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Daily News Summary
19 February 2021

Coronavirus: Return to school should be staggered to allow for mass testing, says union leader
Exams 2021: Cambridge International confirms switch to teacher assessment
Spotlight On: The Attain programme

Coronavirus: Return to school should be staggered to allow for mass testing, says union leader


Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has said secondary schools in England should reopen in phases to allow students to be tested for coronavirus. By Sean Coughlan, BBC News.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, has said unions have not brokered a deal with the Government on plans for the mass testing of students. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

Steve Chalke, founder of multi-academy trust Oasis, has said the mass testing of pupils would be a "huge logistical exercise" which could result in some students not returning to school until mid-April. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

First minister Mark Drakeford has said primary school children in Wales can return to school from 15 March "providing things continue to improve". By Lucy Campbell, The Guardian.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has suggested some Scottish pupils could return to school before others in they live in an area with a low infection rate. By Mark McLaughlin, The Times.

New study findings show that children aged five to 12 years old had the second highest levels of COVID-19 in early February. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

A number of the Independent Schools Council's (ISC) constituent associations have signed a joint letter urging the Government to allow international pupils to quarantine in their school accommodation. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Education organisations and unions have called on the Government to prioritise staff in early years settings, schools and colleges in phase two of the vaccination rollout. By Julia Belgutay, Tes.

New research compiled by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found the amount of time children spent learning at home during last year's lockdown declined the longer they stayed out of the classroom. By Richard Adams, The Guardian.

According to a survey of parents, a "sizeable" number of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) were unable to return to school in September 2020, highlighting "widespread failure" to restore SEND provision. By Sally Weale, The Guardian.

Survey findings from Tes suggest 91 per cent of teachers in England do not support Ofsted's plan to resume full school inspections next term. By Dave Speck.


Exams 2021: Cambridge International confirms switch to teacher assessment


Cambridge International has announced it will replace its IGCSE exams with teacher assessment in a "very small" number of countries and regions, including the UK. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) has said 70 per cent of its schools worldwide will run exams in 2021, under the IB's 'dual route' approach to awarding grades. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

A number of disability groups have warned at least 300,000 students with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries could face "unfair" exam grading if their accessibility needs are not properly taken into account. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

Tes explores how international schools intend to make sure their teacher-assessed grades are fair. By Dan Worth.


Spotlight On: The Attain programme


In the latest addition of the ISC's 'Spotlight On' blog series, David Goodhew, head of Latymer Upper School, explains how genuine collaboration and working in partnership is helping pupils at local primary schools to catch up with their learning after the disruption of the past year.



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