17th August 2018

Department for Education - FE

Next generation of young people gaining the skills Britain needs, 16th August

Education Secretary Damian Hinds congratulated students picking up their results and welcomed the record rate of 18 year olds who are preparing to go to university.

The A Level results show:

  • Maths continues to be the most popular subject at A Level, with the number of entries up 2.5% on last year – up 26.8% compared to 2010;
  • Entries into STEM subjects continue to rise, up 3.4% on last year and up 24% since 2010;
  • An increase in entries to STEM A Levels by girls, up 5.5% from last year and 26.9% since 2010;
  • Over half of the entries were in subjects that open doors to the widest range of courses at Russell Group universities, with the proportion continuing to rise year on year;
  • The proportion of entries to art and design, music and modern foreign languages remains broadly stable;
  • Yorkshire and the Humber has seen the biggest improvement in entries achieving top grades (A* and A); and
  • In the second year of reformed A Levels, the percentage of UK entries awarded the A* grade remains stable at 8.0% this year, compared with 8.1% in 2010 and the overall UK pass rate remains stable at 97.6%, compared to 97.9% last year.

Employer skills survey 2017: UK findings, 16th August

The UK Employer Skills Survey (ESS) is one of the largest business surveys in the world, with the data in this report based on survey responses from over 87,000 employers. This is the fourth report in a series conducted biennially since 2011.

Findings show:

6% of organisations have vacancies due to skill shortage (same as last year)

22% of all vacancies are due to a skills shortage (similar to last year)

The percentage of organisations with any staff who lack the necessary skills (proficiency) has fallen by 1% to 13%.

Department for Education- Statistics

Apprenticeship and levy statistics: August 2018, 16th August

Statistics covering latest monthly apprenticeship starts, apprenticeship service registrations and commitments, and apprenticeship levy information.

Department for Education- Research

Research reveals lesser known qualifications could help boost skills and jobs, 14th August

Level 4 and 5 qualifications could be the key to unlocking skills demanded by employers.

The findings (below) published by the Department for Education form part of an ongoing review of education at Level 4 and 5. These qualifications are higher than an A level qualification (Level 3) but lower than a degree (Level 6).

Qualifications at this level include Diplomas of Higher Education and Foundation Degrees in subjects such as engineering and digital. They are offered at universities and Further Education colleges.

Initial findings from the review highlight for the first time the benefits of studying a qualification at Level 4 or 5, including:

  • Studying at this level can increase earning potential and employability - students achieving a Level 4 or 5 qualification by age 23 had higher median wages by the time they were 26 and were more likely to be in sustained employment than students who achieved a Level 3.
  • A growing demand for qualifications at this level from employers in key sectors such as ICT and Engineering – meaning increased take up could play an important role in the UK economy, helping to plug technical skills gap and boost productivity.
  • Learners at this level often study part-time, and come from diverse backgrounds – highlighting how studying at this level could boost learning and job opportunities for hundreds of thousands more people across the country.

Review of level 4 and 5 education: interim evidence overview, 14th August

Good practice in level 4 and 5 qualifications, 14th August

Other Government- The Social Mobility Commission

Get involved: share your ideas or join our movement for change, 13th August

The Social Mobility Commission calls for the public to get involved in improving social mobility in the UK. You can give your views. If you have an idea about how social mobility across the nation can be improved, email contact@socialmobilitycommission.gov.uk.


Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information from December 2015 to August 2018

Data for July published

School inspections and outcomes: management information, 10th August

Latest data for July 2018 published.

Childcare providers and inspections as at 31 March 2018, 15th August (updated)

The HTML version of the ‘Childcare providers and inspections as at 31 March 2018: main findings' document has been republished for this release. A correction has been made to the last sentence in the first paragraph of section 3.3 ‘Introduction of 30 hours free childcare’. It now reads ‘There were an estimated 294,000 children in a 30 hours place in the spring term, representing 89% of all eligibility codes issued to parents for that term.'

Early years and childcare services: EY3 changes to individuals, 16th August (updated)

EY3 form for childminders and other childcare providers to tell Ofsted about changes to childminding assistants, household members or certain people in organisations.

Added separate EY3 forms for childminders and providers of childcare on domestic and childcare on non-domestic premises.


Are they shouting because of me? Voices of children living in households with domestic abuse, parental substance misuse and mental health issues., Children’s commissioner, 14th August

This report shows the views of children in three projects supporting children in   London, Doncaster and Hertfordshire; all set up to support children and families living in households with mental health, parental substance misuse and domestic abuse. 

Children spoke openly about the problems at home and the impact it had on their day to day life. For many the issues experienced at home were so frequent that it became normality and it was only as they became older and went to friends’ houses that they realised how different their home life was.

They often took on the carer role, both for their parents and siblings.

Inevitably living in these households impacted on their schooling, with many speaking about missing school or being unable to get homework done as well as day to day life, with many rarely going out and having fun with friends or family.

Children often felt anxious, scared, depressed and ashamed, with many believing that the problems at home were their fault. As a result, there was considerable apprehension about speaking to anyone and seeking support – often fuelled by threats from home that if they told anyone they would be taken into care.

Many were in contact with social services or had been present when police or ambulance services had been called out in response to an incident. The lack of support provided at these times had created a mistrust in services, whilst some questioned and felt angry at why offers of support had not been accepted or sought by parents.

Despite the problems at home and the impact it had on them, children were also very clear about their love and trust they had in their parents. For some this helped them to minimise the risk being placed on them by living in these households.

It is estimated that 100,000 children live in households where an adult faces all three of these issues to a severe extent, with 420,000 children living with a parent facing all three issues to a moderate/severe extent.

International -Wales

Welsh government- Education and Skills

A level and Welsh Baccalaureate students congratulated by Kirsty Williams, 16th August

The A level provisional results for Wales show an improvement overall with 8.7% of grades awarded at A*, the best outcome in Wales since this grade was introduced, in 2010, 0.4 percentage point higher than the previous best figure in 2017.

Kirsty Williams said:

‘Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work from our students and I want to congratulate them, as well as our fantastic teachers and lecturers, on these results.

“We’re seeing a very positive and stable set of results, with some very encouraging signs of progress as we continue on our journey of education reform.

“I’m very pleased that the number of students achieving A*-A has reached 26.3% - this is a 1.3% increase from last year and is an historic high for Wales…..’

Achievement for All Areas for consideration

Get involved: share your ideas or join our movement for change, 13th August

The Social Mobility Commission calls for the public to get involved in improving social mobility in the UK. You can give your views. If you have an idea about how social mobility across the nation can be improved, email contact@socialmobilitycommission.gov.uk.

Achievement for All works with schools to support and improve social mobility.