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Daily News Summary
29 June 2021

image Coronavirus: Ministers consider plans to scrap self-isolation rules for schoolchildren
image Exams 2021: 'Teachers have been left to carry the can for a system that cannot deliver fairness'
image Gavin Williamson proposes ban on mobile phones in schools
image Ofsted inspections to include assessment of how schools tackle sexual harassment
image 'School boards need to reflect and understand the communities they serve'
image Report highlights 'systematic underrepresentation' of non-white authors in the GCSE English curriculum
image Longer school day could be used to teach more life skills, says Kate Green
image Second-generation ethnic minorities "substantially" more likely to graduate than their white peers

Coronavirus: Ministers consider plans to scrap self-isolation rules for schoolchildren

 

According to The Times, ministers are planning to bring an end to school bubbles from September, as the Government conducts pilots in secondary schools replacing the requirement for pupils to self-isolate with daily COVID tests. By Steven Swinford, Chris Smyth and Kat Lay.

In a letter to education leaders, schools minister Nick Gibb has confirmed that the Government will provide schools and colleges with updated guidance, test kits and PPE so they can be ready to resume on-site COVID testing from the start of the autumn term. By James Carr, Schools Week.

Professor Russell Viner, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, has said the Government will need to rethink COVID restrictions in schools before the end of the summer holidays. By Chris Smyth, The Times.

Dame Rachel de Souza, the children's commissioner, has called for the bubble system in schools to be scrapped as soon as possible, describing it as "incredibly frustrating for children and teachers". By Laura Donnelly and Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

The leading article in The Times calls for an end to self-isolation rules in schools, arguing: "Requiring healthy children to stay at home is damaging their education unnecessarily."

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, has said that pupils should be tested for COVID in school rather than at home, claiming too many teenagers have stopped self-testing. By Will Hazell, iNews.

An editorial piece in The Telegraph reflects on the impact of COVID on young people, stating: "The least we can do for the children who have sacrificed so much for others is make sure all restrictions end on July 19."

As part of its new Campaign for Children, The Telegraph highlights the disruption caused by the pandemic to education. By Camilla Turner.

Jeremy Miles, Wales' education minister, has said he wants to minimise the number of pupils having to self-isolate from schools. BBC News.

 

Exams 2021: 'Teachers have been left to carry the can for a system that cannot deliver fairness'

 

Kate Green, the shadow education secretary, has warned that some parents are putting "enormous pressure" on teachers to boost their children's grades this year. By Celine Wadhera, The Independent. Ms Green has also raised concerns over a "striking" lack of consistency in the way grades have been awarded for this summer's assessments. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

 

Gavin Williamson proposes ban on mobile phones in schools

 

Gavin Williamson has proposed a total ban on mobile phones in schools, as part of a six-week consultation on how to promote good behaviour. BBC News.

Union leaders have accused the education secretary of creating a distraction from some of the real problems facing schools, adding "there isn't one policy that will work for all schools". By Molly Blackall, iNews.

 

Ofsted inspections to include assessment of how schools tackle sexual harassment

 

Ofsted has instructed teachers to assume that sexual harassment and abuse are occurring in and around their schools, even when there are no specific reports of it, after a recent review found that harassment has become normalised among pupils. Education institutions must now have a "whole school" approach to address the issue, which will be examined as part of future Ofsted inspections. By Lizzie Roberts, The Telegraph.

 
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The Telegraph

'School boards need to reflect and understand the communities they serve'

 

A poll by the National Governance Association has found that just five per cent of governors in England's state schools are from minority ethnic backgrounds - a figure which has remained virtually the same for the last 20 years. By Sally Weale, The Guardian.

 
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The Guardian

Report highlights 'systematic underrepresentation' of non-white authors in the GCSE English curriculum

 

According to research by Penguin and the Runnymede Trust, only 7 per cent of pupils study the work of a female author for the English literature GCSE, and less than one per cent study the work of a writer of colour. By Kaya Burgess, The Times.

 
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The Times

Longer school day could be used to teach more life skills, says Kate Green

 

Kate Green, the shadow education secretary, has suggested that extending the school day could enable more "life skills" to be taught on the curriculum. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

 
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Schools Week

Second-generation ethnic minorities "substantially" more likely to graduate than their white peers

 

A report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies has found that children of immigrants from deprived backgrounds are up to twice as likely to have a degree compared to their white peers, though they remain disadvantaged when seeking employment. By Lizzie Roberts, The Telegraph.

 
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The Telegraph

 

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