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Daily News Summary
1 February 2021

image Coronavirus: PM 'wants all schools to reopen at the same time' once lockdown restrictions ease
image Exams 2021: Students make up half of responses in DfE's "largest ever consultation"
image Headteachers plan to open two new schools with alternative approaches to assessment
image 'Young women need to see their views, faces and experiences reflected in public office'
image Letters: 'Girls' schools are designed to help girls reach their full potential'
image Study evaluates the value of independent school bursaries
image Independent school to open schools in China to fund "ambitious bursary programme"
image Findings reveal rise in number of teenage girls admitted to hospital for self-harming
image Headteacher to come out to his pupils in online assembly

Coronavirus: PM 'wants all schools to reopen at the same time' once lockdown restrictions ease

 

The Times reports Boris Johnson favours a nationwide return to schools once lockdown restrictions are eased. By Steven Swinford.

Robert Halfon, the chair of the Education Select Committee, has called on the Government to reopen schools on 8 March, warning that children face entering the "Dark Ages" if they do not return to classrooms soon. By Will Hazell, iNews.

According to The Telegraph, secondary school pupils could be asked to test themselves for COVID-19 at home before returning to the classroom. By Camilla Turner.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, has said teachers should be prioritised for coronavirus vaccinations once the most vulnerable have been inoculated. BBC News.

Adam Finn, a professor of paediatrics who sits on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, has said it would be "politically, socially and ethically unacceptable" to prioritise key workers such as teachers for coronavirus vaccinations over older people. By Michael Savage, The Observer.

Jozef Butterfield, a teacher, writes in The Telegraph arguing: "In prioritising healthy young teachers like me, we deprioritise the truly vulnerable, whose jabs must necessarily be delayed."

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, the joint general secretaries of the National Education Union, have challenged a claim made by Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, that children are "not a significant driver" of large scale community infections. By John Roberts, Tes.

According to a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), school closures during the pandemic will cost the average pupil £40,000 in wages over their lifetime. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

New findings from the Education Endowment Foundation suggest disadvantaged primary school pupils are seven months' behind their peers in reading and maths due to the first lockdown. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

The Association of School and College Leaders has said ministers should considering allowing pupils who have experienced "extreme learning loss" to repeat a year of school. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

Campaigners have called on the Government to allow children to play outside during lockdown to support their physical and mental wellbeing. By Patrick Sawer, The Telegraph.

According to research from the Mental Health Foundation and Swansea University, 27 per cent of teenagers are showing symptoms of anxiety and depression during the pandemic. By Emily Dugan, The Sunday Times.

Professor Ellen Townsend, of the Self-Harm Research Group at the University of Nottingham, has warned that five pupils in each class "will probably meet criteria for a mental health problem and need clinical intervention" as a result of lockdown. By Camilla Tominey, The Telegraph.

Vicky Ford, the children's minister, writes in The Sunday Times reflecting on her experience with anorexia as a teenager, and highlights the support available to schools and colleges working to support the wellbeing of their staff and students during the pandemic.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Anne Longfield, the children's commissioner for England, reflects on the impact of the pandemic on young people's mental health. By Guy Kelly.

Boris Johnson has written an open letter saying he is "in awe of the way the parents, carers and guardians of children have risen to the unique challenges with which you have been faced". BBC News.

Lindsay Paterson, professor of education policy at Edinburgh University, writes in The Sunday Times arguing parents in Scotland need more support in helping their children with remote learning.

The Observer reports a fifth of all nursery and early years staff are considering leaving the sector, amid ongoing pressures brought on by the pandemic. By Michael Savage.

 

Exams 2021: Students make up half of responses in DfE's "largest ever consultation"

 

Nearly 47,000 students have had their say on proposals for alternatives to this year's exams, making up half of all responses to the Department for Education's (DfE) "largest ever consultation". By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

The Association of School and College Leaders has said external tasks set by exam boards "should not be treated as 'mini exams', and it should not be mandatory that schools and colleges have to use them". By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Simon Lebus, Ofqual's chief regulator, has said proposals for externally-set papers are not "exams by the back door", after some students raised concerns in the Ofqual and DfE consultation. By John Dickens, Schools Week.

Schools Week reports an Ofqual committee set up to oversee this summer's exams has been disbanded, following the cancellation of GCSEs and A-levels. By Samantha Booth.

Two exam boards have said schools can delay paying exam fees in full, after plans to raise prices across GCSEs and A-levels were met with criticism. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

According to a survey by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), the majority of international member schools do not believe exams should go ahead this year. By Dan Worth, Tes. The article quotes Colin Bell, CEO of COBIS.

 

Headteachers plan to open two new schools with alternative approaches to assessment

 

Peter Hyman, a former Downing Street aide to Tony Blair, and Ben and Tobyn Thomas, who own Thomas's Battersea, plan to open two new secondary schools that will not offer GCSEs unless parents request them. By Sian Griffiths, The Sunday Times.

The paper also features a readers' poll asking whether GCSEs should be scrapped. The final result will be published in The Sunday Times on 7 February.

 

'Young women need to see their views, faces and experiences reflected in public office'

 

Marina Gardiner Legge, head of Oxford High School GDST, has suggested girls are put off careers in politics because of the "outrageous, vitriolic and abusive attention" received by some high-profile women in office. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

 
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The Times

Letters: 'Girls' schools are designed to help girls reach their full potential'

 

Cheryl Giovannoni, chief executive of the Girls' Day School Trust, writes to The Sunday Times arguing girls' schools help girls 'reach their full potential', while boys benefit from attending co-educational schools. The letter can be found halfway down the page.

 
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The Times

Study evaluates the value of independent school bursaries

 

According to research by University College London, while bursaries offered by independent schools are "income progressive and related to need", they cannot "account for more than a minor share of the participation" of families with lower incomes. By Michael Savage, The Observer. The article quotes Julie Robinson, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council.

 
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The Observer

Independent school to open schools in China to fund "ambitious bursary programme"

 

Benenden School has announced plans to open a series of schools in China, in a bid to generate more revenue for bursaries, "widening access and the opportunities available for future generations of girls". By James Higgins, IE Today. The article quotes Samantha Price, headmistress of Benenden School.

 
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IE Today

Findings reveal rise in number of teenage girls admitted to hospital for self-harming

 

Analysis shows the number of teenage girls admitted to hospital in England for self-harm has increased from 980 in 2009-10 to 3,235 between April 2019 and March last year. By Kat Lay, The Times.

 
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The Times

Headteacher to come out to his pupils in online assembly

 

Nicholas Hewlett, headmaster of St Dunstan's College, has said he will use an online assembly to come out to his pupils as gay. By Sian Griffiths, The Sunday Times.

 
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The Sunday Times

 

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