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Daily News Summary
30 March 2021

image 'We need to help young people feel empowered to disclose and discuss sexual harassment and abuse'
image Coronavirus: Reopening schools 'almost certainly' led to an increase in infection rates among young people
image Exams 2021: Scottish teachers voice concerns over this year's grades
image 'We have a duty to identify which disparities are shaping different people’s life chances'
image "Not enough is known about the benefits of the girls' school sector"

'We need to help young people feel empowered to disclose and discuss sexual harassment and abuse'

 

In an interview with Victoria Derbyshire on BBC News, Julie Robinson, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), said the Everyone's Invited campaign has been a "huge wake-up call" for schools, and explained how schools are taking measures to support those coming forward. Watch from 46:30. Ms Robinson also discussed the issue on BBC Radio 4's Today programme (listen from 2:34:19) and Times Radio (listen from 03:05:35). IE Today reports on comments from Ms Robinson, who described the allegations as "a hugely distressing social and cultural issue that cannot and must not be ignored". By Jo Golding. The article also quotes Dr Simon Hyde, general secretary of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has described allegations of sexual harassment and abuse published to the Everyone's Invited website as "shocking and abhorrent", and has urged victims to raise their concerns with "someone they trust", such as a teacher, family member or the police. By Camilla Turner and Eleanor Steafel, The Telegraph. The article quotes Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the ISC, and Donna Stevens, chief executive of the Girls' Schools Association (GSA).

Asked by the PA news agency whether he would welcome an independent inquiry, Mr Lenon said he would be "perfectly happy" for there to be one, "because this is clearly a serious issue which needs to be dealt with across society". Tes.

Conservative MP Maria Miller has called on Ofsted to investigate serious allegations of sexual misconduct within schools. By Sally Weale and Vikram Dodd, The Guardian.

Jess Phillips, the shadow minister for domestic violence, has claimed that the issue of sexual abuse in schools has been "going on for years", but has not been "taken seriously" by the Government. By Sarah Marsh, The Guardian.

Soma Sara, founder of Everyone's Invited, has said the number of state school allegations has increased by 33 per cent. By Emma Yeomans, Ben Ellery, Arthi Nachiappan and Ryan Watts, The Times.

Writing in The Telegraph, Celia Walden argues toxic sexual culture is "by no means confined to the private sector".

The Times' leading article calls for a "full investigation" into allegations of sexual misconduct at independent schools, arguing: "Women and girls need confidence that institutions, beginning with safeguarding in schools, will treat them with respect and a paramount concern for their physical and mental welfare."

Simon Bailey, the national police lead for child protection, has said thousands of victims are expected to come forward to report their experiences of harassment and abuse to a new helpline due to be launched this week. By Vikram Dodd and Kevin Rawlinson, The Guardian.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former chief inspector of Ofsted, has claimed that some schools have been sweeping allegations of sexual harassment and abuse "under the carpet" in the hope that it "goes away". By Will Hazell and Chloe Chaplain, iNews.

Annabel Heseltine writes in The Telegraph arguing concerns over a 'rape culture' in co-educational schools could lead to an increase in demand for girls' schools.

Lauren Shirreff, a student at Oxford University and a freelance journalist, writes in The Times arguing "bringing in new laws around how schools should deal with sexual harassment is the only way to make girls safer".

The Guardian explores whether easy access to pornography has contributed to the rise in 'rape culture' in schools. By Nicola Davis.

 

Coronavirus: Reopening schools 'almost certainly' led to an increase in infection rates among young people

 

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said a slight increase in COVID-19 rates among young people is "almost certainly" a result of the reopening of schools. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, has said that the return of full Ofsted inspections from September will create "unnecessary pressure" for staff working to support the education recovery effort. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

 

Exams 2021: Scottish teachers voice concerns over this year's grades

 

According to The Times, some teachers in Scotland have raised concerns that the cancellation of exams this year will leave pupils "at a huge disadvantage compared to other years". By Jeremy Watson.

Bruce Adamson, the children's commissioner for Scotland, has said students should not be "penalised for making an appeal" over grades, arguing "the threat of being downgraded" could have a negative impact on pupils' mental health. By Emma Seith, Tes.

An article in Tes summarises the official guidance on how to calculate pupils' GCSE and A-level grades. By Grainne Hallahan.

 

'We have a duty to identify which disparities are shaping different people’s life chances'

 

A report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities is expected to outline recommendations for how to help disadvantaged pupils, including white working-class boys, to catch up with their peers. By Steven Swinford, Eleni Courea and Henry Zeffman, The Times.

 
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The Times

"Not enough is known about the benefits of the girls' school sector"

 

IE Today features an interview with Donna Stevens, chief executive of the GSA, who explains how she wants to promote the "excellent work" of girls' schools.

 
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IE Today

 

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