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ISC Daily News Summary

ISC Daily News Summary 20 October 2020

Coronavirus: Wales announces partial school closures under "firebreak" lockdown restrictions

General education

Mark Drakeford, the Labour leader of Wales, has announced the country will enter into a two-week national lockdown from 23 October to 9 November. He confirmed secondary schools would reopen to pupils in Years 7 and 8 on 2 November, along with all primary schools and special schools. By Will Humphries, The Times.

Julie McCulloch, director of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, has raised concerns that coronavirus cases in schools may be going unreported, after headteachers recording second or subsequent coronavirus cases were told not to "bother" calling the Department for Education helpline again. By John Roberts, Tes.

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, has written to education leaders urging them to carry out new risk assessments at their schools "in light of the increased COVID-19 threat levels". By John Roberts, Tes.

The Guardian reports Tulip Siddiq, the shadow children and early years minister, is writing to every backbench Conservative MP urging them to support the call to extend free school meals provision throughout the school holidays. By Heather Stewart.

In an interview with Tes, Wes Streeting, Labour's new shadow schools minister, has paid tribute to school staff for their efforts during the pandemic. He added that while he believes a circuit breaker is needed to curb the infection rate, closing schools outside of half-term would inflict "significant harm" on children from disadvantaged backgrounds. By Amy Gibbons.

William Hague, a former foreign secretary and a former leader of the Conservative Party, writes in The Telegraph arguing "outdoor education and training should be ranked as a necessary part of keeping schooling going, and be allowed to open up as much as the change of season permits".

An article in The Times reports Scottish schools in areas with a high level of coronavirus transmission could close under new tiered lockdown restrictions expected to be announced by first minister Nicola Sturgeon. By Mark McLaughlin.

Peter Weir, education minister for Northern Ireland, has said almost 1,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the country's schools since they reopened in August. BBC News.

Exams 2020: Ofqual confirms 'generous' grading for GCSE and A-level resits


Ofqual has confirmed this autumn's exams will be graded with more "generosity" than those in previous years. By Will Hazell, iNews.

Lauren Libbert writes in The Telegraph arguing uncertainty surrounding exams is negatively impacting on teenagers' mental health.

Parents express concerns as independent schools bring forward entry exams

Independent sector

According to The Telegraph, some independent schools are bringing forward the date of their 11-plus entrance exams, and many are also making changes to the entry process to 'COVID-proof the selection process'. By Susie Mesure.

'Why male teachers are leaving the profession'

Recruitment and retention

The Telegraph explores some of the potential reasons why growing numbers of male teachers are leaving the classroom. By Luke Mintz.

Ryan Johnson, a senior early years educator at a Storal Learning nursery, shares his experience of working as a male nursery teacher. By Katie Russell, The Telegraph.

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