isc logo  

Daily News Summary
9 March 2021

Coronavirus: PM welcomes the reopening of schools but warns of "a risk of increased transmission"
'A lack of clear guidance will make grade inflation inevitable'
'Independent school headteachers are good value for money'
Findings suggest school streets improve air quality

Coronavirus: PM welcomes the reopening of schools but warns of "a risk of increased transmission"


Prime minister Boris Johnson has described the reopening of schools as an important first step in the "roadmap to freedom", but has warned that the return of pupils brings "a risk of increased transmission" which could impact on the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. By Jessica Elgot, Sally Weale and Aubrey Allegretti, The Guardian.

Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, has said it is "almost inevitable" that the reopening of schools will lead to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. By Tom Batchelor, The Independent.

According to the Department for Education's (DfE) updated COVID-19 contingency framework, schools may be asked to limit attendance and prioritise certain year groups in the event of local COVID-19 outbreaks. By Amy Gibbons, Tes. Schools Week summarises the DfE's latest guidance for schools. By Samantha Booth.

The reopening of schools in England is thought to have "gone well", with headteachers reporting high levels of take-up of COVID-19 tests and compliance with mask-wearing rules in secondary school classrooms. By Sean Coughlan, BBC News.

Speaking to BBC News, several pupils share their views on the return to school. The Independent also features the reactions of headteachers and pupils to the reopening of schools. By Zoe Tidman.

The prime minister's official spokesman has confirmed that students who receive a positive lateral flow test can return to school if they subsequently test negative with a PCR test. By Emma Yeomans and Chris Smyth, The Times.

Dr Jenny Harries, the Government's deputy chief medical officer, has warned a "larger number" of children may be forced to self-isolate over the next few weeks as schools adjust to new COVID-19 testing regimes. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

Vicky Ford, the children's minister, has said secondary pupils who feel anxious about wearing face masks in school will not be forced to do so. By Emma Yeomans, The Times.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, has suggested that all secondary school pupils should wear face masks "unless there is a medical reason why they wouldn't". By Dave Speck, Tes.

Dr Anastasia Giannakopoulou, a senior lecturer in psychology, has urged parents to be "vigilant" of changes in their children's behaviour as they return to school. By Alex Pope, BBC News.

Tes features an article on King's School, Rochester, where staff have celebrated the return of pupils with their own rendition of Take That's 'Back for Good'. By Catherine Lough.

The Times reports first minister Nicola Sturgeon is under pressure to accelerate the reopening of Scottish schools as the number of hospital cases and community infections continues to decline. By Mark McLaughlin.

John Swinney, Scotland's education secretary, has said the limited reopening of Scottish schools has not led to a significant rise in transmission, indicating it is safe for more children to return next week. By Mark McLaughlin, The Times.


'A lack of clear guidance will make grade inflation inevitable'


William Stewart writes in Tes warning teachers "have not been given all the tools they need" to award fair grades to pupils, and will be held responsible for "the inevitable mess that will follow".


'Independent school headteachers are good value for money'


Annabel Heseltine writes in The Telegraph arguing high salaries in the independent school sector are justified, stating the role of an independent school headteacher is "extensive, multi-faceted in character and growing by the year".

The Telegraph

Findings suggest school streets improve air quality


A study has found that restricting traffic outside schools at pick-up and drop-off times has reduced nitrogen dioxide levels by up to 23 per cent. By Ben Webster, The Times.

The Times


The Independent Schools Council (ISC) monitors the national and educational press in order to keep independent schools up-to-date with relevant education news. The DNS is a service primarily for schools in membership of ISC associations, although other interested parties can choose to sign-up. We endeavour to include relevant news and commentary and, wherever possible, notable public letters. Where capacity allows, we may include links to ISC blogs, press statements and information about school or association events. News stories are selected based on their relevance to the independent sector as a whole. Editorial control of the DNS remains solely with the ISC.

Sign-up to the email service is available on our website.

Members can contact the ISC if they know in advance of news, letters or opinions that are likely to feature in the media, or are aware of existing coverage which they would like to see featured in the DNS.

Headlines and first-line summaries are written by the ISC with the link directing to the source material. You should read and comply with the terms and conditions of the websites to which we link.