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Daily News Summary
28 January 2021

image Coronavirus: PM admits it will take pupils more than a year to catch up on their education
image Exams 2021: Concern exam boards face "wildly inflated" teacher assessed grades
image Number of UK students gaining a first class degree reaches record high
image All primary schools in England to receive free anthology of black authors
image Scotland and Wales to explore ways to maintain benefits of the Erasmus scheme post-Brexit

Coronavirus: PM admits it will take pupils more than a year to catch up on their education

 

Boris Johnson has acknowledged it will take "more than a year" for children to catch up on their lost learning due to extended school closures. In a statement in the House of Commons, he pledged £300 million for extra tuition, summer schools and a "COVID premium" as part of a long-term recovery plan. By Nicola Woolcock and Emma Yeomans, The Times. According to a survey by Tes, three quarters of teachers say their pupils are behind on their learning due to the pandemic. By Amy Gibbons.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, has warned the prime minister "runs the risk of creating false hope" by suggesting a date for the reopening of schools. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Speaking at Prime Ministers Questions yesterday, Sir Keir Starmer called on the Government to vaccinate all teachers and support staff over the February half term. BBC News. In response, Boris Johnson asked the Labour leader to "explain which vaccines he would take from which vulnerable groups" to give to teachers. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the Government's deputy chief medical officer, has said it is not clear whether teachers contract COVID-19 in schools or from other contacts in the wider community. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Jane Lunnon, head of Alleyn's School, writes to The Times in response to findings highlighting the impact of social media on young people's mental health. She argues: "The pandemic has cut right through the relationships, activities and sense of purpose of many young people and we need a national plan to address this." The letter can be found halfway down the page.

Anne Longfield, the children's commissioner for England, has called for a "rocket boost" in funding for mental health services struggling to meet demand during the pandemic. By Robert Booth, The Guardian.

Social workers have expressed concerns that the pandemic could lead to a "tsunami of needs" and a surge in referrals. By Tomos Morgan and Beth Edwards, BBC News.

Angela Rayner, Labour's deputy leader, has called on the Government to extend free school meals provision over the February half term. ITV News.

According to a Tes survey, 71 per cent of schools have not received enough devices from the Government to support online learning. By Amy Gibbons.

The Telegraph reports the Government has been urged to implement a "recovery term", prioritising daily activity, physical education and time outdoors, when schools are able to fully reopen. By Jeremy Wilson.

Baroness Morgan of Cotes, a former education secretary who sits on the board of The Careers & Enterprise Company, writes in The Times in support of the Skills for Jobs White Paper published by the Government last week, arguing "our young people need support from businesses, large and small, like never before".

 

Exams 2021: Concern exam boards face "wildly inflated" teacher assessed grades

 

Barnaby Lenon, a member of the Ofqual Standards Advisory Group, has warned exam boards could have difficulty restraining "wildly inflated" teacher assessed grades this year. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

OxfordAQA, one of the exam boards that sets IGCSE and International A-level exams, has confirmed its exams will be replaced with the same teacher assessed grading system being used in England. Tes.

 

Number of UK students gaining a first class degree reaches record high

 

According to figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 35 per cent of university students received a first class degree last year, up from 28 per cent in 2019. By Sally Weale, The Guardian.

 
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The Guardian

All primary schools in England to receive free anthology of black authors

 

BBC News reports on an initiative aiming to increase the diversity of voices in children's literature, by providing a free anthology of books by black British authors to all primary schools in England.

 
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BBC

Scotland and Wales to explore ways to maintain benefits of the Erasmus scheme post-Brexit

 

The Scottish and Welsh governments have said they will look into how both nations can "continue to enjoy the benefits" of the Erasmus study exchange scheme, claiming the post-Brexit alternative is a "lesser imitation of the real thing". By Zoe Tidman, The Independent.

 
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The Independent

 

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