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Daily News Summary
9 June 2020

Coronavirus: Government drops plans to reopen all primary schools in England before end of term
Letters: 'Independent prep schools should be able to take more classes of pupils'
Calls for schools to educate children about institutional racism
Increasing number of overseas pupils attending top UK universities, report finds

Coronavirus: Government drops plans to reopen all primary schools in England before end of term


The Government is to drop plans to reopen primary schools in England to all year groups before the summer break. Health secretary Matt Hancock has also admitted England's secondary schools may not fully reopen until September "at the earliest". By Sean Coughlan, BBC News. An article in Tes reports some Scottish councils are starting to welcome small numbers of children back into their schools. By Emma Seith.

Justine Greening, a former Conservative education secretary, has warned the Government must produce a "proper plan" for reopening schools to more pupils to avoid "meandering into a real education crisis". By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

iNews reports the Government has launched a study into the rates of coronavirus transmission in adults and children within schools. By Will Hazell.

The Times reports on a new programme launched by the Bright Network graduate recruitment company, which will provide "virtual internship" opportunities for up to 800,000 graduates and school leavers. By Rosemary Bennett.

The Department for Education (DfE) has pledged to implement new measures designed to monitor and boost the wellbeing of school staff. By John Dickens, Schools Week.

Tes reports Ofqual is in talks with teaching unions about how next year's exams will look, with some options including a delayed start date, reduced exam content, and open-book papers. By Catherine Lough.

An article in The Telegraph explores the varied impact of the pandemic on independent schools. By Eleanor Steafel. The article quotes Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC, Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association, and mentions several schools in membership of the ISC's constituent associations. David James, deputy head of an independent boarding school, writes in The Critic urging the Government to take action to help independent schools facing closure, arguing the "existential threat facing large parts of the sector" has been left out of the national education debate. The Telegraph reports Harrow School is pushing ahead with its plans to open five new campuses in China. By Helena Horton and Amy Jones. The article quotes Scott Bryan, international director at Wellington College.

The Times reports on the impact of the pandemic on children with special educational needs and disabilities, as families struggle to access vital help and support. By Rachel Sylvester. The article quotes Tanya Moran, headteacher at Abingdon House School, and Mike Windsor, headmaster of Abingdon School.

Anne Longfield, the children's commissioner, has warned chancellor Rishi Sunak that his plans to end the free school meal voucher scheme in July are "uncaring and lacking in compassion". By Jasmine Andersson, iNews. Former education secretary Justine Greening has said the DfE should take the "easy decision" to extend the voucher scheme into the summer months. By Amy Gibbons, Tes. New research findings from Northumbria University suggest children on free school meal vouchers are eating "significantly" less healthy food since lockdown began. By Dean Kirby, iNews.

The Sutton Trust social mobility charity has expressed concern over delays to the Government's free laptops scheme, and has called on the DfE to provide devices for "all disadvantaged children". By Amy Gibbons, Tes. A separate article in Tes reports the Sutton Trust has also called for additional support to help teachers develop and deliver online lessons. By Catherine Lough.

Campaigners for a new GCSE in natural history have said the qualification is more relevant than ever, as disruption caused by coronavirus has generated a "real surge" of interest in connecting with nature. By Will Hazell, iNews.


Letters: 'Independent prep schools should be able to take more classes of pupils'


Alastair Graham, headmaster of Hall Grove School, writes to The Telegraph arguing independent schools should be able to take more classes of pupils, adding a "one size fits all" policy "does not allow schools to make decisions based on local conditions". The letter can be found halfway down the page.

The Telegraph

Calls for schools to educate children about institutional racism


Campaigners are calling on education secretary Gavin Williamson to make the teaching of black history compulsory in England's primary and secondary schools. By Sally Weale, Lanre Bakare and Saima Mir, The Guardian.

iNews reports former students at several independent schools are calling on them to "decolonise" their curriculums. A draft letter signed by hundreds of people states: "Britain's role in colonialism and its ongoing effects, including institutionalised racism, are subjects that must be taught from a young age in order to tackle and deconstruct racism in society." By Will Hazell.

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, has called for more inclusivity within teaching, adding "institutional racism does exist and is an issue that has clearly got to be addressed". By Liz Lightfoot, The Guardian.

Robbie McGrath, a primary school headteacher, has said he has been "overwhelmed by support" after writing to parents urging them to discuss structural racism with their children. By Saima Mir, The Guardian.


Increasing number of overseas pupils attending top UK universities, report finds


A new report has found there has been a "dramatic growth" of overseas pupils admitted to the UK's top universities, prompting concerns that British pupils are being "crowded out". By Rosemary Bennett, The Times.

The Times


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