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Daily News Summary
10 June 2020

Coronavirus: Government faces criticism over school reopening delay
Grammar schools admitting fewer children from poorer families, figures suggest
'Universities should prioritise applied subjects to aid country's recovery from COVID-19'

Coronavirus: Government faces criticism over school reopening delay


Former education secretaries and experts have expressed concern over the Government's announcement that most primary pupils will not be returning to school until September, with some warning a "national effort" is needed to avoid an education crisis. By Rosemary Bennett, The Times. Anne Longfield, the children's commissioner for England, has said the idea that not all children will return to school in September is "unthinkable", warning the consequences of children being out of school for a prolonged period are "wide ranging and negative". The Times. Shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has said the Government must "scale up their response" to ensure children are able to catch up on their education. By Will Hazell, iNews. Robert Halfon, a Conservative MP and chairman of the House of Commons education select committee, writes in The Times calling on the Government to "balance the minimal risk of going back to school against the much larger threat of an epidemic of educational poverty". John Nield, an educational consultant and former secondary school teacher and AQA principal examiner, writes in The Telegraph warning vulnerable children lacking access to effective home learning "will drop so far down the scale of attainment their prospects will be damaged forever".

BBC News and The Independent explore parents' reactions to the Government's school reopening announcement. An article in The Telegraph invites readers to share their thoughts on schools remaining closed until September.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has said he believes secondary schools will "most likely" introduce rota systems in September to bring more pupils back. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Attendance data shows just 52 per cent of primary schools reopened to at least one of the key year groups last Thursday. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

The Telegraph reports most independent schools intend to reopen to secondary pupils next week, with measures in place to keep staff and pupils safe. By Charles Hymas. The article quotes Shaun Fenton, head of Reigate Grammar School and vice chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The article also mentions Eton College and The King's School in Macclesfield.

BBC News reports schools and colleges in England will have submitted calculated grades for GCSE and A-level pupils by the end of this week. By Branwen Jeffreys.

The Times reports approximately 700,000 disadvantaged children are not doing any school work during lockdown because they lack access to computers or the internet. By Nicola Woolcock.

According to The Telegraph, children under the age of 15 are more likely to be hit by lightning than die from coronavirus. By Sarah Knapton and Christopher Hope.

The Guardian reports the PGL travel firm continues to face backlash from parents and schools as it refuses to issue refunds for cancelled school trips. By Miles Brignall. The article quotes Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said 100,000 laptops have already been delivered to disadvantaged children. According to Tes, the Department for Education is working with the Border Force to prioritise shipments of the devices. By Amy Gibbons.

Tes reports the Oak National Academy virtual school is planning to extend online learning resources throughout the autumn to support schools using a rota system. By Catherine Lough.


Grammar schools admitting fewer children from poorer families, figures suggest


Figures show the proportion of "pupil premium" students attending grammar schools in Year 7 has declined from 8.48 per cent in 2017 to 8.31 per cent in 2019. By Will Hazell, iNews.


'Universities should prioritise applied subjects to aid country's recovery from COVID-19'


A poll has found 62 per cent of people believe it is "very important" that universities teach applied subjects, like nursing and medicine, to support the national effort to rebuild from coronavirus. By Will Hazell, iNews.



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