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Daily News Summary
31 March 2021

'Sexual misconduct is a wider issue than what happens in schools'
Coronavirus: Follow-up PCR tests required for positive cases identified in schools
Exams 2021: Scottish students 'will know their grades before August'
Britain has become a more open society, report finds
Government urged to introduce ban on online junk food adverts

'Sexual misconduct is a wider issue than what happens in schools'


Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has said that while schools have a "vital responsibility" in tackling sexual harassment and abuse, parents, social media companies and the criminal justice system also have a role to play in addressing the issue. By Emma Yeomans, Ben Ellery, Arthi Nachiappan and Ryan Watts, The Times.

Tes reports independent school sector figures have said it is not necessary for all independent schools to be inspected by Ofsted. By Catherine Lough. The article quotes Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), Dr Simon Hyde, general secretary of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), and Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association (ISA).

According to The Guardian, Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector, requested greater powers to monitor independent schools in 2018 and 2019 over "potential safeguarding issues". By Richard Adams and Sally Weale.

Nazir Afzal, the former chief prosecutor for north-west England, has questioned whether Ofsted is best placed to conduct a "deep dive" investigation, claiming the body does not 'appear to have picked up' issues relating to sexual misconduct despite years of inspections. The Telegraph.

Giving evidence at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, Jonathan Anderson, headmaster at Merchiston Castle School, said it was "unfair to single out boys' schools" as having a "predatory culture". By Laura Paterson, The Times.

iNews reports on some of the measures schools are taking to tackle peer-on-peer sexual harassment. By Sally Guyoncourt. The article quotes the heads of several schools in membership of the ISC's constituent associations.

Some schools are planning to make curriculum and policy changes in the wake of the death of Sarah Everard and allegations of a 'rape culture' in schools. Tes. The article quotes Julie Keller, head of Nottingham Girls' High School, and Jane Prescott, president of the Girls' Schools Association (GSA) and headmistress of Portsmouth High School.

Speaking to The Guardian, some school leaders describe the complexities and challenges of navigating sexual abuse and harassment allegations. By Sally Weale.

Maria Miller, a Conservative MP and former chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, has said she was sexually assaulted while at school, adding: "It was a routine part of life." By Maya Oppenheim, The Independent.

Robert Halfon, chair of the Education Select Committee, has said social media companies should put algorithms in place to monitor online threats and abusive language. By Ruchira Sharma, iNews.

Alice Thomson writes in The Times arguing "demonising all boys isn't the answer", and that parents and schools need to talk to children about consent and loving relationships while they are young.

Writing in The Telegraph, Pravina Rudra challenges the idea that a return to single-sex schools could stop sexual abuse and harassment.

An editorial piece in The Guardian states testimonies shared to the Everyone's Invited website "must serve as a wake-up call for specific schools and society as a whole".

According to The Telegraph, a number of testimonies about primary schools have been published to the Everyone's Invited website. By Camilla Turner and Claudia Rowan.

The Independent reports university students across the country are protesting against sexual harassment and violence on campus. By Zoe Tidman and Darcey Edkins.


Coronavirus: Follow-up PCR tests required for positive cases identified in schools


The Government has said pupils testing positive for COVID-19 at school will now require a follow-up PCR test to confirm the result, despite previously saying this would be limited to students who tested positive at home. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

Professor Jon Deeks, a biostatistician, has said there is a "high risk" that most of the positive COVID-19 tests taken in schools are false. By Camilla Turner and Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph.

Ofsted has announced it will publish research reviews and subject reports to help schools prioritise content as part of the education recovery process. By James Carr, Schools Week.

Schools Week reports on new guidance from the Government about funding for summer schools. By Freddie Whittaker.

Data published by the Department for Education shows school attendance levels dropped again last week, as increasing numbers of pupils at primary and secondary schools were forced to self-isolate. By Samantha Booth, Schools Week.

New figures from the Government show more than 300,000 pupils have become eligible for free school meals since 23 March 2020, when the first national lockdown was announced. By Richard Adams and Patrick Butler, The Guardian.


Exams 2021: Scottish students 'will know their grades before August'


School Leaders Scotland, a secondary headteachers' organisation, has said Scottish pupils will be "99.9 per cent" certain of the grades they will receive before the summer holidays. By Emma Seith, Tes.

According to Tes, OCR, AQA and Pearson Edexcel are conducting research into digital exams and assessment. By Catherine Lough.

Tes reports that IGCSE and IA-levels have been cancelled in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


Britain has become a more open society, report finds


A report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has concluded that racial inequalities have narrowed in Britain, with education being "the most emphatic success story". By Eleni Courea, Steven Swinford and Simon Murphy, The Times.

The Times

Government urged to introduce ban on online junk food adverts


Campaigners have called on the Government to ban online adverts for junk food to help tackle child obesity, as researchers suggest the move could see children eat the equivalent of 62 million fewer doughnuts each year. By Max Stephens, The Telegraph.

The Telegraph


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