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Daily News Summary
2 December 2021

image Coronavirus: MP warns of teachers cancelling nativities and isolating children in response to new COVID measures
image ISC 'Spotlight On' blog: Inspiring girls to be their own boss
image "Our current education system is rooted in the rigidity of the Victorian era"
image "I fear that the real casualties of the withdrawal of charitable status would be smaller independent schools"
image Unaccompanied refugee children three years behind in GSCE studies, analysis finds
image DfE delays the start of reformed ITT courses
image “We should have done better at setting expectations as to where we were and the scale of the challenge that we face”
image DfE announces support scheme for schools in crime "hotspots" across the country

Coronavirus: MP warns of teachers cancelling nativities and isolating children in response to new COVID measures

 

According to The Telegraph, the reintroduction of masks in schools has encouraged teachers to cancel classes and nativity plays. Miriam Cates, a Conservative MP and Education Committee member, warned that "the effect of imposing the mask mandate again has not been to give schools a sense of relief that they're being protected, it's actually been that they go further - start cancelling nativities, isolating children". By Phoebe Southworth.

The education minister has insisted that the Government will keep schools open unless it has “absolutely no choice” but to close them down. By Alex Finnis, iNews.

The Department for Education (DfE) has warned schools about fake emails urging them to order an “Omicron PCR test” and provide personal details, adding that official NHS emails will never ask for bank details. By Tom Belger, Schools Week.

Michelle Catterson, headteacher at Moon Hall School, appeared on GB News on Tuesday evening to discuss the impact of COVID measures in schools and whether schools should close in response to the Omicron variant. The interview with Ms Catterson starts at 1:22:15.

Andrea Greystoke, founder of Abercorn School, has said she supports mask wearing and testing on-site if it means schools can stay open. She added: "The most important thing is that schools remain open to protect children’s wellbeing." By Jo Golding, Independent Education Today.

Labour education spokesperson Michael Marra told Scottish Parliament yesterday that teachers are concerned that there is no credible long-term plan to improve ventilation other than measures that result in freezing classrooms. Mr Marra said "this debate could be said to be about children sat shivering in our schools, unable to learn, teachers freezing in their classrooms unable to teach". By Henry Hepburn, Tes.

 

ISC 'Spotlight On' blog: Inspiring girls to be their own boss

 

Anna Tomlinson, headteacher of St Margaret’s School for Girls, explains how a partnership with the Women’s Business Centre is encouraging young girls to consider entrepreneurship as a future career choice.

 
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ISC

"Our current education system is rooted in the rigidity of the Victorian era"

 

Rebecca Purdy, assistant head at Felsted School, writes for Independent School Management Plus on the relevance of the current curriculum. She argues: “The way forward is to take a more individualised approach to education, to ensure that each student develops the knowledge, skills and attributes that will prepare them for their own version of happiness and success in future life.”

 
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Independent School Management Plus

"I fear that the real casualties of the withdrawal of charitable status would be smaller independent schools"

 

Jonathan Forster, director of JF Consulting, writes for Independent Education Today on the Labour Party's proposal to abolish charitable status for independent schools. Forster writes about the impact it would have on smaller independent schools arguing that "they charge relatively lower fees and already exist in a marginal state owing to increases in teachers’ pension contributions, National Insurance and the rise in the minimum wage".

 
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IE Today

Unaccompanied refugee children three years behind in GSCE studies, analysis finds

 

According to an analysis by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in England in 2016-17 were on average 37.4 months behind non-migrant pupils across all GCSE subjects. Jo Hutchinson, director of the EPI, said: “We need to see the Government do far more to prioritise the needs of refugee and asylum-seeking pupils.” By By Will Hazell, iNews.

 
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iNews

DfE delays the start of reformed ITT courses

 

The Government has announced that teacher trainees will now not start newly reformed initial teaching training (ITT) courses until September 2024. The 12-month delay comes after heads and school leaders called for the reforms to be halted over fears they would "irreparably damage" the future pipeline of new teachers. By Matilda Martin, Tes.

 
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Tes

“We should have done better at setting expectations as to where we were and the scale of the challenge that we face”

 

Will Quince, the children’s minister, told the Parliamentary Education Committee yesterday that the Government’s review of services for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has “taken too long”, explaining that the reason for the delay was because it had to be “started again” in March last year because of the pandemic. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

 
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Schools Week

DfE announces support scheme for schools in crime "hotspots" across the country

 

The Department for Education has announced funding for 10 ‘SAFE’ (Support, Attend, Fulfil, Exceed) taskforces to help prevent pupils becoming involved in criminal activity, improve attendance and prevent permanent exclusions. The taskforces will offer support to schools in crime "hotspots" across the country at risk of violence and involvement in county lines gangs. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

 
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Tes

 

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