isc logo  

Daily News Summary
1 September 2020

Coronavirus: Education secretary urges parents to send their children back to school
GCSEs and A-levels 2020: Calls for next year's exams to be pushed back
Footballer Marcus Rashford pushes forward with campaign to end child food poverty
Campaigners warn against selling off school playing fields

Coronavirus: Education secretary urges parents to send their children back to school


Education secretary Gavin Williamson has written an open letter to parents warning they risk putting a "huge dent" in their children's life chances if they do not send them back to school this week. BBC News.

Findings from a teacher survey suggest children in England are three months behind in their studies due to school closures, with boys and disadvantaged pupils thought to be worst affected. By Judith Burns, BBC News.

The Times reports pupils in Scotland will sit fewer assessments as part of a streamlined curriculum designed to reflect the loss of learning during lockdown. By Mark McLaughlin.

An article in The Telegraph reports the full reopening of schools in England this week is expected to deliver a £70 billion boost to the economy. By Russell Lynch.

The Independent reports the Government published new guidance for schools days before pupils' return to the classroom, prompting criticism from the Labour Party and union leaders. By Peter Stubley.

According to a survey by the National Association of Head Teachers, more than 700 schools intend to defy government guidance by welcoming their pupils back in phases. By Tony Diver, The Telegraph.

BBC News features the perspectives of some teachers preparing for the reopening of schools. By Kris Bramwell. The article quotes Tom Clark, geography teacher at Birkdale School.

A survey of 1,500 parents found most respondents would keep their children at home in the event of a future local or national lockdown. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

Tom Rogerson, headmaster of Cottesmore School, writes in The Telegraph explaining how the school is preparing for the new term.

The Telegraph reports the National Association of Head Teachers is calling on Gavin Williamson to take school non-attendance fines "off the table" during the winter term. By Charles Hymas.

The Department for Education has warned schools to expect unruly and disruptive behaviour from some pupils when they return to the classroom. By Andrew Ellson, The Times.

The Telegraph features advice from experts and parents on how to ensure children are mentally prepared for the reopening of schools. By Anna Maxted. The article quotes Dr Joseph Spence, master of Dulwich College.

Sarah Seagrave, headmistress of Eaton House The Manor Prep and director of education for Eaton House Schools, writes in Attain magazine offering advice to parents on how to prepare their children for the start of the new school year.

An article in The Telegraph explores the impact of school disruption on pupils' futures. By Russell Lynch.

According to research led by Newcastle University, children are almost 20 times as likely to die from an injury as from coronavirus. By Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph.

The Times reports on study findings which suggest children are six times less likely to spread coronavirus than adults. By Pablo Sharrock.

A South Korean study has found children can carry coronavirus in their noses for up to three weeks. By Sophie Barnes, The Telegraph.

The Times reports parents in Scotland have been urged not to get their children tested for coronavirus if they develop mild cold-like symptoms. By Marc Horne.


GCSEs and A-levels 2020: Calls for next year's exams to be pushed back


Shadow education secretary Kate Green has said next year's exams should be pushed back to mid-summer to allow for more catch-up teaching time. BBC News.

iNews reports Robert Halfon, chairman of the education select committee, has sad there is a "50:50 chance" exams will go ahead next summer. By Ewan Somerville. Schools minister Nick Gibb has said a decision will be made "very soon" on whether to delay next year's GCSEs and A-levels. BBC News.

Samantha Price, headmistress of Benenden School, writes to The Times urging Ofqual to publish the options for next year's exams, adding: "If schools have clarity over their options now, we can prepare our students for what to reasonably expect."

The Times features an interview with Sally-Anne Huang, head of St Paul's School and incoming chairwoman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, who argues "there are tragic stories in all private schools, as in all state schools, of pupils who were punished by the algorithm".

According to The Independent, a "significant number" of pupils are unhappy with their teacher assessed grades, and some are seeking legal advice over the appeals process. By Zoe Tidman.

An article in Tes reports more than 60 per cent of teachers believe a reduction in practical work due to coronavirus disruption will have a negative impact on pupils' GCSE science grades. By Claudia Civinini.


Footballer Marcus Rashford pushes forward with campaign to end child food poverty


BBC News reports Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford has formed a taskforce with supermarkets, businesses and charities to help tackle child food poverty.


Campaigners warn against selling off school playing fields


The Telegraph reports policymakers and campaigners against childhood obesity are concerned about the selling off of school playing fields. By Christopher Hope.

The Telegraph


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.