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Daily News Summary
12 May 2021

image Coronavirus: 'Teachers should be allowed to retain mask wearing in class'
image Exams 2021: School leaders criticise 'vague' assessment guidance
image Concerns over impartiality of Ofsted's sexual abuse in schools review
image Number of pupils at independent schools declines for the first time in 10 years
image Landmark legislation requires social media firms to safeguard children online

Coronavirus: 'Teachers should be allowed to retain mask wearing in class'

 

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), has said it would be "entirely reasonable and responsible" for teachers to choose to keep mask wearing in their classrooms if they think it necessary. By Dave Speck, Tes.

Writing in The Telegraph, Molly Kingsley welcomes the Government's decision to relax face mask rules in schools from Monday.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that face coverings will still have to be worn in Scottish schools from 17 May, though expert advisers will explore the possibility of changing the rules in the coming weeks. By Henry Hepburn, Tes.

According to attendance data published by the Department for Education, the number of primary school pupils absent because of a suspected COVID case rose by over 60 per cent last week, though overall attendance remains high. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

A new report has warned that the majority of primary school children may be unable to swim a length of a pool by 2025, after swimming lessons were put on hold as a result of the pandemic. By Lizzie Roberts, The Telegraph.

Schools Week reports the Government has finally met its target of delivering 1.3 million laptops to disadvantaged pupils to support their learning, five weeks later than ministers promised. By James Carr.

 

Exams 2021: School leaders criticise 'vague' assessment guidance

 

Some headteachers have challenged an Ofqual warning that they should not "test, test and test" students in the lead up to the awarding of grades this year, arguing that, in setting exam-style assessments, they are following the regulator's advice. By Catherine Lough, Tes. The article quotes Vicky Bingham, headteacher of South Hampstead High School, and Dr Philip Purvis, deputy head at Croydon High School.

Alice Thomson writes in The Times arguing this year's assessment system "is leaving pupils stressed, teachers overburdened and universities fearing more grade inflation".

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has denied claims that pupils are sitting "exams by another name" this year, despite reports that some schools are imposing a rigorous assessment schedule. By Mark McLaughlin, The Times.

 

Concerns over impartiality of Ofsted's sexual abuse in schools review

 

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, has claimed that Ofsted is not best placed to conduct a review into allegations of sexual abuse in schools because "what is being asked of them is something they have failed to do over decades". By Sima Kotecha, BBC News.

 
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BBC

Number of pupils at independent schools declines for the first time in 10 years

 

The Times reports on the Independent Schools Council's 2021 Census, which shows pupil numbers at independent schools have decreased by 1.3 per cent since last year, following a drop in the number of overseas boarders during the pandemic. By Nicola Woolcock. The report quotes Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC.

 
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The Times

Landmark legislation requires social media firms to safeguard children online

 

Under new laws set to be unveiled by the Government today, social media platforms could see their websites blocked to UK users if they fail to protect children from online harms. By Charles Hymas and Mike Wright. A commentary from Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, can be found further down the page.

 
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The Telegraph

 

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