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Daily News Summary
26 May 2021

image Coronavirus: DfE was 'unprepared for the challenges of the pandemic'
image Exams 2021: Parents contact lawyers over grading bias concerns
image House of Lords: Written question about the TPS
image Black Lives Matter: 'How much progress have we really made?'
image Cambridge University college pledges 'free places' for disadvantaged students
image 'Many students would be better off if they took up further or technical education instead of university'
image 'Overstretched' NHS struggles to meet demand for treating children's eating disorders

Coronavirus: DfE was 'unprepared for the challenges of the pandemic'

 

A new report from the Public Accounts Committee has found that the Department for Education (DfE) "had no plan" for handling the disruption caused by the pandemic, which meant it "struggled to react to events in a timely and effective way". By Zoe Tidman, The Independent. The Committee's key recommendations have been summarised by Schools Week. By Freddie Whittaker.

Education union leaders have called on the Government to publish data on the Indian coronavirus variant in schools, amid growing concerns over its spread. By Zoe Tidman, The Independent.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has published a seven point action plan, outlining how it believes the Government should help schools recover from the pandemic. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

The NAHT has said proposals to extend the school day to help pupils catch up on their learning "must be weighed against the costs of such a strategy, including the impact on pupils' mental health, reduced family time and less time for extra-curricular activities". By Will Hazell, iNews. Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has suggested schools should have the "flexibility" to "take ownership" of plans to lengthen the school day. By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

The Times reports on poll findings which suggest students have become more resilient and self-sufficient during the pandemic. By Emma Yeomans.

 

Exams 2021: Parents contact lawyers over grading bias concerns

 

According to Tes, some parents are approaching lawyers over concerns that their children will receive lower GCSE and A-level grades from teachers "biased" against them. By Catherine Lough.

New figures from Ofqual show that 80 per cent of 2019-20 GCSE and A-level grades changed upon appeal. By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Tes reports schools in Scotland are still waiting for details on this year's appeals process. By Henry Hepburn.

 

House of Lords: Written question about the TPS

 

The Marquess of Lothian submitted a written question asking the Government how many independent schools have withdrawn or announced their intention to withdraw from the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) since September 2019. In response, Baroness Berridge confirmed 163 independent schools in England and Wales withdrew from the scheme between September 2019 and 30 April 2021, 59 schools withdrew prior to September 2019, and "a further 23 independent schools have provided notice of leaving the TPS which has not yet taken effect".

 
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Hansard

Black Lives Matter: 'How much progress have we really made?'

 

The Sunday Times explores how the education sector, the justice system and work settings have changed in the year since the death of George Floyd.

 
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The Sunday Times

Cambridge University college pledges 'free places' for disadvantaged students

 

St John's College has said it will offer free places to students from poorer families by fully funding their tuition and living costs. The 'Free Places' initiative is reported to be the UK's most generous bursary scheme, with the average student set to receive £51,000 of financial support. By Will Hazell, iNews.

 
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iNews

'Many students would be better off if they took up further or technical education instead of university'

 

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said many school leavers would have "more rewarding careers" if they pursued further or technical education instead of a degree. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph.

The Times reports UCAS has pledged to tackle the "outdated stigma" deterring teenagers from considering apprenticeships. By Nicola Woolcock.

 

'Overstretched' NHS struggles to meet demand for treating children's eating disorders

 

Saffron Cordery, deputy CEO and mental health lead at NHS Providers, has warned that NHS services are struggling to provide support for children with eating disorders, after the return to schools sparked a surge in referrals. By India McTaggart and Gabriella Swerling, The Telegraph.

 
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The Telegraph

 

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