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Daily News Summary
23 February 2021

Coronavirus: PM confirms the reopening of schools from 8 March
Exam cancellations in Scotland 'triggered extreme grade inflation'
Letters: 'Partnerships between schools and research labs could expose more girls to science in action'

Coronavirus: PM confirms the reopening of schools from 8 March


Boris Johnson has confirmed that all schools in England will reopen from 8 March, with schools allowed to opt for a phased return during that week. Parents of secondary school pupils are expected to test their children at home twice weekly after three tests in school, and mask-wearing will be mandatory in some classrooms. By Sean Coughlan, BBC News.

Education union leaders have warned against the Government's "big bang" approach to the reopening of schools, amid concerns it could lead to a spike in coronavirus infections. By Sally Weale and Pamela Duncan, The Guardian.

An anonymous teacher writes in iNews expressing concerns about the prospect of teachers returning to school before being vaccinated.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that duplicating proposals to open schools to all pupils on 8 March "would send coronavirus through the roof" in Scotland. By Mark McLaughlin, The Times. John Swinney, Scotland's education secretary, has stated that he "wouldn't have clinical authorisation" to fully reopen Scottish schools on that date. By Henry Hepburn, Tes.

Education minister Kirsty Williams has said it is "her preference" for secondary school pupils in Wales to return to school after Easter. BBC News.

Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, writes in The Times reflecting on the Government's announcement, saying: "We have a roadmap out of lockdown; now is the time for a clear roadmap on education."

William Hague, a former foreign secretary and a former leader of the Conservative Party, writes in The Telegraph arguing "if there is an openness to new ideas, the process of recovering from the pandemic could be the start of transformational change in education".

Writing in The Telegraph, Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, states the prioritisation of grassroots sport in the roadmap out of lockdown "will help us come back stronger and healthier".

Professor Devi Sridhar, a member of Nicola Sturgeon's COVID-19 advisory group, has defended Scotland's national clinical director against claims he sent parents "biased misinformation" about their children being at low risk of contracting COVID-19. By Mark McLaughlin, The Times.

Schools Week reports the Department for Education is to commission research into the impact of COVID-19 on pupils and staff. By Fraser Whieldon.


Exam cancellations in Scotland 'triggered extreme grade inflation'


A new study has found the cancellation of exams in Scotland last year led to "extreme" grade inflation, with pass rates for some qualifications surging by up to 29 times their previous largest increase. By Simon Johnson, The Telegraph.

The Telegraph

Letters: 'Partnerships between schools and research labs could expose more girls to science in action'


Dr Clare Roper, director of science, technology and engineering at Wimbledon High School, writes to The Times arguing partnerships between schools and research laboratories could encourage more girls to get involved with STEM subjects, by presenting them with female role models to aspire to. The letter can be found halfway down the page.

The Times


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