Daily News Summary
19 March 2021

image Coronavirus: School reopenings have not led to a rise in infections, figures show
image Exams 2021: Parents warned against 'negotiating' grades with teachers
image Families seeking SEND support face a 'postcode lottery'
image Schools face 'serious disruption' as PFI contracts expire

Coronavirus: School reopenings have not led to a rise in infections, figures show


According to the first official figures from the Department of Health, just 0.05 per cent of secondary school pupils tested positive for COVID-19 during the first few days of term. By Camilla Turner and Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph.

A new study has found that adults in Scotland living with young children were less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those without, suggesting children may have a "protective effect" against the virus. By Georgina Hayes, The Telegraph.

Schools Week reports ministers are planning to use £22 million of the £302 million recovery premium to "accelerate" pupils' progress in numeracy and literacy. By Samantha Booth.

Sir Kevan Collins, the education recovery commissioner, has said over-centralisation has been "revealed to be a weakness" of the education system during the pandemic. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week. Addressing headteachers at the Association of School and College Leaders' (ASCL) annual conference, Sir Kevan said taking care of children's emotional and physical needs, through measures such as free school breakfasts, is key to helping them recover lost learning. By Will Hazell, iNews.

Labour is calling on the Government to extend free school meals provision over the Easter holidays. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.


Exams 2021: Parents warned against 'negotiating' grades with teachers


Ian Bauckham, the interim chair of Ofqual, has said it would be "wrong and fundamentally unfair" if teachers were subject to pressure from pupils or their families over GCSE and A-level grades this summer. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph. Speaking at ASCL's annual conference, Mr Bauckham said having advance sight of assessment materials could be a "good learning experience" for pupils. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week. Mr Bauckham has said that grade inflation will "inevitably" occur this year, but that it would not make the 2021 results "less valuable". By Will Hazell, iNews.

Survey findings from the OCR exam board suggest GCSE and A-level students in a third of schools have lost more than half of their teaching time throughout their courses. By Catherine Lough, Tes.


Families seeking SEND support face a 'postcode lottery'


A report from the Education Policy Institute has found that families in deprived areas seeking support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are less likely to receive support than those in more affluent areas. BBC News.


Schools face 'serious disruption' as PFI contracts expire


MPs have warned that schools could be among the public services that face "serious disruptions" if the Government fails to manage the end of hundreds of contracts under the private finance initiative (PFI). Tes.



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