Return to blog

A round-up of the summer’s education news

Start strong.jpg

Start strong with a head start from us

September is here and whether you’re reluctantly rolling out of bed for the new term, or full of beans and raring to go, getting back into the swing of things can sometimes seem daunting.

To help you start the new academic year feeling up to speed, we've compiled the top stories and headlines from across the school sector this summer in 1 big round-up post.

The top stories of the summer ☀️

A round-up of the top topics in the news between 21 July and 31 August 2023. 

  • Over 100 schools told to close over concrete concerns
    Schools have been informed they must close any building made with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), and may have to start the new school year in temporary accommodation or alternative locations.  [BBC

    Support from The Key: get answers around the current situation and what action to take, with our RAAC and school disruption FAQs page.
  • GCSE and A-level grades fall towards pre-pandemic levels
    The number of pupils gaining top grades has fallen as grading returns to near pre-pandemic levels, amid concerns about regional and advantage attainment gaps [Schools Week and The Independent].  

    Support from The Key: use our template action plan to help raise progress for groups of pupils and tackle attainment gaps in your school.
  • Unions accept teacher pay deal, ending strike action 
    All 4 major education unions have accepted the government’s pay deal for 2023/4, although NASUWT is instructing its members to limit their working time later this term [BBC News and Schools Week]. 

    Support from The Key: check that your teachers’ pay policy meets all its requirements for the start of the year, with our model policy, checklist and examples.
  • Pupils with SEMH needs are absent twice as frequently as their peers, research finds
    The Education Policy Institute calls for more mental health investment in schools, as pupils with social, emotional and mental health issues were absent from school at double the rate of pupils without SEND [Tes Magazine - registration required]. 

    Support from The Key: read our top tips for improving attendance, including how to create a safe environment to support pupils with mental health challenges. 

The headlines from the holidays

Elsewhere in the news, stories from the sector also featured in the following publications over the summer. 

Schools Week

TES Magazine

registration required

BBC News


The Guardian

The Independent

The Telegraph

registration required

Ready, set, September!

Whatever your situation, The Key is here to help every step of the way, giving you and your whole team the support that matters, for the decisions that count.

To help you hit the ground running this September, tap into our free resource on the changes in education for 2023/24. This will get you up to speed on all the essential sector updates for the coming year, including the top DfE and Ofsted news.

Head to our 'Ready, set, September’ resource hub of hand-picked resources to shorten your team’s to-do lists and tackle your new-term tasks with confidence.

Teacher Tapp Gold Recommendation Award 🏆

We are delighted and honoured to have won a Teacher Tapp Gold Recommendation Award. In a poll of 7,000+ teachers, 90%+ of teachers who use The Key would recommend us to another school.

Thank you to everyone who recommended us and recognised our commitment to supporting schools.

Not a member of The Key yet? View our membership options  

Sign up for our news briefing

The Key's weekly education sector round-up, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Get weekly news briefing