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Daily News Summary
27 September 2021

image Labour Conference 2021: Keir Starmer pledges to tax independent schools to fund state education
image Coronavirus: 'Vaccines are key to ensuring that every child is in school and fulfilling their potential'
image Independent school pupils set their sights on Ivy League universities
image Independent school pupil launches signing app for deaf children to enjoy Disney
image Quarter of prep school teachers found working with parents 'stressful' during remote learning
image Schools consider switch to online learning amid fuel crisis
image "We should be encouraging the young to become doers, rather than virtual signallers"

Labour Conference 2021: Keir Starmer pledges to tax independent schools to fund state education

 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has announced a proposal to remove independent schools' VAT exemption and end their charitable status in an effort to raise £1.7 billion for state-educated children. By Gemma Aldridge, The Sunday Mirror. The Labour leader has suggested the move could be used to fund reforms to citizenship teaching, digital skills across the curriculum, and changes to careers advice. By Freddie Whittaker, Schools Week.

In a red box article featured in The Times, Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC, argues: "There is a clear contradiction in a policy that aims to raise revenue from independent schools and reduce demand for them at the same time."

Speaking to Ayesha Hazarika on Times Radio yesterday, Julie Robinson discussed how the proposed policy would harm the education system by "putting more pressure on state schools". She highlighted the partnership work already taking place between independent and state schools, adding 'working together to strengthen the overall system would support all children'. Listen from 00:43:42.

Read the ISC's statement in response to the proposals.

 

Coronavirus: 'Vaccines are key to ensuring that every child is in school and fulfilling their potential'

 

Nadhim Zahawi, the new education secretary, writes in The Telegraph arguing the COVID vaccination rollout is "vital for getting our children's education back on track".

Some experts have warned that children are "paying the price" for the delayed approval of the COVID vaccine for over-12s. By Samuel Lovett, The Independent.

Lawyers for Liberty, a campaign group that sent thousands of letters to schools threatening legal action over the vaccination of children without parental consent, has said it has been forced to stop because of "censorship issues". By Zoe Tidman, The Independent.

The Guardian reports a number of schools in England are struggling to stay open amid rising infection rates among pupils. By Richard Adams.

According to The Independent, some schools are imposing their own stricter versions of the Government's test and trace system to limit outbreaks. By Zoe Tidman.

The Association of School and College Leaders has expressed concern about the rest of the autumn term, after some schools reported having more than one in 10 pupils absent from class due to COVID. By Will Hazell and Jane Merrick, iNews.

Children in Scotland aged between 12 and 15 will be invited to book a vaccine appointment from this week. By Lucinda Cameron, The Times.

 

Independent school pupils set their sights on Ivy League universities

 

The Sunday Times explores why increasing numbers of independent school pupils are applying to Ivy League universities in America over Oxbridge. By Sian Griffiths and Shanti Das.

 
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The Sunday Times

Independent school pupil launches signing app for deaf children to enjoy Disney

 

The Times features a spotlight piece on Mariella Satow, a student at Rugby School who has created a signing app that allows deaf children to enjoy Disney films. The 17-year-old, who has been studying remotely from New York since March 2020, has also launched a British Sign Language club at the school. By Nicola Woolcock. The article quotes Gareth Parker-Jones, head of Rugby School.

 
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The Times

Quarter of prep school teachers found working with parents 'stressful' during remote learning

 

According to a survey conducted by the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) and Tooled Up Education, 25 per cent of prep school staff found working with parents on home-schooling stressful during periods of remote learning. By Catherine Lough, Tes. The article quotes Christopher King, chief executive of IAPS.

 
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Tes

Schools consider switch to online learning amid fuel crisis

 

Some schools are reportedly considering switching back to virtual learning in the event that disruption caused by the petrol crisis leaves staff members stuck at home. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

 
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The Times

"We should be encouraging the young to become doers, rather than virtual signallers"

 

Sir James Dyson has written a book to mark the graduation of the first cohort of engineers from the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, in which he argues that the school curriculum should encourage pupils to "strive to solve the problems of their age while looking forward to a better future". By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

 
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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.

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