A report examined the impact of the Higher Education Academy Future Directions programme, which aimed to support the enhancement of student learning experiences in Wales through partnerships between students and staff. The report said that the programme had achieved considerable impact at individual, institutional, and sector levels, had influenced policy, and had earned the respect of stakeholders within the higher education sector, extending beyond Welsh borders.
Source: Danny Saunders, The Future Directions Programme for Higher Education in Wales: Impact assessment report for the Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy
A new book examined sustainable development policies that had arisen in London across a range of policy areas (including transport, housing, property development, and education), and their impacts and effects.
Source: Rob Imrie and Loretta Lees, Sustainable London? The future of a global city, Policy Press
A new book examined the effectiveness of past area-based initiatives in education, discussed recent developments in this field, and considered innovative ways forward for the future.
Source: Kirstin Kerr, Alan Dyson, and Carlo Raffo, Education, Disadvantage and Place: Making the local matter, Policy Press
A think-tank report said that raising the age of compulsory participation in education or training in England to 18 was unlikely to realize its aims of full participation without addressing a number of emerging issues. The report made recommendations to: improve the quality of options available for post-16 learners; improve careers advice and guidance; increase financial support options for learners aged 16-19; and focus on better tracking and monitoring of young people's participation and progress.
Source: Beth Foley, Staying Power: Making the raising of the participation age a policy success, Work Foundation
The government began consultation on proposals to make changes to the School Admissions Code to: allow priority for children eligible for pupil premium or service premium funding; change the consultation arrangements for local admission authorities; require admission authorities to amend unlawful admission arrangements to comply with the Code within two months of a decision of the Schools Adjudicator; clarify the provisions relating to the admission of summer born children to aid decision-making; and make clear that the highest priority for admission applied to all children who were adopted from local authority care.
Source: Changes to the School Admissions Code, Department for Education
The children's watchdog for England began consultation on how schools, and other organizations that delivered education services, could best promote and protect children's rights. The consultation would close on 26 September 2014.
Source: A Rights-Based Approach to Education: What are the characteristics of an education system which protects and promotes children's rights?, Office of the Children's Commissioner
Links: Consultation document
A report mapped school food policies in European countries, to provide a baseline from which to study policy impact and effectiveness.
Source: Stefan Storcksdieck genannt Bonsmann, Therese Kardakis, Jan Wollgast, Michael Nelson, and Sandra Caldeira, Mapping of National School Food Policies across the EU28 plus Norway and Switzerland, European Commission
An article examined the 'new paradigm' approach to comparisons between education systems, designed to identify and promote evidence of 'what works'. It explored how the approach operated and the strategies used to overcome methodological issues associated with policy borrowing.
Source: Euan Auld and Paul Morris, 'Comparative education, the "new paradigm" and policy borrowing: constructing knowledge for educational reform', Comparative Education, Volume 50 Issue 2
The government published a collection of papers outlining research priorities in policy areas covering children's services and education. The papers were intended: to identify the priority evidence gaps across the Department for Education's key areas of work; to provide a coherent strategic context for the research community, sector bodies, and practitioners; and to support planning and prioritization of research. The Department invited feedback on the papers.
Source: Department for Education
A new book examined ethical and philosophical issues regarding market-led alternative education (such as Free Schools, Studio Schools, Supplementary Schools and Co-operative Schools), and the mediation of power within alternative models of provision. Drawing on case studies, it considered the practicalities of working within such models, and whether a market-based approach was effective in raising standards for all.
Source: Ornette Clennon, Alternative Education and Community Engagement: Making education a priority, Palgrave Macmillan
The government began consultation on the balance of competences between the United Kingdom and European Union in the areas of education, vocational training, and youth. The consultation would close on 30 June 2014.
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences – Call for Evidence on the Government's Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Education, vocational training and youth, Department for Education
A new book examined informal education (explained as 'learning practices that emphasize dialogue and learning through everyday life'). Chapters covered the contributions of youth work, Scouting, Guiding, Care Farms, youth music programmes, and the use of online/information technologies.
Source: Sarah Mills and Peter Kraftl (eds), Informal Education, Childhood and Youth: Geographies, histories, practices, Palgrave Macmillan
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to clarify the responsibilities of local authorities and parents in providing and monitoring transport for pupils to and from education establishments in Wales, including issues around learner behaviour. The Children's Commissioner would provide support for engaging with children and young people in the consultation process, which would close on 13 April 2014.
Source: Proposed Guidance on Learner Travel Statutory Provision and Operational Guidance, Welsh Government
An article examined the extent of public desire for quasi-markets in education, drawing on data from the 2010 British Social Attitudes survey. Although choice 'in the abstract' was supported widely by both parents and non-parents (albeit slightly more so by parents), support appeared to be more instrumental than intrinsic. It was tempered among parents and non-parents by clear opposition to vouchers, school diversity, government spending on transport costs to facilitate choice, and strong support for the idea of sending children to the 'nearest state school'.
Source: Sonia Exley, 'Are quasi-markets in education what the British public wants?', Social Policy and Administration, Volume 48 Number 1