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Daily News Summary
10 August 2020

GCSEs and A-levels 2020: Only a quarter of teachers believe candidates will get a "fair deal"
Coronavirus: "Little evidence" virus is transmitted at school, says Gavin Williamson
Award-winning writer outlines importance of poetry for English literature students
Ten tools to improve your EdTech confidence

GCSEs and A-levels 2020: Only a quarter of teachers believe candidates will get a "fair deal"


A Tes survey has revealed just 26% of teachers and other school staff in England think all GCSE and A-level candidates will get a "fair deal" through this year's grading process. By Catherine Lough.

The information commissioner has said that pupils will be able to find out their place in teacher-produced rank orders should they wish to request certain information under General Data Protection Regulations. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

Roger Taylor, chairman of Ofqual, writes in The Telegraph arguing that this year's assessment process is 'the fairest way to award grades without exams'.

The Times reports that independent schools have been seeking legal advice ahead of A-level results day due to concerns over the potential for a large number of appeals from parents. By Nicola Woolcock. The article quotes Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association.

Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner, has said the Government should be prepared to intervene over exam results amid fears disadvantaged pupils will miss out on the grades they deserve. By Camilla Turner and Daniel Sanderson, The Telegraph.

The UK Statistics Authority should launch a review into the grading assessment processes used by the English and Scottish exam authorities, according to The Royal Statistical Society. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

Melanie Sanderson, managing editor of The Good Schools Guide, has urged parents not to "catastrophise lower than expected [A-level] results". By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

John Swinney has said he will make a statement on Tuesday in relation to concerns from students and their parents about SQA results. BBC News.


Coronavirus: "Little evidence" virus is transmitted at school, says Gavin Williamson


Referring to the "latest research" on the coronavirus in schools, the education secretary has said "there is little evidence that the virus is transmitted at school". BBC News. A report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has found that “transmission within schools is not a major driver of Covid-19 incidence”. By Hayley Dixon, The Telegraph.

Teaching unions are committed to the reopening of schools next month but continue to voice concerns about the need for a robust testing system. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times. The children’s commissioner has also called on the Government to introduce routine coronavirus testing for pupils and teachers. By Francis Elliott and Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has suggested schools will need to teach pupils on 'week on-week off' basis when they reopen. By Camilla Turner and Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, writes in The Guardian stating classrooms need to be made as safe as possible because reopening schools is a priority. Steve Chalke, founder and leader of Oasis - which runs 52 academies in England - writes in The Times arguing there needs to be "a serious national discussion" involving the Government, school leaders and teaching unions "about how our schools open safely for all children this September". The Sunday Times' leading article says that in order to get children back to school, "we must all pull together".

Trade Minister Graham Stuart has written to overseas parents whose children attend UK independent schools to reassure them they will be safe when they reopen next month. By Thomas Penny, Bloomberg.

Ucas has predicted a record-breaking 80,000 students will apply to UK universities through clearing this year. By Rachel Hall, The Guardian. A report in The Telegraph indicates Russell Group universities are preparing to lower entry grades in order to fill vacant places. By Camilla Turner.

The Sunday Times looks at an unexpected “admissions boom” for several Scottish independent schools due to the coronavirus crisis. The Times reports that close to half of teachers in Scotland who responded to a NASUWT survey said they did not think it was safe for pupils to return. By Daniel Harkins and Nicola Woolcock.

Justine Greening, a former education secretary and founder of the Social Mobility Pledge, writes in The Independent arguing it is "time to remodel our system so access to opportunity is no longer so based on connections over competence".

The Guardian has published a photo essay of nursery staff during lockdown.


Award-winning writer outlines importance of poetry for English literature students


Kadish Morris, a winner of the 2020 Eric Gregory award for poetry, responds to a decision by Ofqual to give 2021’s GCSE English literature students the option to drop poetry completely due to “difficulties for students in trying to get to grips with complex literary texts remotely”. The Guardian.

The Guardian

Ten tools to improve your EdTech confidence


Emma Sanderson, head of English at Hartland International School in Dubai, writes in Tes detailing 10 'quick and easy' tools for anyone looking to boost their EdTech confidence.



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