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ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 20 January 2022

Coronavirus: Face masks no longer a requirement in classrooms in England

General education

As of today pupils and staff will no longer have to wear face masks in the classroom as part of the beginning of the lifting of Plan B restrictions in England. By Matthew Robinson, The Telegraph.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, has criticised the decision to scrap face masks in the classroom, adding: “Rather than announcements aimed at saving Boris Johnson’s job, [the] Government should be exercising a duty of care to the nation’s pupils and the staff who educate them.” By Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph.

The Times reports on the reaction of schools, parents and education unions to the announcement that face masks will no longer be required in the classroom By Nicola Woolcock.

The pandemic has inspired a surge of school leavers to train to become nurses over the past two years, with almost 30,000 students listing nursing as their first choice when applying to university, according to a report from UCAS and Health Education England. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

According to Tes, tutors from the National Tutoring Programme are having to run sessions for “ghost pupils” who refuse to attend, amid confusion over whether students who repeatedly fail to show up for sessions are allowed to be removed from the programme By Callum Mason.

Jennie Bristow, lecturer in sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University, writes for The Telegraph arguing that it is no surprise that Oxford University Press has chosen ‘anxiety’ as children’s Word of the Year for 2021, explaining that: "During the 2020 Summer of Shaming, young people were released from isolation to a blizzard of warnings not to ‘kill Granny’ by having too much fun."

The Department for Education has confirmed that Ofsted will resume asking part-time inspectors who are school leaders to carry out inspections from the end of the month. By Callum Mason, Tes.

Britain’s first blacksmithing apprenticeship is set to launch this year as rising numbers of young people turn to traditional crafts during the pandemic. By Arthi Nachiappan, The Times.

Schools hit with "astronomical" gas and electricity bills amid rising energy prices

General education

Tes reports that schools are facing "astronomical" gas and electricity bills that are swamping their budgets. One school has said they have been hit with a bill of £50,000 for one month's electricity use and £13,000 for gas. By Dan Worth.

Schools using “misleading and biased” resources to teach children about drinking

Teaching and learning

According to a study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, schools are educating children about drinking using resources funded by the alcohol industry that “portray alcohol as a normal consumer product to impressionable young minds”. By Denis Campbell, The Guardian.

'If people are going to feel inspired they need to have a diverse range of role models to look up to'


Independent Education Today takes a closer look at how independent schools can encourage more women into sports leadership roles. The article quotes Fran Centamore, director of sport at Wychwood School, Rebecca Watkins, director of sport at St Dunstan’s College, and Karen Andrew, director of sport and head of academic PE at Lancing College. By Melanie Anning.

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