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Daily News Summary
14 December 2021

image Coronavirus: Schools opt for online learning for the final week of term in response to Omicron concerns
image Exams should be typed and not handwritten, head suggests
image Ofsted: Nearly half of all "outstanding" schools downgraded this term
image 15% of Scottish primary teachers say music is ‘non-existent’ or ‘practically non-existent’ in their schools, survey finds

Coronavirus: Schools opt for online learning for the final week of term in response to Omicron concerns

 

According to The Telegraph, schools have begun moving to remote lessons for the final week of term despite government advice that children should remain in the classroom unless the situation is a “public health emergency”. By Camilla Turner, Sam Hall and Lucy Fisher.

Scientists have advised that, to slow the spread of the Omicron COVID variant, teachers should be prioritised for booster jabs and children aged over five should be vaccinated. By Samuel Lovett, The Independent.

School leaders have warned of “chaos” in England’s schools as Omicron case numbers rise. Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "The Government must act now to deliver ventilation solutions, sensible and effective isolation protocols, and lift the unnecessary pressure of inspection." By Will Hazell, iNews.

The Department for Education has confirmed deals with six approved suppliers to sell air purifiers at agreed prices and has launched an online “marketplace” where schools can buy them. By Tom Belger, Schools Week.

Under new rules introduced today, close contacts of all COVID cases should take daily lateral flow tests for a week - meaning pupils who test negative can continue to attend classes. By James Carr, Schools Week.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, has said that schools will not close early despite rising Omicron cases. BBC News.

 

Exams should be typed and not handwritten, head suggests

 

Keith Metcalfe, headmaster at Malvern College, has said that A-level and GCSE exams should be typed because long periods of handwriting can be “tiring” for schoolchildren. Mr Metcalfe said: "Handwriting has largely disappeared everywhere except for school, making it seem very antiquated to still be going into an exam room with a pen and paper." By Claudia Rowan, The Telegraph.

 
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The Telegraph

Ofsted: Nearly half of all "outstanding" schools downgraded this term

 

Official figures have revealed that nearly half of “outstanding” schools reviewed by Ofsted this term have been downgraded. However, the overall grade for schools in England has improved, with 83 per cent of schools judged as “good” or “outstanding” between September and November this year. The Telegraph.

Schools graded "requires improvement" by Ofsted were more likely to be upgraded after inspections this term than during pre-pandemic visits. Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector, said the figures show “schools are improving and being recognised for doing so”. By James Carr, Schools Week.

 

15% of Scottish primary teachers say music is ‘non-existent’ or ‘practically non-existent’ in their schools, survey finds

 

Research by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has found that 15 per cent of Scottish primary teachers say music is ‘non-existent’ or ‘practically non-existent’ in their schools and only 3 per cent of primary teachers said their schools had a "structured and coherent programme" of music education. By Emma Seith, Tes.

 
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Tes

 

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