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Daily News Summary
3 April 2020

Coronavirus: Ofqual publishes exam grade guidance for schools
The debate surrounding the Teachers' Pension Scheme
'The key characteristics of meaningful student community service'
Friday Feature: How schools are coming together to support their wider communities

Coronavirus: Ofqual publishes exam grade guidance for schools


Ofqual has issued updated guidance for schools on how to award this year's GCSE and A-level grades. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week. An article in Tes reports on the response from school leaders, with Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, describing the system as "the fairest approach to take in these exceptional circumstances". By Amy Gibbons.

Schools across the country are using their skills and resources to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS staff. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week. The article quotes Silas Edmonds, principal of Ewell Castle School, and mentions Norwich School. An article in Tes also reports on the work schools are doing to create protective masks and visors for frontline healthcare workers. By Catherine Lough. The article mentions Monkton Combe School and Oundle School. The Telegraph features a spotlight piece on Tonbridge School, where volunteer staff and students are making 200 face masks a day. By Katie Russell. The article quotes Will Biddle, a design technology (DT) teacher at Tonbridge School, and Matt Firth, a DT A-level student at the school.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has issued updated exams guidance informing teachers that their estimated grades for students will be "the core element of the certification process" this year. By Emma Seith, Tes. A separate article in Tes explores some of the pros and cons of a teacher assessment approach to awarding GCSE grades. By Catherine Lough. Schools Week reports on findings which suggest the majority of predicted GCSE grades are within at least one grade of being correct. By Freddie Whittaker. According to a survey of 500 university applicants, just five per cent are planning to sit their A-level exams in the autumn. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Tes reports on claims that the coronavirus pandemic could result in the closure of hundreds of independent schools. By Dave Speck. The article quotes Peter Woodroffe, of the Independent Schools Association, and Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC. In a separate article in Tes, Kevin Samson, co-principal of Buckswood School, shares his account of the impact the coronavirus has had on his school.

David James, a deputy head (academic) at a UK independent school, reflects on the switch to online learning, adding he hopes classroom teaching is "cherished even more when normality returns". Tes.

The Telegraph features the accounts of several teenagers adjusting to their new circumstances following the closure of schools and cancellation of exams. By Anne Maxted.

An article in The Independent explores some of the questions surrounding the safety of Zoom, an online video conferencing app used to hold virtual meetings and lessons during the lockdown. By Anthony Cuthbertson.

The National Crime Agency has warned there could be a rise in online child sexual abuse offences during the coronavirus pandemic. By Jamie Grierson and Sally Weale, The Guardian.

Tes offers three tips for school leaders on how to ensure staff retention is not impacted by widespread school disruption. By Grainne Hallahan.


The debate surrounding the Teachers' Pension Scheme


Neil Barton, head of business development, trustee solutions at Broadstone, answers some frequently asked questions about independent schools and their enrolment in the Teachers' Pension Scheme. IE Today.

IE Today

'The key characteristics of meaningful student community service'


Clare Jarmy, head of academic enrichment and Oxbridge, and head of religious studies and philosophy, at Bedales School, argues meaningful community service is about "calling on our students to recognise shared humanity with others". Tes.


Friday Feature: How schools are coming together to support their wider communities


In the second entry of a new weekly blog series, the ISC highlights some of the great work schools are doing with their local communities to help the UK's fightback against coronavirus.



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