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Daily News Summary
5 February 2021

image Coronavirus: Scientists suggest it would be safe to begin reopening schools on 22 Feb
image Exams 2021: Cambridge Assessment considering scrapping exams in some countries
image Royal SpringBoard to extend network of partners to include independent day schools
image Spotlight On: Abingdon School’s academic coaching programme
image Rise in proportion of students from ethnic minority backgrounds going to Oxford University
image Questions asked over value for money of DfE's meal vouchers scheme
image Government chooses 50 schools in England to be rebuilt

Coronavirus: Scientists suggest it would be safe to begin reopening schools on 22 Feb

 

According to The Telegraph, some government scientists have claimed there "really isn't a case" for refusing to open schools earlier than 8 March. By Gordon Rayner and Camilla Tominey.

Schools Week reports that rising attendance rates are forcing primary schools to cap places for pupils. By Freddie Whittaker.

A Tes survey of more than 8,000 UK school staff has found that teachers believe attendance rotas should be used when schools are allowed to reopen. By Catherine Lough. Tes has also released figures showing most teachers want masks in classrooms.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson will only commit to delivering “the majority” of promised laptops by the time schools are due to reopen. By James Carr, Schools Week.

Ceri Stokes, assistant head at Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire, writes in Tes detailing five ways schools can support parents to look after their children's mental health.

James Forsyth, political editor of The Spectator, writes in The Times about ways schools can help to undo the damage caused by COVID, such as extending the school day and scaling back the summer break.

BBC News speaks to some young people who are struggling through lockdown in order to find out how 'Generation COVID' will catch up. By Brian Wheeler and Sean Coughlan.

Public health experts have warned that most children aged over seven in Scotland who are not due to take exams this year are unlikely to return to school until mid-April. By Helen Puttick, The Times.

According to The Guardian, the Welsh Government is set to announce that children up to age seven will begin to return to school from 22 February. By Richard Adams. Unions in Wales have called for teachers to be prioritised for COVID vaccines when schools reopen after half term. By Steven Morris and Richard Adams, The Guardian.

 

Exams 2021: Cambridge Assessment considering scrapping exams in some countries

 

According to Tes, Cambridge Assessment is "looking at switching from exams to an approach based on teacher assessment" for its IGCSE and IA-levels qualifications in the UK. By Catherine Lough and Dan Worth.

In its response to the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual’s consultation on exams, the Russell Group has called for clarity on grade inflation this year, warning that universities may have to limit offers. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

 

Royal SpringBoard to extend network of partners to include independent day schools

 

The Government has announced that Royal SpringBoard is to provide a national brokerage service to support placements for children in and on the edge of care at independent day schools as well as boarding schools. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times. The article mentions several schools in membership of the Independent Schools Council's constituent associations.

Writing in an ISC Blog, Peter Goodyer, headmaster of Bede's, explains how the school is providing life-changing opportunities for care-experienced children, with support from its local authority and Royal SpringBoard.

 

Spotlight On: Abingdon School’s academic coaching programme

 

Jessica Burns, partnership coordinator at Abingdon School, explains how students from independent and state schools across the town are benefiting from an innovative coaching project, in the ISC's latest 'Spotlight On' blog.

 
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ISC

Rise in proportion of students from ethnic minority backgrounds going to Oxford University

 

iNews reports the proportion of students from ethnic minority backgrounds going to Oxford University rose to 23.6 per cent of its UK intake last year - a record high. By Will Hazell.

 
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iNews

Questions asked over value for money of DfE's meal vouchers scheme

 

The DfE is facing criticism after the Public Accounts Committee highlighted "missed potential opportunities" for savings in a deal for vouchers to replace free school meals in England during the pandemic. By Oliver Barnes, BBC News.

 
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BBC

Government chooses 50 schools in England to be rebuilt

 

The Government has selected 50 schools in England to be rebuilt during the first phase of a £1bn programme announced by Boris Johnson in June 2020. By Will Hazell, iNews.

Schools Week reports the DfE has approved 21 more free schools under wave 14 of the programme. By Freddie Whittaker.

 

 

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