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Daily News Summary
26 February 2021

Exams 2021: School leaders and education figures react as more details on grading emerge
Coronavirus: Concerns raised over new rules on COVID tests and masks in schools
Teaching on Britain's colonial past 'could be more rigorous'
Spotlight On: Food Bank Friday at The Roche School

Exams 2021: School leaders and education figures react as more details on grading emerge


Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said this year's GCSE and A-level grades will not be pegged to any other year, as this would "probably entail the use of some form of algorithm". By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published guidance stating that headteachers will have to confirm that students have been taught "sufficient content" to allow progression to the next stage of their education. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said the plan for this year's GCSEs and A-levels is as "good a compromise as we can come to". BBC News.

Speaking to The Independent, teachers have expressed doubts over the Government's plan for teacher-assessed grades. By Zoe Tidman.

Barnaby Lenon, a member of Ofqual's advisory group and chair of the Independent Schools Council, has suggested grade inflation could persist without reform to the exam system. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

An anonymous teacher writes in iNews saying: "It is great that teachers can set the grades, but it is not so simple to give students the learning they have lost."

Jane Lunnon, head of Alleyn's School, writes to The Times calling for teacher assessment to be combined with "coursework moderation, checking and standardisation".

Jozef Butterfield, a teacher, writes in The Telegraph outlining the potential pitfalls of switching to teacher assessment.

The Guardian features the reactions of some students to the Government's announcement on grades. By Jedidajah Otte.

Dame Alison Peacock, chief executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, has suggested teaching time during the summer term could be "lost to an onslaught of appeals" over exam results. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

The Times reports on warnings that universities could be overwhelmed by students who meet their entry requirements due to A-level grade inflation this year. By Nicola Woolcock.

The DfE has said it will not prevent exams taking place overseas. By Dan Worth, Tes.


Coronavirus: Concerns raised over new rules on COVID tests and masks in schools


Some headteachers have expressed concern the reopening of schools next month could be undermined if parents do not consent to coronavirus testing for their children, and if the wearing of face masks in classrooms cannot be enforced. By Sally Weale and Richard Adams, The Guardian.

According to Schools Week, some headteachers are considering implementing staggered starts and longer school days to ease the "mammoth logistical task" of testing all secondary school pupils before they return. By James Carr.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in phase two of the rollout will be decided by age group, not occupation, meaning teachers will not be prioritised. BBC News.

iNews reports a "postcode lottery" in access to COVID-19 vaccines has left some staff at special schools and pupil referral units feeling "vulnerable". By Will Hazell.

The DfE reportedly plans to gradually "taper" subsidies for the National Tutoring Scheme, which could leave schools having to cover 90 per cent of the cost of sessions by 2023-24. By James Carr, Schools Week.

Damien Moore, Conservative MP for Southport, writes in The Times reflecting on the impact of the pandemic on young people, saying: "It is vital that we take action now to protect the mental health of the next generation."


Teaching on Britain's colonial past 'could be more rigorous'


Nick Gibb, the minister of state for school standards, has said there is scope to ensure schools do a "more rigorous" job of teaching children about Britain's colonial past. By Gabriella Swerling, The Telegraph.

The Telegraph

Spotlight On: Food Bank Friday at The Roche School


In the latest addition to the ISC's 'Spotlight On' blog series, Lydia Loxton, a Year One teacher and charities coordinator at The Roche School, explains how a partnership between the school and a volunteer network has been supporting those in need in the local community.



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