image  

Daily News Summary
16 February 2021

image Coronavirus: Headteachers prepare for school reopenings
image Exams 2021: IB exams cancelled this year
image 'Universities should expand to allow all the brightest pupils to access their colleges'
image 'Tinkering with the curriculum alone isn't going to close the poverty gap'
image 'Grammar school selection has become a Wild West'

Coronavirus: Headteachers prepare for school reopenings

 

The Telegraph reports some headteachers have started to draw up plans for rotas and a phased return to school. By Camilla Turner.

Researchers from the University of Warwick have said there is no evidence to suggest that schools are a major driver of COVID-19 transmission. BBC News.

According to The Telegraph, the third phase of the coronavirus vaccine rollout is likely to target people by age and ethnicity, amid concerns that prioritising various types of workers, including teachers, could "create too much complication". By Henry Bodkin.

Fiona McQueen, chief nursing officer for the Scottish Government, has denied claims that ministers have "underplayed" the risk of the new variant to teachers ahead of the reopening of schools in Scotland. By Kieran Andrews, The Times.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce later today whether some pupils in Scotland can return to school from next week. BBC News.

The Educational Institute of Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to reconsider its plans for schools and to "facilitate a blended learning approach in primary, which would allow for physical distancing amongst pupils". By Emma Seith, Tes.

Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, writes in The Telegraph arguing "the focus of any 'catch-up' scheme will need to be far broader than just academic outcomes".

Molly Kingsley writes in The Telegraph urging the Government to invest in play-centred infrastructure for children post-lockdown, adding "play must not only be permitted, but positively encouraged".

iNews reports Labour is calling on the Government to extend free school meals provision across all school holidays this year. By Josh Barrie.

Business2Schools, a charity which distributes refurbished technology to children, has warned there is still a "high volume of need" for laptops among Welsh pupils learning from home. BBC News.

 

Exams 2021: IB exams cancelled this year

 

The International Baccalaureate (IB) has announced that all UK exams will be cancelled this year, with grades expected to be awarded based on coursework marks and predicted grades. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

The Rev Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis academy trust, has urged the Department for Education and Ofqual to drop proposals for mini-exams to "relieve stress" on schools. By William Stewart, Tes.

 

'Universities should expand to allow all the brightest pupils to access their colleges'

 

Annabel Heseltine writes in The Telegraph arguing caps on the number of privately-educated pupils accepted into Oxbridge undermine parents who have "scrimped and saved" to send their children to independent schools, and ignore the sector's work in supporting pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 
image
The Telegraph

'Tinkering with the curriculum alone isn't going to close the poverty gap'

 

Kristian Shanks, curriculum leader history at Sherburn High School, writes in The Telegraph challenging claims that the English baccalaureate can "address unequal opportunities in our school system".

 
image
The Telegraph

'Grammar school selection has become a Wild West'

 

Professor Rob Coe, a former maths teacher who helped to create 11-plus tests, has warned "there is no quality driver, no incentive for high-quality processes in the system", with grammar schools free to choose whichever tests or selection processes they like. By Dave Speck, Tes.

 
image
Tes

 

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) monitors the national and educational press in order to keep independent schools up-to-date with relevant education news. The DNS is a service primarily for schools in membership of ISC associations, although other interested parties can choose to sign-up. We endeavour to include relevant news and commentary and, wherever possible, notable public letters. Where capacity allows, we may include links to ISC blogs, press statements and information about school or association events. News stories are selected based on their relevance to the independent sector as a whole. Editorial control of the DNS remains solely with the ISC.

Sign-up to the email service is available on our website.

Members can contact the ISC if they know in advance of news, letters or opinions that are likely to feature in the media, or are aware of existing coverage which they would like to see featured in the DNS.

Headlines and first-line summaries are written by the ISC with the link directing to the source material. You should read and comply with the terms and conditions of the websites to which we link.