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ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 3 August 2020

Coronavirus: September school reopenings an "absolute priority" for the Government

Child welfare

House secretary Robert Jenrick has reiterated the Government's determination to reopen England's schools in September, adding remote learning "isn't a substitute for getting children back into the classroom". BBC News.

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, has called on the Government to clarify the impact of new lockdown restrictions on school reopening plans. By Toby Helm and Robin McKie, The Observer. Professor Graham Medley, chairman of the SAGE sub-group on pandemic modelling, has previously suggested pubs and other activities may need to close to allow for the reopening of schools in September. BBC News.

A coalition of academics and business leaders has written a letter urging the Government to classify schools as "critical national infrastructure" to prevent them from being "unnecessarily" shut down in the event of a local lockdown. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

The Sunday Times reports on government guidance which states all schools will have to be able to deliver online learning in the event of a second wave. By Sian Griffiths. The article quotes Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the ISC and a governor at state schools in the King Edward's foundation in Birmingham and the London Academy of Excellence.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson writes in The Sun about this year's exam system, saying he is "confident" the Government has taken "the fairest approach possible in these unprecedented times".

Chloe Smith, the Cabinet Office minister, has said students should use their prior work to "justify and prove their grades, so universities, colleges and employers have confidence that this summer's grades have the same status as before". By Edward Malnick, The Telegraph.

An article in The Economist explores the impact of the pandemic on independent schools. The article quotes Mark Lauder, headmaster of Strathallan School.

According to a poll of Sunday Times readers in Scotland, 84 per cent of respondents support a full-time return to school this month. By Jason Allardyce. A separate article in The Times reports on survey findings from the National Parent Forum of Scotland, which suggest a third of parents do not want their children to return to school full-time from 11 August. By Marc Horne.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, considers what this year's Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) exams will be like. Tes.

Teacher pay rise 'will come out of funding boost for state schools'


The Guardian reports pay increases for teachers announced by the Government last month will come entirely from school budgets, cutting the net increase in funding to just 1.9 per cent. By Richard Adams.

Imperial College London to launch scheme for disadvantaged maths pupils

Teaching and learning

Imperial College London has announced its plans to set up a new maths programme designed to raise attainment and progression among pupils from lower-income backgrounds. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

Findings point to 'widening wealth and education gap' between north and south

Social mobility

According to a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the wealth and education gap between London and the rest of the UK appears to be widening, despite the narrowing of the earnings gap. By Charles Hymas, The Telegraph.

'Planning reforms will unlock land and new opportunities'

General education

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick writes in The Telegraph about the Government's proposals for a new planning system, which will allow for the "automatic" development of schools, hospitals, new homes, shops and offices.

Regular exercise 'can help children develop their brain skills'

Teaching and learning

Findings from Tsukuba University in Japan suggest routine physical exercise can boost children's cognitive skills and improve their exam grades. Daily Mail.

'The benefits of becoming a charity trustee'

General education

Gemma Hargraves, a history teacher and head of lower school at an independent school, describes how she has benefited both personally and professionally by becoming a charity trustee. Tes.

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