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Daily News Summary
20 January 2021

Coronavirus: Schools could reopen 'region by region' after half term
Exams 2021: IB exams may not go ahead this year
20-year study reveals "rising intensity" of the teaching profession

Coronavirus: Schools could reopen 'region by region' after half term


Speaking at an Education Select Committee hearing yesterday, Dr Jenny Harries, the Government's deputy chief medical officer, suggested schools in England may reopen region by region after the February half term. By Hannah Richardson, BBC News. An article in Schools Week summarises key findings from the hearing. By Freddie Whittaker.

The latest data from the Department for Education (DfE) shows school attendance in England is five times higher than during the first lockdown last year. By Oliver Barnes, BBC News.

According to The Guardian, the DfE is expected to announce it will halt plans for the daily testing of pupils and teachers in schools, after receiving updated advice from Public Health England. By Josh Halliday.

The Telegraph reports two Conservative-controlled councils have offered COVID-19 vaccines to nursery teachers and council workers ahead of the over-70s, defying the Government's priority list. By Bill Gardner and Laura Donnelly.

Teachers in primary and secondary schools have been almost twice as likely to contract coronavirus as the wider population, according to analysis from the National Education Union. By John Roberts, Tes.

The Labour Party has called on education secretary Gavin Williamson to resign, accusing him of "failing children throughout the pandemic". By Zoe Tidman, The Independent. Tulip Siddiq, shadow education minister, writes in The Times arguing: "Gavin Williamson's dire handling of free school meals is just the latest in a series of failures which have left his position untenable."

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed schools in Scotland will remain closed until at least mid-February, following the extension of national lockdown restrictions. By Daniel Sanderson, The Telegraph.

Robert Halfon, Conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, writes in The Times suggesting the sugar tax could be used "to fund an extension of the National School Breakfast programme and community-led initiatives to tackle child hunger".

Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, has said there have been more children being admitted to hospital for mental health reasons than for physical ailments since the beginning of the pandemic. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

An article in The Telegraph explores the impact of the pandemic on teachers' mental wellbeing. By Katie Russell.

Jonathan Douglas, chief executive of the National Literacy Trust, has told MPs and peers of reports that some children have been forced to sit on buses and in the car parks of public libraries to access the internet for online learning. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

Bremont, the British watch brand, has pledged to donate one laptop for every Bremont watch sold between now and 31 March, to support vulnerable children with their online learning. By Tracey Llewellyn, The Telegraph.

The Playing Out charity has raised concerns that the policing of children playing outdoors is preventing young people from staying active during lockdown. By Tom Morgan, The Telegraph.


Exams 2021: IB exams may not go ahead this year


Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, Nick Gibb, minister for school standards, said "International Baccalaureate students should be subject to a similar approach to GCSEs and A-levels", suggesting IB exams should not take place this year. By Dan Worth, Tes. The article quotes David James, the deputy head of an independent school in London.

Writing in Tes, Mr James argues the hesitation to make a decision on IB exams "is a failure of leadership, and ignores the organisation's moral responsibility to its students".

Emma Taylor, warden of Dean Close School, and James Dahl, master of Wellington College, discuss the Government's exams consultation on Attain's Fresh Thinking podcast.


20-year study reveals "rising intensity" of the teaching profession


According to research from the UCL Institute of Education, the proportion of teachers saying they have "very high" job demands rose from 54 per cent to 90 per cent over the course of 20 years. By Dave Speck, Tes.



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