This is the 66th of a series of bulletins produced by ISE to update members on key data and policy relating to Covid-19. This bulletin covers the period 29th November – 11th November 2021.
You can access all of the Covid-19 bulletins on ISE insights.
Latest COVID-19 data and news
Source: Government Covid-19 dashboard.
Please note – November figures in the top graph only currently include data until 05/11/21 for hospital admissions and 09/11/21 for cases and deaths, hence the large decrease shown between October and November. In addition, the average daily hospital admission rate for the most recent week in the second graph is based on data from 01/11/21 – 05/11/21.
The UK has now had almost 9.4m identified Covid-19 cases and 165,534 deaths (with Covid on the death certificate) in total. A decrease in average daily cases has been seen in the last two weeks, however hospitalisations remain relatively high and death rates seem to be rising – likely a knock-on effect of the peak in cases in mid-late October.
Source: Government Covid-19 dashboard.
79.8% of the 12+ UK population are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with another 7.7% having had one dose. 12.5% remain unvaccinated. 10.6m ‘booster’ third doses have also been given.
- Vaccines made compulsory for frontline NHS staff in England, as around 103,000 remain unvaccinated.
- US border opened to UK travellers for first time in 2 years, with over 18s required to provide proof of vaccination.
- Over 50s and the most vulnerable now able to book their booster jab from 5 months after their second dose.
- 90% of university students have had at least one dose of vaccine.
- The Office for Students have recently published a report around the geographical disparities affecting young people in England in terms of entry to higher education.
- Vicky Blake and Robyn Orfitelli discuss the reality and insecurity of a career in Higher Education.
- Means-tested grants for young people are likely to make more of a difference in encouraging those from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply to university, than reducing tuition fees.
- Life satisfaction is still significantly lower in students than the general adult population, with 1/3 of university students saying their mental health has worsened since the start of term, according to an ONS survey.
- David Molyneux and Laura Yetton look into the barriers to placement years facing widening participation students, including financial expenses, time, perceived lack of skills and experience and fears about adjusting to workplace environments.
- The impact of rising interest rates on different generations is discussed, considering the effect on interest income, debt repayments and asset prices.
- Perdita Fraser, chair of National Numeracy, explains how the UK has low adult numeracy, with only a fifth of adults ‘functionally numerate’, which is costing the UK £25bn in lost wages.
- Lee Elliot Major, LSE, discusses the prospects for social mobility and economic recovery following the Budget announcement.
- Education leaders fear the UK Budget did not provide the funding necessary as FE spending is still well under 2010 levels, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Digital skills shortage as 40% less are taking IT at GCSE despite 60% of businesses believing their reliance on advanced digital skills is set to increase in the next 5 years.
- Haven holiday park is offering 18 months of training from professional chefs providing 200 jobs amid skills gap.
- Younger workers who lost their job in the first lockdown were four times more likely to have found a new job in a different industry than the over-50s – Paul Johnson now believes that the pandemic has not widened inequalities in employment and earnings as expected.
Changing patterns of work
- Experts discuss post-covid work life balance – they believe companies will need to define flexible working clearly and expect staff to be considering cross-sector career switches and earlier retirement.
Student recruitment and development
- A Prospects Luminate survey investigating why some students do not consider teaching as a potential career found that ‘challenging student behaviour’ is the biggest barrier and ‘better pay and benefits’ may make them consider the profession, as schools in England continue to face a teacher supply issue.