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Daily News Summary
12 February 2021

image Coronavirus: PM urged not to backtrack on March school reopening date
image Exams 2021: Cambridge Assessment apologises for exam decision delay
image Data shows almost 60% of GCSE students improved their grades in autumn exams
image Calls for GCSEs to be replaced with alternative form of assessment
image Letters: The role of single-sex schools in the education system
image Government pledges £31m to avoid using schools as polling stations during May elections
image Two in five Russell Group universities see fall in number of state-educated students
image State schools lose millions following collapse of lettings company

Coronavirus: PM urged not to backtrack on March school reopening date

 

Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, has said the reopening of schools on 8 March must be "signed in blood, not a line in the sand". By Ben Riley-Smith, Lucy Fisher, Laura Donnelly and Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

Professor John Edmunds, an epidemiologist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has warned the reopening of schools in March could bring the coronavirus reproduction rate up to above one. ITV News.

According to The Telegraph, teachers and police could be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccines once the over-50s have been inoculated. By Laura Donnelly.

A report by the National Centre for Social Research has found that online tutoring can be an effective way to help disadvantaged pupils with their learning, though a lack of access to digital devices and reliable internet connections remain key barriers to participation. By Will Hazell, iNews.

Matt Hood, principal of the online Oak National Academy, has warned of the lasting effect COVID-19 disruption could have on children in Reception and Year 1, adding early years teaching is "not something you can reasonably expect any parent at home to become an expert in". BBC News.

Ministers have been accused of removing the "last vestige of hope" for parents by advising families who have their own private outdoor space to avoid taking their children to playgrounds. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

Some secondary staff in Scotland have said they have not been able to plan for the return to school from 22 February, due to a lack of detailed guidance from the Scottish Government. By Emma Seith, Tes.

 

Exams 2021: Cambridge Assessment apologises for exam decision delay

 

Exam board Cambridge Assessment has apologised for the delay in reaching a decision on how its IGCSE and IA-level qualifications will be awarded in the UK this year. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

The Department for Education has said Sir Kevan Collins, the education recovery commissioner, will have no role in deciding how GCSE and A-level grades are awarded this year. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

 

Data shows almost 60% of GCSE students improved their grades in autumn exams

 

Analysis of new exams data has found almost six in 10 students who sat autumn exams for GCSE subjects other than English and maths improved on their grades issued in the summer. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

 
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Schools Week

Calls for GCSEs to be replaced with alternative form of assessment

 

The Times explores how the pandemic has prompted more education leaders to call for GCSEs to be scrapped. By Alice Thomson and Rachel Sylvester.

 
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The Times

Letters: The role of single-sex schools in the education system

 

Heather Hanbury, headmistress at Lady Eleanor Holles School, writes to The Times arguing teachers at girls' schools "have a full understanding of the particular issues pupils face and will provide the support that helps them most, increasing their confidence and building their resilience".

In a separate letter, Mark Semmence, headmaster of Repton School, writes in favour of co-educational schools, arguing: "Boys and girls need to be prepared to play any role, bringing different attributes to the table, so that in the workplace they will be able to sit comfortably beside each other, whatever their chosen path." Both letters can be found at the top of the page.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Michael Sullivan, headteacher at Forest Hill School, an all-boys school, discusses the benefits of single-sex schools. By Sarah Rodrigues.

 

Government pledges £31m to avoid using schools as polling stations during May elections

 

Schools Week reports the Government is providing around £31 million for local authorities to help them find alternative polling venues ahead of the May elections. By James Carr.

 
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Schools Week

Two in five Russell Group universities see fall in number of state-educated students

 

New findings show 10 of the 24 Russell Group universities saw a drop in the number of entrants from UK state schools between 2018/19 and 2019/20. By Press Association, The Independent.

 
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The Independent

State schools lose millions following collapse of lettings company

 

The Times reports some state schools have lost millions of pounds following the collapse of School Lettings Solutions, a leasing company. By Paul Morgan-Bentley.

 
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The Times

 

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