Informed Scotland Learning & Skills Hottest Topics 2018

We’re delighted to present the sixth annual list of Learning & Skills ‘Hot Topics’ that made it onto the cover of Informed Scotland over the past year.

For the first time since we began compiling the list in 2013, two topics share top spot:

=1. Diversity, equality, equity & inclusion (new)

=1. Teacher education, development, shortages & recruitment (=2 in 2017)

=3. Digital skills (1)

=3. Future skills, learning & work (4)

=3. Gender balance & equity (=5)

=3. International collaboration & comparisons (=5)

=3. Science, technology, engineering & maths (STEM) (=5)

=3. Widening access (=2)

=9. Skills shortages & gaps (=5)

=9. Students, leavers & graduates – statistics (=5)

As predicted, ‘Teacher education, development, shortages & recruitment’ continued to make the mainstream headlines in 2018, pushing it up one place from last year. In contrast, ‘Diversity, equality, equity & inclusion’ is on the list for the first time, with themes such as poverty, social mobility, disadvantage, disability, care experience and ethnicity grabbing the attention across the landscape.

Although ‘Digital skills’ slipped down the list after two years as the hottest topic, it remains the only issue to have been in the top three every year since 2013.

Three other topics have made every annual list: ‘Widening access’,
‘STEM’, and ‘Skills gaps & shortages’, and they will most likely be hot issues in 2019.

Surprisingly, ‘Apprenticeships’ dropped out of the list for the first time, having only appeared on the cover for March, coinciding with Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

A year ago we wrongly predicted that the Year of Young People would be on the list… It only just missed out, however, and its influence has permeated learning & skills and wider activity throughout 2018. (We’ll have to wait for 2020 for the next Themed Year, which will be Scotland’s Coast & Waters.)

Finally it’s worth highlighting two topics that made Informed Scotland covers for the first time: ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ (ACEs) and ‘Brexit – recruitment & skills challenges’. We expect to see them both back as hot topics in 2019 and they might even sneak onto next year’s list.

What were your 2018 highlights? What are your predictions for 2019?

Angela will be discussing the stories behind the list in an interview for Radio EDUtalk on 22 January, in a review of 2018 and a look ahead to 2019. Tweet us @InformedScot and we’ll share your thoughts.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to be better informed about what’s happening across learning & skills in business, schools, further & higher education, community & adult learning, and government & wider society. Contact [email protected] to receive a recent sample copy and find out how to subscribe here.

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