On 1st December 2016, Ofsted released The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2015/16. You can read the full report here.

In the HMCI commentary, Sir Michael Wilshaw stated that, despite notable improvements in the past five years, in order for the education system to help the country become more “successful, cohesive and prosperous, we need:

  • high standards in education in every part of the country
  • technical and vocational education that equips young people to be competitive in the workforce
  • shared values that transcend community differences”

The report also referenced how the digital and creative sector, employing 2.1 million people in 2012, and worth around £134 billion gross value added in 2014, was facing a significant digital skills shortage. It emphasised the importance of digital skills to the economy and recognised that, although digital technology was pervasive across all aspects of life, there was a significant digital skills shortage. Deep concern was also expressed in recent sector reports about the capacity of the education system to supply the quantity and quality of workers needed for digital roles. This problem was also articulated by Businesses and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) who identified digital skills shortages and stated that the increase in apprenticeships seen in recent years has not focused sufficiently on the sectors with skills shortages.

The proposal submitted to the DfE for the Thomas Lucas Academy in Redbridge shares the HMCI’s aspirations for the education system, placing emphasis on high standards, academic excellence and inclusion throughout every aspect of the school leading to shared values and community cohesion. It also understands the increasing problem of the digital skills gap outlined in the report and will pro-actively address this with its digital skills and technology specialist focus. By embedding advanced technology across every aspect of school life the Thomas Lucas Academy will prepare all students for a dynamic, digital-age future and careers. Read more about the school’s plans here.

See The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2015/16 online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/574186/Ofsted_annual_report_education_and_skills_201516_web-ready.pdf