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What can schools do to develop positive, high-achieving students?

The new OECD report Positive, High-achieving Students? What Schools and Teachers Can Do highlights three key areas that should be addressed to help nurture high-achieving students: teachers’ classroom practices, teachers’ well-being and job satisfaction, and the composition of classrooms.

Read the full report here.

Association of Apprentices, New Launch

New association launches to support apprentices in the UK!

At a time where additional support for apprentices is needed more than ever, The Association of Apprentices will create a community led by apprentices, for apprentices, to provide professional development, networking, and career guidance.

The impact of the pandemic on the employment, training and well-being of apprentices has been significant.  34% of apprentices did not successfully complete their apprenticeship in 2018/2019 and with many apprenticeships now disrupted, this figure is set to increase.

The Association will provide a much-needed support network and will focus on the social and broader elements often missing from apprenticeships.

Over 1600 apprentices on a range of apprenticeships from level 2 to level 7, have taken part in a recent survey which found that the most important elements they want help with are progression, professional development, and career opportunities.

Apprentices also highly ranked the opportunity for networking events and meeting other apprentices as useful for the Association to provide.

The Association will be guided by apprentices themselves to ensure it meet their needs. To achieve this, an Apprentice Council has been recruited to provide direct strategic input into the Association’s development.

A new online platform is being developed to meet many of the needs that apprentices have identified, and apprentices can register their interest in membership on the Association’s current website. During its development phase, it is free for apprentices to join as a member of the Association.

The Association was founded late last year by former Lord Mayor of the City of London Sir Peter Estlin, chair of the government’s Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, Jason Holt CBE; and co-founder of venture builder Blenheim Chalcot, Charles Mindenhall.  Founding partners are Babington, BBC, Health Education England NHS, NCFE, Royal Mail and Salesforce.

Further information can be obtained at or by visiting

  • Twitter: @AssocApprentice  #associationofapprentices
  • Instagram: @apprenticesuk
  • Facebook: Association of Apprentices
  • LinkedIn: Association of Apprentices

‘The Association of Apprentices can play a significant role in this, providing support networks and a community to increase apprentice’s confidence and help them to maximise their potential’
Sir Peter Estlin

‘Over 800,000 apprentices make an extraordinary contribution to our society & the Association provides an opportunity to give back to them regardless of how far along they might be in their career’
Jason Holt CBE

Value of Volunteering, Report

As companies struggle to motivate teams working remotely, new research published on 8th January 2021 reveals that employers who support their staff to volunteer in schools and colleges has found employees to be more motivated, more productive and have a better sense of well-being.

Click here to read the full report.

80% or more volunteers reported benefits for their communication, influencing & relationship skills with over half also benefiting for leadership and other skills

79% reported improvements to their sense of mission at work as a result of volunteering in education and 68% reported greater motivation at work.

84% also described benefits for their motivation in day-to-day life outside of work.

OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030

The Future of Education and Skills 2030 aims to help education systems determine the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values students need to thrive in and shape their future.

Find out more about them here.



The Pattern is an alternative curriculum for young people aged over 18 and no longer in full time education, to access the creative and cultural industries, which have previously been out of reach. Their programme will be created by and for fringe communities, including the Latinx community, the QTIPOC (Queer, Transgender and Intersex People of Colour) space, Muslim Sisterhood and the UK Student Climate Network.

Find out more here.


New research to help develop digital skills excellence

World Skills UK is working together with the Learning and Work Institute and Enginuity to help better understand the UK’s digital skills gap and improve opportunities for young people in the digital technology sector.

The newly published report ‘Disconnected: Exploring the digital skills gap highlighted a concerning gap in the UK’s digital skills market.

The research shows that 60 percent of businesses believe that their reliance on advanced digital skills is set to increase over the next five years, while 88 percent of young people realise that their digital skills will be essential for their careers.

However, while employer demand for digital skills is set to continue to grow, participation in digital skills training has declined. The number of young people taking IT subjects at GCSE has fallen by 40% since 2015, with the number taking A Levels, further education courses and apprenticeships all declining.

The research aims to give a better understanding of the UK’s digital skills market including: the needs of employers in terms of digital skills; young people’s perceptions of their digital skills; and the role of Further Education in supplying high quality skills in this area.

Read the full report here.