Today’s Education in the Media blog will cover the announcement of a new achievement rate measure for traineeships, the Teaching and Learning International Survey, and the donation made to the University of Oxford for a new Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence.
Oxford University donation
Today, Wednesday 19 June, the University of Oxford has announced receipt of a £150million donation from US billionaire, Stephen Schwarzman. The donation will fund a new humanities centre at the university, as well as a new Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence.
The donation is reported to be the largest since records began, with Mr Schwarzman saying the donation was motivated by a visit he made to Oxford as a child and a need for increased work around artificial intelligence.
Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said:
Pushing the boundaries of knowledge and conquering new innovations are what our universities are known for across the world, and attracting this globally significant investment reinforces our reputation as a leader in higher education.
More importantly, disciplines within humanities enrich our culture and society, and have an immeasurable impact on our health and wellbeing. Not only do I look forward to the benefits this can bring to students, but the prospect of transforming the world we live in.
Today we announced our new stand-alone achievement rate measure for traineeships. The new measure includes learner destinations, as well as the achievement rates for any other qualifications and aims delivered as part of the programme.
To coincide with this, we also published a new traineeship impact evaluation report which is based on surveys of trainees, employers and providers, along with qualitative provider case studies. The report highlights that traineeships are helping more people into employment, further study or apprenticeships.
Anne Milton, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister said:
We want people of all ages and backgrounds to have the opportunity to learn new skills and go to have successful careers. Traineeships are a great way of doing this by giving young people the chance to gain the skills and confidence they need to progress.
I’m thrilled that this report shows how traineeships are supporting young people to start their apprenticeship journey, get their first job or go to further study.
This new measure we have launched today will also provide greater transparency and help young people make informed decisions about their next steps.
Today, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), a study conducted among primary, lower- and upper-secondary teachers and headteachers worldwide and published every five years.
The report provides insight on the views and practices of primary and lower secondary teachers and their headteachers in England, and how these vary across countries.
A random sample of more than 2,000 teachers in over 150 schools, for primary and lower secondary respectively, took part in TALIS. The questionnaire was conducted between March and May 2018 in England. In total, 48 countries took part at a lower secondary level and 15 at primary level. England did not participate in the upper-secondary survey.
This was covered by The Guardian and the TES is running an editorial piece from the Education Secretary in which he outlines his appreciation for the work teachers do, with the acknowledgement that teachers are working too many hours, alongside the measures the Department is taking to combat this.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
These findings reflect many of the frustrations that I heard from teachers and heads when I first took on the role of Education Secretary and underlines the importance of the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, that I launched in January of this year.
The strategy seeks to address many of the concerns outlined in today’s survey, with the Early Career Framework – the biggest teaching reform in a generation – providing the solid foundations for a successful career in teaching, backed by at least £130 million a year in extra funding when fully rolled out.
We know that too many teachers are having to work too many hours each week on unnecessary tasks, which is why I have taken on a battle to reduce teachers’ workload so that they can focus on spending their time in the classroom doing what they do best – teaching.