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Daily News Summary
5 January 2021

Coronavirus: Schools in England to remain closed 'until at least half term'
Exams 2021: PM confirms this summer's exams will not go ahead in their usual form
'The Government must provide support for children affected by domestic abuse'

Coronavirus: Schools in England to remain closed 'until at least half term'


Prime minister Boris Johnson has said schools and colleges in England will be closed to most pupils until at least half term, with teachers required to deliver remote learning. By Sean Coughlan, BBC News.

The Guardian reports school leaders and unions have welcomed the Government's decision to close schools, but described the response as "last-minute and chaotic". By Sally Weale and Steven Morris.

The Financial Times reports on the reaction among the education sector to the Government's lockdown announcement. The article quotes Julie Robinson, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council.

Dr Simon Hyde, general secretary of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, has written to education secretary Gavin Williamson expressing "disappointment" and "bewilderment" over the Government's decision not to provide funding for the rollout of lateral flow testing in independent schools. By Catherine Lough, Tes. The article quotes Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC.

An article in The Telegraph explores study findings which suggest teachers are at no greater risk of contracting COVID-19 than other key workers. By Henry Bodkin.

According to figures from three local councils, obtained by the NASUWT, coronavirus rates among school staff in some areas are up to four times the local average. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

Sir Angus Deaton, chairman of a review into UK inequality by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Nuffield Foundation, has warned the pandemic is exacerbating inequalities in health, education and wealth. By Philip Aldrick, The Times.

The National Tutoring Programme has said some of its sessions may have to be postponed, as only 14 of its 33 partners are approved to deliver remote tutoring to pupils at home. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

The Times reports grassroots sports for adults and children will be halted for six weeks as part of the new lockdown. By Martyn Ziegler.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that schools and nurseries in Scotland will remain closed until 1 February as part of new lockdown measures. By Andrew Woodcock, The Independent.

Ms Sturgeon has suggested Scotland's teachers could be added to the vaccination priority list to help schools reopen again. By Simon Johnson, The Telegraph.

Ruth Davidson, former leader of the Scottish Conservatives, writes in The Telegraph advocating increased investment in young people's education and employment opportunities, arguing: "They have borne much of the cost of this pandemic already and will be the generation upon whose shoulders repairing the public finances will disproportionately fall."

Rod Grant, head of Clifton Hall in Edinburgh, has warned the decision to close Scotland's schools could worsen "the downward spiral in the mental wellbeing of our children". By Marc Horne, The Times.


Exams 2021: PM confirms this summer's exams will not go ahead in their usual form


Boris Johnson has said this summer's exams will not take place as planned, with education secretary Gavin Williamson expected to outline how pupils will be assessed in an address to the Commons tomorrow. By Emma Yeomans and Rhys Blakely, The Times.

The Department for Education has confirmed BTEC and other vocational exams will still go ahead this month. By Billy Camden, Schools Week.

iNews reports the Pearson Edexcel exam board has removed six composers and musicians from its A-level music syllabus, including the work of Courtney Pine, its sole black composer, as part of efforts to reduce the workload faced by students affected by the pandemic. By Cahal Milmo.


'The Government must provide support for children affected by domestic abuse'


Conservative peers Baroness Bertin and Lord Polak write in The Times calling on the Government to ensure all child victims of domestic abuse "can get the support they need to recover".

The Times


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