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Daily News Summary
17 August 2021

image Schools minister and Ofqual chief to face questions from MPs over results
image Coronavirus: 'Britain could face a new wave of infections when schools return'
image School leaders question plan to ban mobile phones in classrooms
image 'Teaching about consent in schools may be uncomfortable, but the issue can no longer wait'
image 'Algorithms are not to blame for poor policy outcomes'

Schools minister and Ofqual chief to face questions from MPs over results

 

Schools minister Nick Gibb and Ofqual interim chief regulator Simon Lebus are to be questioned by MPs over this year's GCSE and A-level results outcomes, as well as the plans for assessment in summer 2022. Alongside Ofqual interim chair Ian Bauckham, Mr Gibb and Mr Lebus will appear before the Education Select Committee next month. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

 
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Tes

Coronavirus: 'Britain could face a new wave of infections when schools return'

 

Professor Neil Ferguson, a government scientific adviser, has warned that the reopening of schools and the return of office workers next month could lead to a "large wave" of COVID-19 infections. By Steven Swinford and Henry Zeffman, The Times.

Eight unions have written to the education secretary calling for "urgent action by the DfE to invest in ventilation measures in our schools". By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

In its response to Gavin Williamson's consultation on pupil behaviour, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has highlighted several COVID measures in schools that appear to have improved behaviour as well as relationships between students and staff. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Scotland's education secretary, has said face masks in classrooms will be dropped "as soon as possible". BBC News.

 

School leaders question plan to ban mobile phones in classrooms

 

Julie McCulloch, director of policy at ASCL, has said that education leaders are "slightly mystified" about Gavin Williamson's focus on banning mobile phones in classrooms, adding "schools and colleges already have strong tried-and-tested policies and they are best placed to make their own decisions". By Rachel Hall, The Guardian.

 
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The Guardian

'Teaching about consent in schools may be uncomfortable, but the issue can no longer wait'

 

Writing in The Telegraph, Charlotte Lytton welcomes new teaching materials on sexual harassment and online harms, adding: "Until a more comprehensive strategy for dealing with young people and sex in the smartphone age is developed, a few uncomfortable lessons is the best - and only - stopgap we have."

 
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The Telegraph

'Algorithms are not to blame for poor policy outcomes'

 

Jonathan Everett, head of policy at the Royal Statistical Society, writes in The Guardian arguing algorithms - like the one used to calculate grades last year - should be treated as "products of human decisions rather than easy sources of blame when things go wrong".

 
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The Guardian

 

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