Weekly news round up: 21/05/24

By Tim Bradbury posted 29 days ago


This week's education news has been vibrant with updates and developments that touch various aspects of teaching and learning, especially in the STEM fields. From policy changes to innovative teaching practices, here's a roundup of key stories that can help educators stay informed and inspired.

Key Stories

  1. Changes to Sex Education in Schools Announced The Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, announced significant changes to sex education in schools. Gender identity will no longer be taught at any age, and there will be stricter age limits on when sex education can start. This policy aims to standardize sex education across the UK. Read more

  2. AI Integration in GCSE Computer Science New updates to the GCSE Computer Science curriculum will include the impacts of artificial intelligence. This change is designed to keep the curriculum relevant in the rapidly evolving tech landscape. Read more

  3. Teachers Underwhelmed by Training Opportunities A recent Ofsted report highlights that many teachers feel underwhelmed by the training opportunities provided. There is a growing call for more comprehensive and engaging professional development. Read more

  4. Mental Health Becomes Top Cause for College Student Absence Poor mental health has become the leading cause of student absences in colleges, surpassing physical health issues. This trend underscores the need for better mental health support in educational institutions. Read more

  5. Court Date Set for Learning Curve vs DfE Procurement Trial A court date has been set for the high-profile trial between Learning Curve and the Department for Education over procurement processes. This case could have significant implications for future education contracts. Read more

  6. Research on Phone Bans in Schools Recent research suggests that banning smartphones in schools can positively impact students' concentration and academic performance. This finding is prompting many schools to reconsider their mobile phone policies. Read more

  7. Free Childcare Plan Risks Lowering Standards A report indicates that the government's plan to expand free childcare could risk lowering standards due to the increased demand and lack of sufficient qualified staff. Read more

  8. 1,000 Volunteers Needed for School Climate Ambassador Scheme Schools are calling for 1,000 volunteers to join a new climate ambassador scheme. This initiative aims to promote environmental awareness and action among students. Read more

  9. AI Patients Admitted to Training Ward An innovative training ward has been established where students can practice on AI patients. This cutting-edge approach aims to better prepare students for real-world medical scenarios. Read more

Reflections for Educators

  1. Integrating AI in Education With the growing emphasis on AI in the curriculum, teachers should consider how to integrate AI topics into their lessons effectively. Reflect on how these changes can be used to spark student interest in technology and its societal impacts.

  2. Mental Health Support The rise in mental health issues among students calls for a proactive approach. Educators should explore ways to provide better mental health support, including integrating well-being practices into the classroom and seeking professional development in mental health awareness.

  3. Professional Development The feedback from teachers about their professional development opportunities suggests a need for more engaging and relevant training programs. Reflect on the types of training that would benefit you and your colleagues the most and advocate for these within your institution.

  4. Environmental Education The new climate ambassador scheme offers a unique opportunity to involve students in environmental initiatives. Consider how you can integrate environmental education into your curriculum and encourage students to participate in sustainability projects.

  5. Policy Changes and Their Impacts Keep an eye on the recent policy changes regarding sex education and childcare. Reflect on how these changes might impact your teaching practices and the broader educational environment.

By staying informed about these developments, educators can better adapt to the evolving educational landscape and continue to provide high-quality education to their students.


This week's news highlights the dynamic nature of the education sector, with significant changes and innovations on the horizon. As educators, staying informed and reflective can help us navigate these changes effectively and continue to inspire and educate the next generation.