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Daily News Summary
27 May 2020

Coronavirus: DfE publishes guidance for reopening secondary schools
Report highlights challenges in widening access to higher education

Coronavirus: DfE publishes guidance for reopening secondary schools


The Department for Education (DfE) has issued guidance for secondary schools ahead of 15 June, when Year 10 and 12 pupils are expected to return. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

John Swinney, Scotland's education secretary, has said the reopening date of 11 August for schools in Scotland is "set in stone", suggesting they will not welcome pupils back before that date even if it is deemed safe to do so. By Mark McLaughlin, The Times. The Scottish Government has published the scientific evidence behind the decision to reopen on 11 August. By Emma Seith, Tes.

Tes reports six multi-academy trusts have suggested they intend to reopen next week even if there is no track and trace system in place. By Amy Gibbons. The Telegraph explores how Jo Coton, chief executive of NET academies trust, plans to reopen her primary schools next week. By Camilla Turner.

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, has called on the Government to address the risk reopening schools poses to black and minority ethnic pupils and staff, with early figures showing 35 per cent of almost 2,000 patients in intensive care with coronavirus were black or from another minority ethnic background. By David Batty, The Guardian.

New poll findings suggest 39 per cent of schools are "experiencing a shortage" of cleaning products as they prepare to reopen. By Dave Speck, Tes. A separate article in Tes reports some schools are purchasing personal protective equipment from Amazon. By Amy Gibbons.

Professor Tim Kendall, NHS England's national clinical director for mental health, has said "there's no doubt" lockdown has had a negative impact on children's mental health, with one neuroscientist warning the psychiatric effects of coronavirus could last beyond a decade. By Shaun Lintern, The Independent. Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow education secretary, has called on the Government to introduce a "national support programme" to help teachers provide emotional support for pupils when schools return. By Dave Speck, Tes.

The Scottish Greens have proposed funding for bicycles for children from low-income families to enable them to travel to school safely while social distancing measures reduce the capacity of school buses. By Henry Hepburn, Tes.

According to a study of 1,000 school and college leavers, 37 per cent are reconsidering their plans to go to university. The poll also found one fifth of respondents believe universities should push their start dates back to January next year. By Alice Hughes, The Independent.

JK Rowling has announced a new children's book entitled 'The Ickabog', which is being released in daily instalments online for free. Young readers are invited to draw their own illustrations, some of which will be included when the book in published in November. BBC News.


Report highlights challenges in widening access to higher education


In a new report, the Russell Group has warned top universities would have to admit students with low grades or no qualifications at all in order to meet targets for widening access to higher education, even if a cap on those from privileged backgrounds was introduced. By Will Hazell, iNews.

An article in Tes reports the Russell Group has called for greater access to the National Pupil Database so universities can better identify prospective applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds. Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has expressed concern over the request, saying "there must be simpler ways to improve access" without "sharing sensitive personal information". By Catherine Lough, Tes.



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