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Daily News Summary
13 December 2021

image Coronavirus: Education secretary cannot guarantee that schools will not close in response to new COVID variant
image Independent school head publishes book on parenting
image Survey suggests that one in five schoolgirls in Scotland have experienced sexual assault
image School leaders accuse Ofsted of "cherry picking" data
image GCHQ sends children Christmas card puzzles to inspire young people to pursue STEM subjects

Coronavirus: Education secretary cannot guarantee that schools will not close in response to new COVID variant

 

Speaking yesterday on BBC1, Nadhim Zahawi said that minsters will do "everything" in their power to ensure that schools remain open but could not guarantee that no schools would be forced to close in response to the Omicron variant. By Oliver Wright, The Times

Following the education secretary's statement that he cannot guarantee schools will not be forced to close, campaigners have warned that further school closures could result in thousands of vulnerable children being drawn into violent crime, drug dealing and sex abuse. By Martin Evans, The Telegraph.

Speaking on LBC, Sajid Javid, the health secretary, also stated that he cannot guarantee schools would not close again due to the pandemic, adding "when it comes to our fight against this pandemic, there are no guarantees". By Gareth Davies, The Telegraph.

Scientists have called for the vaccination of five to 11-year-olds to help keep as many children as possible in school next year. Peter Openshaw, a member of the Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, has said that without vaccinating children there could be further disruption to education. By Hannah Devlin, The Guardian.

The Government has not ruled out vaccinating five to 11-year-olds. However, the education secretary stressed: "There is no plan at the moment to vaccinate primary school children for the reason that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is still looking at the evidence as to what level of protection it would offer.” By Paul Gallagher, iNews.

According to The Observer, an investigation to locate tens of thousands of “ghost children” who have fallen off the radar during the pandemic is to be launched by England’s children’s commissioner. By Michael Savage.

iNews takes a closer look at what new Plan B COVID measures mean for schools in the run up to the Christmas break. By Alex Finnis.

A survey of 1,600 teachers across Scotland by the Educational Institute of Scotland has found that most teachers want masks to be retained in schools throughout winter in response to concerns about rising COVID cases. By Jeremy Watson, The Times.

 

Independent school head publishes book on parenting

 

Zoë Neill Readhead, head of Summerhill School, has written a book on parenting, which includes advice on letting children swear, avoiding power struggles and not talking down to them. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

Writing in The Times, Libby Purves comments on the history of Summerhill School, which allows its students to vote on its 400 “laws” and overturn or create them in twice-weekly meetings.

 

Survey suggests that one in five schoolgirls in Scotland have experienced sexual assault

 

A survey of 450 teenage girls for The Sunday Post, has found that one in five teenage girls in Scotland have been sexually assaulted and three out of five girls said they had been subjected to some form of harassment. By Jeremy Watson.

 
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The Times

School leaders accuse Ofsted of "cherry picking" data

 

School leaders have accused Ofsted of "cherry-picking” data to give a positive spin on schools’ experiences of inspections this term after Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector, claimed that “well over 90 per cent” of schools had reported positively on visits since September. By James Carr, Schools Week.

 
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Schools Week

GCHQ sends children Christmas card puzzles to inspire young people to pursue STEM subjects

 

GCHQ, the national intelligence and security agency, has issued a Christmas card this year with seven puzzles designed for 11 to 18-year-olds to encourage more young people to take an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, said: "I want to show young people that thinking differently is a gift." By Tom Knowles, The Times.

 
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The Times

 

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