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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
United-Kingdom-Northern-Ireland

United-Kingdom-Northern-Ireland

6. Education and Training

6.10 Current debates and reforms

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LAST MODIFIED ON: 25/10/2020 - 23:20

Forthcoming policy developments

In 2017, the Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper was released, which set out proposals to tackle unacceptable behaviour and content online. Since then, the Government’s period of consultation and response to the Green Paper, as well as the 2018 Digital Charter set out to create a more regulated and safer online experience in the UK for all. The Charter states an investment of an additional £7 billion in research and development by 2021/22, delivering major upgrades to the digital infrastructure, and states the government will introduce a new statutory duty of care enforced by an independent regulator to tackle harmful online content. A National Data Strategy is also expected to be established.

Ongoing debates

COVID-19 

In August 2020, The Northern Ireland Executive announced a £42 million funding package to ensure the safe reopening of schools following their prolonged closure due to COVID-19. 

The CCEA launched an open consultation in August 2020 on proposed changes to CCEA GCSE, AS and A level qualifications that are due to be assessed in next summer 2021, in light of the impact of the pandemic on young people’s education.  The consultation proposes a reduction in the number of exams that pupils will be required to take, as well as a number of adaptations to qualifications to ensure they can be delivered safely and meet current public health requirements. The consultation is open until 7 September 2020 and is available here.

Brexit

The UK left the EU on January 31st 2020 at 11pm, beginning the transition period that is set to end on December 31st 2020. An update on the website of the Erasmus+ UK National Agency states that: 

under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2014-2020) Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programmes. This means that the projects successfully bid for during the current (2014-2020) Erasmus+ and ESC programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period. As a result, the UK government guarantee of EU funding will no longer be required and the Erasmus+ and ESC guarantee IT system has been closed. 

Additional updates have been published on the Erasmus+ site