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Daily News Summary
22 October 2021

image Coronavirus: Ministers hope half term will bring down COVID infections
image Four in 10 pupils in England are leaving school without a level three qualification, figures show
image Equalities minister warns schools against presenting white privilege as a fact
image Wales to offer cash incentives to recruit more BAME teachers
image 'The system is failing SEND children'
image Spending per pupil fell by 8 per cent in real terms in 10 years, report finds
image Government urged to pause education funding reforms
image Schools reverse plans to use facial recognition systems in canteens

Coronavirus: Ministers hope half term will bring down COVID infections

 

According to The Times, ministers hope that half term next week will bring down the number of COVID outbreaks in schools and help avoid the need to reinstate tighter anti-COVID measures. By Chris Smyth.

The Government has announced that nearly half a million more laptops and tablets will be made available to schoolchildren stuck at home due to COVID disruption as part of a new £126 million funding package. The Department for Education (DfE) has said that the additional devices will boost access to lessons for disadvantaged students and will keep them "connected to their classmates and teachers". By Amy Gibbons, Tes.

New government data on school absences during the spring term of 2021 has revealed that 57.5 per cent of physical school sessions were missed because of partial school closures caused by COVID between the start of term and the beginning of the Easter holidays. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

The DfE has written to schools requesting them to submit performance data on how they are spending school-led catch-up tutoring grants from the first week back after half term. Schools will now also be asked to report the data on catch-up tutoring on a monthly basis to help the DfE "understand the roll-out of the programme". By Catherine Lough, Tes.

Bath and North East Somerset Council has issued guidance to local schools urging them to instruct pupils to start wearing masks again and to cancel assemblies in response to a surge in infections. By Will Hazell, iNews.

 

Four in 10 pupils in England are leaving school without a level three qualification, figures show

 

According to official statistics from the Department for Education, in 2019-20 about 40 per cent of 19-year-olds in England left school with no level three qualifications, which include advanced apprenticeships, BTECs and A-levels. By Will Hazell, iNews.

 
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iNews

Equalities minister warns schools against presenting white privilege as a fact

 

Kemi Badenoch, the equalities minister, has raised concerns about the teaching of white privilege in schools, telling MPs that the Government is against “the teaching of contested political ideas as if they are accepted fact”. By Vincent Wood, The Independent.

 
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The Independent

Wales to offer cash incentives to recruit more BAME teachers

 

The Welsh Government has published plans to offer cash incentives to recruit more black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) teachers in Wales. The education and Welsh language minister, Jeremy Miles, said the current number of ethnic minority teachers was "simply not good enough". BBC News.

 
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BBC

'The system is failing SEND children'

 

An investigation by Schools Week has found that support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in seven of eight areas visited by Ofsted this year had “significant areas of weakness”. By John Dickens.

 
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Schools Week

Spending per pupil fell by 8 per cent in real terms in 10 years, report finds

 

Tes takes a closer look at changes to school funding over the last decade, including data from the Institute of Fiscal Studies that found that between 2009-10 and 2018-19, spending per pupil fell by 8 per cent in real terms in England. By Catherine Lough.

An analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that Scotland has the highest spending per pupil in the UK. BBC News.

 

Government urged to pause education funding reforms

 

The Government has been urged to pause education funding reforms after a report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee found that the changes would result in a 1.2 per cent drop in real terms per pupil funding in the most deprived fifth of schools. By Sally Weale, The Guardian.

According to Tes, the report also calls on the DfE to set out a timetable for "meeting its commitment to a £30,000 starting salary for teachers, along with details of how this will be funded". By Catherine Lough.

 

Schools reverse plans to use facial recognition systems in canteens

 

Following concerns about pupil privacy, at least two schools in England are reversing plans to install facial recognition systems in canteens. By James Carr, Schools Week.

 
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Schools Week

 

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