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Daily News Summary
30 April 2020

Coronavirus: England's schools to have a "phased" reopening
ISC blog: Dear candidate - thoughts on interviews and how to survive them
Pearson launches world's first video gaming qualification

Coronavirus: England's schools to have a "phased" reopening


Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said schools in England will reopen in a "phased manner", adding there are no plans to run schools during the summer holidays. By Lizzy Buchan, The Independent. Alastair Graham, headmaster at Hall Grove School, writes a letter to The Telegraph arguing individual schools should 'identify and mitigate the risks they can control, and open up as soon as possible'. The letter can be found at the top of the page. Findings from a new study suggest children are equally susceptible to the virus as adults, prompting concerns that reopening schools could risk a "second wave". By Tom Whipple, Nicola Woolcock and Rosemary Bennett, The Times. The NASUWT has warned schools must be given enough time to prepare for reopening to guard against infections such as Legionnaires' disease, which can proliferate in dormant buildings. By Dave Speck, Tes. Speaking at yesterday's daily press briefing, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the Government's deputy chief medical officer, acknowledged it would be "very difficult" to maintain social distancing of young pupils in schools. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

Andrew Halls, headmaster of King's College School in Wimbledon, spoke on LBC Radio this morning about pupils' return to schools. The discussion starts at 01:05:00 and Mr Halls' interview begins at 01:08:27. Mr Halls also writes a letter to The Times in response to an article written by Lee Elliot Major. He agrees that reforming the traditional school calendar would help disadvantaged children, adding, "if the holidays are unchanged, schools like mine, with the right resources and expertise, could run top-up lessons for these children over the summer". The letter can be found at the top of the page.

Speaking to MPs on the Commons Education Select Committee yesterday, Gavin Williamson suggested students might be able to sit "shortened" exam papers in the autumn if they are unsatisfied with the grade awarded to them by their teachers. By Catherine Lough, Tes. Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has said next year's GCSE and A-level exams may need to be adjusted to account for the disruption to education caused by the coronavirus outbreak. By Amy Gibbons, Tes. The Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, has said "statistical adjustments" to grades should be made if "systemic bias" against disadvantaged students is evident in teacher assessments. By Catherine Lough, Tes. An article in The Times reports thousands of children who are home-educated on a permanent basis may not receive any GCSEs or A-levels this year, with some local schools refusing to award an assessment grade on their behalf. By Rosemary Bennett.

The Telegraph offers advice to students on how they can choose the right university amid widespread lockdown restrictions. By Emma Reed.

Tulip Siddiq, shadow minister for children and early years, writes in The Times calling on the Government to justify its move to "substantially reduce" legal protections for vulnerable children during the coronavirus outbreak.

A new survey carried out by YouGov highlights the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of teachers and senior leaders. By Dave Speck, Tes.

Schools Week reports the majority of free laptops and tablets for disadvantaged pupils will not be delivered until June. By Freddie Whittaker.


ISC blog: Dear candidate - thoughts on interviews and how to survive them


Leo Winkley, headmaster at Shrewsbury School, offers tips for job applicants on how they can make a good impression in their teaching interviews.


Pearson launches world's first video gaming qualification


Pearson, one of the UK's biggest education companies, has partnered with the British Esports Association to design a new BTEC in esports. Students in the UK will be able to take the qualification from September 2020. By Will Hazell, iNews.



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