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Daily News Summary
3 December 2021

image Coronavirus: Teacher absences are the biggest barrier to children recovering from pandemic learning loss, heads say
image The Sunday Times Parent Power tables 2022
image Government misses its target for recruiting new secondary school teachers
image A closer look at headteacher wellbeing and sources of stress in schools
image Schools can now hire "expert" governors to drive improvements
image "The split homework approach provides teachers with a much more accurate assessment of progress"

Coronavirus: Teacher absences are the biggest barrier to children recovering from pandemic learning loss, heads say

 

Heads have warned that teacher absences are the biggest barrier to children recovering the learning lost during the pandemic in light of new research from The Key, a support service for school leaders, in which more than half of the senior teachers surveyed said they have insufficient staff due to absences caused by COVID and illnesses. By Sally Weale and Richard Adams, The Guardian.

New research from the Education Endowment Foundation has found that primary school pupils were still three months behind in reading by the end of the past academic year due to the impact of the pandemic, adding that disadvantaged pupils were "the worst affected by school closures". By Matilda Martin, Tes.

The education secretary has urged councils to remind parents that keeping their children off school has “repercussions” including fixed penalty notices, parenting contracts and education supervision orders, in a bid to tackle rising absence rates. Nadhim Zahawi added that applying these measures is “important” after the suspension of their use during COVID. By Tom Belger, Schools Week.

The new shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson, has requested an “urgent briefing” with Nadhim Zahawi about how the Government will respond to the Omicron variant’s impact on schools. In an interview with Schools Week, Phillipson said she would be pushing the Government “to make sure they respond effectively following the emergence of the new variant". By Freddie Whittaker.

According to iNews, exam boards are concerned that lower GCSE and A-level grades next summer, following a decision to reverse two years of grade inflation, could cause backlash from students. By Will Hazell.

The Times spoke to teachers in Scotland who say COVID ventilation measures have left them struggling to teach in freezing cold classrooms. Kerry Fraser, an English teacher, said: “I checked the CO2 monitor and it was 11.2 degrees. I had to close all the windows and watch the monitor go red. I’ve been wearing a blanket in class.” By Mark McLaughlin.

iNews outlines the new self-isolation guidance for schoolchildren in response to the Omicron variant. By Alex Finnis.

 

The Sunday Times Parent Power tables 2022

 

The Sunday Times features its Parent Power tables, based on the academic outcomes of state and independent schools in the UK.

The paper names St Paul’s Girls’ School as the Independent Secondary School of the Year, and lists Guildford High Junior School as the Independent Preparatory School of the Decade.

Separate articles in the paper call for the return of exams and offer advice for parents on how to choose a good school for their child. By Alan Smithers. Sue Leonard outlines how parents can help their children cope with the pressure of school and exams while Sian Griffiths explores rising demand for private tutoring.

 

Government misses its target for recruiting new secondary school teachers

 

Official figures from the Department for Education show that only 82 per cent of the secondary teachers needed for England in 2021-22 have been recruited to teacher training courses. By Will Hazell, iNews.

 
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iNews

A closer look at headteacher wellbeing and sources of stress in schools

 

Chris McDermott, a former headteacher, explores the main sources of stress identified by heads and what could be done to support their wellbeing. Following his investigation Mr McDermott suggests that "there should be headteacher training regarding wellbeing".

 
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Tes

Schools can now hire "expert" governors to drive improvements

 

As part of the new National Leaders of Governance programme, which is partly funded by the Department for Education and delivered by the National Governance Association (NGA), some struggling schools could be assigned "expert" governors to work with school or trust boards as consultants to drive improvements. By Emily Attwood, Tes.

 
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Tes

"The split homework approach provides teachers with a much more accurate assessment of progress"

 

Julian Murphy, head at Loughborough Amherst School, argues the case for rethinking traditional homework methods and proposes a practice of ‘split homework', in which students spend half of their time revising and the other half completing a brief written task under timed conditions with their books closed. Independent Education Today.

 
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IE Today

 

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