industrial action.


FURTHER EDUCATION

Government Boost for Apprenticeships Welcomed by Training Provider

An Oxford-based training provider, Ignite Training, has welcomed the government's £60m funding pool to cover full apprenticeship training costs for small businesses hiring apprentices aged under 21. The initiative is expected to create 20,000 new apprenticeship opportunities nationwide.

New Teacher Degree Apprenticeship Programme Set to Transform Teacher Training

The innovative Teacher Degree Apprenticeship (TDA) blends high-quality training, employment, and academic attainment, set to launch in autumn 2025 through collaboration between the Department for Education, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and employer-led groups, revolutionising teacher education.

SEND Colleges Warn Against English and Maths Resit Reforms

A survey by the National Association of Specialist Colleges found that 91% of SEND colleges condemn the government's increased English and maths hours, calling it an "unwieldy demand" that could increase dropouts and stress for vulnerable learners, impacting the development of vital skills.

Soaring Exam Access Requests Strain College Resources

Colleges report a surge in students requesting special exam accommodations like extra time and rest breaks, straining staff and space. The increase is linked to mental health issues from the pandemic. Some colleges must temporarily close during exams to accommodate the high volume of requests.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION

Scottish University Opens Voluntary Severance Amid Financial Pressures

Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen has launched a voluntary severance scheme due to significant financial challenges. The university cites a steep decline in international student enrolments post-Brexit, rising costs, and reduced public funding as factors behind the cost-cutting measure aimed at maintaining its financial sustainability.

Innovative Mentoring at Bayes Business School Boosts Social Mobility for Disadvantaged Youth

An innovative mentoring scheme at Bayes Business School pairs local sixth formers and university students, helping guide disadvantaged youth towards business careers. The programme teaches valuable soft skills while raising educational aspirations, with the Dean hailing its positive impact on social mobility.

UK Universities to Ban TikTok Within Campus Vicinity

In a move to curb distractions and boost academic performance, TikTok will be banned within a mile radius of all 166 UK universities from next week, following complaints from Vice-Chancellors about the app's negative impact on student productivity and grades.


SKILLS & TRAINING

£100 Million to Boost Skills, Training and Job Creation in South Wales

The UK Government has pledged a £100 million investment to support skills, training, and job creation in South Wales, demonstrating its commitment to the Welsh steel industry's transition to low-carbon steelmaking, overseen by a dedicated transition board focused on regeneration and economic growth.

Fallout from Options Skills Collapse Prompts Industry Wake-Up Call

The sudden collapse of training provider Options Skills has left 800+ learners stranded, with TESP and EAL working to support those impacted and retrieve lost records. This incident highlights concerns over expensive, unnecessary qualification packages sold, prompting efforts to prevent such occurrences in the future.

Swansea University Nurtures Future Healthcare Leaders

Swansea University's Student Leadership Academy welcomed new healthcare students to its leadership programme, empowering them to develop confidence, inspire others, and deliver quality care through interactive activities, networking opportunities, and guidance from experienced professionals and alumni, fostering interprofessional collaboration and personal growth.


CAREER

SMEs Embrace Low-Cost Talent Strategies Amid Challenges

Amidst cost-of-living pressures, 64% of SMEs in England are adopting lower-cost recruitment tactics to invest in talent, with school-leaver employment schemes and work placements being popular choices.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Plant to Bring 150 Jobs to Port Talbot

Port Talbot's plans for a sustainable jet fuel facility, led by LanzaTech, have been approved, promising to create 150 jobs and produce 100 million litres of aviation fuel annually from sustainably sourced ethanol, supporting the UK's net-zero carbon goal and boosting the town's economy.

Tyneside Sports Merchandise Firm Rescued, Saving 17 Jobs

A Tyneside company specialising in customisable sports merchandise like trophies, playing cards, and branded products has been rescued from collapse, securing all 17 jobs at the Burradon-based Club Legends Ltd through a sale of the business and assets by administrators FRP Advisory.


POLITICAL OUTLOOK

Free Childcare for Two-Year-Olds Now Available in England

From April 1st, parents in England can access 15 hours of free weekly childcare for their two-year-olds. Though aimed at helping parents return to work, critics warn there may not be enough childcare places to meet demand when the scheme fully rolls out in 2025.

Apprenticeship Funding Rules 2024/25: Major Reforms Proposed

The draft rules propose easing additional learning support funding claims, relaxing functional skills requirements for SEND apprentices, introducing a £30k subcontracting threshold, reducing onboarding and progress monitoring admin, addressing the 5% co-investment payment lag, and reviewing "more flexible approaches" to active learning. Key changes include three-monthly learning support reviews, allowing lower functional skill levels for some SEND apprentices, integrating assessments with training plans, and exploring front-loaded or block-release training models.


EVENTS

Call for Papers: International Conference on Education & Management in London

The 378th International Conference on Education & Management (ICEM) calls for paper submissions until December 15, 2023. Held on April 29-30, 2024 at the Clayton Crown Hotel in London, UK, it welcomes diverse topics from various learning fields. Affiliated with IAARHIES' indexed journals, including the Journal of Innovative Research in Education & Management, accepted papers can be published online.

Student Global Leadership Conference 2024 Focuses on Mental Health

The Student Global Leadership Conference 2024, scheduled for April 5-6 in London, UK, emphasises the importance of mental health and well-being for effective leadership. With millions affected worldwide, the hybrid event aims to inspire future leaders to prioritise self-care and create supportive environments, offering live-streamed sessions and online access.


HALL OF FAME THIS WEEK

 

Winchester's AI Fit Finalist for UK StartUp Awards' Young Entrepreneur Category



Co-founder of AI Fit, Adam Allen-Rogers

AI Fit, a Winchester-based startup aiming to revolutionise online shoe shopping through innovative foot scanning technology, has been named a finalist for the Young Entrepreneur StartUp of the Year Award at the South East regional finals of the prestigious UK StartUp Awards, recognising outstanding new businesses nationwide.



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