isc logo  

Daily News Summary
3 June 2020

Coronavirus: School closures could undo 10 years of attainment gap progress, report warns
Petition calls for texts on racism to be added to the GCSE English syllabus
BAISIS and BSA come together to support international boarders
Student outcomes "largely independent" of Ofsted ratings, study finds

Coronavirus: School closures could undo 10 years of attainment gap progress, report warns


According to analysis from the Education Endowment Foundation, school closures brought on by the coronavirus outbreak could undo almost a decade of progress in closing the attainment gap between children from rich and poor families. By Will Hazell, iNews.

Unison and the GMB have reported one of England's largest academy trusts to the Health and Safety Executive over concerns it proceeded with an "unsafe increase in pupil numbers" when it reopened schools on Monday. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week. According to The Guardian, a school in Derby was forced to remain closed this week after seven members of staff tested positive for the virus, prompting education unions to raise fresh concerns over the risk of reopening schools more widely. By Sally Weale.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, writes in Tes saying the union "will not shy away from continuing to pose the difficult questions that need answers" as they continue to push the Government for guidance on how schools can reopen safely.

An article in The Telegraph reports on the safety measures in place at Westonbirt Prep School, an independent school in Gloucestershire that reopened to pupils in reception, Year 1 and Year 6 earlier this week. By Katie Russell. The article quotes Sean Price, headteacher at the school.

IE Today reports boarding schools across the country have signed up to the Boarding Schools' Association's (BSA) COVID-safe charter, confirming they will follow all government regulations and BSA guidelines as they welcome pupils back to their classrooms. By James Higgins. The article quotes Richard Marshall, headmaster at Ashville College, and mentions several other schools in membership of the ISC's constituent associations.

Professor Colin Diamond, an expert in education leadership at Birmingham University, has said pupils could be left "frightened and upset" if new safety measures and procedures in school are not explained to them properly. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

According to a survey of over 2,800 UK teachers, 37 per cent of respondents either 'disagreed' or 'disagreed strongly' that their stress levels were sustainable during school closures. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Sarah Williams, legal director at a London family law firm, has said many divorcing parents are taking their disagreements over whether to send their child to school to the family courts. By Owen Bowcott, The Guardian.

The AQA exam board is facing criticism from its markers after they were told they are not eligible for furlough and will not receive any goodwill payments this summer. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Scotland's schools inspectorate has confirmed it will be suspending inspections until some stage in 2020-21 to "relieve pressure on the education system". By Emma Seith, Tes.

Schools Week reports the Government is backing an online tutoring pilot scheme, which will see up to 1,600 disadvantaged pupils receive free one-to-one tuition from university undergraduates. By Freddie Whittaker.

Tes features an interview with Trish Greenhalgh, professor of primary care health sciences at the University of Oxford, who discusses whether teachers or pupils should wear face masks in school. By Jon Severs.

Alex Quigley, writer of 'Closing the Reading Gap' and national content manager at the Education Endowment Foundation, has suggested reading should be a priority for schools as teachers deliver a mix of home and classroom learning. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

According to a report from the National Youth Agency, drug gangs have been using the lockdown as an opportunity to "recruit" vulnerable children and increasingly young girls. By Steve Swann and Tom Symonds, BBC News.

iNews reports a number of universities are redesigning their campuses to enable staff and students to maintain social distancing. By Will Hazell.


Petition calls for texts on racism to be added to the GCSE English syllabus


More than 26,000 people have signed a petition calling for books about racism in modern Britain to be added to the GCSE English reading list. By Dave Speck, Tes.


BAISIS and BSA come together to support international boarders


The British Association of Independent Schools with International Students (BAISIS) and the Boarding Schools' Association (BSA) have announced a formal partnership designed to strengthen the support offered to international boarders in British schools. By Viggo Stacey, The Pie News. The article quotes Mark Lauder, chair of the BSA.

Pie News

Student outcomes "largely independent" of Ofsted ratings, study finds


According to a study led by the University of York, pupils' educational achievement and wellbeing are "negligibly affected" by their school's Ofsted rating, prompting the lead author of the report to say "we need to reconsider just how helpful they are in general". By Catherine Lough, Tes.



The Independent Schools Council (ISC) monitors the national and educational press in order to keep independent schools up-to-date with relevant education news. The DNS is a service primarily for schools in membership of ISC associations, although other interested parties can choose to sign-up. We endeavour to include relevant news and commentary and, wherever possible, notable public letters. Where capacity allows, we may include links to ISC blogs, press statements and information about school or association events. News stories are selected based on their relevance to the independent sector as a whole. Editorial control of the DNS remains solely with the ISC.

Sign-up to the email service is available on our website.

Members can contact the ISC if they know in advance of news, letters or opinions that are likely to feature in the media, or are aware of existing coverage which they would like to see featured in the DNS.

Headlines and first-line summaries are written by the ISC with the link directing to the source material. You should read and comply with the terms and conditions of the websites to which we link.