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Daily News Summary
24 August 2020

Coronavirus: PM says it is "vitally important" children return to school in September
Exam results 2020: Students demand education secretary's resignation
Letters: 'Joined up spending on education is needed to improve school standards'
Letters: 'Independent schools help young sporting talents reach international standard'

Coronavirus: PM says it is "vitally important" children return to school in September


Prime minister Boris Johnson has said it is "vitally important" children return to the classroom, warning a prolonged absence from school "is far more damaging for a child's development and their health" than coronavirus. BBC News. Professor Chris Witty has said the chances of children dying from the virus are "incredibly small", but missing out on education "damages children in the long run". BBC News.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson writes in The Sunday Times describing what the return to schools next month is expected to look like.

According to The Telegraph, the Government intends to enlist social media influencers as part of a campaign to bring children back to school. By Harry Yorke.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has warned plans to reopen schools in September are at "serious risk after a week of chaos, confusion and incompetence from the Government". By Toby Helm, Michael Savage and Donna Ferguson, The Observer.

An article in The Observer reports ministers have warned of a shortage of 6,000 public buses needed to transport children back to school in September. By James Tapper.

A joint statement released by the Government's chief medical officers and their deputies says the evidence suggests "teachers are not at an increased risk of dying from Covid-19 compared to the general working age population". By Claudia Civinini, Tes.

New figures from Public Health England show no children were hospitalised with Covid-19 following school reopenings in June. By Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph.

The World Health Organisation has issued new guidance advising children aged 12 and over to wear face masks where social distancing cannot be guaranteed and where there is widespread transmission. By David Connett, The Observer.

According to research from the University of Bristol, anxiety levels in girls and boys dropped by nearly 10 per cent and eight per cent respectively between October and May. By Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph.

The Telegraph reports there has been a surge in applications for home school GCSE courses, amid concerns among some parents that another lockdown could close schools.

The Sunday Times reports on the rise in home schooling in Scotland since lockdown began. By Mark Macaskill.


Exam results 2020: Students demand education secretary's resignation


An article in The Independent reports students have been protesting outside the Department for Education, calling on education secretary Gavin Williamson to resign following the Government's U-turn on grades. By Conrad Duncan.

Campaigners from the Good Law Project are reported to have written a letter to Ofqual threatening legal action over an 'unlawful' contract with Public First for work on this year's grading system. By Zoe Tidman, The Independent.

BBC News reports tens of thousands of teachers, parents and pupils have signed a petition organised by the National Education Union, which calls for a major re-think of next year's exams. By Hannah Richardson.

An article in The Telegraph reports portable rooms and marquees are expected to be used as "temporary schools" to provide extra capacity for A-level students. By Danielle Sheridan.

Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association, writes to The Sunday Times arguing the decision to accept teacher assessed grades this year "has not added to long-term grade inflation". The letter can be found a quarter of the way down the page.

Jane Prescott, headmistress of Portsmouth High School, writes to The Telegraph arguing it is "time to remove the outdated GCSE paper and rely on school assessments" as pupils progress on to the next stage of their education. The letter can be found a quarter of the way down the page.

Magnus Bashaarat, head of Bedales School, writes in Tes arguing issues with this year's grading system could have been avoided "if a blended assessment methodology had been in place for GCSEs and A-levels".


Letters: 'Joined up spending on education is needed to improve school standards'


Adam Pettitt, head of Highgate School, and Robin Fletcher, chief executive of the Boarding Schools' Association, write to The Times in response to an article claiming independent boarding schools 'pose problems to society'.

The Times

Letters: 'Independent schools help young sporting talents reach international standard'


Will Phelan, principal of The Stamford Endowed Schools, writes to The Telegraph in response to an article about the number of independently-educated players on England's cricket team. The letter can be found towards the end of the page.

The Telegraph


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