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Daily News Summary
25 January 2021

image Coronavirus: Schools could remain closed until Easter, health secretary suggests
image Exams 2021: Concerns pupils may have to repeat the year due to COVID-19 learning loss
image Oxbridge expected to make fewer offers this year amid concerns over grade inflation
image Winchester College considers admitting girls for the first time in 600 years

Coronavirus: Schools could remain closed until Easter, health secretary suggests

 

Health secretary Matt Hancock has suggested schools may not be able to reopen until after Easter, saying the Government is a "long, long, long way" from being able to ease lockdown restrictions in England. By Oliver Wright, The Times.

A number of Conservative MPs have backed a campaign by the UsforThem parents' group to fully reopen schools, warning children have become the pandemic's "forgotten victims". By Gordon Rayner and Tony Diver, The Telegraph.

Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, has called on the Government to outline "what the conditions need to be" for pupils to return to England's schools. BBC News.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said teachers have a "good shout" of being prioritised for COVID-19 vaccinations once the most clinically vulnerable have been inoculated. By Joanna Whitehead, iNews.

Four school groups, including the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and Cognita, have written to Boris Johnson outlining their proposal to use schools as vaccination centres, in an effort to inoculate teachers and support staff over the February half term. By Mark Hookham and Michael Powell, The Mail on Sunday. The article mentions several schools in membership of the Independent Schools Council's (ISC) constituent associations.

According to a poll by the NASUWT, 64 per cent of black and minority ethnic teachers feel their school is not doing enough to address increased risks they face from COVID-19. By Dave Speck, Tes.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, has warned safety fears among staff at nurseries and childcare settings are "a cause for serious concern". By Oliver Barnes, BBC News. Tulip Siddiq, Labour's shadow minister for children, has said early years workers and families "deserve to know the scientific basis of the decision to keep nurseries open". By Chloe Chaplain, iNews.

Some local authorities have reportedly told schools to prioritise pupils for school places where both parents are key workers, defying the Government's guidance on eligibility criteria. By Camilla Turner and Dominic Penna, The Telegraph.

According to the Education Policy Institute, the proportion of teachers absent from school last term due to a positive coronavirus test was "significantly higher" than that of pupils in England. By Zoe Tidman, The Independent.

The Department for Education is aiming to provide 15 hours of subsidised tutoring to about 450,000 disadvantaged pupils in the second phase of the National Tutoring Programme, up from 250,000 this year. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

According to The Telegraph, headteachers have written to parents warning of a TikTok trend which encourages children to share their remote learning login details so hackers can disrupt their classes. By Camilla Turner.

Schools Week reports some schools are using minibuses to deliver stationery equipment to disadvantaged children during lockdown. By James Carr.

The Observer explores the impact of home schooling on the mental wellbeing of parents with primary age pupils. By Donna Ferguson.

An article in The Telegraph explores how Cranleigh School has adapted its sports programme following the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions. By Charles Richardson.

James Bartlett, director of music at Ibstock Place School, writes to The Times saying he hopes the reopening of schools will allow for the return of group music-making. The letter can be found a quarter of the way down the page.

 

Exams 2021: Concerns pupils may have to repeat the year due to COVID-19 learning loss

 

Professor Lee Elliot Major has said the Government should consider allowing pupils to repeat a year of school due to the scale of disruption to education caused by the pandemic. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

All exams and assessments in Scotland could be put on hold and pupils asked to repeat the academic year, under a worst-case scenario being considered by officials. By Mike Wade, The Times. A separate article in The Times reports teachers in Scotland are concerned they will be unable to gather enough evidence to grade pupils fairly due to limitations of remote learning. By Mark McLaughlin.

Tes reports international schools remain uncertain whether exams will go ahead this year. By Dan Worth.

 

Oxbridge expected to make fewer offers this year amid concerns over grade inflation

 

The Telegraph reports Oxford and Cambridge are set to make fewer offers this year, amid concerns that significant grade inflation could lead to capacity issues. By Camilla Turner.

 
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The Telegraph

Winchester College considers admitting girls for the first time in 600 years

 

The Sunday Times reports Winchester College, one of the four remaining boys' boarding schools, is discussing going co-educational. By Sian Griffiths. The article quotes heads of schools in membership of the ISC's constituent associations.

The paper features a poll asking readers whether they believe all schools should be co-educational. The final result will be published in The Sunday Times on 31 January.

 

 

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