Scotland Allocates £10M to Support Summer Learning and Care for At-Risk Students
The Scottish government has announced that it will provide free childcare, activities, and healthy food as part of a new £10m ($US11.8 million) summer program. It targets families at greatest risk of poverty, including single parent families, larger households, and those with a disabled adult or child in the home. Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville explained that “School holidays can be expensive for families, especially when household bills are soaring. This funding means children and young people….will have opportunities to play, socialize and access a range of activities that broaden their experiences and supplement their learning.” The Scottish government made tackling child poverty a priority issue in 2017, setting a goal of reducing the rate of absolute child poverty to less than 5 percent by 2030. Since then, the government has made a number of investments to help support low-income families. For more on Scotland’s new summer program, see The Daily Record.
Singapore Updates Training to Better Focus on Skills for In-Demand Jobs
Singapore is fine-tuning its training framework for mid-career learners to achieve better workforce outcomes, with a goal of retraining at least half a million working adults a year. The country’s national lifelong learning initiative, Skillsfuture, currently offers more than 20,000 courses. Education Minister Chan Chun Sing announced that from 2024, Skillsfuture will only subsidize those courses that align best with in-demand jobs, eliminating about seven percent of current offerings. To help workers navigate their training and upskilling options, Skillsfuture will offer career advisory services. Singapore also intends to identify key skills expected to be in demand across multiple industries and help employers to hone their hiring and job design to focus more on skills and competencies rather than rely only on degrees or diplomas as a proxy of a candidate’s job readiness. Read more in The Straits Times.
England Expands Program Pairing Underperforming Schools with Strong Ones
England plans to expand its use of multi-academy trusts to boost performance in poorly rated schools based on their track record of success in doing this. Academies are funded directly by the Department for Education and independent of local school authorities. England has mandated that all academy schools join a trust by 2030. Under the current system, schools with the lowest ranking are eligible to be matched with high-performing multi-academy trusts so they can receive support to boost their performance. Some 900 additional schools will become eligible under the new plan, with priority given to schools with the weakest education standards. The intervention is among several government initiatives to boost student performance, from tax incentives to retain STEM teachers to the creation of 500,000 new teacher training and development slots by 2024. Read more at Gov.uk.
Alberta to Strengthen Career Education
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced a new Career Education Task Force to review the province’s career programming. It will make recommendations to strengthen student learning pathways to better prepare students to enter post-secondary education or employment. The Task Force’s focus will be on grades 7-12 and its mandate also includes creating a provincial framework for career education that will guide curriculum and funding in the future. The membership includes leaders from industry, labor, education and post-secondary institutions. LaGrange said “We are committed to improving career education and making sure it supports students’ interests while responding to labor market needs.” For more see Education News Canada.