News at a glance – May 9, 2013


The university application figures, a competition to win work experience with Facebook, and a book scheme for year 7 pupils are among SecEd's At a glance headlines for May 9, 2013.

UCAS figures

The number of students applying to university continues to lag behind 2010 and 2011 levels according to the latest UCAS figures. A total of 601,619 students have submitted applications so far this year. This is up from the same point last year, when 586,773 had applied, but it is down on the 2011 figure of 635,893. The rise in tuition fees to a maximum of £9,000 a year came into effect in September 2012. 

The biggest drop in applications remains among students from England who have made a total of 421,111 applications, which is up by almost 10,000 on 2012 but down on the 457,798 who had applied by this point in 2011.

Applications from Welsh students are at 21,748, down on both 2012 and 2011, while Scottish applications are at 41,724 – up slightly on 2012 but down on 2011’s figure of 42,263. In Northern Ireland, applications are at 20,042, up from 18,870 in 2012 and 19,742 in 2011. The figures are reported as of April 23. Students have until the end of June to submit their applications.

Thirteen in 13

Young people who are 13 this year are being urged to tell prime minister David Cameron what they think would make a better Britain. The Anne Frank Trust’s Thirteen in 13 campaign is inviting them to write letters, the best 13 of which will be sent to Mr Cameron, who has promised to respond via an open letter in The Times. Teaching resources for year 8 and 9 citizenship and English lessons are available online as part of the initiative. Visit:

Year 7 books

Schools are being invited to give a book to every year 7 child as part of the Bookbuzz scheme. Run by the Booktrust, the subsidised programme costs £2.50 per child and last year delivered 200,000 books to 1,400 schools. This year’s newly published list of titles includes Space: The Whole Whizz Bang Story by Glenn Murphy, Michael Rosen’s Big Book of Bad Things and The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle. School registering by June 7 get an extra selection of titles for their libraries. The final deadline is July 24. Visit:

Facebook prize

Work experience at the HQ of Facebook in California is among the prizes in a new competition. It is being run by LifeSkills, a curriculum-linked education programme created by Barclays which focuses on teaching students important employability and other skills. LifeSkills is also aiming to offer schools 50,000 work experience opportunities this year. Other prizes in the competition include shadowing the manager of a Premiership football club. Students should enter on Facebook by May 15. Visit:



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