isc logo  

Daily News Summary
4 May 2020

Coronavirus: Plans to reopen primary schools in June
National campaign launched to show appreciation for teachers
A closer look at the role of directors of sport in schools

Coronavirus: Plans to reopen primary schools in June


Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Sunday plans to start reopening primary schools from June 1. By Edward Malnick, The Telegraph. An article in The Guardian reports Year Six pupils are expected to be the first to return, followed by other primary school years and those in Years 10 and 12 in secondary schools. By Richard Adams, Kate Proctor and Hannah Devlin. The Welsh Government has said it will set its own timetable for reopening schools independently of the UK Government. By Dean Kirby, iNews. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, has also announced it will work with local authorities to decide when schools should reopen. By Katharine Hay, The Scotsman.

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT has said schools must "very firmly resist" attempts by students and parents to "interfere" with this year's exam grading process. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said independent schools should not refuse to award grades to pupils whose parents do not pay their school fees. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week. The article quotes Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC.

According to a survey carried out by the Sutton Trust educational charity, a quarter of A-level students preparing to go to university are not receiving any assignments from their teachers. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times. Findings from the same survey show 72 per cent of respondents believe the "calculated" grading process is less fair than the traditional exam grading system. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

A survey of 18,000 UK school staff has found just 27 per cent of respondents in England believe the Government is doing enough to help during the coronavirus pandemic. By Dave Speck, Tes.

Writing in The Telegraph, Gavin Williamson has announced a set of measures the Government is putting in place to "stabilise" university admissions, including "student number controls" to ensure every student who meets the entry requirements can still go to university.

Simon Henderson, headmaster of Eton College, has said the school is in talks with the Department for Education to invest £100 million in selective state sixth forms in East Anglia, the Midlands and northern England. By Rosemary Bennett and Alice Thomson, The Times. The full interview with Mr Henderson can be read here. Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association, writes to The Times in support of the initiative, adding that those independent schools "that do not possess deep resources" should still be praised for their partnership work within their local communities. The letter can be found halfway down the page.

The Telegraph features a spotlight piece on Ashley Bates, a drama teacher at Hurlingham School in Putney, who is live-streaming English and maths lessons from his garden shed. By Aisling O'Leary.

Oak National Academy, a virtual school backed by the Government, has launched a specialist curriculum for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

The Scotsman reports more than 200 international pupils have been repatriated from Scottish schools to their home countries. By Gina Davidson.

Plans to take away Scottish independent schools' charitable status have been postponed until next April to help schools "deal with the impacts of COVID-19". By Marc Horne, The Times. The article quotes John Edward, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, and Liam Harvey, headmaster at St Mary's School in Melrose.

An article in The Telegraph reports school closures could lead to children gaining too much weight. By Maria Lally.

Simon McRoberts, international head of secondary at Nord Anglia Chinese International School in Shanghai, describes his first day back at school following three months of closures. Tes.


National campaign launched to show appreciation for teachers


A national campaign has been launched to encourage pupils and their parents to produce creative messages of thanks to their teachers ahead of Thank a Teacher Day on May 20. Schools Week.

Schools Week

A closer look at the role of directors of sport in schools


IE Today interviews three directors of sport about what their role entails and how they contribute to their schools more widely. The article quotes Jo Hackett, director of sport at Loughborough Schools Foundation, Simon Sinclair of Bedford Modern School and Jim Thompson from King's Ely.

IE Today


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.